At Dreamforce 2012 we caught up with Zach Bailey, VP of Product Engineering at Pardot. This interview was conducted before the public announcement that ExactTarget had purchased Pardot for $95 million:
Some of our competitors go after the Fortune 500 and we are more interested in small to medium businesses. We really go after anyone with a marketing team that wants to do more with less. They are strapped for time, strapped for budget, and we provide value to help them be more efficient, help them be more effective, and show them where they can improve as well.
As far as competitors, Hubspot is starting to come into our space a little more. Initially they focused more on top of the funnel (SEO, SEM, blogging) where as we focus on the middle of the funnel. Sometimes we run up against Act-On but really a lot of the deals we are in are not competitive. The space is very new and the tools we are displacing are things like email marketing tools like Constant Contact or MailChimp. Companies are looking to do more than just email marketing and tie together the existing tools they are using into a single platform.
A lot of what we are focusing on is continuing our platform vision. In the past 6 months we have done integrations with leading webinar providers like ReadyTalk, WebEx, and GoToWebinar. We are doing offline events with Eventbright. We are working on an integration with Wistia which is a B2B video provider and we are going to do an integration with YouTube. It goes back to marketers have so many tools they feel like they have to manage and we want to help them get that into one place and report on it all in one place. We want them to be able to show the value of all those tools that they are using to the C-level executives so that they can justify their budgets, justify hiring more people, and justify the growth.
Content marketing is huge right now and we are taking a look at how we can make the content management experience a lot better. We have a new landing page builder that launched recently and we launched a new email editor and campaign management tools earlier this year. We are continuing to refine and add more depth to those content features as well.
Our biggest strengths are providing value of time and money for the marketing team that is using our product. When you look at a tools like Marketo or even Act-On, a lot of what we are hearing is that you need to bring on an expert and go through a lengthy implementation process to get the most out of the tool. We focus on our Solutions Team to be like a member of your marketing team and help you get the tool set up in 2 – 4 weeks. We want them to teach you how to use the tool, teach you how to get the most out of it and hand it off to you. We are not interested in lengthy client services engagements. We really want people to get up and running with the tool as quickly as possible.
The Salesforce Marketing Cloud is interesting. Salesforce is focusing on the social side. They want to go after larger enterprises that are going social and that makes sense. On the B2B side we are seeing a slight lag in that people are still trying to marry social and B2B. I think that where this is all headed is there is definitely going to be a convergence and consolidation in the marketing automation space. Luckily we are in a great spot to take advantage of that in that we are one of the top 3 vendors. We are excited what the future holds.