The Ultimate Pardot Resource Guide
This blog post is intended for marketing automation specialists switching to Pardot from another marketing automation platform, or anyone else who would like to learn Pardot.
What is Pardot?
Pardot (pronounced par-dot, not par-doh) is a B2B marketing automation platform that was acquired by Salesforce in 2011. Pardot provides standard marketing automation functionalities to create, test and send marketing communications without any technical knowledge. The platform also brings to the table all the benefits of integration with SalesCloud – ability to see Pardot data inside CRM, behavioral tracking, automated solutions (for example, automated lead qualification & assignment, real-time activity alerts, etc), ability to send Pardot email through Sales Cloud, etc. Beyond that, Pardot also comes with a webinar platform integration feature, allowing companies to register prospects through Pardot forms without exporting and importing lists.
Even though most of the Pardot materials fall into the category of online resources, it is possible to divide them into the three main categories – official resources, internal resources, off-the-shelf courses/third-party materials.
Released by Salesforce, official resources come in the following different formats that can help users to gain basic understanding of the platform:
- Salesforce Trailhead is a free interactive and guided platform consisting of multiple modules and “trails” covering Salesforce ecosystem products. Each module comes with a quiz, which helps learners gain points and badges by passing. The main benefits are flexibility that allows learners to go over the modules at their own pace and simplicity. The learning materials are written in a simple language that makes it easy to follow even for non-technical learners.
- Pardot Training and Certification is an online hub with official webinar recordings, videos and pdf presentations divided into thematic groups including Salesforce Integration, Lead Generation, etc. This is a reliable source of real-life demos and step-by-step guides on how to accomplish specific tasks on the platform.
- Salesforce Help Pardot Documentation is the initial source of official documentation and release details. When starting to work on the platform, it is highly recommended to deep dive into the documents. Unlike Trails and Training resources, it is not interactive and comes as plain text.
- Partner Learning Camp and Pardot Partner Community (both available for official Salesforce Partners only). Partner Learning Camp is a catalog of online courses created by Salesforse professionals to support partners. Pardot Partner Community is an online community where anyone could ask real-life questions and get professional feedback from Pardot practitioners from all over the world.
Third-party resources are often provided by marketing automation practitioners. They usually come in the form of off-the-shelf courses. One common benefit is that these resources tend to cover most of the Pardot-related topics and provide general knowledge. The downside is that these types of courses usually do not go into details that are needed for the actual execution of work. Beyond that, these course materials are often released once and then no longer maintained/updated so the information they contain may be outdated and not align with current Pardot releases.
Your Company’s Internal resources
Even though official and third-party resources come in a variety of formats and cover almost all basic topics, there is nothing better than real-life hands-on experience of building marketing elements on the platform. Internal resources also come in various formats:
Internal training. This is one of the best ways to get hands-on experience for juniors and anyone who would like to expand their knowledge to marketing automation. Internal training specific to your company is an exclusive solution that could be easily customized depending on learners’ goals. The caveat with this would be that it doesn’t always exist or may not be fully fleshed out.
- Internal documentation. This is another brilliant source of real-life Pardot knowledge. In the case where a company has already been working with Pardot, there should be internal documents covering all the projects and tasks implemented in the Pardot instance. Going through existing documentation would be a fast path for building and developing hard skills. It is highly recommended to document each project. This can save time when making changes, debugging, working on a new similar project, onboarding a new team member & teaching Pardot newbies.
- Pardot Sandbox. Salesforce introduced the notion of Pardot Sandbox in 2020 that allows users to build and test most of the features including field sync behavior, automation rules, completions actions, and Salesforce connector. For obvious reasons Sandbox doesn’t allow to test emails, B2B Marketing Analytics and Salesforce Engage. Side note – Sandboxes are available at no-cost for Pardot Advanced and Premium editions users, and it comes at a cost for Pardot Plus edition users.
Pardot certification strategy
Anyone who would like to become Pardot-certified should start with the Pardot email specialist certification guide. It covers all the topics broken into sections. The passing score is 72%. The exam itself is 90 minutes long and requires basic knowledge on how to craft and send communications from Pardot. This could include, but is not limited to compliance issues, account settings, automation, content, list configurations, tracking etc. Certification requires candidates to have hands-on experience with the platform to be able to answer some of the tricky questions. Fortunately, all of the questions from the Email Specialist exam are present inside the Trailheads with all the help documentation links, making it easy to follow and learn.
What is the best approach for learning Pardot?
Starting small with trailheads and official documentation is recommended for everyone who is completely new to the marketing automation world.
In an ideal situation, companies would have marketing automation specialists on hand to guide and teach their peers, accompanied by in-depth documentation written specifically for Pardot. However, this is a rare case for many organizations. Consequently, a combination of official resources and internal training is the answer for most cases.
Pardot Training and Certification
Salesforce Help Pardot Documentation
Partner Learning Camp
Pardot Partner Community
Use Pardot Sandboxes Trail
Pardot email specialist certification guide
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