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How to Empower Higher Education Marketing Teams with Pardot

How to Empower Higher Education Marketing Teams with Pardot

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Higher education institutions around the world are embracing a digital future with the shift to marketing with Pardot. 

Teams are replacing the traditional ways of reaching prospective students, donors, and community with personalized digital marketing tactics. And an integrated marketing platform is the key to connecting institutional departments while providing right-time and right-message communications.

Enter Pardot. Marketing teams at higher education institutions that are also Salesforce customers can finally feel like they’re part of the action. That’s because Pardot is built on the Salesforce platform, which enables marketing teams to connect their data and content to other departments at their institution. And Pardot allows marketers to generate valuable leads, nurture relationships, and convert more prospects throughout the power of marketing automation.

This is how Pardot empowers marketers working in higher education to reach their goals.

Pardot connects higher ed marketers to other departments

Have you ever had the feeling that your marketing team is on an island? Well, if the college or university you’re at already has an existing Salesforce org in place, then you’re in luck.

Pardot is a Salesforce product. That means it connects seamlessly with other Salesforce clouds in place at your institution. You can pass data (e.g., prospect activity) and content (e.g. email and landing page templates) for better cross-departmental collaboration.

Pardot has a cloud product for just about any type of company and organization. That includes clouds different departments in higher education may be using already. For example, here’s how the technology stack may look for a mid-size regional university.

higher ed marketing with pardot

Prospects get better experiences with higher ed institutions through Pardot

Pardot is great for B2B companies because they have a long sales cycle. This cycle includes lead generation, nurturing, and multiple opportunities and sales over a long period of time. Many institutions of higher education operate in a similar fashion.

Current students may come from a long line of repeat students and family legacy. 

They may engage with your institution by attending as undergraduate students. While at your university, they require student success resources so they keep coming back each semester. After graduation, they may slowly start giving back as their earnings increase each year. And finally, their children will make it to your mailing lists as the time to look at colleges arrives.

Pardot ensures a consistent and personalized experience for everyone in your funnel. And it gives you the opportunity to tailor your efforts based on tangible insights through engagement activity tracking.

Here’s how it works.

Lead Generation

You create a conversion point, like a form on a ‘Schedule a Visit’ page on your website. Then, create a Pardot campaign for that form so you know people in that campaign have interest in visiting your university campus. 

Pardot creates a prospect record for everyone who completes the form. Then, you’ll start to see engagement activity on the prospect record as they interact with your content (e.g., web pages and emails) thanks to the power of web tracking cookies.

Prospect Nurturing and Student Retention

pardot engagement studio example
Pardot Engagement Studio Program Example

Once you get prospects into your funnel, the goal is to keep them engaged so your institution is top of mind when they finally make a decision about where to go to school or spend their annual donation budget. 

You can accomplish that by creating content that provides value for your audience — whether it’s educational, entertaining, or inspirational. Your content marketing strategy will include a robust website with rich content resources. Then, you can use Pardot to track the effectiveness of your content efforts.

Then, you can start nurturing your prospects by sending them on personalized and automated content journeys with Pardot Engagement Studio.

You can even use Pardot to drive student retention initiatives. For example, your team can create an Engagement Studio Program that delivers wellness and educational resources to current students. You can use the data from that program to identify students who need outreach from a school advisor or administrator.

Marketing Reporting

Higher ed institutions are feeling the crunch when it comes to scaling marketing efforts with limited budgetary resources. And nothing helps to justify budget allocation more than solid marketing reporting metrics. 

Pardot provides a set of built-in reports, which are the day-to-day reports for marketing teams. From emails to forms, these reports show the performance of marketing assets created in Pardot, and they allow you to monitor and make adjustments to assets. 

Salesforce reports and dashboards allow you to customize your reports. Additionally, it can be the first step in helping to align the marketing team with other departments within the college or university. 

That means, you can sync data from Pardot into Salesforce, such as data collected from forms. Then, you can create Salesforce reports using the data and start using shared marketing and advancement or student recruiting dashboards. 

Resources about Pardot for higher education marketers

Understanding why your college, university, or higher education institution should migrate to Pardot is the easier part. Convincing your colleagues and leadership team may be another story. 

One thing’s for sure. Your marketing team can finally feel like part of the greater team by migrating to Pardot if the rest of the institution is operating on the Salesforce platform.

Thinking about making the switch? Tell us about your current marketing strategy in the comments. And reach out to Sercante when you’re ready to implement Pardot at your higher education institution.

  • Ambre Juryea-Amole is the content strategist at Sercante. With over ten years of experience as a writer, editor, and marketer, her eclectic background includes work ranging from journalist to 1820s-garbed historic interpreter. When Ambre's not working, you'll find her jamming out to ska, metal, punk, and classic rock with her two young kiddos and husband, Donnie. She hits the power button on her laptop each morning with gratitude for finding her spot in an industry where she can be her creative self and work from anywhere.

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