Marketo vs. Pardot

Cara Bowles    By under Marketing Automation.

Marketo and Pardot are two big names in marketing automation, and both tend to skew slightly toward the B2B and enterprise markets. Pardot is built by Salesforce, and Marketo was built on the Salesforce platform and is also considered to be one of the best platforms for integration with Salesforce. On the surface, the two platforms are quite similar to each other.

Even so, in terms of sheer feature set, Marketo can be considered the more powerful system. It is built to be capable of doing almost anything in the industry, as well as to be heavily customizable in order to solve unique problems. Marketo's analytics capabilities are more in-depth than almost any other marketing automation platform, particularly the ability to correlate revenue with marketing activities. The ability to create and optimize web pages is also a fairly unique feature.

Pardot is, in general, seen as offering a more attractive interface as well as a more intuitive one. Marketo's interface is a bit dated in terms of modern design, and hunting down the feature you are looking for isn't always easy. Even so, Marketo actually has a smoother interface than many marketing automation platforms.

Advantages of Marketo:

  • Pardot's campaign management tools do not include the ability to create SMS messages.
  • Pardot's email marketing toolset does not include HTML validation, image validation, or link validation.
  • Offer optimization: This optimizes the email to fit a prospect's needs based on data collected on that prospect.
  • Marketo's social media features include the ability to set up polls and referral offers, make form signups easy with social sign-on capabilities, and share videos.
  • Pardot does not include revenue modeling tools or campaign performance reports.
  • Pardot does not offer automatic field mapping from your CRM.
  • Marketo is able to publish tasks to your CRM, provide salespeople with custom sales dashboards, and adjust the sync frequency between your CRM and marketing automation platform.
  • Pardot does not offer integrations for Hootsuite, Salesforce Sales Cloud, or Unbounce. Marketo overall offers 88 integrations, while Pardot offers 29.
  • Pardot is trusted by 29.3k websites to Marketo's 41.9k.
  • Marketo leads in more industry segments than Pardot, including Business & Industry, Computer & Electronics, Software, Internet & Telecom, and Career & Education. In total, Marketo leads in 140 industry categories to Pardot's 42 categories.

As an aside, while some are under the impression that Marketo does not offer drip campaigns, this is untrue. Marketo's drip campaigns are simply called "Engagement Programs."

Advantages of Pardot:

  • Pardot's campaign management tools include a blogging tool which is not available through Marketo.
  • Pardot offers native spam analysis tools.
  • Pardot allows you to customize page URLs through the Pardot interface.
  • Pardot offers a built-in URL generator.
  • Pardot's reporting tools include scheduled report delivery.
  • Pardot is capable of automatically assigning leads to salespeople based on preexisting criteria.
  • Pardot is more popular in the consumer electronics, hotel, transportation, industrial goods, and construction industries.

Shared Advantages:

  • Pardot and Marketo share a fairly robust set of campaign management features:
    • Campaign diagrams to plot out how a campaign will function are available in both tools. Some consider Marketo's to be more in depth, using the lead lifecycle and revenue cycle models.
    • Both offer content management features so that you can organize and reuse assets.
    • Both offer drag and drop interfaces.
    • Both provide event scheduling.
    • Both offer file hosting for items such as lead magnets, as well as the ability to track user interactions with them.
  • While Marketo offers a more robust set of lead management features overall, both share the following capabilities:
    • Custom lead scoring capabilities prevent you from being stuck with the scoring capabilities native to the platform.
    • Progressive profiling means that leads can add new data to their profiles over time in new forms.
    • Prospect deduplication prevents erroneously sending irrelevant or duplicate messages to the same person twice.
    • Prospect routing calls attention to promising leads.
    • Trigger based actions allow you to take automated marketing actions when leads exhibit a specific behavior.
  • Marketo's set of email features is more expansive, but both offer these important email marketing abilities:
    • A/B testing to determine which version of an email is more effective.
    • Delivery tracking to ensure that messages are making it to the inbox.
    • Email templates to ensure professional looking emails.
    • Scheduled and triggered email capabilities, so that emails can be sent out periodically, or after the lead takes a specific action.
    • WYSIWYG email designs, so you know for sure what the email looks like to the recipient.
  • Marketo and Pardot share the following web management features:
    • A/B page testing to determine which version of a landing page is more effective.
    • Landing page designers and landing page templates to ensure professional looking pages for your lead magnets and other lead-facing marketing materials.
    • Web form designers and web form templates to provide leads with eye-catching forms that won't go ignored.
  • They share these social media features as well:
    • The ability to publish to Facebook.
    • Tracking the performance of social media posts.
    • Social sharing widgets that make it easy for leads to share your content with their friends.