Tips to Make Your Pardot Integration Successful

By November 21, 2013marketing automation

Integrating Pardot with your other business software is essential to getting meaningful returns from this popular marketing automation software.

Recently, I spoke with a VP about his company’s upcoming implementation of Pardot’s popular marketing automation software.

He was concerned that the company was spending too much time planning their CRM implementation and NOT enough time planning how Pardot would integrate with the business.

Listen, I’ve heard this over and over from frustrated business owners and executives. If you don’t take the time to plan out your how Pardot will integrate with your business, you may be singing the blues like these other folks. Get started planning BEFORE you set up Pardot. Don’t be that person!

My name is Bryan Kreitz, and I’m an expert at helping businesses use marketing automation tools like Pardot to grow your business. And, if you don’t have a strategy for lead nurturing or demand generation, I can help you with that, too.

Dumbing Down Marketing Automation Software

The VP’s assessment that his company was over-simplifying the integration of Pardot’s marketing automation software with the business was spot on!

It’s not unusual for companies to dumb down their implementation of Pardot to the point of being just a fancy e-mail marketing tool.

Despite the fact there’s so much more opportunity for a marketing automation tool like Pardot to grow your business.

A New Era of Marketing Technology Requirements

Getting the most out of Pardot means taking the time to make a plan for how marketing automation will grow your business.

And, that takes both technical and marketing chops to get it right!

Marketing automation software has become a technical challenge for many marketing departments and organizations, because optimizing marketing software now requires finding resources and experts that understand internet marketing AND technology.

Unfortunately, just buying the software has become a distraction to making real gains in improving lead generation.

Who’s Gonna Fly This Thing?

Pardot is a great tool for helping increase the opportunities for your business, but your probably still going to need help integrating Pardot with the rest of your lead generation processes and marketing channels to get the most ROI.

The analogy used often is one of owning a plane vs. flying the plane. You bought the plane, but you may still need to hire a full or part-time pilot and mechanic, depending on how much time you plan to spend in the air. Make sense?

Having an expert at the controls can get you to your destinations safer AND faster. Having someone who can put your marketing plans into action can make all the difference in your results.

Tips to Make Your Pardot Integration Successful

Many of the folks I work with have gone through the Pardot on-boarding process, but they still need help fully integrating Pardot with their overall lead generation strategy.

So, How can you avoid turning Pardot into a fancy email marketing tool? Here are few things you can do to ensure Pardot maximizes your overall lead generation efforts:

  • Create a lead generation baseline – Measuring your success with Pardot is based on your ability to segregate post and pre-Pardot marketing efforts.
  • Make sure your email list are scrubbed and legitimate – Like many e-mail marketing tools, Pardot has a strict policy that does not allow importing a purchased email list.
  • Document your existing sales funnel – Marketing automation tools accelerate your marketing activities and processes. Accelerating undefined or under-performing sales processes just gives you bad results faster. Doh!
  • Document your existing awareness and lead nurturing activities – Along with taking inventory of your current lead generation efforts, you’ll want to capture the current ROI on each individual lead generation channel (e.g. Google Adwords, referral, email remarketing).
  • Think about the types of email templates you want to create – Remember, maintaining your brand is a must at all times. Consider ways to improve branding by creating e-mail wireframes that support your brand.
  • Define your strategy and road map ahead of time – Use the time you have with Pardot resources to learn how to use the tool, not to define your strategy.
  • Develop an overarching lead generation strategy – See above. Before deploying Pardot, have a plan for how Pardot will complement your existing lead generation activities.
  • Plan for the affects of Pardot landing pages on your overall reporting – Adding Pardot to your environment is essentially adding a secondary website/domain to monitor. How will you measure traffic and manage results in other dashboards like Google Analytics?
  • Own your lead generation strategy – Be proactive about defining your strategy. Don’t look to software vendors to define your strategy. Instead, look to them to help you maximize your strategy using their technology.

Like I said, there’s a lot more to implementing a marketing automation tool than many companies often consider.

Getting the Most Out of Pardot

If you feel like you don’t have a good plan for integrating Pardot into the rest of your sales and marketing efforts, hire a marketing automation expert who can help you plan for success.

Don’t amplify a bad lead generation process with expensive software and don’t automatically assume you’ll have all the knowledge you need to be successful at the end of your onboarding.

So, how well did you prepare to for your Pardot implementation? What one thing you wished you’d done differently with Pardot?