May 4 2021
Author Tony Di Carlo

Key distinctions between Pardot and HubSpot

Pardot or HubSpot?

Both Pardot and HubSpot start at the same point. They are marketing automation platforms. Both of which are built to scale your marketing efforts. They even share the same goal – an increase in revenue.

However, they still stand apart in the performance of their marketing automation duties.

We get a lot of questions on how to choose between marketing automation platforms, especially from organisations that are already using Salesforce as their CRM.

For that reason, we want to discuss the main differences between Pardot and HubSpot here. Hopefully, this will help you understand them better and bring clarity to your marketing automation questions.

The overarching difference between Pardot and HubSpot

There are many subtle and some more obvious differences in the two tools that we are going to discuss. But before we do, we need to explain where those differences come from.

Firstly, even though both platforms offer similar features, some of them are different in their capabilities. Additionally, since the marketing automation market is in full bloom, both Pardot’s and HubSpot’s features are continually updated. Not to mention how new features get added regularly.

However, the overarching difference between these two platforms is that they are built for a different type of user. For instance, HubSpot is very popular for its inbound marketing activities, which can be used in a B2B and B2C market. However, Pardot is more robust in its features of lead management, which falls under the B2B arena.

So what’s the difference between B2B and B2C approach?

The main takeaway you should remember lies in their sales cycles or customer journeys.

B2B (business to business) sales cycles are often longer, require input from multiple decision-makers and their buyer is usually very rational. This means your customer journey approach will have to cater to more than one person and strive to be educational due to the rationality of the purchase decision.

B2C (business to consumer) is a bit different. When companies sell to customers directly, it calls for more personalisation to their customer journey. The decision-making process is often emotionally driven, impulsive, repetitive, and the journey is shorter than the B2B.

Additionally, depending on your business strategy, both marketing automation platforms will deliver different results.

Just use HubSpot as an example; its primary purpose is to help apply your inbound marketing strategy. So naturally, for a business aiming to attract its target audience through inbound marketing tactics, HubSpot makes sense. In this case, you would buy into the methodology of inbound marketing – creating a lot of content that will not only attract more people to your business but will also be used in different stages of the buyer’s journey.

However, if your business revolves more around products here your target customer takes a while to make a purchase, Pardot’s powerful lead management features will be the right choice for you. In Pardot’s case, ideally, you will have a list of potential buyers, ready to nurture them to the purchase stage and advocacy afterwards. Also, Pardot’s lead management features will help you align your sales and marketing teams, which for big enterprises, means a lot. As you can see, depending on the factors we mentioned above, your marketing automation has the power to make or break your business. 

However, there are many more things to consider when comparing Pardot and HubSpot. All of them will be somewhat important to the outcome you are trying to achieve, so make sure to take notes.

Let’s walk through them together.


The subtle differences between Pardot and HubSpot


Both Pardot and Hubspot offer marketing automation features that can support any marketing activities. The main difference is in the ‘way of using them’. So, for Pardot, you will find its features can be configured to fit the exact needs of any enterprise, particularly the analytics side of things. Pardot offers a lot of opportunities for configuration and customisation. While HubSpot provides customisation as well, it is not as versatile as Pardot’s. Therefore HubSpot can be more popular with small businesses that can’t invest in training and developing the platform further.


HubSpot’s focus is on generating inbound leads. It has an integrated set of tools designed to bring individuals along their buyers’ journeys. These tools are accessible for smaller companies to use right out of the box; however, other opportunities to customise the process are still available.

Pardot offers lead generation in a more structured way. Pardot’s functionalities on this aspect include more robust lead nurturing features such as lead scoring and lead grading. Both can be customised according to your marketing strategy while keeping the sales and marketing department aligned in their efforts.


While both Pardot and HubSpot have plenty of integration possibilities (both connect to Salesforce), the CRM integration is where Pardot shines. It has a direct connection to Salesforce and the same contact database as well.

While HubSpot offers its own free CRM, it’s not as robust as Salesforce. To be fair, you can still integrate Salesforce with HubSpot, but the results are nowhere near as seamless and as they have different contact databases, the synchronisation is limited.


HubSpot has a lower entry point, with its basic marketing automation platform offer being free although that has limited features and can’t really be compared to Pardot.

Hubspot marketing hub is £655 per month and includes 1,000 mailable contacts. For Pardot, the entry level (Growth) edition is £1,000 per month and includes 10,000 mailable contacts.

It’s one of the reasons why HubSpot can be more attractive to small businesses, although when you compare them side-by-side there is actually little pricing difference when you take into account the extras you might need for Hubspot.

You can view the pricing for both editions here:



While we may argue about the subtle differences these two marketing automation platforms exhibit, the choice is yours.

Some organisations find Pardot better, and some love HubSpot. The bottom line is, no matter which tool to use, remember to make it fit for your marketing strategy and the type of organisation you run.

Here are some key considerations when comparing the two.

  1. If you are already using Salesforce CRM, then the obvious choice would be Pardot.
  2. If you are planning to scale your business, then Pardot has more scalability potential
  3. If budget is very tight, you have a small mailable contact base and no plans to scale then Hubspot could be the right one for you
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