It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

Sherlock Holmes Quote

-A Scandal in Bohemia


The ability of Sherlock Holmes to form a holistic picture of a series of events through progressively attaining key insights was his greatest virtue.

Now picture this…

What if marketing had the ability to collate key data in a similar fashion?

Then marketing have the capacity to serve up leads who match your target market! Happy days!

Pardot is a Target Market Meaning Consumer Targeted Advertising Strategymarketing automation software platform that allows marketers to make this happen. The journey begins by collecting key information from prospective clients over time, which then identifies individuals who match your ideal client profile – this strategy has been coined ‘progressive profiling’.

How Does Progressive Profiling Work?

When a visitor fills out a form on a website or landing page for the first time, it is best practice to only display a few form fields e.g. ‘First Name’, ‘Second Name’ and ‘Email’. This allows marketers to build lead data without being annoying or invasive.

The next time that same individual fills out a form, they may be required to enter their ‘Job Title’, and ‘Annual Revenue’ of their organisation, but will not have to re-fill in their ‘First Name’, ‘Second Name’ and ‘Email’.

The below image displays how to a display a new field for a progressive Pardot form, depending upon wether ‘First Name’, ‘Second Name’ and ‘Email’ field data has already been submitted by a prospect.


Here’s an example of an effective sequence that could be adopted for progressive profiling a prospect:

The first interaction with your prospect, you would ask basic questions such as:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email

On the second interaction with your prospect, you would investigate information depending on what criteria defines your target market, which may include:

  • Job Title
  • Annual Revenue
  • Number of Employees (Size of business)

On the third interaction with your prospect, you could get detailed information that will help qualify the lead further such us:

  • Phone Number
  • Any particular services or products you offer they are interested in (in the form of a checklist)

The benefits of progressive profiling are significant, so click here for Part II of this series titled ‘The Upside of the Clues’.