What’s the difference between Pardot Campaigns and Salesforce Campaigns?4 min read

What’s the difference between Pardot Campaigns and Salesforce Campaigns?4 min read


Pardot’s Campaigns and Salesforce’s Campaigns — while being called the exact same thing — aren’t actually the same thing. Confused? We get it. To help clarify things, here’s a little article explaining their different functionalities.

Pardot campaigns

Each time you create an email, landing page, or form in Pardot, you’ll be asked to associate it with a Pardot Campaign. This means any first interaction with a Pardot marketing asset can be tracked against that Campaign, which will set as the contact’s Pardot Source Campaign.

You won’t find a Pardot prospect that isn’t attached to a Campaign. All of your marketing assets in Pardot are going to be related to Pardot Campaigns, so your prospect will be automatically assigned to one as soon as they interact with one of those assets. For example, if a prospect clicks on a tracked link or fills out a Pardot form, it’ll automatically track that for you in Pardot using these Campaigns.

This helps sales and marketing understand Return-on-Investment when it comes to your first-touch marketing activities. You’ll be able to see where a customer first came from to track and measure that against closed deals.

Salesforce campaigns

First of all, though the naming convention is admittedly a bit confusing, Salesforce Campaigns are completely separate from Pardot Campaigns.

These Campaigns can be attached to your leads or contacts at any point in their lifecycle, not just at first-touch. And they’re not naturally automatic like Pardot’s Campaigns. In Salesforce, Campaign membership is usually set through association rules, Pardot’s completion actions, or automation and Engagement Studio actions.

Your prospects can be associated with multiple Campaigns so you can track each and every interaction they have with your brand. These Campaigns also link to your sales funnel directly, making Campaign association reporting much easier. You can track Campaign membership, accurately measure which ones are most effective at closing deals, and see exactly how your leads and contacts interact with them.

The main differences in a nutshell

So while both Salesforce and Pardot campaigns can both help Sales and Marketing understand, track, and measure ROI, there are lots of differences. Here are the main things to remember.

Pardot Campaigns

  • They track the first-touch only
  • They’re set when a prospect first touches a Pardot marketing asset, Pardot-tracked link, or a website with a Pardot tracking code
  • Their ROI is based on first-touch attribution
  • Your Pardot prospects will always be automatically associated with one
  • They put all your related marketing assets in one place.

Salesforce Campaigns

  • They track any touch in the customer lifecycle
  • They aren’t automatically associated with contacts in Salesforce
  • They directly integrate into the sales funnel (For example, Campaign influence, roll-up info on lead/contact records)
  • Their ROI is based on multi-touch attribution
  • Individuals can belong to multiple Campaigns
  • They allow member status to be tracked.

Can they be integrated?

Now, while they’re very different, Pardot and Salesforce Campaigns can be integrated! And while your Pardot prospect record will still show which Campaign originally brought a marketing-sourced prospect in, you can then also see their ongoing Campaign activity and engagement in Salesforce. Your Pardot prospects can be added into Salesforce Campaigns through Completion Actions and Automation Rules, and you can also pull Salesforce Campaign members into Dynamic Lists using the ‘Prospect CRM Campaign’ criteria.

Let’s say you run an event and want to report on its success. To do this, you’ll need to create a Salesforce Campaign in Salesforce and tick it as Active. After this, you’ll create a landing page in Pardot which people will have to fill in to register. While setting that up, you’ll add a Completion Action on the landing page form which adds them to the Salesforce Campaign once they’ve filled it out. Et voilà!

The future of Pardot and Salesforce campaigns

So it seems Salesforce has clocked onto the fact that maintaining these different types of campaigns is pretty confusing, so they’re simplifying the process for us.

Now, we can finally create, manage, and report on both of these types of campaigns in one place. And just so we’re clear, when we say campaigns here, we’re specifically referring to the records from the Campaigns tabs in Pardot and Salesforce, respectively – these are the two records that will be connected and synced.

So, while Pardot prospect records will still show which campaign brought your prospect in,  you can then see their ongoing campaign activity and engagement in your Salesforce org!

Keep a peeled eye for any more new Product Releases — good things are coming your way!

So, there we have it. This was actually a question that we get asked by a lot by our customers, and is the kind of feedback that helps us decide which content will be most useful to you guys. Comment below if you’ve got a question about Pardot or Salesforce! We’d love to create a blog post about it for you.


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