Account Engagement (Pardot) Salary Guide 2023
Pardot salaries are a hot topic. The increasing demand for Pardot (Account Engagement) skills and the growing Salesforce economy means that these professionals find themselves in a good position.
Pardot specialists enable businesses to identify ideal prospects, engage them impactfully across the entire sales cycle, and measure the return on marketing efforts (Campaign Influence) – all using their Pardot (Account Engagement) knowledge.
How much do Pardot specialists make? Read on to find out – plus which factors influence your earning potential, and tips on how to improve it.
Jump to: Factors that Influence Pardot Salaries
Jump to: How to Improve Your Pardot Salary
Pardot Salary Averages
Note: The data above is from the Mason Frank Careers and Hiring Guide 2022/23 for Pardot specific roles. The reports contains similar, non-Pardot specific marketing automation roles for other regions.
Factors that Influence Pardot Salaries
One single salary figure can be misleading, without context. There are certain factors at play that can result in differences between one professional’s salary, to the next. We will dive into the following factors in this guide:
- Experience (Seniority)
As with any profession, the more experience and responsibility you take on, the higher your salary expectations should be.
When it comes to Pardot (Account Engagement), there are several roles to consider:
- Pardot Content Creator: Design and create content in Pardot’s builders. While using Pardot in a limited and controlled way, some will develop an interest in how they take the next step. These individuals would be entry-level, or delivering managed services for a consultancy.
- Pardot Administrators: Take ownership of the Pardot account internally, as an employee of a Salesforce customer organization.
- Pardot Consultants: Implement and optimize Pardot in an effective and scalable way that is in line with their clients’ requirements.
- Pardot Developers: Extend Pardot beyond declarative (point-and-click) configuration – including building integrations, and developing dynamic/personalized experiences utilizing HTML, CSS, and invocable actions.
- Pardot Architects: Responsible for the “big picture” solution design with multiple integrated systems, large data volumes (advising on ETL best practices), and/or aligning Pardot with a complex Salesforce org, catering to extraordinary use cases.
- Non-Salesforce specific roles: End-users that work in Pardot everyday, but maintaining/optimizing Pardot is not their core job responsibility.
As Pardot specialists become more experienced, they will tend to move from administrator roles, to consulting, and/or becoming a Pardot Architect.
Pardot Architect is one role that can’t be reached without real-life experience. To understand the “big picture” solution design, you need to have worked on multiple use cases (not necessarily multiple accounts, but that will make a more solid architect).
Salesforce professionals love getting certifications – they are a milestone in your career that prove that you know what you are talking about. Certifications can potentially be used as leverage if you are looking for a more senior position internally, or looking for a job in another company.
In the annual career survey, respondents were asked whether they experienced an increase in their salary after earning (any) certification:
- 67% did, reporting an average salary increase of 21%.
- 33% did not, their salaries remained the same.
Note: In the report’s previous edition, the split was 63% did, 37% did not. While the positive % is higher, the average salary increase has dropped from 26% to 21%.
The chance that your salary could increase the more certifications you earn can’t be ignored, but should be taken with a ‘pinch of salt’ alongside the other factors.
Salary figures are influenced by location, due to the differences in the cost of living between countries – and within countries (the US is a good example of this economic influence).
Converting all the salaries into US$ makes the geographic comparison easier. Senior Pardot specialists in Canada reported an average salary of around $85k. The UK specialists on average earn $73k, and in Ireland, the figure is $60.5k.
Note: In our other salary guides, we also compare salaries across other European regions, and APAC; however, for Pardot salaries, the data is not available. Hopefully the three-way comparison above gives you an indication.
Geographic location plays an influence where demand is greater than the supply of professionals in-region. Let’s not ignore the fact that there will naturally be differences within countries, too. While the pandemic “hybrid”/”remote” working models have democratized location vs earning potential, there will naturally still be some variation.
How to Improve Your Pardot Salary
If you want to increase your salary, this section is for you. Here are some tips for anyone looking to accelerate through this career path.
In the face of an economic downturn, marketers are being challenged to do more with less – this will be the ‘flavor’ of 2023. The stakes are higher than ever – it’s a common thought that marketing is the first function to be slashed in a recession.
But it’s not all “doom and gloom”. For the optimists out there, change presents an opportunity to fine-tune their techstack. Iron out inefficiencies, get creative, and keep your ‘ear to the ground’ for new releases. Here are our top picks from the pack.
Tip 1: Get Sales Cloud Experience
It’s a well-known fact that Pardot consultants and architects earn more than the Pardot roles because consultants/architects work to align Pardot with a complex Salesforce org, catering to extraordinary use cases (i.e. don’t fit the typical ‘cookie-cutter’ ways Pardot has been designed). Examples include different Lead lifecycles:
Pardot (Marketing Cloud Account Engagement) has been historically standalone from the core Salesforce platform. Over the past few years, however, Pardot has been moving across to the core Salesforce platform, piece by piece.
There’s a belief that Pardot consultants and admins should be familiar with Salesforce administration – and even Salesforce Admin certified. This is something that became apparent to me back as far as 2017.
Understanding more about Salesforce administration is key to working towards ‘consultant’ and ‘architect’ status.
There’s a sprawling checklist of skills you should learn. I’ve picked out the key ones:
- ‘People’ objects: Leads vs Contacts vs Person Accounts
- Lead Assignment: Rules and queues
- Marketing Data Sharing Rules
- User Permissions: Profiles and permission sets
- Salesforce Campaign Data Model
- Salesforce Flow
If you’re really invested, then shoot for the Salesforce Certified Administrator certification. I passed the Admin certification (plus Platform App Builder, and others), then later, branched into Pardot (out of curiosity). Long story short, I appreciate my foundational knowledge of the Salesforce platform.
Tip 2: Understand Campaign Influence
Campaign Influence is how Salesforce Opportunities are associated with the Campaigns that helped generate them. It’s all about joining the dots between sales revenue (stored in opportunities) and marketing data (stored in campaigns) – and therefore, is the fundamental connection in measuring Marketing ROI (return on investment).
While it looks simple ‘on paper’, in reality it’s more art than science. You need to understand your Lead and Opportunity lifecycles in order to make a sensible decision on what can count as marketing “influence” or whether that ship has sailed.
Tip 3: Grasp Analytics
On the topic of multi-touch attribution, the best way to display this nowadays is by using B2B Marketing Analytics (B2B MA) – the Salesforce CRM Analytics app built for the B2B marketer that enables you to manipulate (‘slice-and-dice) Pardot data.
Another way you can be indispensable to your organization is to bring data to life in visualizations. What’s lying hidden among all the data organizations are capturing and processing?
As you gain experience, you will look at reports and data with a skeptical eye, and identify low-hanging fruit for your marketing efforts to tap into, driving more results for the business (and making you worthy of a promotion).
Tip 4: Get Familiar With CDP
Salesforce Genie, declared the greatest Salesforce innovation in the company’s history, ingests and stores real-time data streams at massive scale, and combines it with Salesforce data. This paves the way for highly personalized customer experiences, delivered in real-time.
Salesforce CDP unifies versions of the same individual across applications, delivering customer experiences based on data sources beyond Salesforce.
As a Salesforce marketer, understanding how CDPs work (data ingestion, unification, transformation and activation) is currently a big plus, but in the future we think it will be a necessity.
“With the fall of 3rd-party data, marketers need to shift focus towards owned data and unified profiles. For Salesforce marketers, the best way to account for this is to start learning the Salesforce Customer Data Platform. There’s no substitute for learning on the job. It’s a steep learning curve that will involve some trial-and-error but definitely worth it in the longer term.”– Timo Kovala, Lead Marketing Consultant at Biit
“I’m not seeing that certification or experience in Salesforce Genie (formerly CDP) impacts remuneration, but I anticipate that this will change in the next 18-24 months.”– Eliot Harper, Marketing Cloud Architect at CloudKettle
Tip 5: Take Advantage of Extensibility
Extensibility is all about getting more mileage out of one’s tech stack. Effective integration irons out inefficiencies – aggregating data from multiple sources faster and optimally, reducing manual work, and more.
Extensibility in a Pardot (Account Engagement) context include:
- The Pardot API v5 (more endpoints added with each release).
- Marketing App Extensions, with External Activities, and new in 2022, External Actions.
- The email content object, being able to deploy to different types of emails.
This is a fantastic example of how attribution is evolving to take in new data points – in other words, bringing in additional activity data to help prove marketing influence.
Tip 6: Walk the ‘Personalization vs. Privacy Tightrope’
It’s no secret that personalization leads to better prospect engagement. The cookieless future and the demise of third-party cookies, and Apple MPP, will limit what data we can capture. Take a realistic look at how this will have downstream impacts on segmentation and personalization.
Do you have a plan of action for the future? I sat at a roundtable mid-way through the year, and one question posed was: “How are you adapting your data strategies to future-proof your data collection?” There was silence around the table. 68% of marketers have a fully defined strategy to shift toward first-party data (source).
What are the trade-offs, between personalization and privacy, that you’re willing to make? Alternative data capture strategies may be required, such as incentivization and authenticated web experiences.
Navigating regulations means you will be valuable as a “go-to” person in the team who can demystify compliance, and give everyone peace of mind.
Tip 7: Align as a Marketing Team
This tip has two sides to explore. Firstly, aligning as the marketing team, among your team members. At the entry-level, start to understand what good collaboration looks like. Participate as much as possible to learn from senior team members, e.g. grasp how all campaigns’ ‘moving parts’ work together, the admin challenges that crop up and how they’re solved. As a senior specialist, you should be fully engaged with the team – able and willing and to support the rest of the team.
Secondly, understand how to align the marketing team with the rest of the business. Marketing functions need to expand beyond marketing objectives to business objectives. Again, this can absolutely start at the entry-level, and becomes key as you climb more senior.
“Salary growth will come to the people who can position how they are realizing that vision. Either how to solve business challenges with their expertise, who to apply technology, or marketing strategy, to realize the higher-level goals.”– Kerry Townsend, Principal Consultant at AmberStar Consulting, Marketing Cloud expert
So, it turned out that we didn’t all return to the office. Distributed teams are here to stay (flexibility is the primary request from employees across the organization), and the silver lining from the pandemic was that marketers can still collaborate effectively when not physically together.
We’ve united with collaboration technologies – an average of four per organization, according to Salesforce – and 70% of marketing leaders expect these investments will be permanent. We can reflect back to a time when “collaboration” wasn’t an investment that was expected to impact the bottom line.
Tip 8: Stakeholder Management and Business Analysis
How do you align the marketing team with the rest of the business? The answer lies in stakeholder management.
Marketing is a cross-functional role – in other words, we frequently design campaigns on behalf of, or in collaboration with, other business functions. Smooth Marketing Ops relies on consensus agreement around processes – like the conversion processes/marketing-sales hand-off. Dealing with difficult characters that are waiting to derail your marketing initiative can become part of the learning experience.
Communication, and other related soft skills, are tested in the Business Analyst certification. Described as the “translators” between business stakeholders and technology, Business Analysts get to the bottom of what’s required, and more importantly why. Pausing to think – I realized that many of the concepts are relevant to digital marketers – after all, we’re constantly required to translate ideas between our business and prospects/customers, while vying for buy-in between internal teams.
Marketers are already doing business analysis, more than they likely realize. Elicitation, user stories, user acceptance testing, process mapping, and documentation are all examples of this secret superpower.
The conclusion I came to, when working with organizations grasping the basics, is the stark lack of skills to whip tools into shape for their specific set up. Marketing operations, analysts, and Salesforce marketing specialists are all relatively new career paths, in the grand scheme of things. My guess is that very few of us went to school to pursue the career path we ended up taking.
Add a volatile job market into the mix, and naturally, organizations are investing in their people to attract and retain employees. 71% of marketing leaders say that it’s harder to retain employees than it was a year ago. Without the specialists, the technology will lay barren.
This guide has brought context to what your salary should be (or could be) with information to back up that figure, so that you can be armed when asking for a raise, or applying for a new role.