Top 4 Pardot Implementation Tips

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Marketing automation has seen rapid growth over the last couple of years; from within startups, all the way up to enterprise organisations. Its rise in popularity can be attributed to its demonstrated ability to provide high levels of ROI but also as a result of its increase in accessibility due to products such as Pardot, which provides users with a complete marketing automation solution that integrates directly with their Salesforce instance.

One of the greatest benefits of using a tool such as Pardot together with Salesforce is its positive impact on improving sales and marketing alignment, which is often seen as a key challenge in many organisations. And who better to help with achieving this than a Salesforce Administrator – a user within the business who would already have advanced knowledge of all current processes as well as a good understanding of business stakeholders and their objectives; placing you in an excellent position to help with a Pardot implementation.

However, that being said, if you have very limited Pardot knowledge and also little exposure to the wide world of digital marketing, a Pardot implementation and rollout can at first appear very overwhelming. To help you get up and running quite quickly it is essential to a) prioritise the rollout of features through a phased approach and b) spend time planning the initial setup of your Pardot instance to ensure it provides you and your users with an easy to navigate and scalable platform.
It is very easy to get caught up and distracted with all the exciting features that Pardot offers, so here are my Top 4 Tips for helping you get setup quickly without overlooking some of the basics.

1. Folder Structure

Folders let you segment and store Pardot marketing elements in a way where users can easily access information. An often underestimated part of setting this up is agreeing to a folder structure that makes sense. Partly, because over time, you will acquire hundreds of marketing elements which you will need to be able to find quickly without necessarily relying on the search function but also because Scoring Categories are based on folders (see Tip 3!). Ensure you check out more information on Scoring Categories before committing to anything.

When thinking about your folder structure – think about how your business operates i.e. is it very focussed on geographical regions e.g. Europe; North America etc.? Or is it very product focussed e.g. phones and laptops? Whilst there might be some overlap, you will often target these types of examples different so it makes sense to separate them within your folders. Within here you could include subfolders to further segment such as different types of marketing activities or by a date range.

The folder structure could then be set up like so:

1. Europe

a. 2017

i. Email templates

ii. Lists

iii. ……

b. 2016

Finally, it is always useful to have a Test folder created, to store all test / unsuitable elements so that they are not cluttering up your actively used folders. Try prepending the folder name with x or z so that they appear at the end of the list of folders eg. xTest or zTest.

2. Standard Naming Conventions

Applying a standard naming convention across all Pardot elements, will hugely improve your ability to search and locate anything within your Pardot instance. Once again, an underestimated step in the planning process, but in order to set up your Pardot for success, you really need to ensure you put the basics in place – which I can guarantee you will be extremely thankful for once the business grows and your usage of Pardot increases!

Some examples include:

1. Using a date within the name e.g. FY16 or Q1_2016;
2. Abbreviating common marketing activities e.g. newsletter could be NL, webinar could be WE;
3. Having the activity type in the name e.g. Brand Awareness
4. And of course always include the name / focus if applicable

For example: FY_16 Brand Awareness NL_Test Spring Launch Brunch

Finally, don’t forget to document the naming convention clearly and make visible across all users creating / editing information within Pardot so that items are named consistently.

3. Scoring

The Pardot scoring feature is one of the most powerful features of Pardot. It is a score that is calculated based on certain activities they do (or don’t do). This enables you to track how ‘engaged’ or interested the prospect is – it is these engaged prospects that sales should be focussing their efforts on, as they are much more likely to convert them into opportunities. Luckily Pardot provide an out of the box / default scoring system – which is likely to be applicable to a lot of organisations. However – it might also not, so it is important to review and understand the weightings that are currently set up to ensure they make sense within your business so that sales are focussing on the right prospects.

When reviewing your scoring criteria, whilst you want to reward points if they are obviously interested in your brand and marketing material, you need to focus on areas that would indicate they are interested in purchasing. For example if they are visiting the website and clicking on the ‘Careers with us’ page, then they are probably looking for a job with your company as opposed to someone who is looking at your ‘Special offers’ page. Which brings me back to Tip 1 and Scoring Categories! When setting up Scoring Categories, your prospect will continue to have an overall prospect score, but they will also have additional scores based on which marketing elements / assets they are engaged with. Your HR department might have a big recruitment drive and have asked marketing to support this by setting up a campaign to drive potential employees to the website. As a prospect who wants to work for this company you are likely to be reading all their communications to keep up to speed on what they are working on and visiting their website often. However you are not interested in purchasing anything at the company – Scoring Categories enable you to quickly assess what the prospect is actually interested in.

And make sure to include negative points as well as positive points as part of the scoring criteria; for example if they have been inactive for a certain period of time then dock some points. Otherwise over time the number will just accumulate, become an inaccurate reflection of how engaged that prospect is.

4. Using Salesforce Campaigns

One of the first things you will realise when you start working with Pardot is that the terminology is slightly different to what you might be familiar with if you have been working with Salesforce. In particular Campaigns. In Salesforce, Campaigns are used to track marketing projects / initiatives e.g. a trade show you are exhibiting at. It enables users to track and measure all leads  / contacts related to that Campaign, including any Opportunities that might occur as a result of that activity, with the ability to add multiple Campaigns to Leads and Contacts. However in Pardot, Campaigns are used to track the first marketing activity / element a prospect touches, for example the first time they complete a form on your website, you will be able to track that this is where they came from. Pardot will capture this information only once; fairly similar to how Lead Source works in Salesforce. Which is of course extremely useful to know, but this prospect might not convert into a buying customer for several years – so how can you truly attribute what it took for this prospect to become a customer?

By aligning all Pardot marketing activity with Salesforce Campaigns! Harnessing the power of using Pardot and Salesforce provides you with the ability to track ‘multi-touch attribution’ – giving you the full picture of where that prospect came from; and what it took to get them to become a customer. It will provide the marketing team with complete analysis of their efforts – what is working and what is also not working. Which in turn will mean they can continue to fine-tune their marketing efforts and target prospects even more effectively! The best part is that you can automate this process all within Pardot e.g. if they complete a certain activity then a rule can be set up to add them to a Salesforce Campaign. If you are an Awesome Admin then you will of course have heard about the handy ‘Campaign Influence’ feature, which will further enhance the accuracy and reporting of the ROI of your campaigns. 

I hope this helps you get a better understanding of where to start when it comes to implementing Pardot. Marketing automation is here to stay, so even if your organisation is not planning on implementing any time soon, I would highly encourage all Salesforce Administrators getting to grips with Pardot and what it has to offer – if you are familiar with Salesforce, you will get up to speed in no time at all!

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