This morning Pardot hosted a product roadmap webinar. The overwhelming theme in this webinar was the fusion of the Pardot and Salesforce platforms. This has already been happening for some time now, and it is clear the fusion of platforms is becoming more complete. This is a forward looking post, and purchasing decisions should not be made based on the content of this post, as the product roadmap can always change.
Some of the highlights from the webinar include:
Pardot Becomes One with the Salesforce Platform
Global Search & Access: Using Salesforce global search to return Pardot data including marketing assets and Prospects. Success of all marketing activities depends on automation software. Usually it is possible to use marketing automation rfp template and customize it according to potential customer needs. This signals Pardot moving fully onto the Salesforce database. Marketing assets will be moved into the “Content” section in Salesforce too.
Prospects will return in the Salesforce global search, and Prospect record access can be controlled with OWDs and sharing rules. I envision this will work similarly to how Campaign Members work with Salesforce Leads and Contacts today. A Campaign Member represents a certain target of a campaign and has accessible fields such as title, and email with an underlying Lead/Contact/Person Account record. Similarly, Prospect records can have an underlying Lead/Contact/Person Account record.
Conversion Process: Long term, being on the same database signals that the Pardot – Salesforce connector may be going away. I envision, Pardot will instead have setup settings with how Prospects will interact with Leads and Contacts. It will be interesting to see how this works because every record in Salesforce requires an owner, but not every Prospect record in Pardot is required to be ‘Assigned’ to a user. In Pardot today the assignment of a Prospect creates a Lead in Salesforce, if you have the salesforce connector setup, and the Prospect is not already linked to a Salesforce record. This typically occurs when a Prospect is ready to be handed off to sales. Looking forward, when a Prospect is ready to be handed off to sales a conversion/assignment process will occur (think Lead converting to Contact).
Prospect Reporting: Since Prospects will be stored directly in Salesforce this opens the door for much more robust reporting. Currently it is not possible to have Contacts and Leads in one report today in Salesforce! Having Prospects in one object will enable marketing to run accurate reports. Also, customers will gain the robust Salesforce reporting engine (reports are currently not very customizable/editable in Pardot). Wave for B2B Marketing is already stellar in the dashboards and drill down capabilities it provides when combined with Pardot data.
Salesforce Automation: Salesforce workflow rules and approval processes will also be able to act upon Prospect records. It is unclear what this means for Pardot Automation Rules. I know Automation Rules are currently being enhanced to give marketers the option to choose to have them apply more than once to a Prospect. My guess is that they will continue to exist and only be available leveraged for Prospect records.
Setup: The setup process will also be getting easier, and match the setup wizards we have seen in other areas of the platform, such as setting up different channels in Service Cloud.
Salesforce Engage in Lightning (available now): Salesforce Engage is available to be used in Lightning Sales Cloud!
Campaign Alignment & Unification with Salesforce: Pardot Campaigns will become Salesforce Campaigns. The news multi-touch attribution models in Sales Cloud can now be used with Pardot too.
Prospects will be able to run through automation rules more than once. In addition, Prospects will be able to loop through engagement programs more than once. Enhanced scheduling where you indicate start and stop times is now live in Engagement Studio.
I hope this gives you a look at the direction Pardot is headed. What are your predictions for future feature enhancements? Check out the Pardot Idea Exchange to see which features are coming soon!