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As a Marketing Consultant, a question from customers that I hear time and time again is, “What Salesforce marketing automation product is best for my business?”

In the past, my answer has been Marketing Cloud OR Pardot, but more recently Magnet360 has found many business use-cases where they can work together to provide a 360-degree-view of the customer journey, from awareness to relationship. Because don’t you want to treat your leads and prospects differently than your most loyal, longtime customers? Think Starbucks gold card, Delta Sky Club, CreditCard rewards, etc.

Let’s talk through what stage each product excels in within the customer journey.

Pardot’s strengths lie in the first three stages of the journey, including Awareness, Nurture & Engagement, and Evaluation.

Awareness: Pardot makes it extremely easy to start tracking your customers from their first interaction with your brand. By using a short snippet of code produced by a Pardot campaign, you are able to place this on your website to start learning about your potential customers before they even become customers. Marketers are able to see what pages they are viewing, how long, and what their referring page is.

Pardot also allows you to set a first touchpoint (campaign) for the visitor which stays with the visitor even after they convert to a prospect in Pardot and a contact in Salesforce. It may feel a bit like stalking, but I promise–this is the first step to providing a better customer experience by understanding their wants and needs.

Nurture & Engagement: This is an important stage of the journey because it is too often that sales receives leads that are not quite ready for the next step. Marketers can use this stage to weed out the unqualified and continue to lead the right prospects in the best direction. Marketers can also use this time to gain more information about the prospects and start to send more personalize and relevant messaging.

This saves time for both parties, plus skips the headache of manual qualification.

Now that we have covered the Pardot stages, let’s jump into Marketing Cloud. Marketing Cloud lends itself well to the last four stages of the customer journey, including Conversion, Purchase, Experience and Relationship.

Once the lead has moved from Marketing Qualified to Sales Qualified (Conversion Stage), they begin the second phase of their journey to hopefully become a long-standing customer and brand ambassador. Marketing Cloud tools can help get the customer there!

Purchase, Experience and Relationship go hand in hand. If the customer enjoys their experience with the brand and feels closely connected, they will purchase.

Purchase: Whether the customer has not yet purchased or has already made their first purchase, they should enter into a relevant journey. Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder makes it easy to build goal-specific journeys with multi-channel communication

Marketers can use Advertising Studio within their journeys to target customers on social media to keep the brand top of mind. How many times have you added something to your cart and walked away, but came back because of an advertisement you saw when scrolling through your social media feed? Exactly–this works!

Experience & Relationship: Continuing on with the multi-channel topic, Mobile Studio is another tool that can be used within or outside a journey to help keep your brand top of mind, notifying your customers of sales, coupons, etc. Who doesn’t love a great discount, especially on something that you were planning on paying full price for? This is many times the push the customer needs to get over the purchase finish line.

Although we hope brand experience is always positive, mistakes are bound to happen, and negative feedback and reviews can turn customers away. By using Salesforce Social Customer Service within Social Studio, you are able to monitor the overall sentiment of your brand as well as alert your customer service team when a customer has a poor experience. This resolves issues quickly and can change the customer’s mind about their overall experience with the brand.

Interaction Studio can also play a huge role in all four stages, by collecting hundreds of data points about how the customer is interacting on your website from their purchase habits to dynamically serving up an item that you may want to purchase.

I could go on and on about Pardot and Marketing Cloud capabilities and why they lend themselves well to each customer journey stage.

At the end of the day, the message is this: each person wants a brand to make them feel like a unique individual, and using the power of both Pardot & Marketing Cloud can help you to achieve this, by providing the best experience for the customer based on where they are in their customer journey with your brand.

Do you want to chat about why Marketing Cloud & Pardot could be the best solution for your business? Let’s connect!


About the Author

Amber Swansen
Marketing Consultant

Amber Swansen is a certified marketing consultant with over five years of marketing experience. She is passionate about using the power of the Salesforce platform to help marketers connect with their most important audiences. She is committed to helping customers unleash the full potential of their digital landscape, better understanding their audience through each step of their journey.

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