Can you provide a brief description of your company?
We are a PR and digital marketing agency focused on business-to-business companies.
What role do you play there?
I am the director of marketing for the company. I run all of our internal marketing campaigns and programs and help grow the business.
What was the business challenge your company was facing that initiated the need for this platform?
We wanted to be able to track more of what our content was doing, so we started running more content campaigns. We didn't have any visibility into what was happening with that content, who was viewing it, who was actually finding it valuable, and the types of interactions they were having with it, so we started seeking different solutions.
How does your company implement this platform or software?
I try to use it as fully as I possibly can. We use everything from their email campaigns to their drip campaigns and managing our contact lists, as well as our social media management. We use the campaign functions and the folder functions. Our webinars are also synched up and in there.
We do lead scoring and grading. We really try to use it close to full capacity, so all of our capture forms as connect to our Pardot account.
We don't use the landing page builder or the forms through Pardot because I have full functionality with our CMS [content management system], and I can go in and just create those pages when I need to, which I think is rare.
Was your company considering other platforms? Why this platform?
The reason we ended up going with Pardot was because they had recently been purchased by Salesforce, which was a tool that I had purchased six months prior to purchasing Pardot. They seemed to have a good integration. We were getting into a level where they could offer us a good deal to go along with what we already had, and the support was good at that time, too. Because many of our clients use Salesforce, we assumed they would also be using Pardot in the years down the road, so we thought having it in-house would be helpful. It's turned out to be exactly that case. I probably help three to four different client cases on a weekly basis internally.
On an annual or monthly basis, how much does your company spend to utilize the platform?
I have it lumped in with Salesforce, so I don't know what it costs on its own.
Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you?
The integration with Salesforce is pretty seamless and helpful. They just rolled out a new updated interface, and it looks good. All of their campaign data lives within one view now, which is great. Lists, activities, form completions, any opportunities that you have listed in Salesforce, all of that is listed within one view for any given campaign, so when you are running a new campaign, it's helpful. It's even helpful for an old campaign if you're going back to look at it to see the success. You can see how far leads have made it down the funnel.
Something else that's cool is identifying leads by IP [Internet protocol]. Even if a company hasn't been identified by somebody filling out a form, they can identify you by the server. That's an interesting thing, too. You can see who's poking around even if they don't fill out a form.
Looking back, are there any areas of the software upon which you feel could be added or improved?
You're not able to make grading or scoring leads contingent upon any other factors or variables. Say you have a new lead that's coming in, and they have filled out a form. You have progressive profiling, and they say that they are a specific title and a specific revenue. Grading is where they allow you to give it a letter grade based on different fields that they're filling out and how important those are to your business model.
For example, if somebody comes in and they say that they have $1 million to give you but the type of company is something that you would never work with, it doesn't allow those fields to be contingent. It's only an either-or type of situation. You can always have negative grading, but that $1 million price tag may bump them all the way up, and it may go immediately to one of our sales guys, but the type of company may not even be remotely close to what we would work with. Even though you could bring that down by a letter grade, it could still get through.
Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
Pardot definitely gives us a lot more insight into what we're doing. It helps us with our reporting, and it's probably helped me keep my job because it shows what we're doing is working. I'm definitely appreciative of that. We have had some pretty good successes because of the drip campaign programs on Pardot. For example, if somebody downloads a piece of content, they can then be added to a drip campaign to receive related content that may be applicable to them for any set amount of time following their download. That's something that we've actually seen a handful of leads come through on that I wouldn't be able to do manually.
Have you had to interact with the platform's support team or reference their support resources?
I have used their support, or at least attempted to, and I would say that this is probably the biggest pain point of using the tool. At first, they were very hands-on. They had somebody that I could refer to there, but they were right in the process of their acquisition and integration with Salesforce, and now it's completely impossible to reach out to somebody on their end. We actually had to bring in a third-party consultant to help. I did all the implementation three or more years ago, but we definitely had some pieces that needed to be fixed and rearranged, and we brought in a company to help us do that. We couldn't get that support through Pardot.
There have been times where I've had something that I needed somebody to check on or to look at to make sure I had set up correctly, and you can't even find somebody to reach out to.
We don't spend a small amount of money with the company, and you would think that somebody would be able to pick up the phone and help you figure it out if it's a quick fix, and you're not emailing back and forth on a busy schedule while they're helping so many other people. It just doesn't seem very efficient.
In the more recent weeks, I have even looked to try to reach out, and I don't even think that there's an area to fill out a Zendesk ticket anymore, at least from what you are able to find easily. I used to have it bookmarked to open the help page, and the more recent times I've tried to do that, it doesn't even exist.
Do you have any advice for somebody using this tool or thinking about using the tool?
This tool is an absolute monster. You definitely want to bring somebody in to help you set it up. I wish we would have from the beginning brought somebody on to consult and to implement it. We actually just had a client yesterday who realized that they've had their Pardot set up for a few years, and the tracker code was not set up on their website, so they're not even tracking the activities of what's happening. Their forms are connected, but nothing else is.
It's a technically difficult thing to do, and if you haven't done software integration before, I would definitely recommend getting someone to help you or whoever with it. The other thing would be to use it for more than just emails. Segment your lists. There's definitely many ways that they help you do that.
Set up scoring and grading – do that from the beginning. Have the business conversations that it takes to get that set up correctly because it's more painful down the road. Try to integrate it with as many tools as you can. They integrate with so many different tools, but try to get all of your tools in there as quickly as you can so that you can have the most visibility.
We ask you to rate the software on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best.
What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?
What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?
For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?
2 – I'm feeling generous.
How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?
For overall satisfaction with the platform?