Salesforce Campaigns versus Pardot Campaigns: Which one to use?

If you’ve used Salesforce’s Sales Cloud prior to using Pardot, you’re most likely familiar with how Salesforce campaigns function. They are objects used to manage and track outbound marketing campaigns, ranging from a simple email campaign to large, in-person conventions. Contacts and leads can be associated with multiple Salesforce campaigns as part of a multi-touch outreach. Pardot campaigns are similar but think of them more as the first outbound marketing campaign that the prospect (contacts and leads are called prospects in Pardot) interacted with from your company. Prospects can only be associated with one Pardot campaign; acting in more of a ‘source’ field type of way here.

So when should you use a Salesforce campaign? When should you use a Pardot campaign? The truth is you should use both, but the takeaways should be different.

Let’s take a look at an example where ACME Corporation is planning their annual convention expecting thousands of attendees, inviting both existing clients as well as new prospects. We’ll see how they could incorporate both Pardot and Salesforce campaigns. On the initial event registration form, there are completion actions to add all event registrants to a Salesforce campaign, “ACME 2017”, whether they are new prospects or existing clients. The form also assigns new prospects to a Pardot campaign, “ACME 2017”, but does not overwrite any current client’s Pardot campaign. The reason why you do not want it to overwrite anyone currently associated with a Pardot campaign is that the existing Pardot campaign is the true first touch they had with your marketing efforts. And since leads/contacts can be associated with multiple Salesforce campaigns, there is no overwriting of Salesforce campaigns, just addition of new ones.

The Pardot campaign. This object will allow you to keep track and manage where your clients are coming from marketing-wise while allowing you to take either manual or automated action with them. Since those associated with this ACME 2017 Pardot campaign are new prospects, ACME automatically has a list for new prospects compared to existing clients. Additionally, any opportunities that become associated with these new prospects at any time will be automatically tied back to this campaign for immediate ROI reporting.

The Salesforce campaign. This object contains most of your campaign information including information such as costs, ROI, leads/contacts and more. This campaign will contain everyone who registered for the ACME convention, both existing clients and new prospects, which can be grouped by attending status. All Salesforce campaigns associated with each lead/contact can be made viewable from the lead/contact record, allowing instant insight into any marketing-assisted opportunities that are created.

Salesforce Campaign
Salesforce Campaign

Take it further. ACME could then utilize Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics to view one dashboard to show which leads and contacts are associated to which Salesforce campaign(s) in addition to showing their Pardot campaign, or marketing source. If ACME were to add Opportunity information onto this dashboard, they could use the created date field to see which recent Salesforce campaign was run that may have greatly influenced this opportunity to be created. This can greatly assist anyone using, or wanting to use, a multi-touch attribution model. Einstein Analytics makes it easy for users to add/remove insight onto the dashboards between objects that previously were not able to cross and display this type of information.

At the end of the day, the question isn’t “which campaign should I use”, it’s “what do I want to know”? Salesforce continues to add to the answer of this question with new products and feature updates. That’s why it is critical to fully understand what the Salesforce platform can do for your entire company, not just one department. Understanding this will not only help your company internally and externally but also help maximize your Salesforce investment.

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