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HubSpot vs Pardot: Which marketing automation solution suits you the best?

At ContentNinja, we’re fond of saying that the world is becoming increasingly hyphen-tech. Health is now Health-tech, the law is now legal-tech, finance is now fin-tech. In fact, JP Morgan CFO Marianne Lake has recently been quoted saying, “We are more than a bank. We are a tech company.”

Bye-bye Kodak. Bye-bye TV cable. Bye-bye taxis.

And as our world becomes increasingly tech- and automation-driven, our marketing needs to catch up fast, or risk becoming ineffective. This is why companies around the world have been focusing on marketing automation – to bring in efficiency and make marketing more targeted and personalized, even at scale. 

Yet, even for those who are sold on the eighth wonder of the world that is automation, it is difficult to find the right software that meets all your needs without bleeding you dry. Choices are numerous and when you go into details, it can be overwhelming. It is also difficult to find content that is unbiased – that is unendorsed by either side and honestly calls out the pros and cons of each solution.

In this spirit, full disclosure: we’re a Hubspot channel partner, but honest to a fault. We are not here to sell you anything that isn’t good for you. (Clearly, we’d make shitty drug dealers).

So to make your life just a little bit easier, in this article we’ve drawn a side-by-side comparison between the two top-rated marketing automation systems, HubSpot and Pardot. They are among the most popular in terms of customer sentiment, inhabiting the upper right portion of the G2 Crowd quadrant:

Having said that, we’ve compared the functionality and depth of both products to ensure that we’re calling attention to the best of the best for you and your team!

HubSpot Starter Plan Pardot Growth Plan
Pricing$50/month which amounts to $600/year. The plan is priced at $1,200/month.
FeaturesLanding pagesAd managementLive chatConversational botsFormsContact website activityList segmentationEmail marketingAd retargetingLead Generation, Qualification, and Management Email Marketing and Personalisation Marketing and Sales Intelligence
HubSpot ProfessionalPardot Plus Plan
Pricing$800/month, which amounts to $9,600/year. The plan is priced at  $2,500/month.
FeaturesAll the features of the HubSpot Starter plan. Marketing automationSmart content & reportingBlogSEO recommendations & optimizationsSocial mediaA/B testingCalls-to-actionVideo hosting & managementWebsite traffic analyticsCampaign reportingCustom reportingFiltered analytics viewLead Generation, Qualification, and Management Email Marketing and Personalisation Marketing and Sales Intelligence Advanced Automation, Personalisation, and Qualification Advanced Analytics and Reporting 
HubSpot EnterprisePardot Advanced Plan
Pricing$3,200/month, which amounts to $38,400/year.The plan is priced at  $4,000/month
FeaturesAll the features of the HubSpot Professional plan. PartitioningHierarchical teamsSingle sign-onSocial permissionsEmail send frequency capCalculated propertiesAdaptive testingMulti-touch revenue attributionCustom event triggers and reportingLead Generation, Qualification, and Management Email Marketing and Personalisation Marketing and Sales Intelligence Advanced Automation, Personalisation, and Qualification Advanced Analytics and Reporting Business Units Artificial Intelligence for Marketing and Sale

What is HubSpot?

HubSpot’s Marketing Hub is an all-inclusive collection of marketing automation functionalities and features that can be leveraged by both B2C and B2B businesses. There are three plans available, the highest tier of which has the most functionalities. Additionally, regardless of the Marketing Hub plan you subscribe to, you will also be able to implement the free HubSpot CRM!

What is Pardot?

Like HubSpot, Pardot is an all-in-one marketing software solution. It was developed as a stand-alone platform in 2007. In 2013, Pardot’s parent company was acquired by Salesforce. Pardot is now a part of Salesforce and is one of the most robust solutions among the three marketing solutions available. 

Pricing

Both the platforms, HubSpot and Pardot, offer a variety of pricing plans for each of their platforms, with high-tiered plans of each platform having more features and functionalities than the low-tiered plan.

The HubSpot Marketing Hub offers three different plans at three different prices. The pricing is based on monthly costs, although an annual subscription is required. It’s worth noting that the prices are dependent on the number of contacts, it starts with 1,000 contacts, and once the user exceeds the limit, the cost of the chosen plan will go up at a rate of $50/month per additional 1,000 contacts. 

Here’s a rundown of HubSpot’s three Marketing Hub plans:

  • HubSpot Starter: Costs $50/month which amounts to $600/year.
  • HubSpot Professional: Comprises features in the Starter plan, and more at $800/month, which amounts to $9,600/year. 
  • HubSpot Enterprise: Comprises 10,000 contacts along with the features in the Professional plan. The plan costs $3,200/month, which translates to $38,400/year.

HubSpot integrates different plans into suites if you invest in all four Hubs. These plans are named as Growth Suites. The Starter Growth Suite is priced at $50/month, the Professional Growth Suite at $1,275/month, and the Enterprise Growth Suite at $4,200/month.

There’s also a scope of customization in the form of Bundles, this allows the users to choose different Hubs at different tiers. Moreover, there are add-ons available that can further enhance your Marketing Hub.

For instance, the Reporting add-on for $200/month enhances the dashboard limits to 300 and offers the ability to draft 3,000 more Custom Reports. Additional add-ons include  API, Ads, and Custom SSL add-ons. 

Pardot’s pricing plans are set up in a similar pattern to HubSpot’s. They offer three pricing plans at three different tiers. 

Here’s a rundown of Pardot’s pricing plans:

  • Pardot Growth Plan: The plan is priced at $1,200/month.
  • Pardot Plus Plan: The plan is priced at  $2,500/month.
  • Pardot Advanced Plan: The plan is priced at  $4,000/month.

Advantage: HubSpot

For small ventures, HubSpot cannot be surpassed. First, their CRM is free. Second, the Starter plan is more cost-effective than Pardot’s basic plan. Even the HubSpot Starter Growth Suite is much more economical than Pardot’s Growth plan.

However, it is imperative to understand that your contact list continues to expand with your business, and eventually with the cost of the additional contacts, HubSpot’s plans will become somewhat closer to Pardot’s plans’ cost.

Features

Platform Capabilities

Given that Pardot and HubSpot are both well-reputed automation solutions in the market, it should come as no shock that both the platforms have put a spectacular effort into designing user-friendly and intuitive solutions!

  • Reliability And Performance 

There’s no secret that you will be heavily dependent on any automation solution you go ahead with. As a result, you would want to make sure that your chosen platform is reliable, scalable, and that it performs seamlessly without a glitch. 

Favorably, both the solutions perform exceptionally as far as execution goes. Uptime for platforms is unfailing, which means you’ll hardly be ever upset by a lack of acknowledgment of your input.

  • Customization

It is up for grabs throughout Pardot and HubSpot features. Nonetheless, you will find that higher-priced tiers resonate with more customization, and this is especially true in HubSpot’s scenario.

  • User Access Management

Both platforms offer users the ability to authorize permissions to select particular data, features, and more based on criteria, including user roles, individual users, and groups. 

  • Mobile Applications

Mobile capabilities are a must – to be able to access your CRM on the go can make things much exponentially easier for your sales and marketing personnel. Pardot and HubSpot, both the solutions offer users a mobile application that acts as a supplement to their automation platform. However, these mobile apps only offer limited basic functionalities of what the desktop versions have to offer; still, they are still reliable and quite useful.

Pardot’s mobile app allows you,

  • To look at prospect insights in real-time, including up-to-date contact details, scores, and grades.
  • Lets you sync phone and email platforms, this means that you can shoot new prospect emails from their profiles and call them with a single tap. 
  • Set up push notifications for prospect activities. As long as you are subscribed to any one of Pardot’s plans, then their mobile app is absolutely free.

HubSpot offers just as much access and control to your contact list as Pardot’s. With HubSpot’s mobile application, 

  • You can easily access contacts. 
  • View full contact timelines.
  • Add, manage, and close deals.
  • Use reusable email templates.
  • Set up real-time notifications. 
  • You will also be able to scan and share business cards, assign tasks, create follow-up tasks, and engage with customers using live chat.

User Interface

HubSpot targets businesses of all sizes, as a result, they have focused their efforts on designing an intuitive, user-friendly interface. Their interface makes navigating the platform and all of the features relatively easy and straightforward. 

On the other hand, Pardot’s interface isn’t difficult to navigate either, just not quite as good. The drawback with HubSpot’s interface is that they are continually updating and adding new features. These changes can make navigation a little bit of a hassle on occasion., but fortunately, HubSpot informs their users whenever this happens.

Advantage: Draw

Both Pardot and HubSpot’s Marketing Hub have built user-friendly platforms that are about as dependable as you can get. There’s no clear edge between the two, whether one is better than the other boils down to your personal preference!

Lead Management 

HubSpot orbits around inbound lead generation through an integrated combination of tools. These tools are solely crafted to guide individuals along their buyer’s journeys. They include a blogging platform, website hosting, email functionality, landing pages, forms, workflows, lead scoring smart/personalized content, and A/B testing.

Strategic and straightforward, their lead mechanism highlights helpful, relevant content that will draw visitors to submit their contact information through a form to receive upgraded, gated content. 

These tools are easy-to-use for smaller companies. There’s scope to customize your website pages, landing pages, blogs, and forms as your company expands, and changes like copy and colours are incredibly easy to master. 

There are more customization and automation practices available, but these require some training or the support of a HubSpot partner agency.

In comparison, Pardot supports lead generation through resembling tools. However – here comes a catch – because Pardot doesn’t host your website, these generation tools aren’t integrated with your remaining online presence.

In simpler words, a relatively ‘disconnected’ experience. The landing pages are hosted on a subdomain or other third party domain, and that’s separate from your main website. This makes tracking across domains possible, yet cumbersome to complete, and considering we are in an era when UX is everything for both marketers and audiences, it’s a real deal-breaker. Additionally, this is not optimal for your website’s SEO, set side by side to having all of your content on the same domain.

Advantage: HubSpot

Both the platforms have an all-inclusive lead nurturing and management capabilities. However, it’s their approach that differs. HubSpot has a holistic approach with content marketing tools, including smart content, blogging, forums, and email. Their aim is to create content that attracts and converts leads so that you can nurture them through the buyer’s journey. Also, HubSpot’s lead management tools are also easy to use, while Pardot’s hints disconnect!

Customer Relationship Management

This is where Pardot and its close integration with Salesforce, shines bright. Needless to say, Salesforce offers one of the best CRM solutions out there, and that integrates with several platforms including HubSpot. Salesforce is customizable and fits well with any company’s needs. 

The fact that Salesforce owns Pardot provides Pardot an edge over Hubspot in this particular feature. While it’s true that HubSpot provides a free CRM to its users, the CRM isn’t as powerful as Salesforce…yet. Recently HubSpot announced impressive improvements to HubSpot Sales Professional, but there’s still scope for integrations with other developers, and you cannot customize it to the same level as Salesforce, notably for pipeline tracking. 

Although you can smoothly integrate Salesforce with HubSpot, HubSpot has a different contact database that needs to be synced between HubSpot and Salesforce, whereas Pardot shares the same database with Salesforce. 

In such a scenario, we recommend that you team with an integration specialist (like us! – shameless plug) to set up a HubSpot to Salesforce integration. For more, check out our article for our favorite HubSpot Sales CRM features.

Advantage: Pardot 

Without a doubt, Pardot promises to seamlessly integrate with Salesforce, which happens to offer more capabilities than the HubSpot CRM. Although HubSpot integrates well with Salesforce, the idea of managing two separate contacts databases can be cumbersome and time-consuming. 

Social Media Management

Both Pardot and HubSpot put forth social media monitoring and posting for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Anyhow, HubSpot offers Instagram scheduling, unique to HubSpot, and even more integrations, and Pardot, on the other hand, is comfortable to manage an elemental social media presence. 

Advantage: Draw

When it comes to social media management both platforms can heavily benefit from a third-party integration, for example Hootsuite, or Buffer for a more hearty solution for extensive social media promotions.

Integrations with Third-Party Programs

Integrations with Third-Party Programs allow you to connect your HubSpot or Pardot marketing platform to other solutions so that you can transfer data between the two. The more integration capabilities, the finer. Pardot does offer integrations for all of its plans, including Eventbrite integration, native CRM integration, Webinar integration, and Olark Chat Integration. 

Google AdWords comes with its Plus and Advanced plans (although you can purchase it as an add-on to Pardot’s Growth plan), and Custom Object Integration comes with its Advanced Plan (and can be purchased as an add-on for its Plus plan).

However, HubSpot has far better integration capabilities with third-party tools. As of 2020, HubSpot exhibits integration capabilities with 459 different tools. Although Pardot does have a native integration with Salesforce, it only has 32 integrations available.

Advantage: HubSpot

The numbers speak for themselves, and it’s safe to conclude that HubSpot simply provides a wider range of integration possibilities. It’s important to note that HubSpot can integrate with Salesforce and vice versa.

Analytics

Web Analytics

What isn’t measured, isn’t improved, and analytics helps you to analyze your content performance on the basis of several metrics. With the HubSpot Web Analytics tool, you can examine a variety of different pages. These include,

  • Landing pages
  • Blog pages
  • Website pages

HubSpot considers metrics like,

  • Page Views
  • Bounce Rate
  • New Contacts
  • CTA Clicks, and more. 

In HubSpot, web analytics is available for the Professional and Enterprise Marketing Hub plans. 

Whereas, Pardot provides an exhaustive B2B web analytics. Standard analytics include many of the same metrics that HubSpot provides. Additionally, while using Pardot users can easily connect with third-party data, including Google Analytics. Further, Pardot allows you to access your web analytics through an analytics mobile application. Pardot’s B2B analytics feature is available for Plus and Advanced users.

ROI Analytics

Every marketer wants to figure out if their marketing efforts are worth their cost, and ROI analytics can help you go a long way towards making your strategy cost-efficient!

When it comes to ROI analytics, HubSpot allows you to add revenue reports to your dashboard from their reports library. These include, 

  1. New Deals 
  2. Deal Revenue Leaderboard
  3. Deal Forecast
  4. Closed Revenue by Source, and several other ROI reports. 

However, these reports are only available as an add-on to your Marketing Hub or Sales Hub subscribers, but HubSpot has an ROI calculator available for free that you can use exclusively for paid ad campaigns.

Whereas Pardot includes a ROI Reporting feature which allows you to measure and track performance by bridging your marketing efforts to your sales data, and analyzing the success of your marketing campaigns by initiative and channel. 

Pardot includes metrics,

  • Cost/Opportunities
  • Cost/Prospect 

These metrics give you a direct glimpse into your marketing campaign’s ROI. If there’s one feature that will set Pardot apart from HubSpot, it will be an interactive graph where you can compare the ROI of these metrics from one campaign to another in.

Advantage: Pardot

This might break the hearts of HubSpot supporters, but Pardot has a clear edge over Pardot when it comes to analytics. 

HubSpot’s Marketing Hub does not offer a lot of customization and flexibility unless you invest in its Enterprise plan. Relatively, Pardot offers all of its users with extensive analytics features right off the start. 

Here’s an important factor to note: Neither of the two provides advanced web analytics in the lower-tiered plans. Yet some capabilities, such as Email Analytics, can be added on to the Pardot Growth plan for an extra cost. This option extends more flexibility to their users without tampering their budget. 

Additionally, Pardot supports several other reporting features unavailable in HubSpot’s Marketing Hub. For example, their ROI reporting functionality. 

Paid Ads Management

Managing ads online is an indispensable part of digital marketing. All of the HubSpot’s Marketing Hub plans come with Ad Management features and capabilities, which allow you to link your account to all of your accounts from the supported ad networks. 

You can use the free CRM Hub to create audiences and identify which of your ads are converting leads and generating customers. HubSpot includes an Ad Retargeting feature in all of their Marketing Hub plans that lets you manage ads to leads who have left your site based on what they viewed. You can retarget ads using this feature on your social handles like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google.

In comparison, Pardot does not come with any ad management features. However, you can integrate Google AdWords with Pardot. Further, Salesforce provides ad management capabilities, which is part of its Marketing Cloud solution and you can easily integrate with Pardot.

Advantage: HubSpot

HubSpot’s free CRM, Ad Retargeting feature, and a seamless integration which allows you to link your accounts to all your accounts from the supported ad networks makes HubSpot a clear winner when it comes to Paid Ads Management. 

Pardot versus HubSpot – Who Won?

To begin with, it’s crystal clear that you just cannot go mistaken with either of the two marketing automation solutions, Pardot or HubSpot, for a powerful marketing automation solution. Both the softwares are incredibly exhaustive with features that will no doubt help you round up your marketing efforts!

However, HubSpot is a better choice for small businesses due to its budget-friendly, flexible pricing structure and intuitive, user-friendly interface. HubSpot’s features and powerful integration capabilities give it an advantage over Pardot for creating aggressive marketing campaigns. At the same time, Pardot isn’t without features and capabilities, it  offers analytics capabilities that may be more well-suited to enterprise-sized businesses.

Another factor that can help you determine which platform you should choose – is your company heavily dependent on Salesforce? If so, then you may want to reconsider and choose Pardot, since it’s built with Salesforce at its core, making the integration on point.

On the other side, if you’ve got Salesforce but aren’t heavily inclined, HubSpot should be your serious consideration because of its advanced inbound marketing prowess and integration capabilities. Also, if you’re just starting with a CRM, HubSpot offers an all-in-one, out-of-the-box solution that is relatively less expensive and can scale with your business over time. 

It’s also important to note that both the platforms have been continuously rolling out features and capabilities to boost their platforms. Even though Pardot has offered some new automation functionalities, HubSpot has made much more remarkable strides this year. 

HubSpot has unbridled a new hub — HubSpot CMS. The newly found Hub promises an ability to manage and create their website as well as their content within one ecosystem. The new CMS consists of an array of new automation use cases that will help advance your effectiveness and efficiency even more.

Author avatar
Shriya Garg

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