More than Martech – Wall-to-Wall Automation

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Learning Track

API & IntegrationFeatures & FunctionsFinancial Services

Welcome to ParDreamin’! I am Sara, a marketing/technology solution architect at Slack, and I’m here today with David, solution architect at Workato, and Mike Creuzer, solution architect at Sercante.

Today, we want to impart on you all of the possibilities and benefits of integrating not only tools but also teams across your organization, and the honestly just cool stuff we can do through technology to help teams work better together, and work more efficiently. And hopefully, at the end of the day, make more money and grow our teams.


Tools That Helped Us

Account Based Marketing (ABM)

First off, we’re gonna talk about one of the hot topics of, I feel like, both 2019 and 2020, which is ABM, Account Based Marketing. Most marketing automation platforms were created in a way where they really just look at the person object. They aren’t looking at the account. Some of them have started to kind of put together account views, but they’re pretty basic. They’re not, in my opinion, anywhere close to what our marketing teams and sales teams are asking of us.

So how do we figure out how we can automate things like the tagging of target accounts in a scalable way? Mike and I, in a past life, had to work on a project where we were handed a sheet of domains, and asked to make sure they were all stamped “a part of this target account list.” This meant we could further segment and target them with relevant content, and let sales know that these are the top hot leads to follow up with. At the time, it was a huge list – about 10,000 domains.

To set that up as a list in Pardot was gonna be difficult to do in the first place, and then also difficult to manage. So we were tasked with figuring out a way that we could programmatically update that list without having to go in and make tons of manual changes that were difficult for end users.

Because I had someone like Mike, who is very good at code, we were able to leverage the process on the right-hand side of the Table Stakes from Pardot to Heroku. We could use Heroku to host some code that essentially was a fancy lookup table or a fancy sheet. We had an Excel sheet of the domains, or they were in a Google Sheet, or in this case, we could host it in the cloud. And whenever that “create” activity happened in Pardot, Heroku would be looking at the sheet, and looking at their domain to compare and decide if they were a target account or not. If they were a target account, we marked them as such. And then the marketers were very happy. Sales is very happy. They could target them intelligently.

If you aren’t lucky enough to have someone who works in code and is very familiar, and can write an app like that you also have the option of a tool like Workato. These middleware tools are great at being able to just host something like an Excel sheet, and automating that, even without needing any kind of code.

If you’re extra fancy and have extra budget, you might have a tool like Demandbase, 6Sense, Lattice, Terminus, or any of the ABM platforms. You can get even more fancy with that, in terms of they will do a lot of that auto-tagging, and then you can gain more insights from that ABM tool into Pardot using something like a Workato.

And I feel like that’s something that not a lot of people talk about. You may have a native integration with one of these tools, but it may not do what you want it to do. But maybe you’re trying to do something more specific, like some of the use cases we’re gonna talk about later in this presentation. You can use a tool like Workato in order to create your own custom integration, without having to dive too much into code, which is really helpful.


Data Migration

One of the things that I like working on is data migration. We get a merger and acquisition trying to onboard that new data platform,and bits and pieces of it are needed right now. GDPR, CASL compliance, are things that just need to happen immediately. These things that we can take our time, and work at a little bit more reasonable pace. Having the ability to connect the same or different technologies together in a way that we can start sharing the bits and pieces that we need to share, such as unsubscribes, are being seen from Pardot or Marketo, and back and forth.

Dealing with GDPR compliance, where did these people come from? How did we collect the consent? Which system is the system of record for holding onto these consent records? Getting all that data pushed around, quickly, works really well with integration tools. And then that buys us some time to kind of slow down and do the rest of that onboarding integration acquisition, as well as bringing the teams in at a more reasonable pace.


Master Data Management

Master Data Management is a sort of integration use case that is getting more and more popular, especially in high-growth companies, or high volume companies that have a lot of leads coming in, like Slack or Zoom, where there’s a lot of free users. So let’s take a look at a typical Master Data Management model.

The concept here with Master Data Management is, as your business grows, as your team grows, you start to accumulate quite a few software products at your company, right?

So you’ve got Pardot. Obviously you may also have a database with all your product usage information and your user information. And then you’ve got other platforms like Salesforce. You’ve got a big stack of platforms that are all sort of collecting their own data and generating their own data. And some of that data in one platform might be useful to another platform.

So the concept is we wanna use the APIs to pull all of the relevant information out of Pardot, out of the product database, out of Salesforce, out of everywhere, and pull it down into a marketing data hub, which could be an On-Prem SQL database or it could be if you have Snowflake. Or you might have something like Tableau layered on top of that marketing hub database so that you can run some analytics on top of that.

But then, perhaps equally importantly, on top of doing analytics on the marketing hub database, you can then also, we wanna use the APIs to pull that data back out. So maybe some of the data that was collected by Pardot is gonna be useful to see in Salesforce marketing cloud. Right, so using these APIs to pull it all, to pull the data into the marketing hub in a structured way, and then push it back out to all those same applications, and/or different ones, so that they have the information you need to target your prospects effectively.


Future Looking Use Cases

Now that we’ve covered some of our past projects or projects that we’re working on with businesses right now we’re gonna take a look at some kind of future-looking use cases – things that we’re looking at building right now, or that we see coming up in the future.


Compete Like You Mean It

A great example of something I’m working on right now is looking at what we’re calling, compete like you mean it. We’re bringing together data and different tools, especially tools that traditionally sales will be using. So something like a Gong. I feel like the concept there is, oh well, it’s a sales tool, leave it alone, don’t do anything with it. But Gong really, and any sales tool, is a data mine for us because it’s free data directly from our leads and prospects that we can tap into that sales is already getting for us for free.

So I’m looking at how do we utilize that data to better target people and to help sales sell more quickly? So a great example is in Gong we can see when someone mentions a competitor’s name. We have a competitor category, we can see the name pop up, and we can actually access that through the API.

So when someone is on a Gong call with a sales rep and they mentioned a competitor I can do things automatically. I can alert the Deal Team in Slack, and I can even give them a competitor-specific battlecard, and tell them, “Hey we have a competitive deal “with the team.” I’ll be up on the same page at the same time as this is happening. We can update the Salesforce opportunity to competitive deal, so that everyone has that visibility as well. We can update the prospect field in Pardot, and we can even use that to throw them onto a dynamic list, and put them automatically in an Engagement Studio nurture.

So we can put them right on a competitive nurture if I can help that sales rep make the case. And then we can even tell Drift, hey, this is a person who is looking at a competitor, so let’s just show them a competitive playbook. And just really hit them everywhere with that competitive message against that competitor.


Mastering Data Software

Yup, and so another… Now this is sort of a, I guess, just to… It sort of bounces back to the Master Data Management a little bit. Slack is a company that we’ve worked with quite a bit, and they, in this illustration here we’re showing Slack is pulling data, they’re collecting their product usage data. And if you’re a software company, I mean this is critical for marketing. It blows my mind how often I’ll see software companies that are not leveraging product usage data in there to tailor their marketing messaging, or to enable targeting within their marketing platform, right?

At the time we did this project Pardot was not involved, but I suspect that will change. But the concept is Slack will collect their product usage data that accumulates in S3, and they’re sending it there via the APIs. And then we’re pulling the product usage data out, and based on what that product data, based on what the product usage data looks like we know we can send it all to Snowflake, so it’s there for analytics. We want to sort of update Salesforce marketing cloud, and maybe Salesforce itself to indicate which accounts are sort of trending up or down, and product usage, maybe even individual users.

This may not surprise you but Slack uses Slack a lot internally for, as Sara mentioned, sort of sending out alerts. And so we may, if we see a concerning trend in product usage for a certain account, let’s say, we would maybe send an alert out to the CSM, or maybe it’s a free trial user, and their product usage data looks great. And so we wanna send an alert out to the SDR on Slack, and make that alert really actionable – have it so that the alert allows them to add that person to an Outreach Cadence or SalesLoft secret, what have you, right? But there’s a lot of different cool stuff you can do with product usage data. If you just get your hands on it, and get something that helps you use the APIs.

Another one – this is actually, we’ve kind of mentioned, and you’ll have to, yeah, in case you haven’t yet, you wanna click the full screen button at the top left to just zoom in on this one a little bit. But this is actually, I can’t remember whether Slack implemented this first or we did? We kind of learn a lot from each other, but what we found internally is that it was really powerful for us to, if our goals were to decrease lead response time, right, like get to the leads faster, increase speed to lead, and then increase conversion rates, right. Great, we have the reps following up quickly. How do we make sure that the conversations go well? This dilution is what helped us do that, right?

We’ve talked a lot about sending alerts out via Slack, right? So this is an example of that. Where if you have an MQL, let’s say somebody has filled out the Contact Us form, then that alert might be routed and sent out to an SDR via Slack. And it’s cross-referencing data, from all the engagement activity you have in Pardot all the account information you have. Do some lead-to-account matching. Figure out, okay, is this a target account or not? And then kind of present all this information. Maybe you’re enriching it with a vendor like Clearbit, or something like that on the way there.

But you present this alert to the SDR with all the information they could want about this person, which has been gathered via the APIs. And then on the bottom right there, it kind of zooms in and shows with Slack’s APIs, you can actually make these alerts really actionable, so that without leaving Slack, your SDRs are able to accept the lead. And it’ll then you can then go update, it’ll update Salesforce to update the lead status for them. Or you can even do things like have the SDR reassign the lead, or add it to a SalesLoft sequence, or Outreach Cadence, declare that it’s a low fit. And if they’re doing it, they’re getting all this work done without ever having to leave Slack, or log in to those other tools. So it saves a lot of time on the follow-up, which is increasing the speed to lead, and can make it more relevant, so it works really well for us.


Sales and Marketing Cohesion

Another thing that we talk about is getting sales and marketing working together. But what about part of our tools, right? Yeah, they all talk to the CRM, but the data is summarized in the CRM, and we don’t have that full nuance of what’s going on in each of our tools available. So if we were to connect some of the sales tools and the marketing tools together directly through various integrations to our own business needs, we can have things like our sales enablement software tell marketing, “hey, this is what the salesperson is talking about with this account”. Then marketing can then pick that up, and do that ABM thing, “hey, hey, we’re talking to these people”.

Let’s change the story that we’re presenting to everybody else that sales isn’t talking to at that organization, trying to find additional people in the buying center. So we can get the sales team talking to the right people. And because our two different entire sets of technology are now working together, working in concert. We can do that in a much more aligned, a much more thoughtful process, and we can give a better overall user experience, because we’re not forced to deal with the summarized data, that is in our CRM.

That integration is really helpful. So this is our last slide – it shows several different options for, and opportunities for integration and automation across your tech stack, just within the context. Like this whole slide is just focusing on, if you have a webinar to run, right? So depending on how large your organization is you may start your planning for the webinar. You may start your project planning on a platform like Wrike, or Asana, or something like that. And when, and you may decide the name of the webinar, and all this different information about the webinar, like the time and date that it’s gonna happen.

Once that project gets to a certain stage, or a certain thing occurs, you can trigger that off. And with using the APIs to actually go automatically schedule that webinar for you in ON24. Then from there, once you have the webinars scheduled you may want to have.

If somebody somehow comes in registers through the ON24 form you probably wanna push those registrants to a list in Pardot, or something like that. Similarly, if you’re collecting registration through Pardot, if you’re adding them to a list you can push those registrants to ON24. This is all done via the APIs, Wrike’s. The webinar will then at some point actually occur, right? Once the webinar has occurred you would want attendees to be pushed maybe to a Salesforce campaign, so that your SDRs and sales reps, DSMs can view this, and follow up with people, as appropriate. Pushing the data to Salesforce, you can also take this automation as far as you want.

At some point, if you wanna write a custom email to them, you have to have a human do that. But if you want to automatically add these people to a follow-up sequence in Outreach or send notifications out to your SDRs and reps on Slack, to notify them of the hottest leads from the webinar that attended, right.

You can automate those notifications, or that transition to an Outreach sequence. And you can also do things like make it so, if your reps are in Slack, and they want to see who attended a webinar they can type a slash command to view webinar attendee data for a certain webinar that recently occurred. This is all possible to do, partly because Slack’s APIs are awesome and because Salesforce APIs are awesome. And then finally there are a lot of companies that want to pump all their data into a data lake, like Snowflake, with perhaps Tableau, or some sort of BI tool layered on top of that database, so you can run analysis on that.

I feel like so many marketers spend so much manual time on setting up webinars, or moving lists around, lists of registrants, lists of attendees. This is really what we’re aiming towards, and some businesses are already getting there. But I think the larger market, we really wanna strive for something like this, where we can take a lot of the manual work away from humans, and have them focus on things that are more valuable than moving a list around.

I totally agree. And I think this starts to show you it’s really important, not only to be getting your different tools integrated so you can maximize value and maximize automation where possible, but also it just goes to show when the tools need to come together the teams need to come together too. So expanding to work with our Ops friends and other departments, whether that be the customer success department, or even, I can think of use cases with HR and things like that – bringing the tools, and the teams, and the data together.


Watch the video to take a closer look at this topic.

About the Author

Pardot Consultant

David Kreitter has been using Pardot for a whopping 11 months ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ but he’s been driving innovation, automation, and integration in martech stacks for over a decade. As a consultant at Marketo, his customer roster included the likes of AWS, Lenovo, and Palo Alto Networks. But this January, David left Adobe to join Salesforce Ventures-funded start-up Workato, where he now works with customers like Slack to integrate & automate across the tech stack.

Technology Solution Architect
Independent Consultant

Sara McNamara is an award-winning marketing and sales technology solution architect whose work has been recognized by the likes of Salesforce (Pardot), Adobe (Marketo), Drift, and LeanData. She is passionate about leveraging technology and processes to improve the experiences of marketers, sales professionals, and prospects alike. She is active on LinkedIn and Twitter, where you can follow her day to day thoughts on the marketing and sales technology worlds.

Mike Creuzer

Mike is one of the Pardot Marketing experts at Sercante (, focusing on the ‘hard’ bits of Pardot and Salesforce. He bends Pardot to his will and integrates it with other tools. He connects the massive marcom stack together in useful ways. His hammer is being a LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) stack developer yet speak the lingo and operate with Sales and Marketing teams.

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