Marketing cloud · Pardot · Salesforce

Salesforce Marketing Cloud vs Pardot

Salesforce has just so much to offer, it’s not just Sales Cloud and Service Cloud which are two of its primary CRM services. The other major services are Commerce Cloud, Data Cloud (including Jigsaw), Marketing Cloud, Community Cloud (including Chatter), Analytics Cloud, App Cloud, and IoT.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a provider of digital marketing automation and analytics software and services. It was founded in 2000 under the name ExactTarget. It acquired CoTweet, Pardot, iGoDigital and Keymail Marketing. Hence there are a lot of similarities between all the above tools. It was later acquired by Salesforce in 2013. ExactTarget was renamed to Salesforce Marketing Cloud in 2014 after its acquisition by Salesforce.

The main Question that comes to mind while understanding Marketing Cloud tools and Pardot is how to differentiate between the two, especially if the underlying fact that Pardot is for B2B, and Marketing Cloud is for B2C was not predefined by Salesforce, hence this blog is to help differentiate between the two.


There are many prerequisites which one needs to understand before going further into the subject matter, let’s consider some of these.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is the process of interesting potential customers and clients in products and/or services. It is a management process through which goods and services move up from production to the consumer. It includes the coordination between:
1. Product identification, selection and development
2. Price determination
3. Channel of distribution to the customer
4. Development and implementation of promotional strategy
Marketing is based on thinking about the business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction.

What Is “Business to Business (B2B)”?

B2B – means selling of products or services to other businesses.
Examples of B2B product based companies would be:

• Selling of CRM Software (Customer relationship management) such as Salesforce to organizations so they can keep track of their sales leads, manage their sales cycles, determine a cold-calling schedule and provide service to their customers.
• Selling office equipment to companies who wish to upgrade their existing furniture. (Upselling)
• Selling security and access control hardware and systems to building management companies, universities and municipalities.
• E.g. – Salesforce, Oracle, VMWare, Cisco, Slack, Zenefits
What Is “Business to Customer (B2C)”?
B2C – is business or transactions conducted directly between a company and consumers who are the end-users of its products or services.
Example of B2C based companies would be:
• Selling of products such as shoes, clothes food and food products and
• Social media sites such as twitter, Facebook etc. and e-commerce sites which are more of user specific.
• E.g. – LinkedIn, Amazon, Pandora, Twitter, Uber, Zillow, Pandora

B2C vs B2B

Characteristics of Customers and Products

Criteria B2C B2B
Number of buyers Large Small
Number of sellers Large Small
Size of orders Small Large
Value of orders Low High
Purchase initiation Self Others
Level of Risk Low to medium Medium to high
Complexity of decision Low to medium Medium to high
Information search Short period Long period
Evaluating criteria Social, ego and utility Price, value and utility

Numbers of buyers: People who will buy the product.
B2C has a large target market as a product such as a shoe is required by everyone and everyone will buy shoe and hence the potential consumers of products or services are more where as in B2B, the target market is small such as providing laptops security equipment for an organization and hence the number of buyers are less.

Number of sellers: In B2C there are many independent consumers and suppliers where as in B2B there are only a few suppliers and buyers. An example of B2C would be that everyone wants shoes and there are a lot of shoe manufacturers. But in B2B an organization is a consumer and another one is a supplier, only a few organization will have a business of selling security surveillance cameras.

Size of orders: Product count bought by each buyer.
In B2C one customer will buy only a one or few products e.g. a consumer in need of shoes will buy only one pair. Whereas in B2B an organization buying CPUs for their employees will buy it in bulk.

Value of orders: Cost of product or services
As the quantity of product per consumer is low in B2B, hence the cost is also low spent per consumer whereas in B2B as the quantity is more, hence the cost is higher.

Purchase initiation: Who starts the purchase process.
In B2C, the initiator of the purchase is the purchaser itself, there is no third-party organization that initiates the purchase, e.g. When you go to Pizza Hut to buy a pizza, you are the initiator of the purchase, you will not request a third-party organization to order it for you. In B2B there are a lot of stake holders and the buying is initiated normally by others and not by self.

Level of Risk: Every purchase will have its own risk. What if the cost of the product bought is much more and the deliverability of the product low. As in the case of B2C the quantity is low hence the risk is lower whereas in B2B where the product quantity is substantial, the risk is more.

Complexity of decision: This is same as the level of risk. As the cost of products are more and decisions are being made by a lot of people in an organization B2B, the complexity of decisions are high. In B2B committing to a new client/buyer or an existing one takes a lot of thought by the stakeholders and analysis needs to be done on a lot of factors such as reliability of the product. Whereas in B2C the complexity is lower. In B2C one goes to the product seller and either buys the product or doesn’t. The consumer and the shopkeeper does not have to worry about maintaining a relationship with each other.

Information search: In B2C, if one wants to buy a product such as a mobile phone, one can go to e-commerce website such as Amazon, compare the utility and aesthetics of the product decide and buy it. The process would hardly take a few hours. But in B2B the information search of products takes much more.

Evaluating criteria: The criteria which influences a product being bought are various. In a B2C a customer buys a product because of maybe because of some Social needs such as you or I going to an Apple store to buy an iPhone or because of self-ego and also utility of the product. In B2B the products are bought or not due to its price, reputation of the business organization, the value of the product and of course its utility.

Marketing Cloud vs Pardot:
Hmmm… It may seem little overwhelming when it comes to choosing between Marketing Cloud and Pardot—they’re both marketing automation tools. The difference is that Marketing Cloud helps you engage with your customers, at scale. This means Marketing Cloud can send, push, and analyze a lot of data. Pardot drives sales through target marketing for businesses who sell to other businesses (B2B). Pardot helps you guide prospects through the whole buying campaign.

Marketing Cloud


B2C – Create personalized communications and 1:1 customer journeys to drive engagement throughout the customer lifecycle B2B – Track sales campaigns, nurture leads, and drive results for sales

Both works ideally when connected to Salesforce CRM, they can send data to the Sales Cloud, but their functionalities are different depending on the number of channels to create prospects and the complexity if the data that needs to be handled.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform for marketers that allows them to create and manage relationships and campaigns with customers.
The Marketing Cloud incorporates integrated solutions for customer journey management, email, mobile, social media, web personalization, advertising, content creation, content management and data analysis. The software includes predictive analytics to help make decisions such as, for example, what channel would be preferable for a given message. A component called Journey Builder helps marketers tailor campaigns to customers’ behavior and needs, demographics and communication channel preferences.
Event-driven triggers initiate actions: When a customer joins a loyalty program, Marketing Cloud might be triggered to send a welcome message; other events could trigger data updates in the customer contact record. The Marketing Cloud is connected to’s Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, which enables coordination that provides a unified experience and prevents customers from being contacted separately by marketers from all three groups.

How is it different?
• Through Marketing Cloud, one could easily dedicate their full-time job to managing just one aspect of it
• Incredibly flexible for bending journeys of prospects to requirements
• Scales across all marketing channels

Who is Marketing Cloud for?
The full Marketing Cloud suite is intended for established marketing departments who have the bandwidth to create, tailor, and analyze digital ads, emails, and other assets, and are interested in multi-channel engagement including social/SMS/text message integration. But smaller companies could benefit from focusing on just one or two components, such as Journey Builder.

Pardot is a lead nurturing and marketing automation platform from Salesforce. Engagement Studio, Pardot’s version of drip campaigns, is a significant step up from older generations of the tool. Its Lead Nurturing Engagement Programs allows one to send targeted emails based on real-time customer behavior, providing a personalized lifecycle experience for your prospects. Lead scoring helps in setting and tracking specific responses to these various levels of engagement with the marketing efforts being used. One can also grade their prospects based on other information such as what industry they work in, the size of their company, or job title. Together with the scoring a robust profile of potential clients, customer, or supporters can be created.In short if you are looking for lead nurturing to get them into the qualification point then Pardot is the perfect tool. If the main goal is 1-to 1 engagement with consumers, users and subscribers with a lot of social media emphasis, Marketing cloud is more appropriate.

How is it different?
• Grading in addition to scoring: gives an extra dimension which helps in qualifying more reliable prospects.
• Salesforce integration that allows to segment from any custom or standard field in the CRM.
• Both tasks and communications can be automated through automation rules, completion actions, and engagement programs.

Who is Pardot for?
Pardot is a great fit for mid-size B2B companies and nonprofits. But this is not a first and hard rule.
Let’s get to the point and conclude this:

Pardot: B2B Marketing Automation by Salesforce

Marketing Cloud: The digital marketing platform for 1:1 customer journeys across email, mobile, social, advertising, and the web.

CRM System
• Pardot: Likely a Sales Cloud User
• Marketing Cloud: CRM System not required

Core Functionality
• Pardot: B2B marketing automation, lead scoring, lead nurturing
• Marketing Cloud: Journey management, email marketing, mobile marketing, social media marketing, display advertising, and web personalization.

Example Use Cases
• Pardot: Customer Lifecycle Marketing, Landing Pages & Forms, Email Drip Campaigns, Search Campaigns, Prospect Activity Tracking, Auto Lead Assignment, Webinar Promotion
• Marketing Cloud: Promotional Messages, Transactional Messages, Event Marketing, Mobile Messaging, Cross-Channel Journey, Social Listening & Publishing

• Pardot: B2B
• Marketing Cloud: B2C

• Pardot: Sales enablement, Lead Nurturing and Scoring, CRM Automation, Additional connectors, Owner Assignment
• Marketing Cloud: 1:1, Real-Time Journeys, Reporting and Analytics, Integrated Social Insights and Publishing, Integrated Mobile

• Pardot: Email is the unique identifier, removal of duplicate data may be required, data cleansing may be required
• Marketing Cloud: Greater Configuration Effort, Heavier Customization

• Pardot: Marketo, Hubspot, Eloqua
• Marketing Cloud: Adobe Marketing Cloud, Oracle Marketing Cloud, and IBM Marketing Cloud

I guess that’s a lot to take in one sitting.
If you have gone through the complete blog then cheers, grab a drink and chill out. If you do have any doubts, feel free to put your queries in the comments.

Happy Marketing!!

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