Why Salesforce Pardot Connected Campaigns are ‘a Blessing’

Jan 21, 2020

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OK. Maybe ‘a blessing’ is a bit strong. but Salesforce Pardot Connected Campaigns are definitely a fundamental answer to many Pardot marketeers’ requests to Salesforce.

Why? Configuring Connected Campaigns in Salesforce and Pardot unlocks key marketing reporting benefits. Most importantly:

  • Ability to get a more complete Marketing Campaign Attribution.
  • Pardot KPIs, Form Conversions, etc. – properly reported in Salesforce.
  • Enables the B2BMA Dashboard’s Marketing Analytics to become meaningful.
  • Unique reporting for Pardot Business Units.

Today, I’ll just focus on that first aspect.

Example of an Engagement Overview – by Salesforce

How to Set up Campaign Attribution in Pardot & Salesforce

Until a while ago, Pardot Marketing Automation was a standalone tool. Its integration with Salesforce was optional. It always had a native Campaign-functionality, akin to Salesforce’s ‘first touch point’: where did they first interact with your brand. Mmm. Useful, up to a point.

Example of Salesforce Pardot Connected Campaigns – given by Salesforce

A first-touch-point reference does not represent what marketing professionals would call ‘a marketing campaign.’ Meanwhile, Salesforce CRM’s campaign functionality could be configured and completed to reflect the components of a true ‘marketing campaign’ as defined by marketeers. So, after a few years, Salesforce figured out a way for you to put two and two together: Connected Campaigns. Ahhh!! (Sigh of relief)

Today, you can’t even only buy Pardot without also purchasing a Salesforce core license. This means: all new Pardot purchases now come with functionality that enables you to get closer to that lofty insight: Campaign Attribution.

Thanks to Connected Campaigns.

How to Plan for Connected Campaigns

Salesforce Pardot Connected Campaigns are useful for 3 key phases of campaign management:

  1. Planning
  2. Execution
  3. Reporting.

Start with the end in mind: reporting. As Salesforce Pardot Consultants, in our initial Discovery phase, we ask what your organisation is reporting on. Actually we ask this and other fundamental business requirement questions on two levels:

  • AS IS: What are you doing today
  • TO BE: What do you need or want to do tomorrow

Most often, companies are all caught up with what they are doing today, and a new system must ‘at least’ give what they have today. Instead of asking: ‘where do we want to be in 5 years time and what do we need to make that happen’.

Furthermore, most companies have reporting around features of a software package, complemented by Excel spreadsheets to piece together manually what is unique to their business, such as marketing initiatives and activities by product. Say, a new product launch. Or an event-based promotion. Or cross-selling results. What do you need to report on?

Unless the ‘To Be’ Reporting is neatly worked out, we suggest our clients to hold a Report Planning workshop. Desired outcome of that workshop: a campaign-hierarchy model that is approved by all key players who need to plan, use and create reporting for it.

Connected Campaigns – Reporting Setup Prompters

The campaign hierarchy is to reflect the way that your business and its reporting are intended to work.

  • We recommend a limited number of ‘parent’ campaigns, e.g. for each type of product or service. Or for each business group. Say 4. Ok to 8. But no more than 20 parent campaign when starting out, please.
  • Each parent campaign can have a number of child campaigns. They, in turn, can have grand-child campaigns.
  • In Salesforce you can go up to 5 levels deep. You may end up there, but we recommend that you start (and stay for a while) with 2 or 3 levels only. This create a sound and consistent foundation for your marketing reporting.
  • Note, as we recommend you hold the Reporting workshop. Include your Pardot and Salesforce Admins, plus Marketing Execs, plus members of the Leadership team. Be sure the Moderator ensure that you all keep it simple. Someone should document the findings and create a campaign hierarchy visual to share.

Salesforce Pardot Connected Campaigns – Example of Setup

At CloudAnalysts, we have 2 service categories: consulting and training. Each have their own ‘product line’ with the various cloud we work in. Then, as a third level in the hierarchy, we have individual campaigns.

Why not Simply use Pardot for Pardot Reporting?

Glad you asked. Pardot reporting is centred around its functionality rather than your marketing initiatives. Pardot Reports-tab is set up as follows:

You can go through individual assets and their reporting. It’s useful, up to a point.

Or, you use Connected Campaigns, with a good Naming Convention. Then you start getting a more manageable, insightful overview.

Connected Campaigns & Naming Convention

Did you see what I just snug in there…. ?! The longer you are in Digital Marketing, the more this makes sense to you: establishing and enforcing a Naming Convention. It’s for your Connected Campaigns and all its various marketing elements. It helps you to plan, execute and report on campaigns, with ease.

Connected Campaigns, Naming Convention.. and Folder Structure?

By default, Pardot has organised your Folder Structure by type of Pardot functional element: Custom Redirects, Lists, Emails, and so on. Some consultants recommend you remodel Pardot’s feature-centric Folder Structure into a Campaign-centric folder structure. It is certainly helpful to instigate your set of marketing components for a new initiative in a ‘New Project’ folder, e.g. ensure that you are including all necessary elements and are adding the correct campaign to each and every one of them.

“Adding the correct campaign name consistently is vital for correct reporting from Pardot to Salesforce via the connected campaign functionality. “Astrid van Dorst, Pardot Certified Consultant

Meanwhile, revamping your Pardot Folder Structure is not required. Its need depends on how many there people are in your marketing team and how many different campaigns you are executing in Pardot.

In all cases, we recommend you leverage our Pardot Naming Convention Generator and a Shared Google Sheet* to keep track of your naming and labelling. (*We offer our clients a template.)

The Pardot Naming Convention tool is really simple to use. You pick which marketing element you wish to name. A Campaign. Complete the details. In this case: Region, Month, Year and Campaign Description. When done, a Suggested Asset Name appears. You can copy / paste it in to Pardot. Be sure to record it also in your Shared Google Sheet. To keep track of it all. See Sample below.

Salesforce Pardot Connected Campaigns

Tip: Connect the Dots

In theory, connected campaigns are amazing. However it only works, or put otherwise, Campaigns will only be tied to an Opportunity, if your sales team uses the contact role on opportunities. This will ‘connect the dots’ within Salesforce. Pardot and Campaigns enrol people, i.e. prospects, leads and contacts. Opportunities are ‘the potential sale’, i.e. £, € and $. To get to that lofty marketing ROI, you have to connect the people with sales and turnover.

Over to you

We hope we have convinced you to turn Salesforce Pardot Connected Campaign on in your Orgs and to start using it.

If you are just about to buy Pardot, contact us. We will help you determine which package suits your needs best, and once bought, we help you configure it to suit your needs. En passant, we will set you up for success with Connected Campaigns.

Further reading

Learn more: Contact form spam protection – 10 tips (particularly suited to Pardot)

Update: Pardot is renamed to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement as of April 5, 2022.

Interested to learn more?

We would be very happy to help you.

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