Market Automation Software Review of Marketo

As online marketing has grown to become an essential part of successful business marketing strategies, the number of marketing automation software products on the market has expanded at an ever accelerating rate. There are now literally hundreds of products designed to make the chores associated with online marketing strategies easier and more effective, and they all claim to be superb at their tasks. Cutting through the hype to find the best one to meet your company’s marketing needs can seem an insurmountable task.

To help you sort through the options, the marketing department at Blue Interactive Agency has begun reviewing some of the top marketing automation software platforms currently available. We began our series last Thursday with an in-depth software review of Act-On, examining the features, pricing, and ease of implementation. This week we continue with our Market Automation Software Review of Marketo.

Marketo OverviewMarketo is a cloud-based Engagement Marketing Platform that offers comprehensive online marketing services to help marketing and sales professionals achieve the greatest return for their marketing efforts. Marketing automation is one component of their overall platform, available as a separate service to deliver fast and easy b2b marketing and lead management for businesses of all sizes. A powerful marketing tool with advanced features, Marketo delivers robust functionality to help companies create, automate, and track engaging campaigns and marketing workflows across a variety of marketing channels, while constant, monthly updates keep Marketo’s features current.

Marketo Marketing Automation Features:

Reports & Analytics – Marketo includes a full set of closed-loop marketing reporting and analytics, with reports available on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to measure and prove marketing ROI. Standard reports are included, such as email performance, web activity, and lead performance, as well as a revenue modeling capability. Advanced users can create customized reports to monitor specific performance data as desired.
Marketo’s Opportunity Influence Analyzer is a stand-out feature that allows you track every contact along the marketing process so you can determine the effectiveness of each team member’s contribution to the final sale.

CRM Integration – Marketo provides full CRM integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and SAP Cloud for Sales as well as packaged integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM On Premise, NetSuite, Oracle and Sugar, but its seamless integration with Salesforce CRM is where Marketo truly shines. Marketo syncs every five minutes with Salesforce; this real-time access to their entire Salesforce data gives users the ability to quickly build, send, and automate campaigns.

Mobile App – Marketo has an Event Check In app that lets users check registered leads in with the app, then syncs the data with their marketing automation program.

Customer Support – Marketo’s training is a bit bare for some users, as advanced features require a degree of hand-holding that may not be provided. A steep learning curve could really be helped by more robust training; fortunately Marketo's Community is a great resource that steps in to fill that gap, with user-generated step-by-step instructions and support that provides a necessary connection to other users and company employees.

Outbound Marketing:

  • Email Marketing –Marketo’s built-in segmentation editor makes it easy to create tightly targeted email campaigns. Their automated campaigns work well once set up, thanks to their Customer Engagement Engine that ensures no one receives the same content twice. While Marketo’s email drip marketing capability works well on its own and makes it easy to integrate social, web, and mobile channels, the platform does not provide any support or interaction with traditional, non-digital drip campaigns (print, mail, etc.).

Inbound Marketing:

  • SEO – Marketo includes an SEO tool that provides some useful SEO capabilities, as well as search engine marketing features that analyze keyword performance and allow you to track the performance of Google AdWords, and campaigns on Bing, Yahoo, and other vendors.
  • Lead Management – Marketo has a lead scoring system that is a very strong tool with a sharp learning curve. Once users get the hang of the technology, lead scoring is unmatched. Scores can be calculated based on an unlimited amount of dimensions, with negative and positive scoring for inactivity, website behavior, demographics, etc. Marketo excels at acting on hot leads by allowing leads to be immediately forwarded to inside sales based on behaviors.
    • Social Marketing – Some integrated social marketing features are included with Marketo, in the form of social sharing buttons and the ability to share videos with your Facebook page. Engage prospects with contests, polls, and voting, as well as social promotions, sweepstakes, and referral campaigns.
    • Website Tracking – Marketo allows you to monitor each customer’s browsing and search activity, for both known and anonymous visitors, updating with contact info once the customer engages.
    • Landing Pages and Forms – With an easy-to-use, drag and drop interface, Marketo’s landing page design tool makes it easy to create professional looking landing pages that can quickly be converted to Facebook pages. Features make it easy to add content from a central library, and automated A/B testing helps you to achieve highly effective campaigns with a minimum of effort. Marketo excels at progressive profiling, with smart forms that substitute new questions and fields for known visitors, making it easy to grow intelligence over time.

Marketo PricingMarketo offers three marketing automation packages, each for up to 10,000 records (each record is a person with whom you have at least one contact). Packages include Spark for $895, Standard for $1,795, and Select for $3,195. Enterprise pricing is custom quoted. All contracts are a one-year commitment, paid annually, with pricing broken down to the monthly expense. Quarterly payments are possible for an additional 10%.

Marketo User ProfileMarketo’s marketing automation software is strictly for b2b companies. While their platform is available for organizations of all sizes, the majority of their users are mid-sized companies with 51-1000 employees.

Bottom Line
With a strong user community and top marks in Salesforce integration, Marketo is an excellent market automation software platform that gets top marks from experienced users. A steep learning curve makes Marketo difficult for new users or companies without the manpower to have dedicated personnel who can dedicate the time to mastering its operation. For those who make through the implementation process, though, Marketo is a powerful marketing tool with a robust set of features.

We hope this review provided you with some useful information to help you with your marketin automation software purchasing decision. Join us for next Thursday’s Market Automation Software Review, when we will be taking an in-depth look at Hubspot software.

Blue Interactive Agency is a leading South Florida internet marketing firm who has helped thousands of clients to grow their business with comprehensive online marketing services. Our marketing team can assist you in implementing your digital marketing campaign with professional content creation services that include professional blog writing, email writing, video production services, and more.

Contact us at Blue Interactive Agency today at 954-779-2801 for expert content creation services to help your internet marketing strategies succeed.