Powered-up Pardot Admin: a new breed of Salesforce Marketing Specialist

The increasing influence that Digital Marketers have across organizations is no freak occurrence. The rise is even more stark in B2B Marketing, where trends such as Account-based Marketing, Social Selling, and Analytics are demanding more from B2B Marketers. When it comes to Pardot Specialists, we’re kept hot on our toes with marketing KPIs, campaign optimization, and product release roll-outs.

This post covers what it takes to be a Pardot Admin at the peak of your game, and how you can future-proof your skill set. The new Pardot Admin essentials are spread across three categories: the operational, technical, and strategic. You’ll discover what to focus on in order to craft a career path that will provide the maximum value to your organization – and yourself, of course!

The Operational

The ‘operational’ category is made up of the core of responsibilities for Pardot users – all that goes into day-to-day campaign execution. In short, it’s using the features that are found under the ‘Marketing’ tab in Pardot; this Includes the creation of marketing assets (emails, forms, landing pages), building flows and automation, and social posting, too! It’s enough to keep anyone busy.

However, the operational tasks often become time-sponges for Pardot Marketers, because this is where creative flair needs to meet Pardot know-how. There are ways to streamline your Marketing Operations in Pardot, such as knowing Pardot navigation like the back of your hand, making assets searchable, and leveraging Engagement Studio to assemble and visualize even the most complex campaigns. By increasing your efficiency using these tricks, you can free up yourself up to explore further.

The Technical

Let’s play word association. When you hear ‘technical’, you most likely think data and integrations – and yes, you are correct. You may also wince at the thought of handling these types of responsibilities; however, it’s not as out-of-reach as you may believe. Organizations have never had more data to handle than they do now, which means that data management has become a priority: how it flows, how it’s leveraged, and its quality.

Connectors open up ways Pardot data can flow and be leveraged in other parts of the business. The most important data stream to get familiar with is the Salesforce Connector for Pardot: knowing how it syncs records, the impact of record changes, and how it’s configured for your organization in particular. A responsibility that is often not covered is monitoring the Connector sync queue and troubleshooting errors; failure to allocate this to someone means that records are blocked from syncing, and no fields update as a result.

Data compliance is a hot topic to get on top of. Although a requirement that organizations should have adhered to for many years, compliance has a renewed urgency with GDPR coming into effect in May 2018. Knowing your organization’s data capture points and permitted data processing is a sure-fire way to become indispensable, putting your team’s mind at rest. Learn how Pardot honours opt-ins and opt-outs, and the mechanisms you can use to process them, namely Email Preference Pages.

The Strategic

To describe the ‘Strategic’ competencies in one line, we could say these responsibilities are all about ’next-level marketing automation’. It’s about having the birds-eye view; being the one to take a step back, look at the numbers, spot trends and rally for action.

Traditionally, this was a role reserved at management level; thankfully, powerful and intuitive reporting in Pardot and Salesforce have opened up this insight to all users. Data-savvy marketers are highly sought after, especially when coupled with a sound understanding of how marketing impacts all other business functions; if your knowledge of Salesforce Reports and Dashboards falls short, invest time in getting to grips with this platform feature.

Reporting in Salesforce that often trips marketers up is Campaign Influence: how campaigns are credited to opportunity revenue, ultimately determining marketing return on investment (ROI). As with any system, the Salesforce data model has its rules that must be followed, so ensuring correct campaign attribution is set puts you at the forefront of marketing. Imagine you spot a source of revenue leakage, where the budget is being ‘poured down the drain’?

To lift your organization to new heights, assess which Pardot features have not been rolled-out, or that are under-utilized. Frequent examples are Scoring Categories, Grading, and Competitor Monitoring. These features are not activated out-of-the-box, which is where you come in with your holistic organisation knowledge to advise on how best to optimize these features for your business. The first action to take is to find out what initiatives the business has their eye on, and align these with the Pardot advanced features that can deliver results.


This post has covered what it takes to be a Pardot Admin at the peak of your game, now and in the future. With new demands being placed on B2B Marketers, Pardot Admins need to be focused when developing their skills to avoid being swept up in a whirlwind. The three core areas are:

  • Operational: day-to-day campaign execution (and, how to become more efficient at it)
  • Technical: data flows and robust data management
  • Strategic: reporting and advanced feature roll-out.

However you choose to power-up your Pardot expertise, know that 2018 is the time to blaze a new trail with Pardot. Finally, I wrote this post to also spread awareness around how valuable, and necessary Pardot Admins are in an organisation. Look out for these linchpins who combine competencies and charge into new challenges – they could end up being indispensable to your business.


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