The Gartner Magic Quadrant for B2B Marketing Automation Platforms positions Salesforce Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) as a leader again this year (9/2023). It’s now 6 years in a row that it rates Pardot as #1 with the greatest completion of vision. And that’s why companies choose Salesforce Pardot for their B2B lead management.
Gartner Magic Quadrant – B2B Marketing Automation Platforms
Compared to 2022
Compared to 2020
What Gartner Looks for
Gartner looks for the following when evaluating a range of marketing automation platforms are:
- First Party Data Management: “Ability to input, synchronise, cleanse and activate first-party data, as well as augment existing contact data with third-party data sources and relevant data from other marketing, sales, data management and digital commerce systems”
- ABM Fundamentals: “Ability to match leads to accounts.”
- Lead scoring functionality to support the creation and management of lead qualification processes using business rules and/or artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)
- Lead Management: “Lead workflow functionality enabling teams to manage the lead life cycle from generation/collection to conversion, retention and cross-sell/upsell, using a graphical UI suitable for non-technical users.”
- Engagement Journeys: Ability to create & update a coordinated customer engagement program across multiple channels
- Personalisation: Ability to personalise customer engagement by segment, account, persona or journey stage
- Report on what matters: Ability to track, measure and report on tactical, strategic and operational KPIs to monitor and guide revenue generation, including revenue guidance and insights based on current lead and account volumes and quality
- Data Visualisation: Access to preconfigured, out-of-the-box reports and data visualisation/dashboard capabilities appropriate for marketing, sales and executive users.
Gartner on Pardot’s B2B Marketing Automation & Lead Management Platform capabilities
Highlights of the 2023 analysis and findings:
“Salesforce is a Leader in this Magic Quadrant. Its Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) focuses on generating and capturing prospect and account engagement tightly connected to sales and service platforms. Its operations are geographically diversified, and its clients range from small to large enterprises primarily in high-tech, manufacturing, healthcare and financial services. Salesforce’s roadmap includes an AI pilot in Account Engagement with generative capabilities for some of the most common activities, such as generative campaign assistance, segmentation, subject line, email body and landing page content generation. Its wait steps in campaigns will be able to be set in hours, rather than days.
- Product strategy beyond AI: Salesforce’s AI-based generative capabilities and further integration of Einstein grabs the headlines, but its overall product strategy addresses broader marketer needs. This includes investment in ABM content generation to increase engagement with target accounts, and tighter integration and shared functionality with its Data Cloud solution and Slack.
- Community learning and support: Salesforce supports customer success with self-guided learning on the Trailhead platform, with more than 3 million members in 93 countries in its learning community and its on-demand streaming service.
- Analytics and measurement: Salesforce’s out-of-the-box reporting focuses on key measurement areas critical to marketers, including pipeline with campaign-influenced revenue and an accounts dashboard showing most engaged accounts by region, campaign or company size. A/B testing is part of the basic functionality of building emails and landing pages and can be conducted in a nurture journey with results in the Engagement Studio visual journey builder.
Highlights of the 2022 analysis and findings:
- “Marketing Cloud Account Engagement is broadly focused on all aspects of multichannel B2B demand generation.”
- “Marketing Cloud Account Engagement’s user interface has been continually developed and is now class-leading in its appeal. It offers solid functionality in an intuitive interface.”
- Gartner highlights that Salesforce continues to invest in improving Pardot’s ease of use and its UI to support comprehensive marketing automation functionality, including a journey designer tool that allows users to see and test the proposed journey in real time.
- Furthermore Gartner also highlights that Salesforce continues to enhance Einstein AI capabilities, including new functionality for optimising marketing email frequency.
In addition, Gartner mentions that Salesforce has an extensive ecosystem of software vendors who wish to integrate with its platform. This is particularly true in the marketing and broader CRM technology landscape: data providers, ABM platforms, event management platforms, direct mail solutions and predictive modellers. They have to be undergo a security review before Salesforce put them on its AppExchange. Last, the research firm considers Salesforce Pardot, or Marketing Cloud Account Engagement’s high brand awareness to be a real strength, supported by its 20% annual growth. Pardot, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, is now the 2nd largest marketing software vendor.
Highlights of the 2020 analysis and findings:
Marketing strategy and execution: Salesforce targets a wide range of roles within organisations, conveying its understanding of how technology can align often competing marketing, sales and IT team goals. It effectively communicates Pardot’s appeal to companies across multiple verticals, including industry-specific solutions for financial services, healthcare and life sciences, manufacturing and media.
Pragmatic AI: Pardot Einstein predictive models infuse Pardot’s feature set, powering lead and behavioural scoring, as well as delivering real-time engagement insights to help marketing and sales optimise campaigns.
Workflow capabilities: Engagement Studio, Pardot’s journey design tool, facilitates the creation of customer communications through an intuitive UI. Einstein AI-driven insights can help marketers make dynamic changes to in-progress journeys.
Even better if…
The report on Gartner Magic Quadrant on Lead Management also offers a few ‘warnings’. These are:
- Too well integrated? Today, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement is deeply integrated with Salesforce CRM. This does mean that it not integrate as well other CRM’s. Personally, I don’t see this as an issue because the Salesforce CRM is (one of the best) – why try to look for another.
- A tool too easy to use you might make a mess? Seriously. Gartner comments that is Pardot’s lead workflow design tool is quite functional. But as it’s so intuitive, it can lead to the development of large, complex journeys without careful planning.
- Pricing: “While Salesforce offers transparent pricing for Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, costs vary significantly among its tiers with different capabilities and add-ons with advanced functionalities. Prospective buyers with modest needs should consider how their requirements might evolve as their maturity advances, and factor potential escalating costs into their long-term budget plans.” — We do think this is a fair point: Pardot can be quite pricey initially. However, when you work with a consultancy like CloudAnalysts who help you on your way to create high performing journeys, companies are happy to pay consultants and software, which cost are typically just a fraction of the rewards in customer retention and revenue growth.
What Companies Look for
Companies that will evaluate Salesforce Pardot for Lead Management will consider it to be a B2B marketing automation platform designed to help businesses manage their lead generation and nurturing efforts. Some key lead management features of Pardot (Marketing Cloud Account Engagement) include:
- Lead scoring and grading: Pardot allows you to assign scores and grades to leads based on their engagement with your marketing materials and website, helping you prioritise your follow-up efforts.
- Landing pages and forms: Create custom landing pages and forms to capture lead information and track conversions.
- Email marketing: Pardot provides an email builder that makes it easy to create and send targeted, personalised email campaigns to your leads.
- Marketing automation: Pardot includes a range of tools to automate your lead nurturing process, such as automated email campaigns, lead nurturing workflows, and personalized website experiences.
- Lead management: Pardot offers a centralized database for storing and organizing your lead information, including demographic data, lead score, and engagement history.
- Reporting and analytics: Track the performance of your campaigns, understand your audience, and measure the impact of your marketing efforts with Pardot’s reporting and analytics tools.
- Integrations: Pardot integrates with a range of third-party tools, including Salesforce CRM, Google Analytics, and social media platforms, to help you get the most out of your marketing automation efforts.
These are some of the key features that make Pardot a popular choice for lead management in B2B companies.
Want to learn more?
Like to see it for yourself? Call us to chat and get answers to your specific questions. Learn how CloudAnalysts can help you use Pardot to achieve sales and marketing goals. Contact us via our intake form, or book a chat with an expert directly into our diary:
Update: Pardot is renamed to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement as of April 5, 2022.
Last Updated on November 13, 2023