Salesforce Expert Series: Pardot Master Susan Baird

Navigating Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (AKA Pardot): Insights from Susan Baird

B2B Marketing Consultant

In the ever-evolving landscape of modern marketing, businesses often face challenges when it comes to effectively engaging their target audience through their marketing campaigns. Despite their best efforts, they struggle to connect with their audience and drive meaningful interactions effectively, resulting in less impactful and less effective campaigns.

So how do you truly connect with your audience and turn your marketing campaigns into successful, impactful engagements? With Marketing Cloud Account Engagement.

Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, formerly known as “Pardot”, is a powerful tool that provides businesses with comprehensive features to help them create and execute engaging, data-driven marketing campaigns. Whether you’re looking to automate your marketing processes, streamline lead management, or personalize your messaging, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (MCAE) has you covered.

To learn more about the power of MCAE, we had a chat with Susan Baird, Senior B2B Marketing Consultant at NuAge Experts, a ConvergeOne Company, to get her insights and best practices for navigating the world of marketing cloud engagement.

Meet Susan Baird

Susan Baird is a seasoned marketing professional with over a decade of experience in the industry. Her extensive knowledge and expertise have made her a sought-after consultant for businesses looking to effectively engage their target audience through marketing campaigns. As a senior B2B marketing consultant, Susan has a proven track record of helping businesses achieve their marketing goals and drive meaningful interactions.

In addition to her years of experience, Susan is well-versed in the latest tools and technologies available to businesses. She is an expert in Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, formerly known as Pardot, and has helped countless businesses streamline their marketing processes, automate lead management, and personalize messaging.

What are the benefits of Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (previously known as Pardot) for clients, and how does it aid them in their marketing efforts?

According to Susan, what Marketing Cloud Account Engagement does offer is a connection between the sales and marketing teams by allowing the marketing team to conduct campaigns and the sales team to see the real-time results of these campaigns.

“What it does for clients is it connects the sales team and the marketing team by allowing the marketing team to conduct campaigns and the sales team to see in real-time how those campaigns are performing. It also allows reporting that demonstrates how marketing’s efforts are generating, helping to generate opportunities,” she says.

Susan also mentions that Marketing Cloud Account Engagement has the tightest integration with Salesforce compared to other marketing automation platforms such as Hubspot and Marketo. This tight integration allows for reporting that demonstrates the impact of marketing efforts on generating opportunities.

What is the main purpose or problem that clients or potential clients would use Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud Account Engagement for, and what benefits does it provide for their marketing efforts?

According to Susan, many marketing teams are in need of a solution for sending emails. While most email marketing tools send emails and report on their success, MCAE offers much more. It lets marketers unify various marketing activities from lead generation to communication to reporting all in one tool. It also has forms that collect leads and nurture programs that automatically send emails at specific cadences to re-engage people who may have gone quiet.

“It has the ability to unite the majority of marketing activities from lead generation to communication to reporting under one piece of software. While most email marketing tools send emails and report on their success, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (MCAE) offers much more.  Marketing Cloud Account Engagement has forms that’ll collect leads, it has nurture programs that will allow a program to be built that automatically sends emails at specific cadences to help reengage people who may have gone quiet.” she says.

Susan also mentions that Marketing Cloud Account Engagement  helps busy marketing teams accomplish 90% of what they need to do without having to access multiple pieces of software. This integration with Salesforce also enables the sales team to see the activity of leads, providing a comprehensive view of their engagement.

“I would say the advantages are making it a lot easier for the marketing and sales team to align, giving the marketing team kind of a one-stop shop place to do all that they need to do.”

“I think it really gives the marketing team a seat at the table when we’re talking about company strategy because it allows marketing to demonstrate with data that it’s making a difference, it can tell you exactly how many leads the marketing team brought in. It can show how many opportunities were generated,” said Susan.

“It really empowers the marketing team not only to do their jobs but to prove their value.”

How does your team help clients implement MCAE and what does the process looks like?

When Susan and her team help clients or customers through the implementation process of Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, they start by understanding where the marketing team is and where they want to go. They ask about their pain points and short-term goals, as well as any pressure they might be feeling from leadership or sales. Based on this information, they personalize their approach to provide the specific training and support needed.

“We want to know what their pain points are, we want to know what their short-term goals are. We also want to know what kind of pressure are they feeling from outside, whether it’s from leadership or from sales so we can make sure we structure whatever training we’re going to give them to match what they specifically need,” said Susan.

Susan’s team also provides integration and implementation support, plus takes care of critical tasks, such as email domain configuration, with the IT team. They not only showcase how each feature works, but they also provide real-life examples and suggestions for how to use them effectively.

“We just go through the tool and not only do we showcase how each of the features works, but we also talk through real-life examples of ways we’ve seen it used, and ways we give suggestions about how they might use it. Even though we don’t necessarily plan strategic topics to discuss, we always end up discussing them because as we’re going through, the clients have questions and we’re always open to sharing our experience,” she says.

Having practical experience as a marketer and empathy for the challenges that marketers face, Susan believes that this personal touch makes a huge difference in helping clients buy into Marketing Cloud Account Engagement more quickly. Her team also encourages clients to practice using the platform during the implementation process, providing recordings and documentation for reference.

How do you stay updated on Salesforce changes and what do you do to stay focused and perform at your best?

Susan says the Salesforce and Pardot communities are excellent resources for information and collaboration. Susan frequently participates in online groups on Slack, and partner forums to share knowledge and exchange information with customers and other partners. Additionally, reading blogs keeps her up to date on the latest trends and practices.

“The Salesforce community is an amazing group of people. There are Slack groups and partner groups. There are some amazing blogs. But what’s what I have discovered is in almost any of these places, I can log in and sit for an hour and just watch questions come in, from customers and from other partners and watch everyone in the community jumping in to help. I’ve asked questions and gotten great help. I’ve answered and I’ve contributed as well. And so I think that’s probably how I stay passionate about what I do,” said Susan.

Susan also stays passionate about her work by building rapport with her clients, which she finds to be the most enjoyable aspect of her job. She also appreciates the occasional adrenaline rush that comes from a client asking a question she doesn’t know the answer to, prompting her to dive back into learning and staying up to date on the latest developments.

“To be honest, nothing is more motivating than getting on a call with a client and having them ask you a question that you have no idea about. And so you’re like, ‘Oh yeah, let me just check on that really quick.’ And then you are very motivated. And fortunately, that doesn’t happen very often, but it happens enough. And sometimes I’m glad that it does happen because it is that spark of adrenaline, that momentary panic that reminds me, ‘Hey, stop cruising here. Let’s get back in and figure out other new stuff that you need to be staying on top of,’” said Susan.

It’s the collaboration, community, client relationships, and motivation to stay prepared that keep her happy and engaged.


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