Salesforce is making some big enhancements in 2023 and beyond to its Marketing Cloud Account Engagement tool, formerly known as Pardot (note: Salesforce is using both names now, but the intent is to sunset its use of “Pardot” and use “Marketing Cloud Account Engagement” instead). In a recent Salesforce webinar, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Product Roadmap (unfortunately, not available on-demand), conducted by Danielle Grau (SF Director of Product Management) and Lindsey DiGiovanni (SF Product Manager), the company revealed its future roadmap for the tool.
Grau began by explaining that “Pardot is now going to be known as Marketing Cloud Account Engagement,” a platform which helps B2B marketers scale personalized customer outreach across marketing, sales, and beyond. Account Engagement, the company says, is a single source of truth offering organizations the ability to:
- Easily automate cross-channel journeys to create a consistent, seamless customer experience;
- Optimize marketing performance by measuring in real-time how every action/activation influences pipeline;
- Drive marketing and sales alignment and coordination in a single platform that connects and shares data across the organization.
Highlights on what’s coming for Marketing Cloud Account Engagement
From a high-level perspective, the Marketing Cloud Account Engagement roadmap is looking to (1) enhance automation, (2) connect to more sources of external data, (3) enable increasing levels of orchestration and customer personalization, (4) leverage artificial intelligence to improve marketing performance, (5) improve measurement and reporting capabilities, and more.
Grau and DiGiovanni made it clear that Salesforce is quite ambitious in its quest to enhance the functionality of Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. Listed below are some of the highlights from the Roadmap, as detailed by Grau and DiGiovanni during their hour-long webinar.
These highlights aren’t intended to be comprehensive, either in covering: (1) all of the enhancements envisioned in the future roadmap or (2) explaining each enhancement in-depth. There’s a link to the Marketing Cloud Account Engagement product release notes at the end of this post – accessing that resource is the best way to get the latest and the most comprehensive information about what Salesforce is planning for Account Engagement (formerly Pardot).
Here’s a sneak peek:
1. Optimize Account Performance. This functionality, coming in Spring ‘23, will audit and analyze how you are using the platform and then “recommend actions you can make to get the most out of Account Engagement,” says Grau. It sounds like a great performance optimization tool.
2. Prospect Activity Tracking. This functionality, coming in Winter ‘23, will analyze prospect engagement levels “to protect account health,” says Grau, potentially by pausing account outreach if an account has stopped or slowed down their level of engagement. This enhancement is a win for account/contact personalization.
3. Conditional Completion Action. Will enable marketers to set up/automate account-based orchestration with condition (“if X, then Y”) logic. It will also allow for the fine-tuning of automation/orchestration based on segmented prospects, and the engagement actions they display. If a prospect clicks on a certain link in an email message, you could orchestrate/automate a relevant follow-up message.
4. An Extensible Platform Enabling External Actions. Will allow marketers to push data in and out of external apps/tools and also orchestrate and automate actions across various external apps (such as Zoom and Slack). Enhancements like these are intended to make cross channel and omnichannel engagement possible.
For example, Account Engagement could automate the notification of sales reps on Slack when a prospect account has taken a certain action that might render them a “hot” lead, such as when a prospect is looking at price or product support details for a certain offerings.
In another example, you might set up a webinar on Zoom and then automatically pull in (1) registration information and (2) see who actually attended. That information is highly-useful for planning potential follow-up action.
5. Full Prospect Sync. This data-related functionality enables marketers to sync all prospect records with just one click, while also improving field sync performance. The trend here is to reduce time-consuming manual work for marketers while driving data accuracy/quality.
6. Einstein Optimization of Send Times (STO), at the Prospect Level. Einstein is SFMC’s artificial intelligence tool. The enhancement enables Account Engagement to leverage Einstein AI to determine the optimal/best time to send a message/email to a prospect based on that prospect’s historical preferences. This enhancement goes beyond current STO capability, which looks at the entire contact list or other historical data to determine the optimal send time for the list.
7. API Enhancements. This enhancement comes under the “play nice with others” umbrella. It will enable marketers to query more business unit data via Account Engagement, report on Prospect Lifecycle, and leverage a unified API experience.
8. Operational Performance Enhancements. Will offer B2B marketers greater insight into campaign performance, such as providing email bounce rates and enabling the automation of actions to clean up and update your contact lists based on that performance data. Another enhancement that reduces the amount of monotonous, manual operations around your customer data.
For more information (including enhancement release dates) about the Marketing Cloud Account Enagement Roadmap, please refer to the product release notes. For help in considering whether Marketing Cloud Account Engagement could help your B2B marketing efforts, reach out to us here.