Getting Started in Pardot: General Best Practices

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Written by BeHai Ligas

December 20, 2018

Pardot is a powerful marketing automation platform that’s making a big splash in the MarTech world. No doubt you know that from all the research you’ve done before you made the leap and purchased the platform for your company.

But now, you’re faced with a (common) problem.

You have a beautiful new piece of technology that is going to give you the ability to engage, track and manage your customers and provide leads to Sales in near real time. How do you put it to use? (An aside: Did you know we offer a Pardot Basics online class covering many of these topics?)

If you’re transitioning from another platform, you need to learn how what you’re doing in your current platform will translate to Pardot. Not everything is going to be the same. Let’s go over some Pardot best practices to will help you setup your system for long-term success.

Governance

This is an important term you should know in marketing ops in regards to platform organization and data management.

Consider how you maintain control and accuracy of your data. It would be best to have a single point person that manages the overall governance.

  • With evolving data privacy concerns, who’s in charge of addressing these?
  • You should have a naming convention that is adopted and strictly followed. How will this naming convention be managed?
  • Is there a standard operating procedure in place – and who enforces this if someone decides to go rogue?
  • Who has final say on the people who have access to your Pardot instance?

Have this in writing and in a place anyone who needs it can access for reference. Ensure sign-off from all key stakeholders.

Our getting started with Pardot course is perfect for any beginner Pardot user!

Organization of your instance

Something unique and special about Pardot is its folder and permission structure. You can tie permissions down to the folder lever (which is one of the reasons why governance is so critical!).

In Pardot, certain aspects of scoring and permissions are tied to folders. Therefore, the architecture of the folders is essential. Make sure each folder has a distinct purpose, is easy to find, and is in the right place. Unnecessary folders can really clutter up an instance!

Related: Nail your Pardot migration like a boss

Naming convention

The naming convention you use in Pardot as well as all your systems is of great significance. It must be consistent and reflective of the timeframe of the marketing initiative. It must also incorporate the channel(s) you use.

Ultimately, your naming convention is important because it is crucial to governance and reporting.

In order for this to work, it must be adopted by everyone who uses Pardot and Sales Cloud, if the two are integrated, so that there is consistency throughout the system. Have a shared document with established / approved naming as a guide, and make sure it is referenced in any enforcement mechanisms you have in place.

It also helps to include this document in any introductory info you give to new users! Speaking of…

User management

You need to make sure the right people have the right access – and no more than what they actually need.

Like the old saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. We suggest creating a matrix of various permissions and then using it to see what roles need which permissions. We strongly suggest that not everyone be given admin-level permissions.

Along with controlling what the Pardot users can see and do, you can also restrict any accidental sends and/or unnecessary exports of your data through the security limit settings.

Strategizing properly on how users are set up in Pardot is beneficial for everyone and will save many headaches in the future.

Meeting Long-Term Goals

There should be a purpose to every action. Ask yourself: what is your goal?

Before you jump into the system – strategize. Build your system for the long term. And remember, it’s hard to undo mistakes. If you set up the platform as best you can up front, you’ll set yourself up for success. It will take more work in the short term, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Think about how business units will leverage Pardot – you have one primary tracker domain, but you can have multiple business units. It’s important to set it up correctly on the back end.

Conclusion

Considering these high-level overview points will give you a leg up as you get started in your Pardot instance. The most important thing to consider is the long term. Determine your goals first and strategize around them. Then you will be able to build an instance that is both highly useful and successful.

Need more? Drive greater engagement with this free how-to video series, look into how our Pardot consulting can help, or ask us a question!

Enjoyed this article? You may also enjoy our 9 myths of marketing automation and our series on the 7 key stages for successful lead management!

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