How it really works: shortcomings and limitations you should be aware of

Since the Salesforce acquisition of ExactTarget and Pardot in June 2013 there has been little improvement to how Pardot reads and uses a lot of your existing Salesforce data. Just because Pardot is a tab in your Salesforce Sales Cloud it doesn’t mean all data is coming over to be used in marketing automation, you still have to manage a separate database.

At Macromator Marketing Operations (MOps) Agency we are dedicated to help our clients succeed with B2B marketing so it’s our duty to look up for their best interests. We work with Pardot customers world wide, so wanted to share how the Salesforce and Pardot Integration actually works.

Here is what you need to know:

Pardot synchs with Leads, Contacts, Accounts and Opportunities from your Salesforce Sales Cloud

Pardot Salesforce
  • Prospects
  • Leads
  • Contacts
  • Accounts
  • Accounts
  • Opportunities
  • Opportunities


Here is what you need to be aware of:

Salesforce Custom Fields need to be manually mapped

Why is this important? Here is a common use case: Lets say you focus on different verticals and you want to create a Vertical (vertical__c) picklist with the values Financial Services, Manufacturing and Software Development. You’ll need to do double the work in both systems and make sure they match.

Every time you need to create a new field in SFDC, you’ll need to do the exact same thing in Pardot and make sure it matches. This is called mapping custom fields.

Salesforce Custom Fields values do not synch right away

Why is this important? Lets say you want to email everyone who is in your Financial Services vertical. That means that first time you’ll have to manually export the field values from Salesforce and import into Pardot to be able to use the values and email people accordingly. Alternatively you can also have a field value change in Salesforce which will trigger the value to come over to Pardot. This requires a gain a manual process and its very prompt to human error.

Once you do the mapping, Pardot will read the field but not the actually values of the data. Basically, it will know that you use a Vertical, but won’t know who is in what vertical until you synch the data.


Pardot Campaigns are not Salesforce Campaigns

Same name, different stories. Pardot Campaigns are an original source for your leads generated by forms or list imports. If you are using Salesforce Campaigns you will have to have an extra step to add Campaign Members.

Why is this important? As of September 2017, it can be quire confusing to wrap your head around these campaigns and it will make your reporting a bit challenging. Salesforce Campaigns can be used for multi-touch attribution, while a Pardot Campaign can only be used for first-touch attribution.

This is something which might be solved with the upcoming releases announced at Dreamforce 2017, but is yet to be seen how it really works.

Salesforce Users are not also Pardot users

Why is this important? If you want to launch a personalized email campaign from the respective sales rep owner, you will have manage the ownership of your records separately in Pardot. This can cause a whole lot of trouble to keep everyone’s ownership consistent between the two and you’re very prompt to manual errors.

In Salesforce your Leads, Contacts and Accounts must have an owner, who is usually someone in sales working on that prospect or client. Pardot is not able to recognize who owns that record.


Pardot Lead-to-Account fields are not merged

Fields that map over from Lead to Contact at conversion are recognized as two different fields in Pardot. You need to check how they connect with Salesforce in two different places. Prospect and Account fields are managed differently in Pardot.

Why is this important? Let say you use the Vertical Field described above. If you want to build a Dynamic List to capture prospects who are in Financial Service, you will have to use both fields. This can be very easily overlooked and you might be missing a lot of people in your campaign.


These are all on our wish list for Santa this Holiday Season to have the Salesforce and Pardot integration improved, but seems like a long shot. We look forward to your thoughts and experiences with Pardot and Salesforce. Email us at

Dan Radu is a Certified Pardot Consultant who helps companies get better results from their Pardot marketing automation system. His passion for better B2B sales and marketing is the core foundation for the consulting practice.

Dan Radu, Certified Pardot Consultant on Macromator.