HubSpot and Pardot are two popular Marketing Automation platforms that offer a wide array of Marketing capabilities to help you better align your strategy and achieve your objectives. We're in the golden age of Martech (Marketing Technology), with anticipated year-over-year growth for marketing automation platforms at 31%.
“Marketers say the biggest benefits of automation are saving time (74%), increased customer engagement (68%), more timely communications (58%), and increased opportunities, including up-selling (58%).”
With so many platforms to choose from, it can be difficult to weigh the pros and cons and get a clear view of each software. mbudo is here to help by offering you a full rundown of HubSpot vs. Pardot for Marketing campaigns, detailing everything from the interface and pricing to automation and reporting.
HubSpot is a full-service Inbound Marketing software that comes with several different "Hubs": Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub. They recently launched a CMS Hub for content management and their free CRM is included with each Hub. HubSpot tends to serve small-medium businesses, but they can also accommodate large companies very easily.
HubSpot's founders literally coined the term "Inbound Marketing", and they are the top experts in the field, meaning that every tool, update, and action they do with HubSpot is oriented towards improving Inbound in every sense. From hosting your website and blog, to lead nurturing and lead scoring, to email and automation, HubSpot does it all.
Similar Features for Both HubSpot and Pardot
- Dynamic content/personalization: Known as Smart Content in HubSpot, you can personalize aspects of your landing pages and emails according the the data you know about them, such as their name, location, language, etc. Pardot offers the same personalization features, but allows for easier and greater customization for email.
- Automation: HubSpot's workflows can be based on contacts, companies, tickets, and deals, and are built using triggers and properties, combined with “and/or” conditions. The Pardot Engagement Studio allows for complex automation via a map-like structure. Click the plus sign to add endless rules, triggers, actions, and follow up sequences.
- Chatbots: Pardot features the native Olark Chat Integration for live chat and there is an integration with Einstein Bots for chatbots. HubSpot comes with basic chatbot and live chat features across all of its plans.
- Lead scoring: HubSpot's Preductive Lead Scoring allows you to score contacts positively and negatively across almost any data point you can think of (and it becomes more accurate over time!) Pardot uses AI for lead scoring with its Einstein Behavior Scoring tool, scoring all prospect activities within the past year and allowing for scoring even when contacts aren't synced with Salesforce.
- Mobile apps: Both feature mobile apps for accessing the platform, although with limited funcionality compared to the web version.
Overall, the HubSpot interface is warmer and cleaner than Pardot's more basic, plain interface. Although both platforms tend to be easy to use after you get acquainted, HubSpot is much more intuitive from the very start, perfect for beginners to experts. Furthermore, HubSpot has excellent customer support for resolving doubts, technical issues, and urgent problems, available via live chat, phone, or email. Although Pardot may offer similar features in terms of functions and support, it is much more bulky and difficult to access/manage.
Website, Blog, Landing Pages, and Email
According to Review42, 92% of marketers and businesses report content as a valuable business asset. Additionally, 72% of companies say content marketing increases leads. Given these statistics, it's clear how important your content resources can be! HubSpot can host your website and it features its own blogging platform, its strategy revolving around Pillar Pages and Topic Clusters. It is easy to create and edit content, add images and CTAs, publish posts and schedule them to social media, etc.
What's more, landing page and email creation in HubSpot is much easier in HubSpot than Pardot. Why? First of all, HubSpot offers dozens of free, pre-built templates. What's more, it's very easy to build your own landings/emails with their drag-and-drop editor or you can build your own template within HubSpot's Design Tools. Pardot, on the other hand, requires knowledge of code in order to build landing pages and emails, and Pardot itself doesn't offer a CMS tool for web/blog, but there are other options through the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
According to HubSpot, about 64% of marketers actively invest time in search engine optimization. Such an investment needs to be easy to use and measure. HubSpot's Pillar Pages and Topic Clusters are extremely easy to set up in the SEO Topics feature. There is also a SEO Recommendations feature where you can identify SEO issues across your website and blog. Within your pages/posts, there is a pop-out SEO tab for making sure your pages are following proper SEO guidelines (Pro and Enterprise). Furthermore, HubSpot offers the ability to integrate with Google Search Console for more data.
While it does offer some SEO funcionality, Pardot limits the number of keywords you can monitor depending on your plan (Growth = 100 keywords, Advanced = 1,000 keywords) and it does not integrate with Google Search Console like HubSpot does.
Lead Generation and Nurturing
HubSpot's entire ecosystem revolves around Inbound, meaning it's the ideal platform for lead generation and nurturing. Every part of the platform unites with the others: define your Buyer Personas, create landing and forms, include personalization, implement automated follow-up emails, and link with sales/service processes. HubSpot was built for this and it shows. Although Pardot offers similar, albeit more difficult tools for creating landing pages, emails, and workflows, you can't host your website or blog on the platform, meaning the tools and tracking aren't all in one spot, causing a big disconnect.
68% of marketers stated that paid advertising is "very important" or "extremely important" to their overall marketing strategy, according to a HubSpot survey. Although you can integrate Pardot with Google Adwords or the Salesforce Advertising Studio platform, Pardot doesn't come with any ad management features. All of HubSpot's Hubs come with several paid advertising capabilities: connect the accounts to HubSpot, create and manage ads and audiences from inside HubSpot, do ad retargeting, view data and create reports, etc. Paid Media is definitely superior in HubSpot.
83% of video marketers say video has helped them generate leads, according to Wyzowl. And we already know that in this day and age, Video Marketing is huge. That's why HubSpot wins this category. HubSpot Pro and Enterprise have easy, intuitive video capabilities for hosting and storing video within HubSpot, embedding video on web pages and social media, and the coolest thing - using forms and CTAs within videos. For Pardot, you must integrate it with Wistia for video hosting and management, and even then it isn't as intuitive as HubSpot.
First of all, you don't need integrations for the HubSpot CRM, Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, or CMS Hub, they all come on the same, all-in-one platform! Still, Hubspot offers hundreds of third-party integrations with tools such as Zoom, Survey Monkey, Mailchimp, LinkedIn, Outlook, Stripe, Slack, Drift, PieSync, and countless others. Pardot offers a handful of native integrations, but its third-party integrations are very limited compared to HubSpot. Finally, HubSpot can integrate with Salesforce, and Salesforce can integrate with HubSpot.
According to Salesforce, CRM is among the top three tools and technologies for creating personalized interactions with customers to foster loyalty and better marketing ROI. Being owned by Salesforce does have its advantages and Pardot's use of the exact same contact database as Salesforce is what gives this CRM a slight edge since Salesforce is widely used throughout the business landscape. Don't worry though - the Salesforce CRM integrates perfectly with HubSpot, and an expert partner like mbudo can help you perform the integration and do contact/property syncing quickly and easily.
While both platforms allow you to manage major social media channels, create and schedule posts, and monitor campaign performance, there are few things that make Pardot stand out: Their Social Profiling and Lookups feature that lets you view the LinkedIn profiles of your prospects and can be seen from their contact account. This is useful for sales prospecting and ABM. Additionally, it offers outcome tracking for posts and image rendering so that you don't need to worry if your image will look correctly when posted.
Reporting is another funcionality you should keep in mind when deciding between Marketing platforms. All Pardot Plus and Advanced users get access to five B2B marketing analytics dashboards, including Account-Based Marketing, Engagement, Marketing Manager, Multi-Touch Attribution, and Pipeline. Two of Pardot's standout reports are Email Analytics and ROI Reporting, and Pardot allows you to generate reports comparing multiple objects.
HubSpot offers a similar range of useful metrics similar to Pardot (conversion metrics, prospect lifecycle stages, etc.) but it may require greater customization than Pardot. The Marketing Hub's standard dashboards allow you to have up to ten reports on them. Enterprise lets you create 25 custom dashboards, while the Report Add-On (extra fee) lets you create 200 custom dashboards.
Overall, HubSpot is the better option for an advanced, all-in-one platform. If you're looking to start your Marketing campaigns quickly and easily, you should go with HubSpot. It features a cleaner, more attractive interface that is that same across all sections. Plus, it lets you have your web, blog, and other Sales/Services actions all on the same platform (great for both usability and metrics). If you're already using Salesforce and you have no wish to adapt your CRM, you might want to go with Pardot. The main downside to Pardot is that it often requires a greater knowledge of coding or CSS for elements like email and landing pages.