Lukewarm on Marketo - Powerful but really complex
August 28, 2015
Lukewarm on Marketo - Powerful but really complex
Director of Product Management & Marketing
Olive SoftwareComputer Software, 51-200 employees
Score 7 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Marketo
Currently we use Marketo to send our blast e-mail campaigns, newsletters (both Marketing and Ops) and any other adhoc outbound communications. It is currently being used by Marketing and Operations. We also use the Real-Time Personalization engine on our website to drive traffic to our blog posts.
- Powerful - there are a LOT of options in Marketo for different types of marketing activities, reports, flows, actions and responses, etc.
- Abundant Resources - There are a lot of resources available from Marketo and from the Marketo user community for any challenges you may encounter.
- Continuous improvement - Marketo seems to be very active in releasing new features and really moving the needle around complex marketing automation tasks and capabilities.
- Thought Leadership - Marketo is deeply invested in supporting and promoting best practices and the big ideas of what works and what's next in modern marketing.
- Complexity - because there is SO much available in Marketo, it is extremely complex and very difficult to learn. They onboard you with a week of required training which 1) is hard to make time for (unless you have/are a dedicated resource that ONLY does Marketo) and 2) actually isn't enough time to get through it all (and we have the basic version). It's also challenging to figure out where to go if you have a question. You'll have an implementation consultant (plus one for any additional modules you get), plus your sales rep, plus their e-mail based support process and then there is their crowdsourced support community... so you do a lot of searching for info, might ask support directly but the net result is there is a whole ton of info out there but aren't many easy answers to basic questions. Admittedly I am part of the problem. I am not a 100% dedicated to using/learning Marketo, but isn't marketing automation supposed to automate and simplify complexity rather than introduce more?
- Really Bad UI - They have done a lot to try and simplify and modernize Marketo's interfaces but the excessive complexity and all the available options means the UI is littered with so many elements that it's hard to know what to do, what's required, whats optional, if you are doing things right, etc. My needs are fairly basic and will become more complex over time, and their UI should be boiled down into the most basic steps for the most common use cases. I'm flying a quadcopter... I don't need NASA to do it.
- Templates need work - many of the templates provided by Marketo are really dated looking. It would be great if they could provide a library of easy to import/use templates that are mobile adaptive out of the box.
- Cost... and not just price: First of all, Marketo isn't cheap (although it's far from the most expensive) so because it will take a while to ramp up and build ROI. We've had Marketo for 6 months now, and we are getting a bit more value out of it than we were from a $50/month mail service (but we are paying a heck of a lot more than that for Marketo).
- Improved intelligence around our web traffic - we went from basically dumb analytics to knowing quite a bit more about who was visiting our site and what content they were consuming
- Better flexibility around marketing list ingestion and Salesforce synchronization
- Financially, we have not experienced a positive ROI but the intangible benefits are valuable
We made an evaluation of 3 marketing automation systems and Marketo seemed to offer the greatest functionality and flexibility for the cost. All costs were approximately equivalent. Marketo did seem to have the largest community of users and consultants outside Marketo itself. Unfortunately evaluating each platform without hands on experience couldn't easily be done so our decision was somewhat arbitrary.
If you are a small business with limited marketing resources, you may want to look at more basic solutions. You need to have someone who is dedicated to using Marketo and will be your internal expert on that system, as it will be their full time job for a few weeks to learn the system. You also need to have lots of good content resources ready in order to maximize your value from using the system. If you don't have good core content to share, automated distribution tools such as Marketo won't help.
Adobe Marketo Engage Feature Ratings
WYSIWYG email editor
Ability to test dynamic content
Email deliverability reporting
Triggered drip sequences
Lead nurturing automation
Lead scoring and grading
Data quality management
Automated sales alerts and tasks
Role-based workflow & approvals
Integration with Salesforce.com
Integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Integration with SugarCRM