For businesses looking to take their digital marketing to the next level, our marketing automation challenge is putting all the major software options head-to-head, comparing them on metrics like price, integration, and features. Today’s review covers Marketo marketing automation, a strong player for mid-sized businesses, with some great functionality at a fairly modest starting price.
In an earlier post, we started discussing marketing automation and how it’s essential for businesses doing both B2B and B2C selling. According to a study that Forbes magazine covered, marketing automation is a booming industry: from just over US$5 billion spent on marketing automation in 2013, businesses will spend nearly $10 billion on marketing automation in 2018. Marketing automation provides solutions, which means that if your firm isn’t implementing marketing automation, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage behind your competitors
Like we explained in our post on Marketing Automation For Dummies, before you implement a marketing automation strategy, you need to identify your key goals. Hard metrics include things like increased lead generation, better quality leads and improved conversion rates. Soft metrics could include better marketing ROI viability, more user engagement, and sales-marketing alignment. Once you’ve defined your goals, this information will inform your decision about which marketing automation system is right for your firm.
While Marketo has some weaknesses, it’s seen huge growth in a short time for some good reasons: it’s a great option for businesses of a hundred or so employees who want to break into the world of marketing automation. This means that if you’re part of a medium-sized business doing B2B or B2C selling, and you’re looking to automate your firm’s marketing efforts, Marketo might be a wise choice.
Marketo’s email marketing features are very user-friendly: a drag-and-drop interface for designing customer emails, so users don’t need any HTML skills to create attractive email templates. Email can be automated to fire according to a specified time or user action. This means that if you’re using Marketo, you can rely on a program that takes a lot of the hard work out of an email marketing campaign.
Marketo started as lead management software, not marketing automation, so it’s naturally a strong performer in the lead management department. Lead management is a central component of the Marketo platform, so users will likely be pleased with what Marketo has to offer in this regard.
Many businesses will probably already have a CRM system like Salesforce implemented. Another piece of good news about Marketo is that it has good integration with Salesforce, so this portion of the implementation will be that much easier.
Analytics are a weak point with Marketo: they are a bit clunky and not as thorough as those in other marketing automation platforms.
Marketo’s analytics software is best used by someone with a strong background in those fields. Otherwise, a user might need to spend a lot of time customizing Marketo in order to get it working best for their needs. Either way, this area is, unfortunately, a weak point.
Marketo is generally rated as a great, easy and intuitive tool, particularly for new users. Marketo also has good customer service so it’s easy to get your team using Marketo with minimal training.
Marketo’s pricing starts at $895 per month, which is great for medium-sized business. Higher tiers are much more expensive, though ($1795 and over $3000), and might not offer the reporting capabilities that large companies need.
Marketo is a good starter option for mid-sized companies who need an intuitive choice with great customer service, in order to help them figure out the best way to use marketing automation.
Marketo is a weaker performer at the higher tiers, due to some shortcomings in its analysis and reporting capabilities. Given some of these aspects of Marketo’s service, here companies with bigger budgets could go for a more comprehensive option.
To summarize: Marketo is a good choice for a mid-sized company that’s looking to break into the world of marketing automation. It offers great lead management, email marketing, and CRM integration, among other strong points. However, what Marketo has to offer might not work for larger companies who need something more robust in the way of analytics and reporting features.
If you need advice about which marketing automation platform is best for your business, just send us a message. Demodia can help you craft a marketing automation strategy that will nurture your leads the smart way. Drop us a line today!