Decoding Salesforce’s Automation Titans – Pardot and SFMC’s Journey Builder

A man sitting cross legged with a laptop representing Salesforce Pardot & Journey Builder

Published on: May 22, 2024 Updated on: May 22, 2024 views Icon 219 Views

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Olympia Bhatt
Olympia Bhatt LinkedIn

Freelance Content Writer

Olympia Bhatt wears many hats, marketing and content writing being one of them. She believes a good brief writes itself like an AI tool.

Article Reviewed By: Akanksha Dass LinkedIn

Table of Contents

When we talk about marketing automation platforms, the two names that hit our minds immediately are Salesforce Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot) and Salesforce Marketing Cloud (especially Journey Builder).

At first glance, their features and capabilities may give the impression that they fulfill similar roles. Being products of Salesforce, one might assume they are the same, with one possibly serving as an enterprise version and the other tailored for smaller organizations. However, in reality, these two are distinct software solutions designed to cater to different business needs and goals. 

They cater effectively to both B2B and B2C segments, yet each brings distinct benefits. This raises a pertinent question: why might a company consider using both? In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons behind such a decision.

Salesforce Pardot: Transforming Marketing Automation

Salesforce's Pardot is a powerful marketing automation solution that accelerates the pace of the sales cycle by generating more pipelines and empowering sales teams to close deals successfully. It helps organizations with longer-than-average sales cycles.

The platform, now known as Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, streamlines lead generation and accelerates the sales cycle with dynamic, personalized campaigns, offering precise ROI tracking from click to close.

As a cloud-based platform, Pardot includes automation tools for effective online campaign management, including lead management, lead generation, email marketing, sales alignment, lifecycle reporting, and SEO/SEM track. These features allow for creating data-driven strategies that attract leads and reduce the sales cycle while providing tools to deeply understand and optimize the customer journey based on comprehensive analytics. These automation tools are accessible via mobile apps, ensuring data security.

Pardot's capabilities are augmented by advanced B2B marketing analytics, AI-powered account-based marketing, and Salesforce Engage. These tools help evaluate campaign effectiveness, identify improvement areas, and discover success factors. Available in four packages, Pardot caters to diverse marketing automation requirements.

Overview of Pardot Features: 

  1. Lead Management
  2. Lead Generation
  3. Email Marketing
  4. Email Builder
  5. Automated Engagements
  6. Personalized Messaging
  7. Optimized Sending
  8. Sales Alignment
  9. Engage Campaigns
  10. Real-time Alerts
  11. Activity Tracking
  12. CRM Integration
  13. ROI Reporting
  14. Lifecycle Reporting
  15. B2B Marketing Analytics
  16. Customizable Dashboards
  17. Multi-task Attribution Dashboard
  18. Custom Views
  19. Shareable Insights
  20. Third-party Data Connection
  21. Analytics Mobile App
  22. Social Media Marketing
  23. Landing Page Builder
  24. Smart Forms
  25. Organic and Paid Search
  26. Social Posting & Profiling

Applications of Pardot 

1. Developing Intelligent, Data-Driven Campaigns

Targeted Marketing Initiatives: Utilizing Salesforce CRM and SEO/SEM data, Pardot enables marketers to design campaigns that are engaging and highly targeted. This approach significantly improves lead generation and accelerates the sales process, allowing customers to progress smoothly to the point of purchase.

Customized Customer Experiences: Through its dynamic campaign builder, Pardot allows for creating personalized marketing messages and campaigns. These can be tailored to meet each customer's needs and preferences based on their interaction history and behavior.

2. Enhancing Campaign Performance Insights

Visual Campaign Analysis: Pardot provides clear insights into what works and what doesn't within any campaign by mapping out and visually testing marketing assets. This capability ensures marketers refine their real-time strategies, significantly boosting campaign effectiveness.

Comprehensive Analytics and Reporting: Pardot's advanced analytics tools offer a deep dive into campaign performance metrics so marketers can make informed decisions quickly and adjust strategies to meet their goals.

3. Streamlining Lead Management and Generation

Automated Lead Nurturing: With its powerful automation and segmentation features, Pardot simplifies the process of nurturing leads, ensuring that potential customers receive the right messages at the right time. This helps increase engagement rates and move leads through the sales funnel more efficiently.

Intelligent Lead Qualification: By scoring and grading prospects based on their interactions and engagement levels, Pardot allows sales teams to identify and focus on the most promising leads.

4. Leveraging Advanced Marketing Analytics

ROI Tracking and Insights: Pardot's marketing analytics tools enable businesses to track the ROI of their marketing campaigns accurately and understand their impact on sales revenue. This integrated view of marketing and sales data ensures teams can collaborate more effectively, aligning their strategies to achieve better results.

Customizable Dashboards and Reporting: Offering customizable dashboards and multi-touch attribution analysis, Pardot provides detailed insights into the effectiveness of marketing channels and tactics. This helps businesses identify the most effective awareness, engagement, and conversion strategies.

Salesforce Journey Builder: Crafting Engaging Customer Journeys

Salesforce Journey Builder is a tool designed for crafting personalized digital marketing strategies across every stage of the customer lifecycle. As part of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, it enables the creation of multi-channel campaigns tailored to individual messaging needs. This B2C journey management solution ensures a cohesive customer experience by integrating interactions from various platforms, such as email, mobile, social media, advertising, and the web, spanning the entire spectrum of sales and customer service.

It uniquely pinpoints critical interactions within the customer relationship, allowing for the development of personalized, direct communications based on event-driven triggers like app downloads or shopping cart abandonment. This strategic alignment across marketing channels ensures that customers receive consistent, relevant information, strengthening the customer-marketer relationship.

Moreover, Journey Builder's integration with Salesforce Marketing Cloud facilitates the deployment of emails, push notifications, SMS, and targeted ads directly from a mobile device, enabling marketers to maintain engagement with customers seamlessly. The platform dynamically adjusts to shifting customer preferences and supports distributed marketing efforts, promoting an efficient, individualized marketing approach.

Overview of Journey Builder Features:

  1. B2C Journey Management
  2. Personalized Messaging
  3. Customer Data
  4. Purchase History
  5. Attributes
  6. Customer Browsing Behavior
  7. Event-Based Trigger
  8. Journey Mapping
  9. Communication Tools
  10. Automated Journey Logic
  11. Reports and Analytics
  12. Branded Journey
  13. Analytics

Applications of Salesforce Journey Builder

1. Crafting 1-to-1 Customer Relationships

Journey Builder utilizes comprehensive customer data, including purchase history, interactions, browsing behaviors, and personal attributes, to craft highly personalized messaging. It leverages real-time events such as app downloads, purchases, and service interactions as triggers, optimizing the customer journey at every step.

2. Creating a Connected Customer Experience

This tool ensures message consistency across all marketing channels, offering a unified communication strategy through email, web landing pages, apps, targeted ads, push notifications, and SMS. This connectivity allows customers to receive information exactly when they need it. 

Journey mapping features enable the visualization of simple and complex marketing strategies, facilitating planning and revisions. It also promotes interdepartmental collaboration among sales, service, commerce, and marketing teams to boost engagement and overall customer satisfaction.

3. Adapting to Each Customer

Recognizing that customer needs and preferences can shift unpredictably, Journey Builder is designed for agility, enabling marketers to respond instantly to changes in customer behavior. The platform supports automated journey adjustments for content tests, decision-making, random splits, and engagement strategies. Its reporting features provide insights for refining performance and adapting to trends, ensuring messages remain personalized at scale.

4. Facilitating Distributed Marketing

Journey Builder empowers marketers to deliver a cohesive experience across local partners and corporate marketing efforts. It allows for creating branded journeys through email, advertising, and mobile channels, ensuring consistency with corporate branding standards. Marketers can optimize each customer journey using detailed engagement analytics, both on individual and aggregate levels, enhancing the understanding of customer interactions and improving marketing strategies.

Integrating Pardot with Journey Builder

Pardot and Journey Builder complement each other with different capabilities, leading to more robust marketing automation. It allows enterprises to scale and customize engagement for various business and customer needs.

Pardot offers robust lead nurturing and scoring capabilities that help generate and qualify marketing leads over time. Journey Builder doesn't have the same lead management features as Pardot. But it provides sophisticated tools for orchestrating omnichannel customer journeys across email, mobile, social, web, etc. Pardot is more focused on email campaigns and landing pages.

Using both platforms together allows you to leverage Pardot's lead nurturing strengths to feed qualified leads into complex Journey Builder customer journeys for further engagement. Pardot handles the lead generation, while Journey Builder can take those leads on personalized journeys.

Journey Builder gives visual workflow and journey mapping capabilities to create customized experiences across channels. Pardot excels more at creating email content and landing page development to generate leads.

Pardot integrates tightly with Salesforce CRM to align marketing and sales through shared lead data. Journey Builder extends beyond CRM to broad customer experiences. You can pass data and leads between Pardot and Journey Builder to leverage the unique strengths of both platforms together.

Pardot can focus on segmented B2B lead workflows for large enterprises, while Journey Builder manages higher-level consumer journeys.

Benefits of Pardot and Journey Builder Collaboration

Here are the top three benefits of combining Pardot and Journey Builder:

  • Increased efficiency in lead management and nurturing
  • Enhanced customer engagement through personalized journeys
  • Improved tracking and analytics for data-driven marketing decisions 

To understand these benefits, let's look at how these two solutions work together: 

Prospects interact with Pardot forms, landing pages, emails, etc. Pardot scores and grades the prospects based on their engagement. Automation rules in Pardot look for prospects that meet certain score/grade thresholds to qualify them as marketing-qualified leads.

These qualified prospects are assigned to sales reps in Salesforce as leads, creating a bi-directional sync between the Pardot prospect and Salesforce lead. When a sales rep qualifies the lead and sees opportunity potential, they convert the lead to a contact and opportunity in Salesforce.

The conversion triggers an automation rule in Pardot to stop emailing the synced prospect since they will now be nurtured through Journey Builder. The new Salesforce contact is synced to Marketing Cloud Contact Builder via Marketing Cloud Connect. The contact enters Journey Builder flows for ongoing nurturing post-conversion. All the Salesforce data is available for segmentation and personalization.

The result: 

  1. Improved Lead Scoring: By combining Pardot and Journey Builder engagement data, you can build more comprehensive lead scoring models to identify and qualify sales-ready leads better.
  2. Enhanced Nurturing: You can use Pardot's automation for early-stage anonymous prospect nurturing, and then leverage Journey Builder's more robust capabilities for post-conversion nurturing of known contacts.
  3. Shared Data for Personalization: Contact data synchronized from Salesforce provides the full context in Journey Builder to personalize engagement across channels.
  4. Streamlined Configuration: The automation rules and connectors between Pardot, Journey Builder, and Salesforce allow you to streamline implementation and simplify ongoing administration.
  5. Closed Loop Analytics: With the integrated data, you have complete visibility into the prospect journey from initial engagement to customer retention. This allows for refined measurement of nurturing efficacy. 
  6. Improved Sales Productivity: By providing better qualified and nurtured leads to the sales team, you increase their productivity and effectiveness in converting leads to customers.

Tips for Creating Effective Customer Journeys Using Journey Builder

Here are some of the best practices to follow when creating different journeys in the Salesforce Journey Builder: 

Create Segments: 

Use these General or DESelect methods to create segments.  

General Method

  • Define segmentation criteria based on demographics, purchase history, etc.
  • Use data extensions or filters for audience organization.
  • Create segments with SQL queries in Automation Studio.
  • Customize journey activities based on customer segments.

DESelect Method

  • Simplifies segment creation with a drag-and-drop interface.
  • No SQL knowledge is required, allowing easy data relationship creation and segment editing.

Content Personalization: 

Leverage Content Builder for email, SMS, and other content assets.

Content Personalization Techniques

  • AMPscript: For advanced personalization through scripting.
  • Personalization Strings: Insert dynamic content like names or past purchases.
  • Dynamic Content Blocks: Vary content based on subscriber data, like location.
  • Einstein: Utilizes machine learning for personalized content and timing recommendations.
  • Reporting and Analysis: Monitor personalized email performance and adjust strategies.
  • A/B Testing: Test variations within journeys to find the most effective elements.
  • Saturation Control with DESelect Engage: Manage communication frequency to balance engagement without causing fatigue.

Additional Best Practices:

  • Ensure data is current and relevant.
  • Define clear journey objectives.
  • Respect subscriber preferences and privacy regulations.
  • Conduct thorough testing before launching journeys.


The decision to utilize either Pardot or Journey Builder is no longer an either/or scenario but a compelling case for integration. For businesses looking to improve marketing, the combined power of Pardot and Journey Builder offers a comprehensive solution that meets the demands of both B2B and B2C marketing. 

With Pardot's robust analytics and lead nurturing tools, businesses can cultivate more qualified leads, while Journey Builder's omnichannel capabilities ensure those leads experience meaningful, personalized interactions at every touchpoint. This integrated approach streamlines the marketing process and improves the customer experience, leading to better conversion rates and customer loyalty.

Furthermore, harnessing detailed analytics and insights from both platforms empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions, optimize marketing strategies in real-time, and demonstrate a clear ROI. Today's savvy customers deserve stellar email experiences. Don't settle for anything less! Elevate your email game with Pardot and Marketing Cloud.

To Unlock the Full Potential of Your Marketing Efforts Using Pardot and Journey Builder, Talk to Us!  

Our marketing experts are ready to help you achieve your marketing goals. Just drop us a line at, and we’ll take it from there.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pardot and Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) are powerful marketing automation platforms offered by Salesforce. Journey Builder is a feature within SFMC that allows marketers to create and automate personalized customer journeys across multiple channels. Pardot offers similar automation capabilities tailored specifically for B2B marketing.

Marketing automation refers to the use of software and technology to automate repetitive marketing tasks, such as email campaigns, lead nurturing, and customer segmentation. It is important because it helps marketers streamline processes, improve efficiency, and deliver personalized experiences at scale.

Journey Builder is a feature of Salesforce Marketing Cloud that allows marketers to create and automate customer journeys across multiple touchpoints and channels. It enables personalized, data-driven interactions based on customer behavior, preferences, and engagement.

Journey Builder works by allowing marketers to design customer journeys using a visual interface, defining various touchpoints, triggers, and decision points along the way. Marketers can create personalized messages and actions based on customer interactions and data.

Businesses can leverage Pardot and Journey Builder in SFMC together by integrating their marketing automation efforts and creating seamless customer journeys across both platforms. They can use Pardot for B2B lead generation and nurturing and Journey Builder for broader customer engagement and lifecycle management.

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