Marketo: leverages marketing database with full-featured lead generation, email marketing, lead scoring.
Updated June 15, 2016

Marketo: leverages marketing database with full-featured lead generation, email marketing, lead scoring.

Steve Susina | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

Global Enterprise

Modules Used

  • Marketo Lead Management

Overall Satisfaction with Marketo

  • Engagement programs provide an easy way to create multi-step, multi-touch email marketing campaigns with personalization and branching, using pre-approved templates.
  • Very flexible lead scoring, with the ability to set up separate scoring profiles for each of your customer personas.
  • Webhooks simplify the process of using APIs to pass data to third party applications.
  • Very strong user community online with many expert users willing to share their knowledge and help troubleshoot or address issues.
  • Recent enhancements include improved user interface for email creation, email analytics, and landing page template libraries
  • Response time for complex "Smart Lists" (or campaigns that use such lists) can be slow at times of peak load.
  • Documentation and formal announcements for new features trail availability. Sometimes you see new capabilities in the software before any formal announcement.
  • Registration forms and ease of list import enabled size of database/house to increase in first 18 months from 110,000 to 268,000.
  • Increased email deliverability by 9%, open rates by 18%, and conversion by 52%
  • Subscription Center replaced a single unsubscribe link, rate of general unsubscrption was cut in half.
  • Because Marketo automatically dedupes and appends data on import, we kept data clean and generated more complete records.
I have used Marketo at two companies, and am starting implementation at a third. The first, an IT systems integration and consulting firm, the second a B2B publishing company, and the third a management consulting firm.

At the IT systems integration firm, I formally evaluated Silverpop and Eloqua before selecting Marketo. Marketo was selected based because of integration with, pricing and ease-of-use.

At the publishing firm, there was an advanced lead-scoring requirement in addition to pricing and ease-of-use.
In general, when considering a marketing automation platform, consider the following:
--You'll also have to invest in data quality--marketing automation will expose bad data quickly.
--While you don't have to be a web developer, it helps to have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS.
--You'll need to have a basic understanding of logic--think about those Venn Diagrams you learned in grade school. List selection is a lot of AND, OR, NOT, etc.
--Take full advantage of peer groups, user communities, online groups etc.
--Talent is tight in the marketing automation space--you're not going to be able to hire someone cheap with 2-3 years experience.

And MOST IMPORTANT: If you don't have a strong marketing strategy, Marketo (or any other MA platform) won't help.

In terms of vendor questions, If I was looking at a marketing automation platform, these are the types of things I'd ask:
1. Can you set up multiple lead scores (one for each customer persona) or are you limited to a single score per lead?
2. Can I create custom fields in the database external to my CRM?
3. Do you have an API (beyond built-in integration with Salesforce and other CRMs) to pass data in and out the marketing automation platform to partners such as webinar providers, social media profiles, etc. Do you have service provider partners (e.g. WebEx) with whom you have canned integration?
4. Is there a user community? How active is it?
5. How long does a typical user take to become minimally proficient? Fully proficient?
6. What type of training is available? Online and In person? Self-directed or instructor led?
7. What type of analytics are available?
8. Am I on a shared IP address? How to you manage it to keep deliverablity rates high? Will I be penalized for the sins of other customers on the same shared IP?
9. Once we're up and running, how long should it take me to create and distribute an email? Build a landing page? Set up a white-paper registration/download or webinar registration?
10. Do you certify trained professionals on your platform?

Adobe Marketo Engage Feature Ratings

Using Marketo

5 - I've led Marketo implementations at two different organizations (IT consulting and publishing). My philosophy has been to cross-train functional specialists to make use of the platform--roles include:

--Website manager
--Events manager
--Marketing/promotions manager
--Audience Development (specific to publishing)
--Inside sales team
2 - --Marketo lead - marketing organization champion to serve as subject matter expert and first line of support internally.
--IT professional - for back-end integration and API work with external databases beyond the CRM
  • New Customer Acquisition.
  • Lead nurturing via targeted content offers (which papers, webinar regsitrations, etc.).
  • Marketing analytics.
  • One-click registrations for events and downloads--Marketo tracks email clicks, we realized we didn't need to route users to a traditional form/landing page.
  • Multiple lead scores by persona. Some content is only meaningful for certain customer segments.
  • API to automatically import data, Webhooks to pass data externally, extending our automation beyond our own database.
  • Integrated social media marketing--capability exists but we haven't incorporated it yet.
From a category perspective, marketing automation enables us to leverage our data, better connect with customers, provide highly relevant and targeted emails, and generate well qualified leads.

Marketo specifically provides a good balance of full-featured capability and ease of use. We've been able to cross-train the marketing team, starting with basic capabilities like list import and email marketing and get marketing to start thinking about marketing campaigns holistically--using Marketo to deliver the right content to the right audience at the right time in the customer purchasing cycle.

Some of the nice-to-have features built into Marketo are things like multiple lead scoring profiles (different lead score for each persona) and in-application hosting of images and files. Templated emails and landing pages mean our people don't have to be HTML experts to design and execute professional-looking campaigns.

Evaluating Marketo and Competitors

Yes - Replaced email marketing from Constant Contact. The reason for replacement was to incorporate automated campaign flows, behavioral analytics, easier personalization, customized per-campaign landing pages and registration forms, campaign analytics and performance based triggering.
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Vendor Reputation
The feature set was the most important factor--we needed a product that enabled separate lead scoring profiles for each of our different customer segments or personas--that was a showstopper. After that, we wanted a balance between ease-of-use and full-feature set, an established user community for peer assistance and talent acquisition..
I'd research the informal education and support. I didn't research this in advance, and luckily It's worked out very well with Marketo and their user community, LinkedIn groups, etc. Before I started using Marketo I didn't consider how much I would learn from such peer communities. I've found that I can answer most of my support issues with a quick search of the online community without resorting to opening a formal trouble ticket.

Marketo Implementation

1. Have a content marketing plan to run in parallel with the marketing automation installation--you'll need a lot of content to make full use of Marketo's capabilities.
2. Work with sales (and ISRs) to define and document a workflow--build your Marketo installation around how you do business--not figure out how to apply your business to the tools
3. Spend time of data cleaning--both an initial project as well as a strategy for ongoing data management. We found some change manaement issues (no more appending ZZZ to the first name to identify contacts who have left the company, for example, or prohibiting the entry of "" email addresses).
4. Find some champions in the sales and ISR teams. You'll have both fans and detractors--work with the fans to build some success stories