Pardot vs Marketing Cloud vs HubSpot - Features and Benefits

  • Zarana Joshi
Your choice is governed by your ultimate goal
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Choosing between these three popular tools, depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

 If your primary goal is to nurture leads in order to pass them off at a certain “qualification point” to a specific person or team, Pardot is your tool.

 If your main goal is 1-to-1 engagement with consumers, users, and subscribers with a lot of social media emphasis, using the Marketing Cloud is likely more appropriate. 

 Hubspot is more focused on generating inbound leads.

 Marketing Cloud and Pardot, both allow you to start with email campaigns from scratch or let you create landing pages using templates (Pardot offers fewer template options, though).

In terms of flexibility, landing pages created in Marketing Cloud are already mobile optimized. But in Pardot, you will be required to create and maintain landing pages with your own CSS styling to make them mobile optimized. 
Then, when you’re ready to publish, Marketing Cloud can help you save and publish your landing page on a future date. This feature comes in handy when you are not ready for opening registrations, launching your white papers, etc. Pardot does not come with this feature. Though, you will be able to hide your landing pages from search engines until you’re ready to make them go public. 

HubSpot has an integrated set of tools designed to bring individuals along their buyers’ journeys. Some of the tools are the blogging platform, email functionality, forms, smart content and A/B testing. The goal is to provide relevant content to the visitor that will lead them to a landing page where they submit their information via a form to receive such things as advanced content or a blog subscription. 

Pardot and Marketing Cloud differences and overlap   

Working on Campaigns 

Pardot makes managing email campaigns easier for marketers. An intuitive editor helps users build visually-pleasing emails. Automation and personalization settings allow marketers to “set and forget.” Marketing messages can be automatically sent to contacts and modified based on contact engagement. Also, A/B testing capabilities let users find out what truly resonates with a lead and craft the perfect message. 

Marketing and sales teams can use Pardot’s marketing automation tools to get insights on the effectiveness of their campaigns, identify areas for improvement, and learn the sources of successful campaigns. They can benefit from advanced web analytics tools such as reporting on closed deals and sync prospects from their CRM with visitor stats provided by Google Analytics. In addition, data on paid search, sales lifecycle, and email reporting enables marketers to focus their effort and time on productive activities. 

Marketing Cloud allows you to toggle between mobile preview and a live desktop preview as you create your campaign. On the other hand, Pardot requires time to render and uses Litmus for previewing the look of the email on various mobile devices, Outlook, and more. This, of course, will take extra time. 

While sending the email campaign, the marketing automation tools let you customize options like creating custom subject lines based on a lead’s location, sender’s name, etc. Marketing Cloud grants more flexibility, allowing all content residing in Salesforce to be used to create and customize targeted subject lines. 

 

For any business, deciding on how to engage with potential consumers and existing users is a critical decision. The first step is in deciding your primary goal.

  • Danny Cobb
  • Salesforce Certified Architect
  • Six Consulting, Inc.
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Features of HubSpot

HubSpot’s customers can create beautiful emails without ever learning a line of code, then select from dozens of actions, conditions and triggers to send the right emails to the right prospects at the right time. 

HubSpot also includes a visual editor that allows users to envision workflows in real-time – whether they’re creating a simple follow-up sequence or a complex, multi-stage journey with several paths. Users can manage all marketing campaigns, inbound and outbound, in one plac read more

HubSpot’s customers can create beautiful emails without ever learning a line of code, then select from dozens of actions, conditions and triggers to send the right emails to the right prospects at the right time. 

HubSpot also includes a visual editor that allows users to envision workflows in real-time – whether they’re creating a simple follow-up sequence or a complex, multi-stage journey with several paths. Users can manage all marketing campaigns, inbound and outbound, in one place. You can associate specific prospects with individual campaigns to ensure you aren’t assaulting potential leads with too many email campaigns. It integrates seamlessly with Salesforce CRM systems (Pardot was purchased by Salesforce in 2013), combining all your needs in a single place. 

HubSpot may have more than enough for a small business, but medium businesses and enterprises may find they need a more comprehensive features list. Pardot is once again more comprehensive than the more basic HubSpot platform. 

Pardot Integration with Salesforce 

Pardot provides B2B companies a win-win situation when it comes to Salesforce integration. Its effortless integration with Salesforce depicts that all data is synchronized, with no duplicate records. Any activity accomplished in Pardot is delivered to the user’s Salesforce, building customer and prospect records in detail. Also, when a user creates forms, landing pages, and emails with Pardot, Salesforce records can be taken in use create custom fields. 

A robust CRM 

CRM is where Pardot and Marketing cloud, and their direct integration with Salesforce, really shines. Salesforce has a robust CRM with integrations with most other platforms currently available out there, including HubSpot. It is also customizable and able to fit any company's needs.       

Users have a definite advantage with Pardot and Marketing cloud. Because they are a part of the Salesforce team, they have the most direct connection. They even share the same contact database. 

While HubSpot does have a free CRM, it’s not as robust as Salesforce. There are not as many integrations with other developers, and you cannot customize it to the same degree as Salesforce. You can integrate Salesforce with HubSpot, but they have different contact databases and only some of the information syncs between the two platforms. 

Reporting capabilities

Out of the box, HubSpot offers better reporting than Pardot, letting you see what needs attention from a big-picture perspective. Pardot’s reports can give you similar information but need more customization to be actionable. 

From a pure performance and customization standpoint, Salesforce's reporting capabilities are far superior to HubSpot's. In fact, reporting and dashboard creation in Salesforce is basically limited to one's imagination. Salesforce can generate advanced, granular reports and dashboards of things like lost opportunities by geographic territory, highest sales value by customer segment or industry, and which lead source yields the most valuable deals. 

Both systems come with out-of-the-box reports that can help you get started if you're new to dashboards and reporting, but Salesforce also offers more options for how you can visualize the data on your dashboard (e.g., funnels, pie charts, odometers). HubSpot's reports are typically limited to standard bar graphs, line graphs, and numerical counters. 

Pipeline Management 

The more complex your sales processes are, the better Salesforce performs. For small companies with basic sales cycles, HubSpot streamlines the process. 

When it comes to pipeline management, Salesforce is more customizable in configuring deal stages that match the sales processes of your business. (That, in turn, leads to the more personalized reporting capabilities described above.) If your process is very granular, you can account for that without losing the nuance of your reps' actions. And if you want to add a lead to a later stage of the pipeline, you have that flexibility. 

While HubSpot allows users to edit and add to their seven pre-configured sales pipeline stages (Appointment, Qualified, Presentation Scheduled, Decision Maker Brought In, Contract Sent, Closed Won/Lost), the system only allows for one pipeline per organization. That means if you have one sales process for one product, and a different sales process for another, you're out of luck with HubSpot unless you purchase an add-on or premium bundle that allows for multiple pipelines. 

Even the premium HubSpot pipeline management functions don't match Salesforce's functionality. With Salesforce, documents can be associated with each deal stage, tasks automated as deals move along, and an unlimited number of products associated with each deal (associating products with deals is a premium HubSpot feature). 

Pricing models 

Both HubSpot and Pardot have a tiered pricing model. HubSpot starts at $200 for the basic model and increases in cost the more contacts you add. Pardot begins at $1,000. You also need to add on the cost of Salesforce for your CRM. Both systems also offer various add-ons, which will affect your cost. HubSpot is a less expensive solution, especially as you’re starting out. 

In conclusion, making the final selection

Pardot, Marketing Cloud and HubSpot are geared toward different types of businesses and users. If you're a small-to-medium-sized business that wants a cost-effective tool, help with marketing efforts, and a relatively simple solution, HubSpot is your CRM.  

 

 

For businesses with complex sales processes, a rapidly expanding customer base, and the desire for in-depth reporting and analytics, Marketing Cloud will cover all the bases. 

If your company's primary goal is to nurture leads in order to pass them off at a certain “qualification point” to a specific person or team, Pardot is your tool as it focuses condensing important information to improve the ease of access and optimization.  

 

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October 21
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