Pardot account audits: You know you need to do one, but somehow this daunting task keeps getting relegated to the bottom of your to-do list. With the new year on the horizon, do future-you a favor and carve out time soon to conduct an audit of your Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) instance. You’ll feel better kicking off 2023 knowing your account is in order!
So where do you start? Audits can certainly be overwhelming, with long checklists of components and settings to review. But, a bit of reflection up front can help you identify and prioritize the areas to audit with the highest need or greatest potential to benefit your business.
Key questions to consider before a Pardot account audit
Make the most of your time by asking yourself these seven questions before diving into your Pardot account audit:
1. Are the essential building blocks in place to ensure Pardot is working properly?
This is square one — you’ll need to confirm the foundation of your account is set before moving forward. Yup, this means going through the Pardot Settings tab and checking that there are no surprises. Must-dos include your account limits, Salesforce connector, user set-up, and tracker domains.
This is also a good time to step back and think about the big picture: How is data moving in and out of Pardot and where are the weak spots? Besides checking your Salesforce sync settings, review your lead forms, import processes, opt-out processes and integrations to make sure the data is flowing as you intend and that there aren’t any issues causing downstream impacts.
2. What haven’t we checked in a while?
As much as we want to “set it and forget it,” even the best marketing automations need check-ups. Take a minute and list out the areas in Pardot you haven’t paid as much attention to recently. Common culprits could be:
- Sync errors
- Repeating automation rules
- Custom fields syncing with Salesforce
- Email footer content
- Scoring and grading rules
- Sales handoffs and assignment rules
- Auto-responder email settings and content
- Automations based on email opens
- The black hole that is the Uncategorized folder
During your audit, run through this list to ensure everything is running as you expect, and clean up whatever you can.
3. Where could a little work go a long way to fix something or improve efficiency?
We’ve all been there: You build a work-around or take on a manual process in order to get something done, then poof — it’s months later and you’re still doing it!
Now’s the time to figure out if there’s a better way that frees up your time and energy. This might mean addressing bigger issues that require multi-step solutions, but the upfront work now will pay off in the long run.
For your audit, prioritize figuring out ways that you can leverage automations to carry some of the load. Besides Pardot’s Automation Rules, explore these other key tools:
- Conditional Completion Actions — game changer!
- Dynamic Lists or re-executing Segmentation Rules
- Engagement Studios — they’re not just for sending emails!
- Salesforce duplicate rules
- Salesforce Flows
- Automate adding Contact Roles to Opportunities
- Pardot API solutions, like Pardot External Activities
For help with any of these automations, feel free to reach out!
4. Does our marketing work align with best practices and industry standards?
When it comes to marketing practices, it can be helpful to compare yourself to others (within reason of course!). For example: Comparing your email engagement metrics and deliverability practices to industry standards can highlight areas that need improvement, like your template design, segmentation practices to engaged prospects, or personalization strategies.
Identifying the big-picture improvements needed to align with best practices will help you drill down on the specifics of what it will take to execute — and, as a result, which components in Pardot should be audited and updated to make it happen.
5. Can we showcase the ROI of our marketing efforts?
Connecting the dots between your marketing work and sales is truly the holy grail for marketing teams, but it can be tricky to get up and running.
With Pardot and Salesforce, you can unlock the marketing attribution magic through a combination of consistent processes and technical tools. Consider these questions and add related items to your audit checklist accordingly.
- Are you using campaigns consistently to record and organize marketing initiatives?
- Are Connected Campaigns enabled and configured correctly in your account?
- Is data being captured at the right times in your prospect journey to connect their engagements to sales?
- Are your marketing reports set up in Pardot and Salesforce?
- If you’re using Campaign Influence reporting in Salesforce, does the attribution model fit your needs?
- If you have more robust reporting and dashboard needs, could you benefit from using additional data integrations and/or B2B Marketing Analytics?
Getting a handle on where you are in the process of ROI reporting can crystalize your next steps. Making a commitment to shore up your marketing attribution once and for all in 2023 could pay dividends for you in the long run!
6. What’s coming up that will impact our Pardot system or usage?
Looking ahead, think about how new initiatives, goals or changes at your company will have trickle-down impacts on your Pardot account. What parts of your audit need to adapt accordingly?
Maybe your customer base is expanding and you’d benefit from setting up multiple Pardot Business Units. Or you’ll be creating lots of new automation programs and want to install a Pardot sandbox environment for testing. Maybe Einstein features in Pardot would alleviate some of your workload?
Conversely, try to identify some aspects of a typical account review to deprioritize or cross off your audit checklist entirely because of upcoming changes.
You’ll also want to keep an eye on upcoming feature releases and new system updates, like the opt-out field sync behavior changes.
7. What can we clean up or organize better to make things easier?
Lastly, a bit of housekeeping. Use part of your audit to tidy up your account for some quick wins:
- Do your folders, tags or images need organizing?
- Are there unused automation, lists, files, or email or form templates that you can clean up, consolidate or archive?
- Where could you establish naming conventions to better organize assets going forward?
- Are you identifying junk prospects and recycling them regularly?
Addressing built-up clutter in your account will help you reset and clear the way for more strategic work!
Account audits can feel intimidating, but they’re worth it
With these considerations in mind, you’re ready to tackle an audit of your Pardot account that focuses on what matters most to your business.
If it still feels overwhelming or you want some support, please reach out for help — the Sercante team routinely conducts account audits, looking for ways clients can better leverage both the strategic and technical aspects of marketing with Pardot. Plus, you’ll get the advantage of an impartial expert reviewing your account with fresh eyes. Contact us about audit services or fill out this form to get started!