Preparing for a successful Pardot implementation is an essential part of getting a positive return on your investment. If you’re considering ways to boost your marketing efforts through marketing automation, you need to employ Pardot implementation best practices to help generate better results.  That starts with planning your Pardot implementation carefully and working with a certified Pardot implementation partner.

 

Planning for a Successful Pardot Implementation

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So, how do you plan for the successful Pardot implementation that will help you hit the ground running in the short term and set your company up for marketing automation success long term? These are three crucial steps to take right at the outset:

 

  1. Identify measurable marketing objectives. You know you want to improve lead generation, but this is actually four challenges when you break it into your component parts. So, what is your specific lead generation challenge? Break it into component parts.
    • Are you looking to Generate Awareness to draw more visitors to your site?
    • Acquire Prospects to fill your funnel?
    • Nurture Prospects already in your funnel by engaging and activating them?
    • Qualify Sales Readiness by identifying Marketing Qualified Leads?
  2. Establish current benchmarks. It’s essential to be able to demonstrate pre- versus post Pardot implementation quick wins.
    • If you’re focusing on filling your funnel, visitors is your primary metric.
    • If you want to acquire prospects, visitor to prospect conversion (visitors giving you contact information) is most important.
    • If you are focused on nurturing prospects in your pipeline, it’s not about number of touches—“active prospects” is the key metric.
    • If your primary goal is identifying sales readiness, you want to drive MQLs.
  3. Get your team ready. It’s important to communicate what’s coming, ensure buy-in, and get resources ready during your Pardot implementation. The focus here should be not only on the sales team but your implementation partners internally, including:
    • Your marketing colleagues
    • The Webmaster who will be responsible for inserting the Javascript tracking code on your webpages and the iFrame code for Pardot forms
    • The IT resources who will manage the vanity domain record and manage email authentication

 

Ready to Go With Your Pardot Implementation? Wait: Have You Thought About These Things?

Once you are satisfied with your strategic framework in place and the team is ready, here are seven questions to ponder before the Pardot implementation begins. Having clarity on these questions will ensure your implementation goes right the first time and you can truly hit the ground running.

 

  1. How are you measuring and evaluating your marketing success? You may need to evolve those metrics to fit what you can now report on based on your new pipeline intelligence.
  2. What are your current marketing tactics? You’ll need to evaluate your mix to plan out the most effective, integrated campaign structure possible and any marketing automation assets you’ll need to develop to support your tactics.
  3. What role does email play in your marketing? Batch and blast emailing doesn’t always effectively take advantage of marketing automation’s power to identify what your prospect is doing on your site. Now that you will have more intelligence regarding pipeline activity, it’s a great time to take a more strategic approach and to course correct so your marketing programs are more effective.
  4. Are you using lead nurturing, and how are you handling the marketing to sales lead handoff? Since your ultimate objective in marketing automation is to deliver Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), the success of this handoff is crucial. That means the process must be flawless and well understood by all parties.
  5. How does your sales team prioritize leads? It is beneficial to use your Pardot implementation as a perfect transition point to moving in the direction of marketing qualification. For example, areas of interest and sales-ready pipeline activities are a measure of sales readiness.
  6. How large is your database? Think about how much time will be required to move it, and what degree of complexity is involved.
  7. How do you manage your forms and landing pages? Think about how many there are, what systems they are currently in, and how many will need to be moved to Pardot within a given timeframe to ensure success.

 

What’s Next?

Coming soon: How to manage your first 90 days with Pardot!

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