Breaking Down Marketing Automation: HubSpot vs. Pardot

Posted by Mandy Bly on Tue, Nov 01, 2016



As the digital landscape expands, more and more small to medium-sized businesses are utilizing marketing automation tools to take their sales process to the next level. Most often it seems that companies this size narrow their choices down to competitors HubSpot and Salesforce’s Pardot. Sarah Campagna of Launch Team, a HubSpot Partner, met with One Down Consulting’s Sarah Holland, an avid Salesforce and Pardot user. The two break down both tools’ offerings and share tips to consider for integrating marketing automation into your sales process for 2017.



Sarah Campagna: Launch Team works on the marketing side, creating and executing a strategy, as well as leveraging content. We work with those in high tech, both startups and smaller companies. HubSpot is a marketing automation platform we use for our own team and our clients. Pardot is one of the other options our clients have looked into before they decided to begin using HubSpot. They do their research and are familiar with both as viable tools.

Sarah Holland: I work more on the sales consulting side of things. For the small- to medium-sized companies we work with, both HubSpot and Pardot are on their initial list and after researching they often end up in their final two. Since One Down Consulting typically deals with people who have Salesforce, it’s natural for them to think about Pardot over HubSpot. However, both tools are great and HubSpot would still be a smart choice for a smaller company looking to get into marketing automation.


Markets Served

Sarah Campagna: We primarily use HubSpot for our B2B clients, but it works well for both B2B and B2C. This is because the inbound methodology is the crux of their whole system. Inbound marketing works well for B2B through building thought leadership and having a lead nurture process. It also works well for B2C if there is a longer sales cycle and research process for customers.

Sarah Holland: Pardot is B2B all the way and is laser-focused on the sales pipeline and growth. They don’t try to cater to everyone, which is different from HubSpot whose customers are across a wide array of industries in both B2B and B2C.


Connectivity with Salesforce

Sarah Holland: Salesforce acquired Pardot in 2013, so Pardot was not originally built on Salesforce. As a sales consultant and marketer though, it met my needs for connectivity. I can create tasks, see marketing data for prospects, and have an overall greater sales alignment. This connectivity makes things much more seamless and integrated than without.

Sarah Campagna: HubSpot does have Salesforce integration as well, which is a priority since many of their customers are using Salesforce too. I think HubSpot has done a great job in keeping up with Salesforce as it changes.


Product Support

Sarah Campagna: In my own research, level of service is an important factor in comparing HubSpot versus Pardot. With HubSpot, product support is my favorite resource because I have a phone number to call any time. This is included for all levels—even our clients on HubSpot Basic can get the same support. Unless you’re on Pardot Ultimate, you cannot get 1-1 phone support. HubSpot has a library of resources as well, but I do prefer to talk through problems on the phone with someone. It all depends on how you like to learn and receive info.

Sarah Holland: Pardot’s product support varies based on level. For Pardot Standard, the client will log a ticket and then will receive an email with the information on how to fix their problem. For Pardot Pro, the client will log a ticket and then will have access to chat support to have real time troubleshooting. For Pardot Ultimate, the client will log a ticket and then will get a phone call from the support team. Response time for all levels is within 48 hours. What I like about Pardot especially is their amazing resource library. They have technical papers, videos, webinars, FAQs, and live training sessions. Using their resources has answered any of my questions in the past.


Data Cleanliness for Your Contact Database

Sarah Holland: One Down certainly emphasizes the importance of data cleanliness and segmentation, in terms of contacts. This all relates to the next step of inbound in developing and promoting content. Creating a content plan requires a clean contact database and strategic plan for utilizing your contacts. You won’t have one without the other.

Sarah Campagna: Cleaning up your data, in terms of contacts, is definitely something we stress the importance of to our clients as well. As mentioned, a plan for developing content is essential to your sales process. We’ve seen people not develop their content in time, and then they aren’t getting their money’s worth for the marketing automation tool they have purchased.

Sarah Holland: It really comes down to readiness. There’s a misperception that marketing automation can replace a marketing person. To execute a marketing campaign using automation tools you need an internal staff or to hire outside help, or else there’s no point in buying a marketing automation tool. Readiness is key.


If you’re thinking about moving toward marketing automation, download our Marketing Automation Readiness Tip Sheet.

Download Tip Sheet



Sarah Holland: I think choosing what level to purchase in HubSpot or Pardot comes down to contact database size, but in different ways. With HubSpot, each level allows you to have a certain number of contacts in your CRM, and then you pay a fee for each additional 1,000 contacts. In choosing a HubSpot level, you should consider how many contacts you currently have. With Pardot, it’s simple. No matter the level, you get 10,000 contacts. In choosing a Pardot level, you should consider what types of contacts you have and what your growth is going to look like.

With Pardot Pro ($2,000/month vs. Standard $1,000/month), some benefits are Google AdWords integration, advanced dynamic content, AB testing, advanced email analytics, and social media profiles. Something that stands out, though, is the multiple scoring categories you can create—this is where you can assign scores to a specific product line or service. With Pardot, they’re moving to help medium-sized companies at the complex end of business and aren’t targeting companies without a growth plan. Pardot Pro is the right choice for all that it offers and has been the most popular choice of our clients.

Sarah Campagna: Even though Pardot is the more expensive option, we see small- to medium-sized businesses prefer both tools and make it work. HubSpot Basic is only $200/month and Pro is $800/month. HubSpot’s pricing is lower than its competitors, but you have to look at what you’re getting for each level, especially between Basic and Pro.

With Basic you get 100 contacts on HubSpot and pay for each additional 1,000 contacts. However, the automation functionality isn’t included, so you would have to manually set up each workflow and correlate them with lists and contact properties for each campaign. The low entry price is quickly off set by the staff time required to manage this type of account. Basic is not a good choice for you if you’re seeking Salesforce integration, lead scoring, and marketing automation. That’s why we recommend HubSpot Pro.


Onboarding and Partner Programs

Sarah Campagna: Since Launch Team is a HubSpot Partner, our clients don’t have any onboarding fees because we handle it for them. Our clients have to consider what their ongoing needs will be and what their partner can provide. Launch Team provides ongoing support as an outsourced marketing team by creating a marketing roadmap and executing marketing strategies.

Sarah Holland: Pardot does have a partner network and implementation program, so onboarding fees do depend on what partner the client chooses and what type of implementation package they go with. One Down focuses more on the technical side through implementation, business processes, and sales process consulting. The big thing with marketing automation is what happens with the leads after you score them, so we work to help our clients map the Salesforce technology with Pardot.


Readiness really is key. If you’re thinking about moving towards marketing automation, download our Marketing Automation Readiness Tip Sheet.

Download Tip Sheet


Comparison of HubSpot versus Pardot by Gartner

For a more in-depth comparison of HubSpot and Pardot as well as other marketing automation platforms, you can purchase and download Gartner’s September 2016 Study “Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management.”

magic quadrant.png

Source: Gartner (September 2016)






  • Functionality
  • Partners
  • Ease of use and value
  • Growth potential
  • Complementary applications
  • Product improvements and ease of use


  • Focus on small businesses
  • Limited predictive lead capability
  • Missing integrations
  • Limited advanced functionality
  • Lightning and wave
  • Non-Salesforce CRM customer support

Source: Gartner (September 2016)


To discuss your questions about sales and marketing consulting or technology implementation, send us a message or call 585.256.1640.


Topics: Inbound Marketing, Marketing Strategy, HubSpot