6 Pardot Predictions for 2019 to Keep Top of Mind

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There’s an underlying rumble going on in the Pardot world – a current of product transformation, tighter integration, and intelligence innovation.

With this landscape set both by feature releases this year and forward-looking keynotes, I began to wonder what’s in store for Pardot in 2019? What should be top of mind for Pardot marketers as they gear up their plan and Pardot account for 2019?

“Gearset”

What trends will take off and features release in 2019 (and beyond) is honestly up to speculation and is subject to change. As always, please respect Salesforce’s Safe Harbour agreement if you are looking to make purchasing decisions.

Pardot for Lightning

Although Pardot has been transitioning incrementally onto the core Salesforce platform for some time, the release of the Pardot Lightning App in the second half of this year made a bold statement about the future potential of Pardot.

Pardot joined the Salesforce product suite as part of the ExactTarget acquisition 5+ years ago, and has remained a separate tool in its own right.

Now Pardot has moved into the Salesforce Lightning interface and is immediately appealing to users.

I expect this is where the Pardot innovation will happen next year, starting with building a solid foundation with tighter alignment between Pardot objects, such as Prospects, and Salesforce objects, such as Leads and Contacts. Also, moving Pardot data out of read-only ‘windows’ and coming on platform; a good example of this is Engagement History not having the same characteristics as standard Salesforce Tasks and Events.

We already witnessed this in 2018 with Connected Campaigns, which bought Salesforce Campaigns and Pardot campaigns together, and Salesforce User Sync.

Consider starting the new year with a fresh new look and way of working – the Pardot Lightning App is a relatively simple set-up.

Prospect 360

On the same thread as integrated Pardot, comes my second prediction: Prospect 360. It’s a play on ‘Customer 360’, Salesforce’s ultimate vision for integrated CRM, not an official announcement of any kind! Customer 360 was announced in the run up to Dreamforce, and will allow Admins to connect multiple data sources fluidly with Salesforce. I believe this will extend to marketers’ benefit too in the not-so-far future.

As the volume of data captured has increased exponentially, Marketers are having to work with more data points and sources as a result. I hope that marketers will be able to overcome the current challenges with incoming marketing data, to aggregate it effectively with Salesforce CRM data. Let’s not overlook the fact that marketing data is valuable as often the most up-to-date and freely given data.

Marketing Analytics

B2B Marketing Analytics is the marketing branch of the Einstein Analytics product. By pumping in Salesforce and Pardot data into theB2B Marketing Analytics app, you can generate an array of dashboards. Pardot added Marketing Analytics to the Pardot Plus and Advanced Editions in mid-2018, in a move to give the modern marketer the full-funnel insights businesses demand. The ability to also ‘slice and dice’ datasets moves marketing reporting beyond Salesforce Campaigns and Pardot out-of-the-box reporting.

Marketing Analytics will deliver deeper, holistic campaign reporting; however, how can the campaign building process be optimised?

The inputs into a campaign such as the target audience, messaging and marketing assets (eg. emails, landing pages), are commonly decided by gut-feeling. Einstein Campaign Insights will give direction to marketers based on historical campaign data, to identify underperforming campaign assets, give email content recommendations, and as a result, discover new audiences predicted to engage well with your new campaign.

Pardot Einstein will be general released in the Spring ’19 release, live mid-February.

Voice Marketing

Einstein Voice brings conversational AI technology onto the Salesforce platform, yet another Dreamforce announcement. The technology will enable conversation between humans and computers, processing actions based on voice commands. As a medium, voice is taking the world by storm, and reshaping how consumers want to interact with brands.

Until this point, we have seen Einstein Voice embedded in a select few use cases.

  • Einstein Voice Assistant: for recording meeting notes in Salesforce tasks and events.
  • Einstein Voice Bots: Voice-enabled bots that for customers to interact with, deployed within leading voice assistant technologies, such as Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • Einstein Voice Analytics: questions asked verbally, answered with exact answers. This was showcased during the Pardot Keynote at Dreamforce – check out the GIF here also.

Now envision all the marketing use cases for voice. What’s more instantaneous and interactive than voice? When Einstein Voice will be deployed into marketing use cases, I see it being a big disruptor and will separate the marketing pioneers from the laggards.

Sales Enablement

Sales Enablement is an umbrella term for the tools put in place to position your content more effectively to leads in your pipeline, accelerating the purchase cycle. It’s not a new trend, but it’s one I think will gain more traction over the coming year.

Analysts predict that marketing budget will be moved away from advertising and towards content marketing, as authenticity and privacy (the following point) become paramount.

With extra budget going into Content Marketing, how can we make content go further? How can we add cross-team transparency to the middle- and bottom-of-funnel?
I see many organisations with little or no marketing influence in the later stages of the sales cycle. There’s a clear-cut line on what’s MQL, and a fatal assumption that an MQL is no longer marketing’s responsibility. In short, throwing ‘qualified’ leads over to the sales team like hot potatoes.

Fixing this starts with Sales Enablement. Pardot has a big role to play in Sales Enablement, too.

Salespeople are a valuable asset – start leveraging them in your marketing strategy, as they aid in the authenticity vs. automation challenge marketers face.

The AppExchange is bustling with vendors in this space, so you are spoilt for choice when looking for a Salesforce Sales Enablement tool to support your marketing. Our friends at Data Dwell wrote this useful piece on what Sales Enablement is in relation to marketing – so I recommend this as a good place to start.

Privacy

I was recently at the Web Summit conference, dubbed the largest tech conference in the world, where privacy was a hot topic on the tip of everyone’s tongue. This conversation ranged from the philosophical heights of ‘Ethical AI’ debates, right through to topics relatable to the majority of marketers, namely data privacy and preference management.

[UPDATE 11/12/18]: Salesforce hires first Chief Ethical and Humane Use officer

In this post-GDPR world, I forsee organisations building out their privacy frameworks and preference management. It will become increasingly important to capture, store, and segment by sophisticated communication preferences that fulfil the requirements of GDPR. I loved this 4 part series Ian Gotts published this year – a true forward thinker on the topic.

Summary

This post has covered some of the biggest trends I predict will occupy Pardot marketers’ attention in 2019, and what should be top of mind as we close out this year and plan for the next. Pardot is a product under transformation, with increasingly tighter integration and intelligence.

I enjoyed writing this post, as I am excited to see how and when each trend unfolds.

Remember, what trends will take off and features release in 2019 (and beyond) is honestly up to speculation and is subject to change – always respect Salesforce’s Safe Harbour agreement.

 

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