Pardot vs Marketing Cloud: Key Difference that Matters

December 8, 2023
13 min

Pardot and Marketing Cloud have been two leading Salesforce marketing automation tools since 2013. By 2022, over 37,000 companies have integrated Pardot with Salesforce and over 22,000 businesses have used or use Marketing Cloud based on and stats.

Compare Pardot vs Salesforce Marketing Cloud pricing and features to pick the solution that fits the needs of your business best.


Pardot vs Marketing Cloud

Marketing Cloud
Market Segment: B2BMarket Segment: B2C
Pardot Pricing Starts at: $1,250 /month/up to 10,000 contactsMarketing Cloud Pricing Starts at: $400 org/month
Pardot Key Features:

  • Lead Generation, Scoring, and Grading

  • Lead Nurturing

  • Email Marketing

  • Campaigns Management

  • Marketing Reporting

Marketing Cloud Key Features:

  • Rewards Management

  • Subscriber Preference Management

  • Content Management and Workflows

  • Social Listening and Analysis

  • Digital Advertising Management

Pardot Add-Ons:

  • Salesforce Engage

  • B2B Marketing Analytics Plus

  • Engagement History Dashboards

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Add-Ons:

  • Tableau CRM for Loyalty Management

  • Einstein Vision for Social Studio

  • Ascendix Search

Pardot vs Salesforce Marketing Cloud


What is Pardot?


Pardot (rebranded to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement) is a B2B (Business-to-Business) marketing automation solution that was created by David Cummings and Adam Blitzer in 2007. It was purchased by ExactTarget in 2012 and then was finally acquired by Salesforce in 2013.

“Pardot” in Latvian means “to market or sell,” which illustrates its main purpose best. It helps companies build meaningful connections, generate more pipeline, and empower sales teams to close more deals.

In 2018 Salesforce built the Pardot Lightning App to align better marketing and sales activities and easily integrate Pardot with another Salesforce product – Sales Cloud.

In the same year, Salesforce launched another product version – Pardot Einstein. It is powered up with AI (Artificial Intelligence) features for:

  • Comprehensive marketing insights,
  • Advanced audience segmentation,
  • Powerful lead scoring,
  • Lead trends analysis.


Pardot Add-On Products:

  • Salesforce Engage,
  • B2B Marketing Analytics Plus,
  • Engagement History Dashboards.

Pardot Implementation Checklist

Download the self-assessment cheat sheet to audit audit Pardot’s (aka Marketing Cloud Account Engagement) implementation and overall health.

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What is Salesforce Marketing Cloud?


Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a B2C (Business-to-Consumers) suite for empowering digital marketing teams with an all-inclusive set of social media, email marketing, and digital advertising management tools.

It was officially created in 2013, right after the acquisition of three powerful solutions:

  • Radian6 – a social listening platform,
  • Buddy Media – a social media marketing platform,
  • ExactTarget – a marketing automation platform.

After that, in 2014, Salesforce united Radian6 and Buddy Media into Social Studio.

Now, Marketing Cloud is a large group of marketing automation solutions including:

  • Pardot,
  • Email, Studio, Mobile, and Web Marketing Suite,
  • Interaction Studio,
  • Datorama,
  • Advertising Studio,
  • Loyalty Management.

Similarly, Pardot, Marketing Cloud has a list of add-ons to power up the core features of these packages.

How Salesforce Marketing Automation Can Help Your Business?


Salesforce marketing automation is a technique for streamlining marketing processes and managing campaigns via multiple channels.

Also, marketing automation simplifies:

  • Delivering content and messages to customers via email, SMS, social networks, and digital advertising platforms,
  • Coordination of communication and collaboration within the team and outside the organization,
  • Monitoring the customer journey across these multiple communication channels,
  • Improving lead generation, nurturing, scoring, and measuring overall ROI on campaigns,
  • Managing your social media presence,
  • Creation of custom templates from scratch to achieve better results,
  • Setting up email promotions,
  • Launching digital advertising campaigns,
  • Creation, publishing, and distribution of content
  • Analysis of marketing data, trends, and KPIs.

When marketing automation is used effectively, it leads to increased revenue and maximized efficiency. Based on Sales Fusion’s research, 77% of businesses saw an increase in lead conversions after implementing marketing automation tools.

Moreover, your employees can streamline repetitive tasks and reduce human error at the same time. On top of that, good marketing automation tools encourage business growth and scalability.


Pardot vs Marketing Cloud: Pricing & Features Comparison


As we’ve already mentioned earlier in the blog post, both Pardot and Salesforce Marketing Cloud were created to automate and improve marketing activities.

But, at the same time, there is a certain difference between Pardot and Marketing Cloud. It is mostly related to pricing, features, and purpose.


Pardot Pricing


Pardot Pricing Plans range from $1,250/month to $15,000/month based on included functionality set and contacts you want to engage with. Like any other Salesforce product, Pardot subscriptions are paid annually.

* Please note: Quantity of Contacts is not limited by edition. You can purchase additional ones at any moment. And depending on your need you can expect discounts from Salesforce. 

Pardot’s Growth edition includes all the basic features users need to get started — including CRM integration, in-depth tracking, lead scoring and grading, email marketing, lead nurturing, and engagement reporting.

Pardot’s Plus edition offers all the features of the Growth edition together with B2B Marketing Analytics for the marketer who wants to analyze better marketing performance.

Besides that, Pardot users enjoy out-of-the-box, custom, and embedded dashboards, advanced dynamic content, Google AdWords integration, and more.

Pardot’s Advanced package offers AI-powered features like Einstein Attribution, Predictive Lead Scoring, Behavior Scoring, and Campaign Insights. You can also get access to custom roles and permissions, custom object integration, a dedicated IP address, and API access up to 100K calls per day.

Pardot Premium edition offers the capabilities for complex marketing teams that need to digitally scale their efforts. It includes enterprise-ready features like Pardot Business Units, Developer Sandboxes, B2B Marketing Analytics Plus, and Premier Success.


 You can check more information on different pricing details on the Pardot plans page


Pardot offers various add-ons to enhance key features among which are Salesforce Engage, B2B Marketing Analytics Plus, and Engagement History Dashboards.


Pardot Add-Ons

Add-On Name
Salesforce Engage
$50 /user/month
(billed annually)
With this solution, you empower sales and service reps with marketing automation and enable them to reach out to prospects and customers with the right message at the right time.
B2B Marketing Analytics Plus
$3,000 /month/user (billed annually)
It gives access to a complete analytics platform for B2B marketers within Salesforce as well as AI-driven marketing insights with recommendations.
Analyze what marketing campaigns perform best and why. Predict what will likely perform next.
Engagement History Dashboards
$300/user/ year
Visualize engagement results with dashboards that can be easily connected with your leads, contacts, accounts, and opportunities.
Overview of Pardot Add-Ons


The Most Recommended Salesforce Add-Ons in 2022. Check What Our Consultants Have to Say About Them.


Pardot Features


Pardot is a feature-rich tool whose functionality varies significantly from edition to edition. It helps move your visitors and prospects through a sales funnel which begins when you create marketing materials to generate interest in your products and ends when qualified prospects are assigned to a sales rep.


Pardot Settings | Ascendix

Pardot Settings


Pardot easily integrates with Salesforce and is designed to improve:

  • Lead generation, scoring, grading, and nurturing,
  • Email marketing,
  • Marketing process automation,
  • Engagement with customers via forms and landing pages,
  • Campaigns management,
  • Marketing reporting

Here is a detailed Pardot marketing suites comparison chart:

Pardot Marketing Suites Comparison

Pardot Marketing Suites Comparison


You can add a Pardot Tracking code to your website to oversee the actions of visitors and prospects such as clicking on links, viewing pages, or downloading information.


Pardot Website Tracking | Ascendix

Pardot Website Tracking


Features for Additional Fees


Pardot is great on its own, but it’s even better when integrated with other products. You can extend Pardot’s capabilities by connecting it, for example, with social media accounts.


Pardot Twitter Connector | Ascendix

Pardot Twitter Connector


Pardot can be easily connected to your existing forms.


Pardot Form Handler | Ascendix

Pardot Form Handler


Also, at an additional cost, you can enhance Pardot with Salesforce Engage, B2B Marketing Analytics Plus, Custom Object Integration, Custom Permissions & Roles, Google AdWords Integration, and Advanced Email Analytics.


A Few Words about Pardot Marketing Automation


Pardot helps to track email opens and enable A/B email testing. It provides guidance for email sending reputation and deliverability so your emails will less likely hit the Spam folder.

Pardot can boost email marketing automation in Salesforce and provides a confirmed Opt-In Process to verify the authenticity of email addresses & requests.


Prospects in Pardot | Ascendix

Prospects in Pardot


All accounts in this tool include an unsubscribe page. You can also create Email Preference Pages.

Pardot enables sending operational communications to prospects who have opted out of marketing communications.

Besides a marketing automation tool, there are two other things that have an impact on an opening rate: Subject and Preheader. These 2 words are small steps in creating your email templates. It is really important to prepare quality, catching Subject and informative Preheaders if you want to guarantee a high opening rate.

Dmytro Yudin, Pardot & Marketing Cloud Consultant at Ascendix
All Active Campaigns in Pardot | Ascendix

All Active Campaigns in Pardot


Besides that, Pardot empowers admins to control which email content users can change.

Pardot has a variety of excellent tools to automate the processes. The image below can help you decide what tool to use.


Integration with Custom Objects in Salesforce


Integration with 4 custom objects is only available out-of-the-box in Pardot Advanced.

Custom objects are read-only in Pardot, so any changes that need to be reflected in Pardot must be made on the Salesforce side.

In order to use a custom object field in emails or dynamic content, a formula field must be created on a standard object record to map to the custom field.

For integration, all Salesforce fields must be mapped to an existing field. Otherwise, you need to create a new field in Pardot. Adding a field in Salesforce does not add a field to Pardot.


Salesforce Reports for Sales Guide: What Metrics to Track and What to Place on Dashboards


Marketing Cloud


Salesforce Marketing Cloud Journeys | Ascendix

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Journeys


Salesforce Marketing Cloud unites numerous products under one hood with their own pricing plans and core features. Let’s discuss them in greater detail.


Salesforce CDP AKA. Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform Pricing


Salesforce CDP Pricing

Salesforce CDP Corporate
Salesforce CDP Enterprise
Salesforce CDP Enterprise Plus
$12,500 org/month
(billed annually)
$50,000 org/month (billed annually)
$65,000 org/month (billed annually)
Salesforce Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform Pricing Comparison



Salesforce CDP helps marketers personalize the customer experience across marketing, service, and sales segments.

It enables marketers to capture, merge, and segment all their customer data.

With Salesforce CDP, you can:

  • Build unified customer profiles with the identity resolution process,
  • Send customers any type of messages: emails, landing page impressions, push notifications, SMS or MMS messages,
  • Keep various records like purchases, tickets, trips, refunds, email engagement, etc.


Salesforce CDP Features

Salesforce CDP Corporate
Salesforce CDP Enterprise
Salesforce CDP Enterprise Plus
Unified Profiles
45, 000
Super Message
10, 000, 000
Segment Publish
20, 000
Engagement Events
Overview of Salesforce CDP Features


You can enhance Salesforce CDP with Support and Success plans and other add-ons, apps, and additional Salesforce products that will fit the needs of your industry.

Need to Fine-Tune Your Salesforce Org for Sophisticated Marketing Operations?

Leverage our stellar team of Salesforce Admins and Consultants.


Loyalty Management Pricing


Loyalty Management Plans Pricing

B2B — Loyalty
B2C — Loyalty
B2C — Loyalty Plus
$30,000 org/month (billed annually
$35,000 org/month (billed annually)
$45,000 org/month (billed annually)
Loyalty Management Editions Cost Comparison




Loyalty Management enables aggregation of all loyalty member data to get a 360-degree view of member details and loyalty activities.

Besides that, this product suite helps:

  • Launch and manage loyalty processes like accruals, redemptions, tier processing, point expiration, and more.
  • Configure and schedule processes to manage transaction workload.
  • Configure benefits and automatically trigger actions in Salesforce, such as service entitlements, vouchers, and so on, or push these benefits to other systems.
  • Specify and track member behaviors aligned to program objectives.
  • Rapidly deploy loyalty rules for accruals and redemptions with declarative rules management.
  • Set up vouchers for discounts and product or service experiences to reward members for eligible behaviors.
  • Track redemptions and query vouchers from third-party systems.


Loyalty Management Features Comparison

Loyalty Management Features Comparison


You can expand your Loyalty Management capabilities with Tableau CRM for Loyalty Management to empower it with advanced AI insights.


Email, Mobile, and Web Marketing Suite Pricing


$400 org/month (billed annually)
$1,250 org/month (billed annually)
$3,750 org/month (billed annually)
Email, Mobile, and Web Marketing Editions Cost Comparison




Email, Mobile, and Web Marketing Suite can be easily integrated with the Sales Cloud. On top of that, it provides features to:

  • Design, target, and send personalized emails,
  • Create and deliver custom-tailored content with drag-and-drop tools,
  • Consolidate sales, service, and marketing efforts with shared data and cross-departmental event triggers,
  • Build customer journeys that trigger responses linked to the customer lifecycle,
  • Measure the effectiveness of each interaction,
  • Send targeted mobile messages via SMS, MMS, Push Messages, and Group Messages,
  • Segment your audience to drive stronger email performance.


Email Mobile and Web Marketing Suite Features

Email Mobile and Web Marketing Suite Features


Social Studio Pricing


Social Studio Plans Pricing

$1,000 org/month (billed annually)
$4,000 org/month (billed annually)
$12,000 org/month (billed annually)
$40,000 org/month (billed annually)
Social Studio Editions Cost Comparison




Social Studio offers seamless integration with core Salesforce products like Service, Sales, and Marketing Cloud to extend the social strategy of your service, sales, and marketing teams.

Thanks to features available in the Social Studio package, you can:

  • Manage accounts on Facebook, Twitter, or other major social networks,
  • Listen and engage with customers on these social media channels,
  • Respond to social posts,
  • Manage your community,
  • Provide top-notch customer support,
  • Monitor monthly mentions,
  • Listen for emerging trends and conversations,
  • Analyze data sources for deep insights.

You can boost social media activities with Einstein Vision for Social Studio for $1,250 org/month and get deeper AI analysis.

Or add social listening for Weibo and other media, and advanced sentiment for traditional and simplified Chinese at $ 5,000/org/month.


Advertising Studio AKA. Marketing Cloud Advertising


You can get Advertising Studio at $ 2,000/month and use your CRM data for managing your digital advertising at scale.

With Advertising Studio in Salesforce, you can:

  • Automatically refresh audiences to power advertising campaigns
  • Add Facebook Lead Ad responses to your CRM or Marketing Cloud,
  • Launch nurture programs,
  • Combine customer journey builder with digital advertising,
  • Control how individual users access and activate data available in Salesforce.


Thinking of Implementing Salesforce Marketing Cloud or Pardot? Check the Hidden Cost of Salesforce Implementation


Interaction Studio AKA Marketing Cloud Personalization


Interaction Studio is a universal suite that centralizes marketing activities to view, track, and manage the customer experience in real-time. Also, it helps humanize every moment and optimize your impact.

Interaction Studio is available upon request at custom pricing.


Datorama AKA. Marketing Cloud Intelligence Pricing


Datorama Pricing Plans

$3,000 org/month (billed annually)
$10,000 org/month (billed annually)
Custom Quote
Marketing Cloud Intelligence Editions Cost Comparison




Datorama is a one-stop-shop platform for monitoring and managing marketing data, investments, and KPIs.

This marketing suite enables:

  • Access to the marketplace of powerful marketing apps,
  • Integration of any data source with TotalConnect, LiteConnect, and other marketing API Connectors,
  • Building advanced dashboards with tools for marketers,
  • AI-powered insights to drive optimizations.


Datorama Features

Datorama aka Marketing Cloud Intelligence Features


Google Marketing Platform Pricing


Google Marketing Platform Pricing

Google Analytics 360
Google Analytics 360 + Optimize 360
$12, 500 org/month (billed annually)
$17, 500 org/month (billed annually)
Google Marketing Platform Cost




As a part of Marketing Cloud, Salesforce offers a Google Marketing Platform that allows synchronizing Analytics 360, Optimize 360, and Tag Manager 360 with Salesforce.

It’s offered in two plans: Google Analytics 360 and Google Analytics 360 + Optimize 360.

These packages enable tracking robust reports and dashboards to see how your website and app users are navigating your pages and content to understand what’s working and what’s not.

Thanks to Google Marketing Platform, you can share audiences created in Analytics 360 to Marketing Cloud for messaging across channels and view web analytics reports to measure performance.


Google Marketing Platform Features

Google Analytics 360
Google Analytics 360 + Optimize 360

  • Google Analytics 360

  • Tag Manager 360

  • Google Analytics 360

  • Tag Manager 360

  • Optimize 360

Google Marketing Platform Features Overview


Salesforce Content Management System (CMS)


Salesforce CMS helps create sites, portals, and forums with a declarative builder at $ 10,000 org/month. Users can publish and manage any type of content like a blog or a banner and share content across every channel where your customers can engage with your brand like emails, websites, mobile apps, portals, etc.

Salesforce CMS enables giving content managers control of who can edit and where content can be shared. It provides file & image storage of 5TB files and images associated with CMS articles and other pieces of content within Salesforce CMS.

Besides that, you can quickly maximize in-build tools within CMS with unlimited out-of-the-box integrations like:

  • Pardot Email Builder,
  • Marketing Content Builder,
  • Page Designer,
  • B2B Commerce Lightning,
  • Experience Builder.

Need Help with Pardot Configuration or Optimization?

We can help you effectively migrate to Pardot, synchronize it with other marketing tools and apply the best practices.


Key Difference Between Pardot and Marketing Cloud


If you have a B2C, highly transactional business, Marketing Cloud can be a better fit for you. This suite is geared towards larger databases with smaller value sales.

If you run a B2B company with smaller databases but higher volume sales, that needs an advanced email marketing platform, then Pardot can be a better fit.

The main advantage of Marketing Cloud over Pardot is that it is more versatile. With Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you can manage your social media marketing activities via different channels: email, social media pages, and SMS, analyze marketing data, and launch digital advertising campaigns.

On the contrary, Pardot has more advanced features for launching and managing email marketing campaigns.


Pardot Published Email Templates | Ascendix

Pardot Published Email Templates


It can automate your marketing activities and unite your marketing and sales departments so they can work better together.


Pardot Reports | Ascendix

Pardot Reports


Pardot vs Marketing Cloud Difference

Use Pardot if:
Use Marketing Cloud if:

  • Your company or group primarily sells to other businesses (B2B Marketing),

  • You use, or plan to use, Sales Cloud or another CRM,

  • You need to send emails to prospects on behalf of sales reps,

  • You need to qualify leads to pass to sales reps.

  • Your company or group primarily sells to individual consumers (B2C Marketing),

  • You send emails that require details from a transaction. For example, a shipping confirmation would include the tracking number,

  • You have very complex data or use cases,

  • Your company or group generates revenue through a large volume of 1-on-1 interactions,

  • Need the ability to do SMS and display advertising.

Pardot vs Marketing Cloud Difference


Salesforce Integration Guide: Top Tools You Need To Connect Right Now

B2B vs B2C Business Models – The Common Distinction


A B2B, or “business-to-business” and a B2C, or “business-to-consumer,” are two separate business models that serve different types of customers: other businesses or direct to consumers.

A B2B company offers products or services to other businesses. A B2C company provides products or services directly to individual consumers.

Pardot is positioned for B2B marketing specifically, so its strengths lie with aligning marketing and sales, lead management and automated actions, as well as marketing campaigns.

Marketing Cloud offers greater capabilities when it comes to social media marketing and advertising, plus SMS campaigns. It focuses more on the B2C brands that communicate one-to-one via social or transactional mobile messaging.

However, both B2C and B2B companies can benefit from Pardot as their chosen marketing automation platform, and likewise, both B2B and B2C companies can leverage all advantages of Marketing Cloud.

If you are still hesitant about which marketing automation tool to choose and how to optimize it best, contact our Salesforce consultants. They will help you select the best product and guide you on how to get the maximum of its benefits.

Pardot vs Marketing Cloud FAQ

Is Salesforce a marketing automation tool?

Yes, Salesforce helps automate marketing activities via email marketing, social media management, content management, and digital advertising tools. Proper implementation of Salesforce helps increase marketing ROI by 37% on average.

Is Pardot a part of a Marketing Cloud?

Yes, Pardot belongs to a larger Salesforce product group – Marketing Cloud, along with other suites like Loyalty Management, Email, Mobile, and Web Marketing, Social Studio, Advertising Studio, Datorama, Google Marketing Platform, and Interaction Studio.

Is Pardot B2B or B2C?

Pardot is positioned for B2B marketing to align marketing and sales, lead management, and automated actions. However, there is no rule that says B2C companies cannot benefit from Pardot as their chosen marketing automation platform.

Does Salesforce own Pardot?

In 2013 Salesforce purchased Pardot as a part of ExactTarget. At the same year Pardot was included in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.


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