Supporter engagement

Marketing Cloud vs. Marketing Cloud Account Engagement

Rebranding campaigns allow companies to consistently evolve their products, showing that the business intends to innovate and improve over time. However, these changes can be sudden for users who have integrated entire platforms into their mission-critical operations.

With the Salesforce Marketing Cloud rebrand now in effect, we want to lend a helping hand to nonprofits that use Salesforce. Our experts at Fíonta have done the digging and would like to share our insights. We aim to help you understand what these changes mean for your nonprofit, the differences between Marketing Cloud and Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot), and how to decide which is best for your organization.

Let’s answer a few essential questions about the Salesforce Marketing Cloud rebrand:

  1. What is Marketing Cloud Engagement?
  2. What is Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot)?
  3. What are the key differences?
  4. How can Fíonta help?

For nonprofits seeking to optimize their engagement efforts, understanding these products is the best way to make the most of their investments and expand their impact on their communities. Whether your nonprofit has been using Salesforce for years or has recently migrated to it, these questions will help your organization make the most of your CRM.

What is Marketing Cloud Engagement?

Marketing Cloud Engagement (often referred to as Marketing Cloud) is a business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing automation platform comprising multiple modules, creating a unified interface. This allows nonprofits to simplify, target, and personalize messages to stakeholders, members, donors, and other audiences for maximum return on their investment.

Built to support marketing campaigns that leverage large data volumes, the Marketing Cloud’s robust product architecture sits on its own platform apart from the core Salesforce infrastructure, using connectors (e.g., Marketing Cloud Connect) for integration.

What differentiates Marketing Cloud from other marketing tools is its module structure:

  • Studios: Used to manage content and marketing channels (e.g., Web Studio, Mobile Studio, etc.)
  • Builders: can manage data and campaign automation. 

These modules work in tandem across marketing channels for various use cases, such as 

email marketing, SMS, push notifications, targeted online advertising, intensive data management, and more.

How can nonprofits use Marketing Cloud?

Nonprofits looking to personalize their campaign communication and community experiences should consider Marketing Cloud Engagement as an option.

This platform features built-in tools like email templates that automatically pull customization straight from Salesforce for Nonprofits and other data sources. The reporting functionalities provide visualizations that consolidate your marketing channels’ performance data in one location. These dashboards allow teams to qualify campaign success and adjust content or strategy based on the results.

Here are a few quick ways to determine whether Marketing Cloud Engagement is right for your team:

  • You value personalization when communicating with supporters (for example, including recipients’ names and information relevant to them in your outreach). 
  • You have shorter, more transactional cycles of decision-making. 
  • You have large amounts of data from multiple sources.
  • You need to segment contacts not stored in your core Salesforce platform.
  • You either have the in-house technical resources available to be trained or the capacity to hire a Marketing Cloud consultant. 

Another important consideration is your nonprofit’s budget. Marketing Cloud is priced higher than Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot), and the extensive training and support required can be costly.

What is Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot)?

Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (MCAE) maintains close proximity and integration with your CRM. This platform is partially on the core Salesforce infrastructure and partially on its own infrastructure, allowing it to dynamically unify development, membership, marketing teams, and other groups that engage with stakeholders.

MCAE thrives best for business-to-business (B2B) use cases and “considered purchases” which typically involve more decision-makers and longer sales cycles. Nonprofits and associations need not be deterred by the B2B classification, however. With a broad and diverse audience of donors, members, volunteers, and more, nonprofits can leverage MCAE to launch successful fundraising campaigns using functionalities such as

  • Databases that monitor prospect behavior represented in your CRM and automatically segment audiences.
  • Connection to Salesforce objects and data sync that optimizes collaboration with fundraising teams.
  • Improved lead generation and qualification, expanded email nurture campaigns, relevant content and webinar marketing, and scaling account-based marketing (ABM). 
  • The “Citizen Developer” Model, which doesn’t require coding but can benefit from a specialist to ensure the tool is designed for specific, relevant use cases.

MCAE is designed to focus on lead generation and nurturing, allowing nonprofits to automate outreach and follow-up and create targeted campaigns. 

Why did Pardot’s name change?

With this rebrand, Salesforce decided to rename a well-known suite of products to streamline the process of purchasing software for customers. They know everything about these tools—they built them. But customers don’t, and purchasing software is often an opaque, resource-intensive process.

To close gaps in customer knowledge of its products, Salesforce has rebranded and continues the pursuit of a better, more consistent experience for all its customers, current and future.  

Is Marketing Cloud Account Engagement part of Marketing Cloud?

Although the new rebrand unifies Marketing Cloud and Marketing Cloud Account Engagement under the same product suite, MCAE continues to operate a purposefully independent product architecture. 

This product differentiation is based on more than each solution’s functionality. It begins with intentional architecture in the resource locations and infrastructure designs. MCAE focuses on unifying sales and marketing, and it sources considerably less data than Marketing Cloud Engagement. As a result, MCAE has the flexibility to exist partially on its own architecture and partially on the core Salesforce platform to be closely unified with your CRM. 

How can nonprofits use Marketing Cloud Account Engagement?

For nonprofits, MCAE has proven to be an excellent marketing automation tool suited to organizations already established in Salesforce and those just starting. 

Because the infrastructure design is separate from Marketing Cloud, MCAE simplifies marketing strategies by 

  • Automatically pulling CRM data to create personalized donor experiences.
  • Improving the visibility of data in many locations, increasing cross-departmental collaboration opportunities, and rupturing information silos.
  • Qualifying and quantifying converted leads, enabling teams to foster better relationships with donors and support donor journeys.
  • Alleviating intensive workloads from long engagement cycles for smaller teams by automating and customizing campaigns. 
  • Transforming stagnant user behavior data from the CRM into data that can be used to make sales and marketing decisions.
  • Leveraging artificial intelligence to pinpoint ideal prospects, time asks, and more.

By using MCAE, nonprofits can identify promising leads and follow through with personalized communications powered by data-back automation. With robust analytics tools, your organization can measure marketing efforts’ success and return on investment.

What are the key differences?

To recap, a few classifications can guide your decision-making process if you’re interested in marketing automation. 

The differences and similarities between Marketing Cloud and Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (explained in the text below).

Marketing Cloud is a marketing automation tool composed of customizable modules.

  • Considered primarily for B2C marketing with shorter transactional decision-making cycles.
  • Relies on connectors to Salesforce because it is built on its own platform. 
  • Consolidates large amounts of data representing your target audience’s behavior, pulling from all marketing channels to adjust and improve marketing campaigns.
  • Requires a larger budget and capacity to invest in training or hiring a Marketing Cloud consultant.

Marketing Cloud Account Engagement is an “Out of the Box” marketing automation tool. 

  • Built for B2B marketing with longer decision-making cycles.
  • Is closely unified with the Salesforce CRM because it exists partially on the core Salesforce platform.
  • Can be configured easily by end users. 
  • Unifies many departments like sales, development, membership, and marketing, providing more impactful engagement and retention.
  • Requires smaller investments of time and budget.
  • Scales marketing campaigns and utilizes insights from reports on prospect engagement and behavior.

Consider working with an expert to take full advantage of MCAE’s features. Fíonta empowers organizations using MCAE to make a greater impact and further their missions by optimizing marketing efforts.

How can Fíonta help?

Just as we encourage our employees to innovate proactively, we strive to empower our clients with the flexibility to bend products to fit their needs to avoid compromising on any of their specific requirements. As a trusted Premium Partner, we follow this methodology to help organizations with their daily marketing transformations. 

Fíonta is ready to help you build a foundation for sustained growth and excellence beyond your wildest sales and marketing (unified) dreams.