- User Experience: Compared to other MAP I've used, Pardot makes it easy to get started using the platform. It's fairly intuitive, has a clean UI, and guides you through the steps to send an email, build a form, or launch a landing page.
- Help Documentation: The library of resources Pardot has created through it's help site is really easy to navigate. (Much more straight forward than the other MAPs I've used) You can find out how to do anything possible in the app, with detailed instructions (including screenshots), in the help articles/documentation. You can tell it was written by a user, not just a technical writer who doesn't understand the nuances of the app. This comes in really handy.
- Customer Service: What really sets Pardot apart, though, is it's customer service. I've never seen anything like it. They have click to chat options that is staffed by their customer support team (which is really knowledgeable and helpful), a support portal to see what's happening with your ticket at any time, and an email option for less urgent or time-sensitive questions. Even the email option, though, has a quick response time. Nothing like the 2-3 days you see with other MAPs.
- Salesforce: SFDC's recent purchase of ExactTarget (which acquired Pardot a year ago) has really made a difference at the company. Salesforce has the resources to add new features at a much faster rate, and is really invested in making Pardot the top of the class. The amount of new features being rolled out, and the ones that are planned for the coming year, will really make Pardot one of the top platforms out there. I'm especially excited about the improved sync with the Sales Cloud. Nobody else is going to be able to match that.
- Landing Pages: Building landing pages isn't as easy as the email WYSIWYG, but Pardot is planning to roll out a new version.
- Email Testing: Pardot now has a/b testing for email list sends (one-off blasts), but not for automated drip programs. Again, that feature should be rolled out in the next year.
- Folders: Pardot doesn't currently organize marketing assets in folders, but that feature is coming before the end of 2013. The jury is still out on how well it will function, though.
- Scoring: Pardot can only give leads one score at a time (which is not enough if you have several products/solutions). This feature is being developed, though.
- Easier to qualify leads before sending to sales.
- Faster response time on leads requesting contact.
- Notifications to sales team of their leads that are active on the site, with marketing campaigns.
- Greater number of touchpoints with leads (by automating marketing tactics).
- Increased efficiency of the sales team.
We're happy enough with it, that we don't even listen when Pardot's competitors try to convince us to switch. And some of them get really nasty in their attacks on the platform. You can easily tell which ones were hurt by the Salesforce acquisition the most. ... But as a company that uses SFDC, it doesn't make a lot of sense for us to switch to one of the others .
If you are a small/medium business and use Salesforce as your CRM, there's really no reason to consider anything else. That's where Pardot is by far the strongest. If you are looking at more of an enterprise solution, then at this time you probably still want to look harder at Eloqua or Marketo. But a year from now, I'm guessing Pardot will even have a stronger case for those situations. It's a great time to be using Pardot.