Things are looking up for Pardot Users or more enticing for those who are considering using Pardot for the first time. Lots of changes are coming and quickly. Pardot has only been part of the Salesforce family for a few years now, but lately it's been getting a lot more attention from product management. In the last half of this year we've seen a lot of little changes and some pretty significant ones which all point to one inevitable truth. Things are just going to keep getting better; fast. And the integration between Salesforce and Pardot is just going to get tighter and tighter. So let's take a look at a few of the things that we've already seen this year that you may not be aware of. 

Permission sets
This is a pretty simple one but just means that you can get Pardot integrated and rolled out with greater ease and flexibility. Any time things get easier is a wonderful thing. Now with a set of preconfigured permission sets your can quickly and easily assign Pardot permissions to the right people and not have to go in and customize your current profiles.

New List Email Statistics
This is a big one in my book. Reporting in Pardot has always been a bit lack luster and rigid, at least compared to the full-fledged reporting engine at your disposal in Salesforce. So the New List Email statistics gives you much more flexibility to view key marketing statistics by your segmentation lists. Now you can also modify columns, sort, and filter your views. Its a small but significant step in the right direction. I'm taking this as a good sign that more report customization is coming.

Cookie Configuration
While somewhat bred out of necessity to comply with tracking laws, this new feature is still a nice to have in terms of giving you more control over tracking your prospects. Now you can set the duration of how long your cookie tracks your prospect before reseting. Currently the default is 3650 days (10 years) which is also the max setting. You can now set it to a minium of 180 days, or anywhere in between.

Bidirectional Sync improvements
Gone are the days where you have to choose one system over the other when determining conflict resolution. Now updates will sync based on the record that was most recently updated. Don't worry though you can still choose if you have a preference on which system should be the master source, but by default the bidirectional sync will be the norm.

As part of this update Pardot has improved the way it handles deleted or merged records between the two systems. Now if a record in Salesforce is merged or deleted the same changes will also occur in Pardot. Proof that the integration between these two systems are just going to keep getting better.

Salesforce Engage
This is one of the bigger ones. So while Pardot and Salesforce are a great way to close the loop between Marketing and Sales, Engage takes it one step further. Putting more marketing power at the hands of your Sales users living inside Salesforce. 

Engage users can help to nurture Leads with finely crafted email templates and targeted content that's personalized and on message for the Sales reps to use when nurturing leads, on desktop or on the go using Salesforce1.

All interactions are tracked in Pardot so the marketing team is always in the know about what's going on, what's working, what's not, gaining insight, and improving your messaging to help identify, qualify, and sell better.

Pardot Intelligent Engagement Studio
This is the latest and greatest of the toys, but it's not yet on the shelves so to speak. It's been teased since Dreamforce 2014 but hasn't been out for prime time just yet. Although I've heard talk that we'll see it before years' end. The engagement studio promises to take the Drip Program to the next level by curating much more detailed and personalized journeys. 

You can now process and react to over 100 triggers based on the actions your prospects take. Thus guiding your prosects through a more personalize journey that is relevant to them. And you can pass them off from one journey to the next as they hit key points in your nurturing or selling path. Better and improved reporting is coming too (yay). 

Overall I think Engagement studio will help pull the platform together making it feel much tighter and centered around the journeys rather than a series of different marketing assets.

Change is coming, and it looks good. Can't wait to see what 2016 has in store.

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