Some things are better separate.

Here’re a few examples:  pizza and bananas, French fries and ice cream, and certain Pardot prospects.  

Sometimes Pardot prospects need to be segregated. Keeping them apart makes more sense. Or, for system configuration or legal reasons, marketers do NOT want prospects intermingling.

What are Pardot business units?

Marketers can separate their Pardot database into groups called business units. For instance, you may want to keep prospects in different geographies or have different products or brands that need segregation.

Business units are your solution.

Quick facts:

  • You can have up to 25 business units.
  • Need to have Pardot Advanced or Premium.
  • You can only access business unit features in the Pardot Lightning App.
  • Pardot Business Units integrate with a SINGLE Salesforce instance, but each unit has its own separate Pardot database.

How do you know if you should use Pardot business units?

Not sure if business units are suitable for your company?

Here’s a checklist.

  • If you need to limit access to a subset of your Pardot database
  • If you need different configurations with different business units (one BU has person accounts and one doesn’t etc.)
  • If you have scale concerns:
    • Processing – If you have a large number of prospects (10 million+) and they require many updates
    • Limits – If you already used all your limits, you can use multiple business units to multiply your limits on automation rules, file storage etc. (excluding mailable prospects)

Setting up your business unit

Time to get started.

Go go to Setup > Pardot Account Setup.

Add a name for your business unit.  

You also need a Business Unit Admin. (You can have the same admin for both business units. See switcher section below.)

Pardot automatically creates the Salesforce connector for you in the paused mode when you initiate a new business unit.

Pardot Assign Your Pardot Admins

Hot Tip:

Advice from Pardot consultant Kirsten Kippen, “You need a solid strategy in place for how you want to partition BUs before you create them.”

Can you rename business units?  

Yes! You can go into Pardot Settings > Account Settings and change the company to change the business unit’s name.  

Business unit switcher 

Once you enable business units, often, one or more administrators may need access to multiple business units.  

These people need access to switch between business units to manage company assets, records, and settings. 

Quick facts:

  • You need to upgrade to Connector V2 to have multiple users across multiple business units.
  • Users in multiple business units must have the same CRM username.
  • In the Connector settings, you must enable the “Manage User in Salesforce” enhancement to use the BU switcher.
  • Only the embedded Pardot elements switch, not Salesforce content. For example, switching between business units updates the prospects list in Pardot but not the leads list in Salesforce.

Pardot business unit switcher

How to add users to business units?

Ok, time to add users.

Use Salesforce User Sync to add users to a Pardot business unit based on a specific Salesforce profile. 

If you only want certain users accessing Pardot, only sync designated custom profiles to omit the unwanted Salesforce users.

If you have not enabled Salesforce User Sync, read more here.  Otherwise, go to Pardot Settings > Connectors > Salesforce (Edit) > User Sync tab.

Map Salesforce profiles to Pardot user roles. All Salesforce users with the selected profiles sync to the assigned Pardot role.

Pardot User Sync business units

How does Marketing Data Sharing (MDS) work?

Marketing Data Sharing is one of the most remarkable features of business units.  

You can channel particular Salesforce lead or contact records to specific business units. Here are the steps:

1. Once you decide how you want to divide your Pardot database, go into Salesforce and create a custom checkbox field for each business unit. (Do not map this custom field to Pardot).

For example, imagine that you want two business units, #1 and #2. You would create a custom checkbox field “Pardot Business Unit 1” and a checkbox field for “Pardot Business Unit 2”.

2. Update each Salesforce Lead and Contact record with the appropriate checkbox fields according to how you want it routed to their Pardot business unit.  

3. Now, go to Business Unit 1 in Pardot Settings > Connector > Salesforce (Edit) > Marketing Data Sharing tab. Set up Leads (or your desired object) with the criteria Pardot Business Unit 1= “True.”

4. Do the same for Business Unit 2 and create Lead criteria for Pardot Business Unit 2 = “True”. 

With this, only Leads with the checkbox Pardot Business Unit 1 will populate Pardot Business Unit 1.

(If you use MDS for Leads, don’t forget to set up criteria for contacts too. For the Lead and Contact object, you need MDS set for both objects.)

Marketing Data Sharing Lead business units

Quick facts:

  • Marketers can configure leads, contacts opportunities and custom objects.
  • The field must belong to the rule’s object and be editable.
  • If you use MDS rules for leads or contacts, establish criteria for BOTH leads and contacts.
  • If you have multiple business units, you must add criteria for both leads and contacts in each business unit.
  • If Pardot creates a record in Salesforce, it will write the matching criteria value on the new record.
  • If a prospect’s record no longer matches the MDS criteria, it will stop syncing with that business unit, and the record will be automatically archived.
  • Each object can have only one rule. Each rule can be based on one Salesforce field and must use the equals operator.
  • The default setting for an object uses the connector user’s permissions to control which records sync. When you create a rule for an object, both the rule and the connector user’s permissions control which records sync.

The Salesforce Pardot connector is automatically created in a paused state when you provision a business unit. IMPORTANT: Be sure all your data is accurately populated before you unpause the connector for the first time.  

How do campaigns work with Pardot business units?

Many companies want to measure the effectiveness of their marketing with campaigns. Best practice is to create a campaign record type for each business unit. Pardot administrators can go to Pardot settings > Connectors > Salesforce (Edit) > Campaign tab and only allow the designated campaign record types to sync to the business unit.

Can you access marketing content across business units?

Good news!  

You can share email templates across business units from the new Email Builder. Simply save the templates in a public (or shared) folder. 

Marketers from different business units can access the Email Builder templates.