HubSpot vs. Pardot: which marketing automation software is best in 2020?

hubspot vs salesforce pardot

As a marketer in 2020, automation plays a pivotal part in future-proofing your processes and accessing higher results from your marketing strategy.

79% of top-performing companies have been using marketing automation for three or more years, and for good reason – if you want to boost productivity and scale up your marketing performance, it's a must-have.

However, choosing the best automation platform for your business can take some research.

To make the decision process easier, here's our head-to-head comparison of Hubspot vs. Pardot – two of the world’s leading marketing automation software providers – to help you choose the best platform for your business.

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Introducing Hubspot and Pardot

HubSpot’s 24.91% market share dominates the industry, while Pardot makes up an estimated 4.09% of the automation market.

To compare HubSpot vs. Pardot in just one sentence, HubSpot is a fantastic automation choice for growing small-medium businesses, while Pardot caters to the upper echelon of B2B enterprises.

Both Pardot and HubSpot are stand-out choices for different teams and company sizes, and each one provides unique benefits and game-changing features for your business.


Introducing HubSpot

HubSpot is best known for its free customer relationship management (CRM) platform that's a top choice for growing businesses, but it also provides extremely popular automation functionality that caters to all business types.

One of the key benefits of choosing HubSpot is its scalability. You can start using the CRM for free and upgrade to their Sales, Marketing and CRM Hubs – offered at various price points – as your business grows.

feature comparison hubspot


Introducing Pardot

Pardot, meanwhile, is a Salesforce product that connects seamlessly with their CRM and other products.

Pardot is a fantastic B2B tool that offers one of the most potent marketing automation systems on the market – although this does come at the expense of simplicity.

If you're already using apps in the Salesforce universe, this a great reason to choose Pardot. (However, Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud do include some automation functionality of their own, so take care not to create overlaps.)

choosing pardot


Read on for our comparison of HubSpot vs. Pardot to gain a better insight into which marketing automation software is the best fit for your business.

When to choose HubSpot

1. You're more budget-conscious

HubSpot tends to be the better choice if you are on a tighter budget, although automation functionality still starts at $800/month billed annually (as part of the Professional Marketing Hub). This compares to Pardot's starting price point of $1,250/month for another strong tool.

HubSpot offers its free CRM plus other sales and marketing features to get you up and running before upgrading to more advanced features such as marketing automation.

hubspot marketing hub pricing


2. You want an all-in-one inbound marketing solution

For marketers seeking ease and effectiveness, HubSpot offers powerful all-in-one inbound marketing software with a huge feature set including lead management, analytics, email campaigns, social media management, and a website CMS as an add-on.

With HubSpot's Sales and Support Hubs, the platform also offers strong functionality for other departments in your business and makes it simple to seamlessly connect that data to the Marketing Hub.


3. You want to get set up quickly

Because advanced marketing automation software can come with a steep learning curve, choosing a platform that matches your business's tech capacity, resources and goals is essential.

When comparing HubSpot versus Pardot on simplicity and ease of set up, there isn't really any competition.

While Pardot thrives on complexity, HubSpot CRM caters for even the smallest of businesses. Even though automation isn't available at an accessible price point for very small businesses, the functionality is absolutely built with simplicity and ease of use in mind.

As is the case with other core features in HubSpot, the marketing automation workflow builder has a very low barrier to entry and it doesn't take long to set it up and let results start rolling in.

Comparatively, as with many other Salesforce products with seemingly infinite features and potential, Pardot does require more time and training to get to grips with all of the ins-and-outs of the system.

When to choose Pardot

1. You have a larger business and budget

With a starting price of $1,250/month and advanced automation functionality, Pardot is absolutely an enterprise-level platform.

Pardot excels when used by larger B2B businesses that need a highly customizable automation solution, including in-depth reporting and integrations to other apps.

pardot pricing comparison

Pardot is also especially powerful for B2B account-based marketing and selling. If your business is B2C, Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud tends to be a better choice for B2C marketing and automation.


2. Complexity sounds good to you

Not every business wants simplicity. If you're looking for an automation platform that enables a high level of customization and a huge range of rules, triggers and actions in your workflows, you'll likely love Pardot.

While you can think of HubSpot as a very reliable car that performs well at low and high speeds, Pardot is a rocket ship. While that rocket ship comes with an instruction manual, you've still got to work out how to drive it.


3. You're using other Salesforce products

If you know and love other Salesforce products, this is absolutely a good enough reason to look closer at Pardot. As some other Salesforce products offer automation tools, check out our comparison of Pardot vs. Marketing Cloud for a more in-depth look at the difference between them.

Feature comparison of Pardot vs. HubSpot

Struggling to differentiate HubSpot vs. Pardot and choose the best automation platform for your business?

Let's dig deeper into what the two top automation software choices can bring to your company.



Choosing the degree of marketing automation you need largely depends on your team's size, goals and processes. Let's explore how HubSpot and Pardot functionality compares for different use cases.


Automation with HubSpot

For smaller teams, trying to automate smaller tasks with Pardot can be excessively complicated. HubSpot's marketing automation makes more sense here.

Automation with HubSpot is made simple with a drag-and-drop editor that enables a high level of automation for your internal and external workflows.

For example, after choosing a trigger, you can send an internal email, set a new contact property value or add a contact to a list:

hubspot workflow automation tools

HubSpot automation can tick all of the boxes for most businesses. However, if you're marketing at scale, Pardot – as well as enterprise-level competitors such as Marketo – enable highly-customized automation with some more scope for complexity.


Automation with Pardot

To automate marketing tasks with Pardot, you can:

  • Use Engagement Studio, Pardot's 'next-generation lead nurturing product,' to build, test and report on engagement programs and send targeted emails based on prospect behavior and qualifying values.

  • Streamline marketing efforts with Pardot's wider automation tools. These enable you to perform actions on prospects, build prospect lists based on criteria and react to prospect actions.

  • Carry out segmentation with Pardot lists (groups of prospects for sending emails or feeding to engagement programs) and tags (to sort, filter and organize your prospects and marketing assets.)

Engagement Studio is a powerful feature that’s similar to HubSpot’s popular workflow functionality with a few more features for advanced users. It's highly effective for sending personalized nurturing campaigns, and you can quickly trigger other internal or external actions based on actions, triggers and rules.

Pardot Engagement Studio

Wondering where Pardot is better than HubSpot for marketing automation?

Advantages of Pardot over HubSpot include: filtering out bad-fit leads and targeting best-fit ones, managing leads based on their engagement history, and creating the most customized marketing campaigns.

Although HubSpot's workflows do enable you to use IF/THEN rules to create very intelligent automations, Engagement Studio really thrives with workflows that have a huge complexity and variety of actions, reactions and options.


Integrating Pardot and HubSpot with your other apps

Connecting your marketing automation software with your other business apps is critical for creating an efficient and cohesive marketing ecosystem.

As well as providing leading tools and features to top businesses across the world, both HubSpot and Pardot offer a wide range of integrations to the other apps you're using.

HubSpot provides an extensive collection of integrations in their app marketplace, while the Pardot App Centre similarly enables you to connect the dots between Pardot and your favorite business apps.

Both HubSpot and Pardot also connect with PieSync for a two-way sync of your customer data with 200+ business apps, such as your email marketing platform, accounting system or mobile contacts app.


Reporting and analytics

HubSpot’s built-in analytics tool tracks your progress as soon as you start automating workflows, offering data about enrollments, progress and completions that you can use to trigger other actions or workflows.

HubSpot's wider reporting suite is highly customizable, but most importantly – it's straightforward. It doesn't take much time at all to put the KPIs that matter most front-and-center.


Reporting Add-on hero image


Pardot also offers extensive reporting as part of its B2B marketing analytics. Although Pardot’s reporting can be restrictive compared to other enterprise automation platforms such as Marketo, it is highly focused on what’s most relevant to marketing teams.

With Pardot you can attribute new deals and revenue to your marketing efforts, repeat what is bringing in results, and further refine the process with A/B tests. There's also scope to create visitor reports with detailed visit and click information.

pardot marketing data analytics


Pardot's full-funnel reporting feature also displays the entire customer journey in an easy-to-digest format with great visuals:

pardot lifecycle funnel report


Customer support

Both Pardot and HubSpot provide international support, with offices located across the globe – including the US, Asia and Europe.

The two automation platforms also offer in-depth self-service documentation, including Pardot’s knowledge base and HubSpot's huge volume of support content.

At HubSpot, it is never a hard task to get into contact with their support team. The ‘help’ button lets you start live chats or request a callback whenever you are logged in.

Summary: when to Choose HubSpot vs. Pardot

Here’s our summary of how to choose between our leading marketing automation software HubSpot and Pardot:

When to choose HubSpotWhen to choose Pardot
You’re on a tighter budgetYou have a larger business and budget
You want quick and easy setupYou want automation software loaded with features
You love HubSpot's inbound philosophyYou're already using other Salesforce products, such as Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud
For a vast selection of integrated appsFor seamless connections with Salesforce products and other popular platforms


For more marketing automation software comparisons for 2020, check out:

Whether you choose HubSpot or Pardot, make sure to keep your automation software in sync with the rest of your tech stack. With PieSync, it's easy to set up two-way syncs that keep your contact data flowing between the right apps in real time. Get started now with a free trial.

About Lucy Fuggle

Lucy Fuggle writes for PieSync, the two-way contact sync tool for hundreds of apps. She also works with her clients to make their brand matter with a content-rich marketing strategy.