Don’t Launch a “Minimum Viable” Instance of Pardot – Strive for “Minimum Lovable”

“MVP” is a term thrown around a lot in the software and start-up world.  The concept is basically “what is the bare minimum we can do to get people to accept this.”

But honestly, that’s not enough.  Customer (internal and external) expectations have skyrocketed.  We’re all spoiled (for better or for worse) by the white glove digital service of Amazon, Netflix, Uber.  

So the “minimum” ain’t gonna get people in your company excited about using Pardot and putting it to work.

A different frame: what’s the minimum LOVABLE product?

Standing up a Pardot org and turning on the basic integration with Salesforce is a piece of cake.  It really is.  The hard part is when it comes to how you actually USE the platform, what you create for your audience, and what you share with your team.

You probably have your own goals and agenda for Pardot, and that’s great.  The next step is thinking about who else is going to be impacted by Pardot — or is going to have influence over future budgets — and what their agenda might be.  

How does Pardot align with what they’re trying to accomplish?  What process fixes or resources would get them PUMPED to start using the platform?  Are there low-effort, high-impact projects you could fast track?  What will inspire the maximum love with the minimum effort?

Striving for early internal wins

If you’re trying to win over individual sales reps, a few Pardot selling points that often spark spontaneous happy dances are:

  • A library of shiny 1-to-1 email templates
  • Engage reports
  • Visitor and prospect activity notifications
  • Marketing’s ability to send campaigns as the Account Owner or Assigned User (when pitched as an opportunity to get them more visibility and name recognition, amplifying their personal brands)
  • Summary reports on which of their clients/prospects are engaging with marketing content

Marketing and sales leadership, on the other hand, might get more jazzed about things like:

  • Dashboards on lead gen and cost per acquisition
  • Automated lead assignment
  • Scoring & grading for lead prioritization
  • Campaigns and campaign influence reporting
  • Visibility to efforts through the marketing calendar on the Pardot homepage

Tell a love story, with your users as the heroes

One of my favorite marketers and all-around thought leaders, Seth Godin, says that:

“Change happens when you make people fall in love with a different version of the future.”

What will help you win over hearts and minds as you roll out Pardot?  You may be reading the above feature list thinking, “wait some of these are part of the core product and aren’t even that hard — who cares?”

Flex those empathy muscles and answer that question for yourself.  Who cares?  Why would they care?  What’s a beautiful vision of the future that they might hope for, and how does Pardot help them become the conquering hero that rides triumphantly into the sunset?  

It’s not always what you’d think at first glance.  I still find myself surprised sometimes when talking to stakeholders, asking:

“What, you care about THAT? Custom redirects are that awesome?  Um, okay, you’re right, SO COOL.”  

Those moments are gold.  Seize them!

How do you configure a Pardot org that your team will love?

I’d love to hear in the comments what’s worked for you in turning the tides of adoption. What features can your users not live without?  What’s underappreciated that you may to change the narrative on?  

Oh, and by the way — using Pardot to send out communications about Pardot internally? So meta, and really effective at measuring what messages are hitting home for people.

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Andrea is a 12X certified Salesforce MVP and the founder of Sercante. When she's not Pardot-ing, she can be found playing with her German Shepherd Murphy, making homemade gin, or traveling with her hubby Buck.

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