Preloader Image
red orange rose with green stem on white background

Goodbye Pardot, Hello Marketing Cloud Account Engagement

By: Kirsten Kippen

Were you at the recent Salesforce World Tour in Sydney last week? If not, you can be forgiven for missing the quiet announcement that Pardot was rebranded to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. Perhaps you happened across this while scrolling Twitter, or looking for a blog post that has been moved. Perhaps this is the first you are hearing of this change. 

In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare wrote “What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet” implying that family names (and the family feuds beneath them) are meaningless in the face of love. 

The Marketing Cloud and Pardot families are not (usually) generational rivals like the Montagues and Capulets, but many marketers do have their loyalties to one or the other. If you are feeling startled by the name change, we are here to help you separate fact from fiction.

Fact: a collection of Salesforce marketing products were all just renamed

Here are the recent name changes: 

  • Messaging/Journeys/ → Marketing Cloud Engagement
  • Interaction Studio → Marketing Cloud Personalization
  • Datorama → Marketing Cloud Intelligence
  • Salesforce CDP → Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform
  • Advertising Studio → Marketing Cloud Advertising
  • Pardot → Marketing Cloud Account Engagement

Salesforce has said that this shift is in the name of making things “easier”, but it is also creating a fair bit of confusion. However, I share Tom Ryan’s belief that once the dust settles, marketers and sales reps will be empowered by the fact that one Salesforce solution can be an umbrella for a broad range of products. It may become easier for former Pardot users to pair with Advertising solutions, for example. 

Fact: there are no immediate product changes associated with the name change.

If you are a current Pardot customer, you likely haven’t noticed any changes in functionality, and the app is still called Pardot. According to Salesforce’s official release, “Later this year, updates will then begin through the products, Help and Training, Customer Success, Support, and external certifications. It’s important to know that there are no immediate changes to login access, URLs, or other infrastructure considerations you might have.”

Fiction: Pardot will be sunsetted

I firmly believe this is not the case based on the aggressive feature releases we have seen with Pardot recently, but it may become more difficult to tell which Marketing Cloud product is best suited for your organization. There are 10+ products included in Marketing Cloud, including Marketing Cloud for Nonprofits and Account Engagement. One Marketing Cloud client might be a mid-sized nonprofit and another may be a multi-national corporation; they will use vastly different solutions and approaches to Marketing Cloud products. There is room for all of these clients, and the need for a broad suite of products and consultants to support them.

Fiction: this change means tighter integration with Accounts

This is the stickiest area of this name change in my view: Pardot does not have great integration with Accounts. As Lucy Mazalon of The Drip put it, “Account Engagement” is puzzling to those who understand how the Pardot-Salesforce connector data sync works. Pardot works mainly with the Lead/Contact objects (a bi-directional create/update between Salesforce and Pardot), whereas the Account object is read-only.” Furthermore, there is no public-facing roadmap around Account Based Management (ABM) developments. I also share Mazalon’s concern that the Account focus leaves nonprofits (who typically focus more on Households) behind. However, Pardot has historically been much closer to Sales Cloud architecture than Marketing Cloud has been, and this bodes well for its future.

So, where does this leave us? We will likely go through a period of “Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, the product formerly known as Pardot” that will leave us all a bit more tired than usual. Try not to take it all too seriously; if you are trying to envision a way to remember the new acronym MCAE, I recommend channeling Mr. Mackey of South Park. If you are evaluating these products right now, ask lots of questions and recognize that some salespeople and recruiters are still catching up with the name changes. But the bottom line is that curious marketers who remain dedicated to the pursuit of matching the best strategy with the best products will always find creative solutions on the Salesforce platform.


Looking for tips on how to master Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (powered by Pardot)? Check out our blog resources.

Newsletter Earth

Subscribe to our newsletter

Where progressive organizations get inspired

Join thousands just like you to receive a monthly dose of user adoption tips, innovation, and industry trends.