Pardot specialists plan, build, and analyze marketing campaigns using Pardot (Account Engagement) and Salesforce. They engage prospects with laser-focused marketing, maintain a healthy org, support the needs of other teams, and in turn measure the return on marketing efforts.
The responsibilities of a Pardot specialist will vary depending on their role (admin, consultant, developer, etc), however, generally speaking, their work requires data management, knowledge around the most commonly used tools, and marketing acumen.
What do Pardot specialists do? Let’s start by outlining what Pardot Admins do, compared to Pardot Consultants, Developers, and Architects.
- 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.
There are multiple entry routes into a Pardot career. The list below outlines a couple of the most common ones, but not all!
- New career, e.g. graduate: Joining a marketing team that uses Pardot, or a Salesforce consultancy shadowing more experienced Pardot specialists.
- Career move: Joining a marketing team that uses Pardot. You would have used other marketing automation platforms – you will identify similarities, but have to grasp the many differences.
- ‘Accidental’ Pardot Admin: Your organization purchases Pardot, or the person originally responsible for Pardot leaves the organization. You’ll succeed with motivation to learn and a keen eye for spotting efficiencies!
While using Pardot in a limited and controlled way, some will develop an interest in how they take the next step.
What Pardot Administrators Do
Pardot Admins take ownership of the Pardot account internally (‘in-house’), as an employee of a Salesforce customer organization.
This role is essential within organizations that have larger Salesforce implementations, and the Pardot Admin will work alongside other Salesforce Administrators to ensure both connected platforms can work in harmony.
- Ensure that the platform is fit for purpose, anticipating the future needs of the team.
- Have a ‘helicopter’ view of all marketing campaigns in progress.
- Manage reporting and analytics to meet the needs of the marketing team and/or executive team.
- Have an understanding of content personalization (ie. HML).
- Solid knowledge of Engagement Studio, and understand how to leverage External Activities and External Actions.
- Have an understanding of the connected Salesforce org.
- Configuring business units.
- User management.
- User training.
There’s no excuse for isolating yourself on the ‘marketing island’. 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.
What Pardot Consultants Do
Pardot Consultants implement and optimize Pardot in an effective and scalable way that is in line with their clients’ requirements. With a consultant involved, Pardot becomes like a block of plasticine to an organization, molding to exactly how their business operates (and with the structure falling over).
Consultants either work on a project or ‘managed services’ (time and materials) basis for clients. Responsibilities can include:
- Implementations (setting up a new Pardot account).
- Performing Pardot audits.
- Business analysis, stakeholder management, and requirements gathering.
- Pardot account maintenance – which mirrors everything that Pardot admins do.
What Pardot Developers Do
Pardot Developers extend Pardot beyond declarative (point-and-click) configuration – including building integrations (with the Pardot API), and developing dynamic/personalized experiences utilizing HTML, CSS, and invocable actions.
What Pardot Architects Do
Pardot Architects are 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.
This 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).
Pardot is becoming more enterprise-focused. Salesforce has pushed Pardot ‘upmarket’ (targeting larger SMB and enterprise customers). Three scenarios have unfolded as a result: Expanding tech stacks, large data volumes, and the need to nip technical debt ‘in the bud’.
Can You Accelerate Your Pardot Career Path?
Absolutely – with the right team, the right environment, some specialists go from entry-level to a mid-level in a year. On the other hand, in a bad environment with a closed mindset, they may never progress.
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.
Aligning as the marketing team, among your team members, at the entry-level, means building an understanding of 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.
Begin to work independently. Know what you don’t know – which is a strange statement – however, this will enable you to search for answers yourself, and plug gaps in your knowledge. As you learn more about Pardot, you will rely on what you know about the organization you’re working for combined with how best to use Pardot. There are right ways to achieve requirements with Pardot – and likely ten times more wrong ways that will cause issues down the line!
Finally, achieve the Pardot Specialist certification. This is a key milestone in your Pardot career, designed to get you up to speed as a Pardot power user as it tests your understanding of Pardot’s features.
There are multiple entry routes into a Pardot career. From the starting mark, you can become a proficient Pardot Admin, or move on to a Pardot Consultant (or Developer) role. With plenty of real-life experience (working on multiple use cases) you could reach Pardot Architect.
With the right team, the right environment, some specialists go from entry-level to a mid-level in a year. On the other hand, in a bad environment with a closed mindset, they may never progress. The ‘ball is in your court’ to take advantage of the opportunity.