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Pardot, providers of cloud marketing automation software for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB), announced the latest release of their cloud-based marketing automation platform. The Spring 2011 update focuses on offering more flexibility and holistic integration for customer relationship management to make SMB marketers more efficient.

Pardot's latest release strives to streamline SMB marketing and sales processes and provide and integrated view on prospect activity between marketing automation and CRM to provide better user insight at a price that works for small and medium sized businesses.

Pardot gained popularity for its intuitive drag-and-drop interface, its sophisticated lead generation and tracking capabilities, and its level of integration with most popular CRM systems. New features added to the Spring 2011 release will help users further consolidate marketing and sales activity. The solution is also cloud-based, which means that smaller customers get a highly scalable solution that works out of the box with no need to manage the software locally.

Pardot already allowed integration with major systems such as NetSuite, Microsoft, Salesforce and SugarCRM. Spring 2011 enhancements include automatic data synching between CRM partners. New flexible data synchronization gives marketers more control over data field mapping between Pardot and CRM; this will be attractive for organizations that have customized their CRM implementations.

New account synching features helps marketers gather lead generation activity data in one place, making lead data and activity tracking easier for small and medium-sized business owners.

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Pardot CRM integration

The latest enhancements to the cloud-based platform also include:

  • a new tagging feature, enabling users to organize, filter and find information by keyword similar to how most blogs work
  • Gmail plugins allow deeper integration with Google and Google Apps, which adds to existing racked messaging via Apple Mail, Thunderbird and Outlook
  • more automation of lead nurturing activities also known as drip marketing
  • improved lead nurturing reporting -- Pardot automatically calculates ongoing results of the nurturing program, so that users don’t have to do any report creation

A full list of features is available on Pardot's site.

Despite these enhancements, Pardot wants to keep pricing affordable for small and medium-sized businesses by starting at no-obligation plans around US$ 500 per month.