Quick Tip: How to tell if you are using Pardot Classic or Pardot Lightning

by | Last Updated: May 8, 2023 | Blog, Pardot | MC Account Engagement, Quick tips

Pardot App or Pardot Lightning? That is the question.

For all Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) users out there who’ve maybe recently started working with Pardot or who’s organization recently enabled Pardot Lightning, and who aren’t familiar with the coexisting versions of Pardot or how to identify them, this post is for you.

There are 3 versions of Pardot, with descriptions of each below:

  1. Pardot App
  2. Pardot Lightning
  3. Pardot Classic App

Pardot App

Pardot legacy app—this is the ‘old faithful’ standalone browser app version of Pardot found at pi.pardot.com. The app version is kind of the legacy version, and often is the go to version of Pardot for many long time and seasoned power users of Pardot due to its ease of use, and it simply loads faster than other versions. Thankfully Salesforce continues support the Pardot legacy app, at least for now.

As you can see from the screenshot below, all of the navigation is done from the left hand column. There is no clear navigation between the Salesforce app and Pardot.

Pardot legacy app

Although the Pardot app is said to have the ‘classic UI’, the ‘classic UI’ of the Pardot app is not to be confused with the “Pardot Classic App”; more about that below.

We​ sometimes prefer to use the Pardot app​ since Pardot Lightning often requires a browser tab reload, which can be frustrating and create time inefficiencies.

Also, some of the system emails generated from Pardot, regardless of version used, point to the legacy system. One example is the confirmation email one receives after doing a CSV import into Pardot. When there are errors, the email will provide a link to Pardot so that users can easily see which contacts or leads did not import. This lead is always a pi.pardot.com link which can be rather annoying for those who exclusively use Pardot Lightning.

Many Pardot users, like myself, will launch Salesforce in one browser tab, then launch the Pardot legacy app in another browser tab to work in Pardot, and then use their Salesforce login credentials to access the Pardot app using SSO (Single Sign On). SSO is now enforced and required by Salesforce in order to access Pardot, meaning you need to have some level of Salesforce user license, i.e., be set up as a user in Salesforce (typical is a Salesforce CRM seat license, minimum is a free Identity License).

Pardot Lightning

Pardot Lightning—this is the latest and most robust version of Pardot, with full features of Pardot Lightning including Engagement History components. Pardot Lightning is basically an iframed version of Pardot, but the main notable difference between the Pardot app and Pardot Lightning is that Pardot Lightning uses a Lightning specific menu system with links on the top as tabs, then additional links on the left side within the Pardot screens. We recommend enabling Pardot Lightning for more features within Salesforce.

Pardot Lightning

This is the same Pardot dashboard as above, only it’s seen via Pardot Lightning. The top navigation is Salesforce’s layout and users can easily hop between Salesforce objects (campaigns, reports) and Pardot items.

What features are available in the Pardot Lightning app that are not available in the Pardot Classic app or pi.pardot.com?

One of the main benefits of using Pardot Lightning is that you only need to log into one system, through Salesforce, to use Salesforce CRM and Pardot Lightning under one roof. The other main benefit that we see is having Engagement History for measuring prospect engagement on leads, contacts, accounts, and opportunities that show which marketing assets a lead or contact engaged with, i.e., which emails were sent to them, which forms they submitted, landing pages viewed, etc. Also B2BMA (B2B Marketing Analytics) components, part of Tableau for analytics dashboards, are only supported when Pardot Lightning is enabled.

Pardot Lightning is not without its faults…it loads slowly, and sometimes does not load at all, requiring a browser refresh to load the Pardot Lightning iframe.

Note: If you are logging into more than one Pardot account on your computer be sure to check that you are in the correct Pardot instance within the Pardot Lightning iframe inside of Salesforce. You may need to log out of Pardot, then refresh your browser tab to re-log into the correct Pardot account.

As we were writing this blog post Salesforce updated Salesforce Lightning for Spring 2023 so that Pardot Lightning in many locations is now renamed to Account Engagement within the menu system.

Pardot Lightning App Considerations (Prior to Enabling)

From the Lightning App Implementation Guide:
“Before enabling the Pardot Lightning app, review these considerations to make sure that your Salesforce org and users are ready.
• Lightning Experience must be enabled in Salesforce.
• You must have a Pardot account with a configured Salesforce connector or a Pardot Business Unit.
• Salesforce users must be mapped to Pardot users to access the app. We recommend enabling Salesforce User Sync before enabling Pardot for Lightning. See Manage Users with Salesforce User Sync.
• To use the Pardot Lightning app, users need the Salesforce license. Other licenses, like Identity, Salesforce Platform, and Salesforce Platform One, don’t provide access to the Pardot Lightning app.
Visibility Conflicts
When a Pardot user has Salesforce permissions that are more restrictive than the connector user, they can view Salesforce data in Pardot that they don’t have permission to view in Salesforce. This is called a visibility conflict.
To minimize visibility conflicts, we recommend the following steps.
• Decide what kind of visibility you want your users to have, and document those requirements.
• Have your Salesforce and Pardot admins collaborate so that each system is configured to meet your requirements.
• Limit the number of users whose Salesforce access is less than the connector user.
• When in doubt, contact Salesforce Customer Support for guidance.

Pardot Classic App

Pardot Classic App—The Pardot Classic App, now retired by Salesforce, was essentially a direct iframe of the Pardot app embedded within Salesforce. Since it was pretty much a direct representation of the Pardot app, it had the same menus and look and feel of the Pardot app.

Pardot’s legacy application at pi.pardot.com, a.k.a. Pardot App, is remaining intact and accessible to all customers with the same classic UI. The “Pardot Classic app” that for a time existed in Salesforce Classic and Salesforce Lightning experiences is retiring, not pi.pardot.com.

About the Pardot rename

In April 2022, Salesforce announced the rebrand of Pardot to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. While the rebrand unfolds and the world adapts to the new nomenclature, we'll typically keep the Pardot name in our blog posts.

There are several permutations of the new name being thrown about, so you may see us use any one of them as things evolve:

  • Pardot
  • Marketing Cloud Account Engagement
  • Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot)
  • MCAE
  • MC Account Engagement
  • Account Engagement by Pardot

Certified Consultant/Owner | Jeff Kemp

Marketing Automation & CRM Consultant

hire Jeff Kemp | Marketing Automation & CRM Consultant

I help select your tech stack and optimize your processes for improved marketing & sales effectiveness, operations, and ROI.

My superpowers are Knowledge, Experience, and Business acumen. I enjoy the intersection of working with people, processes, and technology where I can provide leadership and add value.

With over 30 years of marketing and sales experience I've been laser targeted on Marketing Automation for 10 years, seven of those as a Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) Consultant, and also as a Certified Salesforce Administrator and HubSpot Expert. Prior to that I have over 15 years of WordPress development experience and additional roles in sales and marketing management.

Since I've worked with a lot of clients in various industries I've seen several of the same struggles that are common to almost all organizations (as outlined in this article). With each organization and project that I'm involved with I work hard to solve many of those typical problems, plus identifying and solving sometimes unique and complex issues which often involve cleaning up technical debt from legacy systems, and architecting processes and solutions to help organizations set up effective lead management systems and operational efficiencies using best practices and proven methodologies.

I also love dogs :0)

Optimal Business Consulting (OBC) is proud to be a Salesforce Partner since 2018 and also became a HubSpot Solution Partner in 2023. -->More about Jeff & OBC

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