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Marketo Review—A Deep Dive Comparative Assessment

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Marketo is a publisher of Software as a Service (SaaS) marketing automation systems for B2B companies primarily in the small and midsize business (SMB) market but is also extending into the enterprise sector. The company was founded in 2006 by former executives from B2C marketing provider Epiphany, including Epiphany's president and COO, chief technology officer, and vice president of marketing applications. The trio set out to expand marketing automation in the B2B market with cloud-based marketing automation software which improved ease of acquisition, use and ownership. The first marketing software version was released in 2008. As of November 2012, Marketo counted over 2000 customers and 22,000 user subscribers in B2B industries such as high technology, financial services, healthcare, communications and professional services.

Marketo offers several marketing software products. Marketo Lead Management is a traditional marketing automation system that manages demand generation campaigns in order to deliver sales-ready leads to the sales team. Marketo Sales Insight aids sales staff in prioritizing the most active and qualified leads for sales pursuit. Marketo Social Marketing leverages online engagement components over social networks to expand reach and amplify campaigns. Marketo Revenue Cycle Analytics helps marketers visualize, measure and impact the revenue cycle. Collectively, these marketing solutions are designed to help companies automate demand generation processes, decrease revenue cycles, demonstrate marketing performance, and increase marketing budget ROI.

Lead Acquisitions with Email Marketing

Marketo lead acquisition tools include email marketing, landing pages, A/B testing, lead scoring and lead nurturing.

Email marketing uses multiple step email campaigns to personalize messages from sales reps and deepen lead relationships over time. Key email marketing features include:

  • Target lists can be created in a visual, drag and drop user interface based on demographics, activity history and real-time behavioral triggers—all of which better personalize the messaging and collectively increase response rates. Email marketing uses a WYSIWYG email editor, automates triggered and multiple step email programs and sends and tracks emails on behalf of sales people.
  • Lists can be created directly from a campaign. While many marketing software systems create lists separately so they can ensure consistency and be reused and shared among campaigns, there is also an advantage of building a list directly within the campaign.
  • Emails can be created with the visual editor, from templates, by copying and pasting from Microsoft Word (without forcing users to copy and paste only clean text from Notepad) or by importing HTML for those high creativity designers that don't want structure limitations. Emails are shared across campaigns.
  • Email templates can also be designated by country or region. This is helpful for complying with privacy and spam regulations such as double opt-out and Safe Harbor regulations, which can vary by country.
  • A key Marketo weakness is the systems inability to dynamically leverage block data with emails in order to better personalize the email for the target recipients.
  • Marketo email deliverability tools help email distributions actually get to their intended mailboxes. The tools let you proof how your campaign will look in different email readers and spot HTML or other content that may cause trouble with spam filters. Email deliveries try to conform to ISP throttling limits, bounce codes, reputation parameters and rules. Marketo email uses StrongMail for email delivery and ReturnPath for reputation management. Marketo also discloses deliverability scores at its Trust site and at the time of this marketing automation software review was achieving Return Path reputation scores in excess of 90.
  • While Marketo enables personalization for email marketing, it's not able to apply that same personalization to the same leads once they arrive to the website. Marketing software competitors such as HubSpot are increasingly leveraging lead behaviors and intelligence not just in email distribution, but also in delivering dynamic and relevant content on the website.

The days of batch email blasts and dismal response rates are over. They not only don't work, they actually alienate leads and customers. Marketo provides the tools to segment customers, create targeted lists and deliver relevant and personalized emails according to a schedule.

Next - Marketo Landing Pages Review >>

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