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What You Need to Know Before Enabling Connected Campaigns

By: Kirsten Kippen

This is the second post in an occasional series where we’ll be shedding light on various aspects of Campaigns, from Campaign Hierarchies to Connected Campaigns and Campaign Influence. Have a burning campaign question? Tweet us and maybe we’ll write about it!

When we last spoke about campaigns, I urged you to think about Campaign hierarchy as a first step toward organizing your data in a way that will make reporting easier.

We reviewed how Campaigns are defined in Salesforce and Pardot, how to think about parent-child hierarchies, and consider Campaign record types as a way to isolate campaigns that you connect to Pardot efforts.

These were all worthy efforts even if you are just using Salesforce by itself, but they really become an important building block when you start preparing to enable Connected Campaigns between Pardot and Salesforce.


Wait, what is Connected Campaigns again?

First, let’s define Connected Campaigns. In our previous post, we talked about how confusing it can be for a marketer to have a different definition of Campaign between Pardot and Salesforce. Connected Campaigns was introduced in 2019 as a feature that can help you report on marketing ROI. While it is now turned on by default for new Pardot clients since the winter 2020 release, it still requires significant thought and organization if you have legacy Salesforce campaign data.

Connected Campaigns itself is not a flashy ROI report or dashboard; it is a concept that exists in the background of everything you do in Pardot that when set up correctly can help you report better. 


Why do I want Connected Campaigns?

Here is my personal short list:

  1. It is your key to showing Pardot’s value to the rest of your organization.
  2. Because it’s really confusing to have two different campaign definitions. 
  3. Also, increasingly you will find that the cool things you want to do in Pardot require Connected Campaigns as a prerequisite.

A short list of things that you need Connected Campaigns for includes:

  • Webinar integration (such as Zoom for Pardot plugin)
  • Campaign influence/attribution reporting (aka showing your impact)
  • Engagement History reports
  • B2BMA reports
  • Einstein Pardot components
  • Any meaningful cross-departmental conversations about Pardot


What do I need to do before enabling Connected Campaigns?

There are extensive posts detailing how you can approach cleanup if you do have significant legacy campaigns in either Salesforce or Pardot, so I will not get into that here. But there are four key areas that are worth putting some thought into before you pull the trigger:

Campaign record types

This is necessary if you don’t want to sync every campaign from Salesforce. You can choose something like “Digital: Pardot Sync” for record type or multiple record types like Email, Event, etc. I’m a fan of keeping this simple and using Event for all types of events such as Webinar, unless there’s a good reason that won’t work for your organization. 

Campaign parent-child hierarchies 

This is optional but nice for creating clean reports. We reviewed this in our last post so I won’t get into it here except to remind you of the beauty of a good naming convention such as Category_Name_date (Webinar_Building stronger economies_04202020).

Campaign member statuses 

These can be customized per type/channel: for emails, you might consider statuses Open, Clicked; for webinars/events: Registered, Attended. A common request is for each Campaign Record Type to have the same Campaign Member Statuses so that you don’t have to clone each time. At this time this is not a native feature but can be facilitated by the app AAkonsult Campaign Status (don’t be scared by the Australian price, it is worth every penny!)

If you want to report on the results of each email, you can set up completion actions to change campaign member status for every email.

Opportunity Contact Roles 

Remember, Pardot is based on engagement with individual prospects. Therefore, these prospects have to be connected to Opportunities in order to get good reporting. Contact Roles are your way to do this: they are required to automatically associate campaigns with Opportunities. Opportunity Contact Roles will pave the way for campaign influence reporting later. Don’t neglect them. Here are 4 ways to make this happen courtesy of Sercante.


Final thoughts

This probably sounds like a lot of work, and it is. But it is the kind of hard work that is deeply satisfying when you get it right, kind of like weeding dandelions in the spring before they all turn into puffs that repopulate your entire neighborhood. If you want to show your marketing team’s ROI, there is no better fundamental step than cleaning up your campaigns and enabling Connected Campaigns.


For help bringing your marketing strategy to life with Pardot, talk to a consultant.

Talk to a Consultant

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