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Marketo Strengths and Weaknesses

Competitive positioning in the marketing software industry is highlighted with the following strengths and weaknesses.

Marketo Strengths:

  • Marketo is clearly one of the marketing software industry leaders. Company growth, fueled by customer acquisitions, is impressive and shows no signs of abating.
  • The Marketo user interface maximizes consumer technologies to deliver a simple and rewarding user experience. Marketo is a complete marketing automation software system that is particularly easy to use.
  • A quick to deploy, fast time to value marketing software solution.
  • Marketo has especially tight integration with Salesforce.com. Marketo was developed using Salesforce.com technologies, including Force.com, and strives to stay current with Salesforce.com releases and new innovation.
  • With the acquisition of Crowd Factory and the subsequent delivery of Marketo Social Boost and Marketo Social Promotions, the company is jockeying for a leadership position with regard to social marketing.
  • The system can automate A/B testing for emails and landing pages within a single campaign and intelligently rotate the treatments for accurate comparison.
  • "Half the money I spend on advertising works…the problem is I don’t know which half." For far too many marketers this statement is as true today as it was when originally said by John Wanamaker in 1919. Marketo's business intelligence aids this challenge with some respectable reporting tools and integration with third party (financial/budget) analytics products such as Allocadia. Marketo's information reporting capabilities are ahead of most marketing software competitors.
  • With the release of Marketo NEXT, the company introduced Smart Events—campaign management for events, and expanded marketing campaign management to offline channels.
  • Free trials are available for qualified prospects.

Marketo Weaknesses:

  • Marketo is one of the more expensive lead management and marketing automation systems in the industry. Acquisition costs (even for the lower cost Marketo Spark) are materially higher than competitors such as Act-On Software, HubSpot and Pardot.
  • Marketo does not support dynamic website content integration. The marketing software is unable to apply known lead behaviors to deliver relevant content (such as offers or calls to action) on the website.
  • The marketing software does not support the B2C or B2B2C markets well.
  • The application is very easy to use as long as you stay within the marketing software constructs. However, if your marketing objectives or software functionality requirements exceed the packaged capabilities the lack of tools or customization capabilities may leave you without viable options.
  • There are a very small number of small business partners and absence of system integrator or global partnerships and alliances.
  • Marketo is an impressive best of breed lead management application, however, becomes less competitive when looking beyond lead management as a point solution. The marketing software does not accommodate other marketing automation needs such as Marketing Resource Management (MRM), Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) and Marketing Asset Management (MAM).
  • Marketo does support multi-channel campaigns, however, largely limited to digital campaigns. More traditional, offline campaigns such as print, direct mail, contact center integration or mobile channels are not supported well or at all.
  • The company's quick growth has posed challenges on their implementation and professional services.
  • Due to a lack of group based/role based security, the system may not accommodate larger organizations which assign different marketers to different campaigns, regions, products or otherwise desire to apply security permissions to designated campaigns, content assets and the like.
  • Limited global support. The company opened a European outpost in Ireland in 2011 and an Australian outpost in 2012, and has limited support in the Asia Pacific region through business partner Datarati.
  • It appears that about one percent of Marketo customers use a CRM software system other than Salesforce.com. This gives Marketo the opportunity to create a very tightly integrated solution with Salesforce.com, but also results in very limited resources or development for other popular CRM systems, leaving them without tight integration, lack of focus and delayed software innovation. An integration does exist with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, however, the integration doesn't compare to that with Salesforce, and we've come across scarcely few customers using it.
  • Mandatory subscription contracts force an element of customer lock-in and suggest that customers may churn faster if given month to month contracts as several competitors offer.

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