Cloud-based marketing automation provider Pardot is continuing its rapid growth approaching year’s end, as the company has surpassed the 14,000-user mark, and doubled its employee count year over year. Additionally, the company said it has already added more than 100 new customers to date in Q4 2011.
In 2011, Pardot added more than 100 new deals per quarter, according to Co-Founder & COO Adam Blitzer, and he added the company is on track to finish Q4 with 130 new customers added.
“We want to keep growing faster than the market,” Blitzer told DemandGen Report. “We have a nice spot as a top three vendor. We really want to solidify ourselves as the top vendor for SMBs, so in 2012 we’ll hire aggressively and keep our focus on service and corporate culture.”
Blitzer emphasized that from a product perspective, Pardot subscribes to a “hub and spoke” model, where Pardot acts as the hub of marketing operations and can be integrated with other systems, including Google AdWords or Google Analytics, to serve customers efficiently. “We don’t like to the reinvent the wheel,” he noted. “We like to seek out the best in every spoke that organizations could possibly be using and hook into it.”
With the release of several socially-focused tools and functionalities, Pardot has positioned itself uniquely in the market, providing innovative ways for users to maximize their automation investments via social channels.
Pardot highlighted several significant announcements in Q3 2011, including:
An integration with Citrix GoToWebinar, Cisco WebEx and ReadyTalk;
New social media monitoring and social posting tools for deeper sales insight and ROI on social media marketing initiatives; and
A survey that underscored the gap between BtoB social media usage and the measurement of impact.
Pardot was a Platinum sponsor at the annual Salesforce.com Dreamforce conference in September and led three educational sessions at the show. Pardot recently offered a $10,001 bonus for referrals leading to the hire of software engineers, a campaign that underscored the company’s need for more talent to sustain its rapid growth. Pardot currently has more than 65 employees, up from about 30 during this time last year.
Pardot hosted its second annual usual conference, Elevate, Nov. 14-16, 2011 in Atlanta. Event attendance was up 140% over 2010; this year, more than 300 customers attended. SugarCRM, GoodData and Wakefly were sponsors of the event. Blitzer said judging by the attendee and sponsorship growth this year, the company expects to see nearly 700 attendees at its 2012 user event.
“We’re seeing the market speed up as a whole,” Blitzer said. “There’s still very low penetration but I think people are starting to come around to it. Crossing the chasm will really be when non-tech companies are the primary buyers of this technology. For the most part it’s probably 80-85% tech.”
Pardot, which typically sells to SMBs, also serves divisions of large enterprises, which Blitzer pointed out often operate similar to SMBs. There is still significant opportunity for Pardot and other vendors to grab market share, Blitzer noted.
“I think it’s going to take the systems integrators and services companies that have specialties in other verticals to hone the best practices for their verticals [for widespread adoption],” Blitzer said. “We’re great at telling people how to sell and market software. The vendors themselves probably don’t have the expertise and vertical to push that forward.”
Blitzer noted that although Pardot is growing steadily, along with other automation vendors including Marketo, Eloqua and Act-On, the companies collectively still serve less than 4,000 customers, a minimal number considering the market of potential buyers.
“Think about Salesforce.com’s client base, just by itself — there are about 110,000 businesses using it,” Blitzer said. “So it’s still a very miniscule amount of companies that could be buying marketing automation but haven’t really made that decision. There’s so much money chasing the market and educating it, that I think we’re really primed for massive growth over the next two or three years.”