GDPR compliance is arguably the least fun part of a marketer’s general responsibilities. It is, however, one of the most important too. Part of any standard implementation, Account Engagement (aka Pardot) means the tracking code is installed on your website, which also means you must correctly manage Pardot cookies if you’re to be compliant.
Pardot is now called Account Engagement but throughout this blog we’ll use the two names interchangeably. If you’re confused about the different Salesforce marketing tools and their history, download our explainer eBook.
Pardot uses first-party cookies to track website visitor behaviour and allow us to record prospect activity, for example page visits. The beauty of first-party cookies is they protect consumer privacy and allow us to see insights about prospects that help with marketing attribution.
Unlike third-party cookies, which are often used in advertising and can be blocked by browsers using automated cookie blockers, first-party cookies are set by our own domain, which means greater control over tracking.
Likewise, first-party cookies can store login information, language preferences, and recently entered search terms, all of which can benefit user experience on the website.
Salesforce: If your business unit was created before February 13, 2023, an admin must enable first-party tracking. Business units created after February 13, 2023 have first-party tracking enabled by default.
Why get Pardot cookie consent?
As wonderful and useful as first-party cookies are for both customers and businesses alike, with the ability to store data and identify a visitor they can be considered personal data. GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive means users must consent before you use any cookies, with the exception of strictly necessary cookies.
All this to say, you can’t just go installing the Pardot tracking code on your website, using cookies to track visitors and prospects, and not tell them about it. You need a cookie consent banner that is fully aligned with Pardot and how you use the data.
How to manage Pardot cookie consent
In simple terms, it means we have the ability to manage Pardot cookie compliance fully, with a little bit of code, but without relying on advanced technical support and tinkering with Google Tag Manager for hours.
You can enable the Consent and Tracking API by:
- Going to ‘Settings’ in Account Engagement.
- Choosing ‘Account Engagement Settings’ in the Lightning app.
- Hitting ‘Save’.
Once enabled, it’s ready for your web developer to use.
There are multiple steps to getting your cookie compliance in order:
Step one: A new version of the Pardot tracking code needs to replace the out-of-the-box one you find in your account ‘Domain Management’ section.
Step two: Depending on your current setup, flexibility to change, and number of cookies to be treated on top of Pardot, the tracking code in your current banner needs to be either slightly customised, or you’ll need to build a banner script from scratch that will align with the Pardot cookie opt-in and other third-party tracking systems with cookies whose consent needs to be managed too.
Step three: To allow users to to get back to the cookie banner from any web page and at any time they would like to, you need to add a preference management script. If you are using a paid consent management tool, you may be able to do this there.
Step four: Including add-ons for more insights from your cookie consent tools means you can get really granular, logging things like prospect and contact cookie opt-in status on each of your web assets, with timestamps and more. Again, some paid consent management tools have this built-in but if you’re not using one, you can code the tracking required instead.
This is part where you ask: but how exactly do we do all of the steps above? You won’t be surprised when I say it’s pretty technical and requires a web developer comfortable with APIs. For a really simple answer though, you can buy the ‘Pardot-Aligned Cookie Consent Banner’ solution directly from MarCloud.
We have done this time and again for clients, so we’ve packaged the service up into its own ready-made solution that you can contact us to implement. It’s a one-time investment and because we’re fully across how to align with Pardot, we can include valuable add-ons to gain marketing insights from web tracking consent logs alongside mailability fields in Pardot and Salesforce.
In a nutshell, we take care of steps one to four above for you, quickly and correctly, customising to your business and requirements. For more information, get in touch.