Supporter engagement

Marketing Cloud vs. Marketing Cloud Account Engagement

Rebranding campaigns are a consistent and effective way to continue evolving and developing your products. Sometimes these changes can be sudden, especially for end users that have integrated entire platforms into their mission-critical operations. Rebranding campaigns often indicate that a company intends to innovate and improve its products, encouraging end-users to remain loyal long-term.

For nonprofits that use Salesforce and are looking to rebrand, the Salesforce Marketing Cloud rebrand is here, and we want to lend a helping hand. We’ve done the digging about how the product has changed and would like to share what we’ve learned so you can better understand what this means for your nonprofit, the differences between Marketing Cloud and Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot), how to decide which is best for your organization, and how Fíonta leverages our expertise as a Premium Partner to help.

For nonprofits that seek to optimize their engagement efforts, understanding these products is the best way to make the most of their investments and expand their impact on the communities they serve.

Let’s dive into answering a few essential questions about the Salesforce Marketing Cloud rebrand:

  1. What is Marketing Cloud Engagement?
  2. What is Marketing Cloud Account Engagement?
  3. Which One is Right For You?
  4. How Fíonta Can Help

Whether your nonprofit has been using Salesforce for years or have just recently migrated to it, these questions will help your organization make the most of what your CRM has to offer.

What is Marketing Cloud Engagement?

Marketing Cloud Engagement (most commonly referred to as Marketing Cloud) is well known as a B2C marketing automation platform comprised of multiple modules, creating a single pane of glass for all marketing channels. This allows nonprofits to radically simplify, target, and personalize their messages to stakeholders, members, donors, and other audiences for maximum return on their investment.

Built to support marketing campaigns that leverage more extensive amounts of data, the Marketing Cloud’s product architecture is relatively robust and sits on its own platform apart from the core Salesforce infrastructure, using connectors for integration.

What sets Marketing Cloud apart from other marketing tools is its module structure – Studios is used to manage content, while Builders can manage data and campaign automation. These modules work in tandem across marketing channels for a variety of use cases, such as email marketing, SMS, push notifications, social media marketing, targeted online advertising for current and prospective donors, intensive data management, segmentation, and more. 

How Can Nonprofits Use Marketing Cloud?

Marketing Cloud Engagement is an excellent fit for nonprofits looking to personalize their campaign communication and community experiences.

It utilizes built-in tools like email templates that pull customization straight from Salesforce for Nonprofits and other data sources. The reporting functionalities provide easy-to-use visualizations that consolidate all of your marketing channels’ performance data in one location. These intelligent dashboards allow teams to qualify campaign success and quickly adjust their content or strategy based on the results without needing to dig through individual reports and spreadsheets.

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

  • You value personalization when communicating with supporters and make an effort to include recipients’ names and information relevant to them in your outreach. 
  • You have shorter, more transactional cycles of decision-making. 
  • You have a large amount of data from multiple sources.
  • You need to segment contacts not stored in your core Salesforce platform.
  • You have the in-house technical resources ready or available to be trained or the capacity to hire a Marking Cloud consultant. Due to its robust functionality, organizations can realize a maximized ROI by dedicating resources to maintaining the Marketing Cloud instance and support customization. 
  • You utilize multiple forms of external communication like SMS messaging or social media for development and engagement. 

What is Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot)?

Partially on the core Salesforce infrastructure and partially on its own infrastructure, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (MCAE) maintains close proximity and integration with your CRM. This can dynamically unify development, membership, marketing teams, and other groups that engage with stakeholders. And that’s no small feat.

MCAE thrives best for B2B use cases and “considered purchases” (more decision makers, longer sales cycles, etc.). Regarding B2B marketing, nonprofits and associations need not be deterred by that classification. With a broad and diverse audience of donors, members, volunteers, board members, sponsors, and advocates, nonprofits can leverage MCAE to launch a successful fundraising campaign due to its functionalities, such as:

  • Automatic segmentation of databases that monitor prospect behavior represented in your CRM.
  • Optimized collaboration with sales teams through connection to Salesforce object and data sync.
  • Improved lead generation and qualification, expanded email nurture campaigns, relevant content and webinar marketing, and scaling account-based marketing (ABM). 
  • “Citizen Developer” Model doesn’t require coding but can benefit from a specialist to ensure the tool is designed for specific and relevant use cases.

Why Did Pardot’s Name Change? 

With this rebranding, Salesforce decided to rename a well-known suite of products in order to see those products from the customer’s point of view. They know everything about these tools – they built them. But customers don’t, and purchasing software often is an opaque, resource-intensive process.

Most of us have sat through software demos, trying to find a solution that will bridge the gap for teams that work hard and need more resources. Skipping over a demo or an email because the product’s name doesn’t sound relevant to your needs might be detrimental to your company. To ensure its solution won’t be passed over due to its name, 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 with Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (MCAE) under the same product suite, MCAE continues to operate a purposefully independent product architecture. You’ll notice that the MCAE logo is still that of Pardot, and the App name has not changed yet within Salesforce.

Product differentiation is based on more than each solution’s functionality. Rather, it begins with intentional architecture – in the resource locations and infrastructure designs. Because MCAE focuses on unifying sales and marketing and sources considerably less data than Marketing Cloud Engagement, MCAE has the flexibility to exist partially on its own architecture and partially on the core Salesforce platform, achieving the goal of being more closely unified with your CRM. 

How Can Nonprofits use Marketing Cloud Account Engagement?

For nonprofits, MCAE has proven to be a successful marketing automation tool for organizations already established in Salesforce and those just starting. Because the infrastructure design is separate from Marketing Cloud, MCAE simplifies marketing strategies by: 

  • Providing visibility to data in many locations, improving cross-departmental collaboration opportunities, and rupturing information silos.
  • Qualifying and quantifying converted leads, enabling sales teams to foster better relationships with donors and support more effective donor journeys.
  • Alleviating intensive workloads from long engagement cycles for smaller teams by automating and customizing campaigns based on donor or volunteer engagement data. 
  • Transforming stagnant user behavior data from the CRM into data that can be used to make sales and marketing decisions.

Which One is Right For You?

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

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

  • Considered primarily for B2C marketing with shorter transactional decision-making cycles.
  • Consolidate 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.
  • Prioritizes segmenting contacts, especially from datasets outside Salesforce.

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

  • Unifies many departments like sales, development, membership, and marketing, providing more impactful engagement and retention.
  • Built for B2B marketing with longer decision-making cycles.
  • Scales marketing campaigns and utilizes insights from reports on prospect engagement and behavior.

How Fíonta Can 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 any of their specific needs. 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.