Questions to Ask Before Setting up New Pardot Features

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You may not know that Pardot releases come 6 times a year, falling in between the main Salesforce releases (Spring, Summer, Winter). Pardot is evolving at such a rate, the team (almost) bring out features as and when they are ready. 

There are plenty of features coming out each time. While this is great, it can be hard to keep up. It comes to a point where we have to set a priority order for roll-out because marketers or Admins don’t have the bandwidth to enable new features on top of day-to-day BAU work (business-as-usual). Sometimes, we even find ourselves in a balancing act with an overzealous manager that wants all the shiny new toys. 

“Natterbox"

The following questions provide a structure for prioritising new features, to get a grip on what benefits a functionality could bring, and therefore, how urgent it is to roll-out in your org. 

This post has been adapted from my London’s Calling 2020 talk “5 New Pardot Features You May Have Missed”, as the structure for how I planned to cover each of the features. 

The ‘What’ and the ‘Why’

These two question words are the foundation. It’s useful to have a one sentence definition of what a new feature is, and one that avoids jargon for any layman to understand. 

There are two parts to the ‘why’. The Pardot team do a good job of articulating why you should enable a feature, to help you build an effective business case (and use Pardot more heavily). 

Listen out for why you should use the feature, and why Salesforce released it. 

A Gateway Feature?

Why Salesforce released the feature can hint that a feature is a ‘gateway’ to other features, meaning that this will become a pre-requisite for other future functionality.

Connected Campaigns are a perfect example. Connected Campaigns are now a pre-requisite for Engagement History, Snippets, and others (see the next point for more on pre-requisites). 

If you can see the vision for the Pardot product (or have a crystal ball), it’s possible to predict these gateway features. Listening to Pardot pros discuss online or at user groups (Trailblazer User Groups) can give you the heads up!

Consider this the checkpoint that can qualify a new feature, and eliminate all the other questions (and possibly endless discussions) if it’s an automatic ‘yes’. 

Are There Pre-requisites? 

These are required features that form the essential foundation for the new feature to function. 

If you have fallen behind on Pardot releases (it’s understandable!), then you may find you need to backtrack and implement the pre-requisite features. The more pre-requisites, the more time you will need to set aside to roll-out your desired feature.

Use Cases 

While the point I made on ‘gateway’ features builds a compelling case technically, outlining use cases for the feature gives the day-to-day benefits for business users. 

Can you see your team using this feature? Is there an immediate need, or is it more of a nice to have? Use cases can be labelled under these headings (and more):

  • Productivity use cases: users can do a task faster.
  • Campaign use cases: you will make improvements to how engaging campaigns are for prospects (personalisation etc.)
  • Reporting use cases: improve what insights reports can give.

Set Up Effort

Knowing the setup steps and the effort involved will mean you can predict your workload before starting each setup. A little foresight will avoid having to abandon an implementation partway through.

Campaign Calendar 

It goes without saying. Don’t roll out features during the busiest times in your organisation’s marketing calendar. 

Any ‘Gotchas’? 

Gotchas are things that cause user confusion, frustration, and extra work for Admins.

Try to anticipate these! 

Blog posts from Pardot pros are a great source for unearthing these. When I write posts, I share gotchas that I’ve already bumped into while working with clients, because I’ve rolled out features several times in different scenarios. See the post ‘12 Pardot Connected Campaign Gotchas’ for some examples of gotchas. 

Training can be a ‘big ticket’ item in roll-outs that can be underestimated, or add significant time to get users up to speed.

Summary 

There are plenty of features coming out with each Pardot release, so it comes to a point where we have to set a priority order for roll-out because marketers or Admins don’t have the bandwidth to enable new features on top of the day-to-day workload. 

The questions in this post provide a structure for prioritising new features, to get a grip on what benefits a functionality could bring, and therefore, how urgent it is to roll-out in your org.

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