Choosing the right marketing automation tool for your business is crucial. Get it right and you’ll increase sales, improve your customers' buying experience and grow your business. But get it wrong and you risk alienating new prospects, antagonising existing customers and ultimately damaging your expansion long term.

But with so many choices available, how are you supposed to know which is best for you? Well, Six & Flow are here to help. We’ve put together a series of short, handy guides if you’re considering the various marketing automation tools around today.

HubSpot vs Pardot

But before you go any further, there’s something we need to come clean about first: Six & Flow are unashamedly ‘Team HubSpot’. There, we said it. But wait! That doesn't mean what you're about to read is nothing more than shameless HubSpot propaganda, far from it. Just because we think it’s the best all-in-one marketing automation tool for both ourselves and clients, that doesn't necessarily mean it’s right for you.

We want your business to grow, no matter what. So, check out our honest comparison of HubSpot & Pardot and see which is your best option.

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Pardot

Pardot is a powerful B2B marketing automation platform owned by the SaaS behemoth Salesforce whose key features pivot around email marketing, lead generation and marketing automation. Pardot is an excellent choice for larger organisations already using Salesforce CRM who are looking to execute high traffic email-based campaigns as their main marketing strategy.

HubSpot

HubSpot is a dependable all-round marketing platform designed to let both marketing and sales teams get started quickly with minimal disruption. HubSpot is an ideal solution for SMEs wanting a user-friendly straight out-of-the-box solution and whose business strategy is to grow through strategic inbound marketing campaigns based around strong blog and social media content.

So, now you know more about each, let’s delve into their relative benefits in more detail.

Pardot pros:

  • Because Pardot is owned by Salesforce, it’s a great fit for any business already using the Salesforce CRM who are looking for minimum disruption when implementing a new marketing automation solution.
  • Pardot has robust prospect and account tracking capabilities as well as a reliable reporting function that allows marketers to track campaign performance, ROI, customer lifecycles and email metrics.
  • Pardot is great at creating tasks for sales teams to carry out actions off the back of new leads as well as creating reminders and follow up emails directly in Salesforce.
  • Pardot is also a strong choice when it comes to lead filters as it allows you to segment your current prospect database empowering sales teams to better target only warm/hot leads more likely to convert.

Pardot cons:

  • Pricing plans aren’t great for new starters and it doesn't encompass social media management tools for entry-level prices. So, if you’re planning to implement or are already following an inbound growth marketing method (of which social media/blogging is a cornerstone) then Pardot probably isn't for you.
  • Onboarding can be overwhelming as not only do many new users think the interface is considerably outdated and the landing page builder basic, but there’s also a notable lack of online learning resources if users need quick answers.
  • Pardot is predominantly geared toward B2B marketing, so if you’re primarily a B2C seller then Pardot probably isn't the best choice.
  • Content tracking (or lack of it) has also been highlighted by users as an issue owing to the fact each separate campaign or any sort of channel activity needs a manual redirect to track any incoming traffic (which can be labour intensive).
  • Customisation is a big issue for Pardot. Not only is the creation of personalised forms and landing pages considerably more clunky than HubSpot, some customisation can only be carried out by a specialist Pardot developer (often at a substantial cost).

HubSpot pros:

  • HubSpot is a versatile marketing solution platform whose products and services focus on growing your business through effective social media marketing, optimised content management, web analytics and search engine optimisation.
  • HubSpot shines brightest when it comes to content creation tools. If building enticing landing pages, promoting blogs, selling via embedded video, and accessing both customisable CTAs and landing forms is important to you, then HubSpot is the answer.
  • HubSpot invest heavily in their training resources and offer all their (premium) users access to a wealth of online literature and courses.
  • HubSpot is also easiest to use straight out-of-the-box for new users thanks to its relatively easy UX design.
  • HubSpot allows for easy social media scheduling and reporting across all the major platforms (including Instagram).

HubSpot cons:

  • While HubSpot offers a reliable basic version of its platform, its best offerings are only available through their Enterprise and Pro packages - which can drive prices up as you scale.
  • Reporting can be an issue with HubSpot. While it does offer an array of easily digestible options, there’s no getting away from the fact it comes second to its Pardot counterpart if you're an enterprise-level outfit needing a heavier-hitting reporting function.
  • HubSpot's impressive versatility can also be a barrier for new users. While its manifold moving parts offer agility as you grow, some users have reported feeling overwhelmed with having to understand its full capabilities.
  • While HubSpot offers more customisation options, the templates can sometimes be too basic if you need more complex precision changes making.

You’ve probably already worked out that if you’re predominantly a B2B organisation looking for a heavy-hitting, robust marketing automation platform capable of handling high-traffic campaigns, and you have a generous budget with a competent user base, then Pardot is for you.

However, if you’re an SME whose marketing and sales strategy depends upon a long-term inbound marketing with a strong social media and blogging policy, and you need a flexible, ‘out-of-the-box’ ready-to-use solution that’s easy to customise by a largely non-technical user base, then HubSpot is undoubtedly your best option.

(See, we told you we’re fair).

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