Is Pardot Better Than Hubspot For Marketing Automation?

Is Pardot better than Hubspot for marketing automation? Marketers face complex processes and time-consuming tasks ranging from lead generation to running marketing campaigns. A robust marketing automation software helps streamline these processes, which make it crucial to choose a product that works best for your marketing needs.

In this article, we’ll discuss whether Pardot is better than Hubspot and vice versa when it comes to their marketing automation solutions. The two powerhouse products dominate the marketing automation platforms industry, hence, it’s worth looking at their key features to see which one excels. Which one can address the marketers’ top pain points:

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Pardot and HubSpot are known as leading market players and go-to solutions in the niche. HubSpot is a major player in the SaaS market. In fact, HubSpot leads the marketing automation category with an 18.35% market share as per Datanyze. From 2008 to 2014, 8 years since it was founded, it grew revenue from 0 to $100 million with an IPO (initial public offering). With that, it became the second fastest SMB SaaS to make an IPO according to Rocketship Growth.

After purchasing Pardot in 2012, Salesforce recently bought API provider Mulesoft to further strengthen its CRM market domination. The SaaS giant continued its strong market performance as 2018 first quarter revenues had leaped to a quarter to $3.01 billion. This strong showing had made Salesforce further elevate its entire 2019 revenue targets to between $13.07B to $13.13B.

The various applications for marketing automation are also becoming more sophisticated, and both vendors are leading these advancements. Among the technological improvements in this field are chatbots, analytics, and machine learning as reported by UpWork. Pardot, via Salesforce, has Einstein Analytics powered by artificial intelligence. With HubSpot’s acquisition of machine learning company Kemvi, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data are also at work on the platform. Indeed this SaaS niche led by these two big players is entering an exciting phase; but the fundamentals of marketing automation software are still important and the benchmark around which Pardot and HubSpot will be measured up for their true worth.

Both offer a rich collection of features for lead management, email, and analytics, among others. Still, each solution is a better fit for different types of requirement, workflow, and ecosystem. For instance, HubSpot is a leader in inbound marketing which makes it popular to marketers, sales teams. While its customer base is small and midsized firms (hence, making it user-friendly for beginner marketers), it boasts impressive contracts with companies such as ShoreTel and Shopify.

Meanwhile, Pardot is a solution catered towards larger enterprises with more complex rule-building capabilities and deeper, advanced built-in reports. Furthermore, its reciprocity with Salesforce is unparalleled in leveraging its marketing solutions.

Without further ado, let’s first get to know HubSpot and Pardot. From there, we’ll proceed to tackle the question: Is Pardot better than HubSpot for marketing automation?

What is Hubspot?

HubSpot has a robust reporting dashboard for visualization.

Hubspot is a popular marketing automation software with a robust inbound marketing solution. It focuses on helping you attract customers from various channels such as social media, search engines, and blogs with the use of helpful, impactful, and relevant content. The platform is an all-in-one solution for tracking your entire sales funnel, converting leads, and growing traffic. The software has a freemium, which you can try easily try at no cost. Simply sign up for the HubSpot free trial here.

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Built to add value in every step of your customer’s buying journey, Hubspot gives you tools that ensure you don’t just garner potential customers but, more importantly, qualified prospects. The key features of Hubspot include marketing automation, lead management, and analytics, among others. It streamlines each email, content, and offer to your leads based on their behavior to ensure your campaigns are reaching the right audience effectively.

This marketing solution is also for a wide range of users—from solo entrepreneurs, beginner and solo marketers, and small marketing teams to professional marketers, growing teams, and enterprises. Since the platform is scalable and built for growth, it suits any type of user. On top of that, you may start with a completely free plan that’s generously equipped with a robust set marketing tools and features.

What is Pardot?

Pardot ensures your prospects are visible right on your dashboard.

Pardot is a B2B marketing automation tool built for marketers. It’s packed with a full suite of tools for generating leads, engaging buyers, and understanding each marketing step, among others. It enables you to build an intelligent and data-driven program that expedites a sales cycle and generates more leads.

Visualization is also another focal point of Pardot. Visual testing allows you experience marketing workflows to be experienced by your customers. Additionally, you get insightful reports that you can quickly drill down to understand your campaign and asset performance better.

Pardot’s main features include sales alignment, email marketing, lead management, lead generation, and ROI reporting. These features work together to deliver an attractive marketing campaign that elevates engagement and conversions to successful sales. It does so while ensuring your sales and marketing are in sync and your pipeline is well-stocked with quality leads. With its three pricing tiers, you can choose among plans that match your company’s needs and requirements.

Pardot Versus HubSpot: Comparison of Functionality

Lead Management

HubSpot is built for inbound marketing. With that, it easily shines in lead management among many other solutions. It covers four phases of the inbound movement—attract visitors, convert them into leads, close sales as a customer, and delight them into becoming promoters. It’s able to successfully achieve with this its powerful out-of-the-box tools.

Its centralized, integrated database gives you a complete view of your leads. It has a modern approach of viewing a chronological timeline of each touch point between your company and a contact which ranges from page visits, social media interactions, content downloads, and email click rates, among others.

Targeting lists and automating email campaigns are streamlined with HubSpot’s contact intelligence. It makes it easier to expand your database via importing your existing contact details, creating unlimited custom fields, and segmenting contact lists using the data you collected. Automatically assigning lead scores makes it easy for you to identify quality leads for hyper-targeted segments.

Pardot isn’t left far behind. Its segmentation and automation features are effective in automating crucial yet time-consuming tasks, such as lead assignment, and dynamic lists for targeting. You can customize customer experience with personalization based on the data you gathered and display targeted offers on your landing pages and website.

When it comes to finding the right customers, it gives you objective grading to simplify prioritizing of sales outreach. Meanwhile, triggers are also available for automatically sending emails based on your chosen parameters.

Email marketing

HubSpot is solid in inbound marketing and developed tools that enable you to create, personalize, and optimize your email campaigns without the help of IT specialists or designers. You can immediately create one from its editor using reusable email templates that match your brand guidelines and drag-and-drop tools.

It also simplifies personalization of emails that are tailored to each subscriber to elevate open and clickthrough rates. You can use detailed analytics, A/B tests, and lifecycle stage, among others, to fill your email campaigns with relevant information and then schedule when they’ll be sent at the right time and timezone.

Like HubSpot, Pardot has custom design capabilities and out-of-the-box templates in its email builder. The email’s content is personalized as per prospect engagement and automated segmentation which you can then schedule for circulation. It also helps you support your message with data using A/B testing and ensure it lands on your lead’s inbox with SPAM filter check-ups.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

With its Salesforce integration, CRM is an area where Pardot really excels. Since Pardot is powered and owned by Salesforce, it has an airtight direct connection with the widely-popular software. In fact, they even share the same database. This means users get exclusive access to Salesforce’s functionality with Pardot. More customizations are allowed which means it easily fits any business. If you don’t use Salesforce, Pardot also has native connectors for Netsuite, Microsoft Dynamics, and SugarCRM.

Meanwhile, HubSpot also has a reliable and free CRM solution on its own. It automates the tasks of your salespeople through organizing, tracking and nurturing your customers and leads. The free, built-in CRM is a reliable option if you don’t want to purchase two separate subscriptions for marketing automation and CRM. Both HubSpot Marketing and CRM share the same database, so you get bi-directional sync. Of course, a free platform isn’t as robust or as in-depth as a paid one but its sufficient for users who need a basic customer database.

While not the connection is not as powerful as Pardot’s, HubSpot also integrates with Salesforce with no technical setup required. Additionally, HubSpot also offers a broader range of third-party CRMs than Pardot such as industry favorites Nimble, InfusionSoft, Zoho, and Pipedrive, among others.

Social Media Posting

HubSpot and Pardot understand the importance of social media when it comes to marketing. Hence, they provide you with a robust solution for social media posting. HubSpot, for instance, lets you utilize the same tools used in building marketing campaigns to share content, landing pages, and blog posts.

Its publishing tools and social media monitoring features are some of the most advanced and organic integrations in the industry. You can manually publish them directly or expedite the process by connecting your blog to your social accounts and enabling automatic sharing of new content once it’s published on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. On top of that, HubSpot has a unique feature of Instagram scheduling.

As for Pardot, you can schedule and post updates on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and company pages. In order to use this feature, you have to add the social media platform you want to post at as connectors (where you can add as many social accounts as you want) and disable auto-posting between social media accounts. It has excellent multi-channel features and functionalities, such as access to running competitor analysis and checking search engine rankings, but are dependent on your chosen plan.

Reporting and Analytics

Both HubSpot and Pardot offer robust reporting tools to help you understand your site metrics and measure your entire marketing funnel better. This includes tracking of campaign performance, lifecycle reporting, advanced email reporting and key website metrics, among others.

When it comes to reporting and analytics, HubSpot has an advantage of having integrated analytics right out of the box with reports containing detailed information of your website, emails, blog posts, social media posts, landing pages, and call-to-actions. All editions of its plans are equipped with a basic marketing dashboard but if you need more in-depth reports, such as revenue and custom-based reporting, some are only available on HubSpot’s Enterprise plan.

With Pardot’s integration with Salesforce, its reporting capabilities are more advanced. Since it handles more complex analytics, you’ll also have to handle more customizations to turn the reports into actionable insights. Powered by Salesforce, you can use closed-loop reporting for tracking tasks, queues, campaigns, and active assignments and visualizing the customer lifecycle. This makes Pardot a leader in reporting and analytics.


When looking at HubSpot and Pardot’s pricing tiers, HubSpot is a more SMB-friendly option. The Standard plan of Pardot starts at $1,000 per month while HubSpot starts with a freemium for beginner marketers and solo entrepreneurs so they can start tracking website activity and capturing leads at no cost using the basic, essential features. HubSpot’s Professional plan which has marketing automation is also more affordable which starts at $800 per month (1,000 contacts).

All of Pardot’s plans cater up to 10,000 contacts. To compare, Pardot’s Pro plan is priced at $2,000 per month for 10,000 contacts. For a similar number of contacts, HubSpot’s Professional plan costs $1,250, still lower than Pardot’s. Both professional plans consist of features such as email marketing, forms, custom fields, landing pages, and user roles, among others. Meanwhile, Pardot has API access for its Pro and Ultimate plans. When it comes to the number of contacts, HubSpot’s free CRM tool outclasses Pardot as HubSpot offers 1 million contacts and unlimited users compared to Pardot’s standard 10,000 contacts.

HubSpot’s highest-tiered package, the Enterprise plan, gives you access to all of the software’s features such as A/B testing, contacts and company reporting, and event-based segmentation. Meanwhile, it costs $3,000 per month for Pardot’s highest plan, Ultimate, for the same number of contacts where you get all of its features as well as higher tiers compared to its lower plans for file hosting storage and SEO and competitor monitoring.

In a nutshell, HubSpot is significantly more affordable than Pardot, especially on their entry tiers.

Making the Final Decision

Is Pardot better than HubSpot for marketing automation? Pardot and HubSpot are leaders of marketing automation due to their robust suite of features to streamline your marketing processes. They are known for being the most popular, successful, and favored vendors in the niche. Both effectively empower the creation and management of your campaigns to reach the right audience.

In order to choose which one is better, you must do a comprehensive evaluation of your workflows. Some of the questions you’ll have to answer include: what your existing CRM system is, what level of marketing automation you want to tackle, what your focus in marketing is, and how much you’re willing to spend for the software.

HubSpot is suited for small and growing businesses. It’s an all-in-one platform with vital features for centralizing campaigns and data. Hence, its interface is more intuitive, easy-to-use, and quick to implement so your team can immediately use it without going through a long learning curve even for first time users. At the same time, it also has enterprise-grade solutions which you can scale with as your business grows. HubSpot is a leader and one of the pioneers in prioritizing inbound marketing. With that, it’s an excellent choice if your team focuses on sales and the utilization of pull marketing in various forms.

Meanwhile, Pardot is geared towards larger enterprises and experienced marketers. The platform is more complex as it gives you space to configure your own workflows, especially when it comes to reporting and analytics. Its pricing options are catered to enterprises which is why it’s more expensive at a glance. However, looking at the platform’s overall inclusions and functionality, its plans are reasonably priced. If you’re already using Salesforce, Pardot is also a go-to choice as it’s owned by Salesforce. With that, integration is more seamless and the connection is more direct.

Jessica Stewart

By Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is the resident marketing analyst at FinancesOnline and a pioneering member of our research team. She believes that data is at the center of business and marketing technology is its enabler, a point not lost in his articles published in major outlets such as BusinessInsider, USA Today and Entrepreneur. Beyond assessing the standard tools for workflow automation, campaigns, messaging, and real-time alerts, Jessica focuses on the software’s bottom-line ROI— how it helps marketers perfect their data-driven method to collect and process customer data, measure the KPIs, and, ultimately, realize profits.

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