5 Ways to Standardize Your Pardot Business Units

5 Ways to Standardize Your Pardot Business Units

Are you embarking down the Pardot Business Unit (PBU) path with your org? There are a number of considerations when choosing if multiple business units are right for you. Once you make that decision, it’s a great next step to standardize what you can in preparation for the implementation. Standardization across your business units will make your life as a Pardot admin easier, both in implementation and in future maintenance across your business units. 

Already using business units? Use these recommendations to audit your current setup and work towards improving your standardization and org documentation. 

Benefits of Standardizing your Pardot Business Units

These five standardization tips come from working with a variety of clients who wanted to see the following benefits: 

  • Easy for users in multiple business units to switch between orgs and navigate a similar organization and performance setup
  • Improve the ability for the Salesforce Administrator to manage related functionality among the business units with fields, record types, sync behaviors, and corresponding automations
  • Consistency on training material and resources, as well as org documentation
  • Reduce effort and costs associated with implementing multiple business units

Pardot highly recommends enlisting a Salesforce Consulting Partner when implementing multiple business units. Standardizing your business unit(s) is something you can get started on right away and will ensure your project moves smoothly, but it is not a good substitute for partner support with this complex project. 

Top Five Pardot Business Unit Standardizations

Here are our top five favorite standardizations that we’ve guided clients through for successful multi-business unit implementations.

1. Document Your Field Mappings 

In any Pardot implementation, you’ll need to map fields from Salesforce to Pardot. You should verify fields are consistent in name, type, and function among Pardot Prospects, Salesforce Leads, and Salesforce Contacts. Keeping those mappings synchronized ensures qualified prospects get created in Salesforce without sync errors and ensures no data is lost in the conversion process of a lead to an account and contact. 

Remember, fields in one PBU are not connected to fields in another PBU. The only way to make that connection is through Salesforce. If data from one PBU should be represented in another PBU, you’ll want to make sure that field is established in both PBUs and mapped to the same Salesforce field. Of course, you’ll want those fields’ type to be the same across all systems, too!

It’s also smart to track the sync behavior — for each field — and determine which system is the source of truth. When you set up your fields in Pardot, you’ll select this for each field. This sync behavior is critical to track and communicate to your users. 

How are you going to keep track of it all? On our team, the first thing we do is create a field mapping spreadsheet that tracks all the mapped fields, their types, the sync behavior, and what system is using which fields. 

Field mapping spreadsheet example

A good field mapping spreadsheet includes: 

  • Field Name and API Name
  • Field Type
  • Sync Behavior 
  • Which PBUs utilize the field 
  • Input Values
  • Default vs. Custom 
  • Notes on how the field is used

For admins, this document becomes invaluable to quickly reference what PBUs use which fields when updates need to be made or troubleshooting is needed. Your end users across PBUs can also use the map to understand what the field is for and how to use it, which establishes congruence across the PBUs.

Understand Marketing Data Sharing Do’s & Don’ts

Setting up Marketing Data Sharing is a simple task in reality, however it often causes a slew of confusion and questioning once implemented. For your implementation, you’ll need to select or create one field to manage MDS across all BUs. That field should only be used for this purpose. When you work on this strategy, consider the following:

  • Using a single-select picklist field if the Lead/Contact will only ever exist in 1 PBU
  • Using checkboxes for each PBU if the Lead/Contact will be in more than 1 PBU
  • Setting the field as read-only
  • Hiding the field for end users 
  • Activating an automation to maintain the field value on new records (i.e. Flow)
  • Ensure your Pardot connector user (or B2BMA Integration User) has visibility to the MDS field 

3. Enable “Manage Users with Salesforce”

This feature is not yet a requirement in orgs, but if you’re setting out to implement PBUs, we suggest working this into your implementation project. User Sync connects your Salesforce Profiles to Pardot Roles so it’s easier to manage who gets access to Pardot, which business unit they get access to, and which Pardot Role they are assigned. This puts the management of users in Salesforce’s hands, which means you’ll also need to work with your Salesforce admin in its implementation. 

Any time you wish to add new users to a PBU, you’ll manage that in Salesforce instead of setting up their individual user record in Pardot. With the “Manage Users in Salesforce” functionality, it’s easy for an admin to add users directly to a business unit based on either their user record, their role, or their public group association. 

You’ll control the profile to role mappings in Pardot. Remember, one Salesforce Profile can only map to one Pardot Role. If you have custom roles in your Pardot org, you’ll want to do your best to standardize these across PBUs as well so there’s no confusion in access.

This tends to be a tricky thing to catch on to, but once enabled, the long-term maintenance becomes much easier and more in line with regular user activation processes. 

4. Agree on Folder Structure & Naming Conventions — Bonus Points for Campaign Hierarchies!

Setting an org-wide default for naming conventions and folder structure is an amazing priority to set for your team. When implemented well, we’ve seen clients have a much easier time supporting their users and maintaining organization in the long term. 

Especially since features like connected campaigns sync back to Salesforce, it is critical to have consistent naming conventions on key records like: campaigns, folders, templates, automation rules, lists, and forms. 

One thing to include in your naming convention? The Pardot Business Unit it belongs to. That way, in a glance, you can see what assets are associated with each PBU. This will be even more important with the coming of the new drag-and-drop landing page builder. 

We’ve seen massive enterprise clients with 25+ brands be able to standardize folder structure and conventions, so we challenge you to try as well as part of your implementation.

Nothing is worse than logging in to different PBUs of the same org and seeing polar opposite naming conventions, hierarchies and foldering. We’ve also seen this standardization support internal folder and naming convention changes that better align teams overall. 

Looking for naming convention tips? This is my favorite blog post on it.

5. Email & Landing Page Templates

It’s important to remember templates are unique to each business unit. That is, they can’t be shared across PBUs. However, with the new Lightning email experience, you can share templates built there. 

This functionality is relatively new, yet it may be worth considering if this functionality is right for your project. If so, there is additional setup to include in your implementation to work through the sharing and visibility requirements.

Standardization Ensures an Efficient Pardot Business Unit

Following these five recommendations is a great start to ensuring your Pardot Business Unit implementation is efficient and well-documented. Taking the time to standardize relieves a lot of confusion throughout the project and in the long-term maintenance of your org.

Reach out to Sercante for guidance with your Pardot Business Units, or tell us what standardization tactic you’ll use first in the comments section.

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Courtney Cerniglia

“Hi, I’m Courtney and I’m ready to learn!” This was the phrase my dad taught me to repeat to my kindergarten teacher on my first day of school. I have always been in love with the process of exploring new things. Learning keeps us curious, creative and vulnerable - all of which I believe helps us live fully. My Salesforce journey started by accident, but my curiosity got the best of me and it’s now become my career. I'm 4x Salesforce certified, specializing in Pardot and Sales Cloud. I enjoy pairing the creativity of marketing with the science of software to help businesses make smart decisions and prosper.

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