Nurtures Great, Reports Clunky
Updated June 07, 2016

Nurtures Great, Reports Clunky

Brittany Stover | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

Spark

Modules Used

  • Marketo Lead Management

Overall Satisfaction with Marketo

We currently use Marketo for our lead nurturing streams and conference engagement. Our Marketing and Sales departments are the only departments at the company who are currently impacted by the product. Our main goal in implementing Marketo was to increase streamline cohesiveness between the two departments. We also hope to get further acquainted with the analytic's of Marketo to provide a more robust pipeline and ROI.
  • End User Communication and Training - Marketo is always reaching out to the end user about new products or different ways to use the tool. The Community offers great feature support and a positive environment to ask questions.
  • Nurture Streams & Transition Steps - The various nurture stream options are great tools and provide easy layouts to manage a spectrum of different streams at once.
  • Seamless integration with Salesforce - the time it takes to integrate and continue communication between the two systems is fabulous.
  • Analytic Reporting - Trying to create a simple report based on a few features is hard to do.
  • Reporting results - Currently the reports are very granular with only data. I would love to see heat maps, graphics and other illustrations to help tell the reporting story.
  • Template builds - It would be great if the template builder was more intuitive and could allow drag and drop features instead of just relying on HTML coding of a new template. Not all of us are coders...
  • Question is not applicable to our instance or industry
  • Engage and grow customers over time
  • Measure marketing investment
We have officially entered into our second year with Marketo. While in the beginning it was slow to get started (solely on our company not on Marketo) we are starting to see results in each of our goals. Regarding Engaging and growing customers, we previously would only send out random emails to our database sporadically and would not track the engagement of new leads. As a result of the nurture streams we are seeing more individuals enter in from various sources and continue to learn about us on a week by week basis. As this happens, naturally our second goal of measurement followed suit. Now with all the data we receive, its easy to build a business case for why Marketing and why Marketo.
Prior to joining our company, I had previous experience in multiple marketing automation systems, the exception - Marketo. Since joining I have been pleasantly surprised with the Similarities Marketo has to say Pardot and ExactTarget. The deciding factor for us was that the price was right and we are heavily wanting to increase the nurture streams for lead generation. Both were a check in our evaluation.
If you are looking for a robust solution to help with lead generation and account based marketing than I would definitely use Marketo
If you are looking for robust analytic reporting I would still consider using Marketo. With the new instance that is set to launch early in June, I am hopeful that it will fix a lot of the reporting inefficiencies that are current.

Marketo Feature Ratings

WYSIWYG email editor
8
Dynamic content
9
Ability to test dynamic content
9
Landing pages
8
A/B testing
10
Mobile optimization
9
Email deliverability reporting
9
List management
9
Triggered drip sequences
9
Lead nurturing
10
Lead scoring and grading
10
Data quality management
10
Automated sales alerts and tasks
9
Calendaring
8
Event/webinar marketing
9
Dashboards
6
Standard reports
8
Custom reports
8
API
9
Role-based workflow & approvals
9
Customizability
9
Integration with Salesforce.com
10

Using Marketo

3 - Our organization is smaller in number totaling less than 100. The three individuals that utilize Marketo are in the marketing department. One individual represents the complete digital space for our company. Another individual represents the communications aspect of our company, and the last individual represents the graphic design element for our company. As we move forward we are hoping to get more sales involved in the instance.
3 - This answer will not be relevant going forward with the spring release from Marketo. However, on the current instance of Marketo you need individuals that have basic HTML or CSS skill to update and make changes to basic landing pages and email templates. Also you need analytical thinking skill sets in order to review reporting and map out strategy for nurture streams.
  • Streamline lead nurturing
  • Provide analytical insight into Marketing and Sales enablement
  • Learning the voice of our customers through Munkin Coding our website
  • Addition of Marketo Calendar for event management and ease of leads entering into the system
  • The snippet functionality of grabbing images off websites without downloading is great!
  • Integration within multiple technology systems we currently used but didn't know matched with Marketo
  • Web Personalization
  • RCA
  • Social Selling
I gave this rating because on the short answer we just renewed with Marketo. However, during the few months leading up to our renewal date there were several discussions that took place as to stay or not to stay. The answer ultimately was determined by the functionality level hit currently in our instance and the ability to scale quickly now that our foundations were properly in place. Once you are deeply integrated and enjoy partnering with a company it is hard to consider moving elsewhere.
  • In the beginning lead hand off to sales were slower due to a properly vetted system - however the leads we are sending over are 47% more qualified than when we began
  • We are still new in the process to really start seeing ROI

Evaluating Marketo and Competitors

Yes - We used MailChimp prior to switching to Marketo. MailChimp is a great platform to begin marketing automation if you are a smaller company and just getting started in the space. However, the lack of nurture streams and lead engagement was the biggest draw to switching systems. Once we implemented we realized the lead database and segmentation that Marketo offers was far more superior than MailChimps. Also the number of email addresses that you can send to at one launch is vastly larger than our previous automation system. Reporting analytics are more robust and allow you to pull more information out of the system - especially if your instance is synced with Salesforce.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Analyst Reports
  • Third-party Reviews
There were many factors that helped during the decision making process However two of the list stand out to me. Product features and product usability could arguably fit one in the same for the most important factor in our decision. the existing functionality of Marketo and the promise of smoother interaction to come was the biggest plus in our decision to leave our other vendor. Marketo is to automation like Salesforce to the sales cycle - a foundation software that allows each business the opportunity to turn it into what meets your needs. Once you get past the start up phase, it is amazing the different ways you can go about building your content automation.
I believe that our company made the right decision in picking Marketo to be our marketing automation platform. Looking back and reviewing the way we made our decision I find little I would change about it. One thing that could have made the evaluation experience even better would be to look more on the social presence. Everyone has an opinion and checking out reviews such as this one in greater detail would be beneficial. Other than that I believe we took the right time to do our extensive research between all automation providers and landing on Marketo. The price, functionality, and ease of use outweighed the competition.

Marketo Implementation

I am happy that we had a professional company come alongside our team to help with the implementation of Marketo. Had we not had this company we would have significantly increased our implementation time. The implementation itself was fine and for the most part smooth. My suggestion for new companies looking to implement with Marketo or any automation platform would be to make sure you have enough time to future cast. It's easy to get in the weed and day to day needs, but if you want your Marketo instance to run smoothly and be able to scale as time goes on what you do on the front end is important. Even if you don't do something that is suggested in your scoring or tokens leave it in their as a consideration for the upcoming years.
  • Vendor implemented
  • Professional services company
During our implementation we partnered with a Marketo suggested third party company LeadMD. This company set up an initial call to see what we wanted out of our Marketo platform to help us customize our integration to fit our needs. We had 4 different phases that needed to be accomplished within a 3 month time frame. Working with a third party company that already had knowledge of the system helped us not make mistakes on the front end when set up is crucial for new users. If I ever have to go through implementation with Marketo again at another company I will not hesitate to use a professional service for the install.
Yes - During implementation we had 4 phases to complete our process. The first phase was more on the technical aspect. we needed to review and integrate Salesforce with the approved fields and apply the munchin code to our website for tracking. The second phase was physically integrating the systems together and mapping out our lead database. The third phase consisted of building out our lead scoring based on behavior and demographic information we wanted to capture. Also we set up channels and tokens during this phase. Our last phase dealt with more of the customization of our Marketo instance. Helping us determine which email and form templates to choose from and creating basic emails to get us started with the system.
Change management was a major issue with the implementation - With the Marketo implementation came a paradigm shift in our company. Prior to using Marketo we sent one off emails to individuals in our database and as soon as they responded were directed immediately to Sales for conversion. Our team knew with this implementation a nurture stream would take the place of initial pass to sales. This can be a very sensitive subject of taking potential revenue away from the sales team. Initially it took the buy end of our ELT leading the way for this change. Now our sales team are finding the leads coming to them are MQL instead of random and are seeing a close rate higher than before.
  • Difficulties with the Munchkin code at first integrating with our Drupal site
  • Future thinking all the initial lead scoring rule without ever having that before

Marketo Training

  • Online training
  • Self-taught
I have attended virtual training sessions in the past where I have left feeling confused on what steps to move forward with. That was not the case with the Marketo basic foundations class! the class is over the span of 3 full days. Their are instructions and exercises or each individual to complete throughout all days of the training. The breakdown of the system and how the training begins to unpack all the features is put together very well. I attended the class prior to our implementation and would recommend everyone to do it that way. You get a familiar understanding and then can take a deep dive with your professional company that is there to ensure you will succeed.
After the basic foundations class and the implementation time frame I was left to finish learning and creating items in Marketo on my own. I cannot stress enough how helpful the community is! The community provides you access to individuals right at your fingertips that will help provide answers to questions you are looking for, or documentation of problems you are currently facing that someone else has already figured out. Everyone is friendly and wants to make sure you have the best experience with the program and each other. Also their are groups called MUG (Marketo User Groups) that allow you to meet individuals either in your same region or like minded people that will help you accomplish your goals - join one or five!

Configuring Marketo

I think that Marketo's product configurability is to the level you want to make it. A new adopter of the product can find the configuration to be as simple as they need it to be. However as you grow and learn more of the capabilities the product has you can begin to chance your configurations to make it more complex to help you. Let's say you are a new user and are leery of giving all automation power to the system you can make some rules manual for a season to watch the accuracy of the platform. This is something we did and are now turning on more automation rules to make our lives simpler.
My recommendation would be less is more in the beginning. Depending on what your understanding is with marketing automation platforms you may be more knowledgeable then others. Use your own knowledge as the measuring stick of how complex you want to configure Marketo. You can always add more complexity and automation rules as you learn and grow with the system. Some times it is best to keep things simple in the beginning which will allow you time to understand the ends and outs of the system. Once you do that you can truly make Marketo work the best for you and your company.
Some - we have done small customizations to the interface - Customization to the user interface is very easy to do. This should be preferenced with depending on your role within Marketo. If you are an administrator in the system you have access to more customization options than other users. I would say to familiarize yourself with the instance prior to making any large customization changes. Sometimes the smallest change might make a big impact on the back end. Know before you do!
Yes - we have added extensive custom code - Specifically where customer facing assets are focused. The out of the box implementation of Marketo provides you with templates for email, landing pages, and forms. All of them are fine and can work well for you. However we have a very specific digital look and feel to our company and in order to have marketo be consistent we had to work in code. My suggestion for this would be to either pay for a litmus subscription or open a basic free account. This software will allow you to look at the finished product at the same time making changes in the code. This was a huge life saver for us when working in code because you would have to save what you were working on to view changes on the emails and then go back into the code to make more changes.

Marketo Support

As I mentioned in the previous question, Marketo does a fantastic job supporting all of the companies that partner with them regardless of their paid status. Depending on the issue, your problem will be solved in a matter of hours if not in a business day. I have only had a few cases stay open longer and that was due partly on our part of needing to research more information to give to the support team. I did not rate the support a 10 but that is just my standards. I believe that although companies are great to work with we should all strive to be better and provide better service. Marketo does that over and over again.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
No - At this moment we are just over 1 year of partnership with Marketo. Currently all support related issues have been resolved in the time frame that meets our needs. Also we have a smaller team using Marketo within our organization so the need for premium support is smaller than the larger companies out there. However, if our company grows in numbers by our marketing department and we begin to implement in an international space we will definitely consider paying for premium support. Overall Marketo does a fantastic job supporting its customers regardless of your paid status.
Yes - In the beginning of our integration with Marketo and Salesforce we had a bug happen in our lead library. Marketo was duplicating the Salesforce leads and contacts into two different lists. I was actually unaware of the issue and my Marketo representative reached out to me. We immediately took the issue to support and our situation was resolved in a matter of two days. The end result found that we accidentally uploaded the list twice into Marketo which created our own bug. Thanks to Marketo we were able to find the solution quickly and ensure our database was clean prior to implementing nurture streams.
In the beginning of our integration with Marketo and Salesforce we had a bug happen in our lead library. Marketo was duplicating the Salesforce leads and contacts into two different lists. I was actually unaware of the issue and my Marketo representative reached out to me. We immediately took the issue to support and our situation was resolved in a matter of two days. The end result found that we accidentally uploaded the list twice into Marketo which created our own bug. Thanks to Marketo we were able to find the solution quickly and ensure our database was clean prior to implementing nurture streams.

Using Marketo

If you are looking to start using Marketo out of the box then I think this system will work great for you. There are many templates that Marketo provides the end user with to get you started. From email templates to forms and landing pages you should be up and running rather smoothly. When we implemented Marketo the new update had not released yet so customizing email templates to look and feel exactly like your brand were a bit cumbersome. We used Litmus to make changes to the code and plugged the html back into the template within Marketo. Now with the new upgrade we are excited that a lot of that customization should go away and can be done all within the new Marketo email editor.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
None
  • Lead Library
  • Analytic Reporting
  • Email Testing
  • New Email template creations - if you are not using Marketo's templates
  • Understanding Tokens at first and how to use them
  • Creating new stylized forms - Again if you are not using the templates provided for you in Marketo

Marketo Reliability

The ability to scale rapidly was one of the main contributing factors for our company choosing to partner with Marketo. We currently operate internationally but have a domestic digital presence only. We needed a product that would allow us to scale up on an international scope while maintaining the ease of use and reporting. Marketo provides both of those needs for us. With the vast amount of programs and nurture streams you can create within the system leaves you room to grow and scale at your own pace.
Marketo provides different way and abilities to connect. If you are having product support or unexplained errors you can get someone on Marketo support 24 hours a day. One of Marketo's greatest assets in my opinion however would be the community. Often times our company is just looking for case success stories from someone else. In the community you can search for problems you are currently facing and see others having the same issue and solutions for those issues. If not, you can pose a question to the whole community and champions of the product and others can chime in to provide suggestions to fix your needs. The community is truly a 24/7 place to get your answers quickly.
This question is really dependent upon how big your database is slated to be in Marketo. If you have a smaller lead database and are using Marketo on a smaller scale I would say the performance will be top notched. As your database starts to increase the performance slightly dips due to the depth of your system. However, during the spring 2016 update Marketo released information regarding Project Orion which will vastly increase the performance of Marketo at any tier you may be in.

Integrating Marketo

Depending on the vendors that you are hoping to integrate with Marketo, the ease of integration should be high. All vendors that we currently work with or are researching in the future have to have one rule - they integrate with Marketo. Marketo is the backbone to our nurturing and demand gen initiative it is important for our company to only work with vendors who support Marketo. I have heard there are work arounds that are easy to implement if vendors are not currently supporting Marketo that you can do, but cannot comment on those.
in 2016 we are looking to integrate at least two more products into our Marketo instance. Each of the 5 will be deeply integrated into Marketo, Salesforce, and our website. The integration process was fairly smooth and easy to achieve.
Yes the vendors support integration with Marketo and are actually some of their suggested partners
  • Single Signon
  • API (e.g. SOAP or REST)
  • AppExchange or similar marketplace
None that I see
I would echo my previous statement. At our company, all vendors that we currently work with or are researching in the future have to have one rule - they integrate with Marketo. Marketo is the backbone to our nurturing and demand gen initiative and it is important for our company to only work with vendors who support Marketo. If you have previous relationships with vendors that are not currently supporting Marketo I would encourage you to encourage them to research how to support Marketo. When everything talks to each other and syncs smoothly together it is so much easier to accomplish your tasks.

Relationship with Marketo

During the sales process the vendor was very easy to work with. There is something to be said when a company is interested in what you are doing and who wants to genuinely learn about the way you are currently accomplishing your goals. Only after they learned out who we are and what we are trying to accomplish did the solutions become part of the conversation. At that point you are more interested in hearing about the solutions because they are tailor made to meet your issues and provide sustainable solutions.
In most cases, the immediate after sale picture looks blank. You have signed the contract and paid for your commitment and are closed/won in the eyes of the sales team. This is not the case with Marketo. Once you have moved through the sales cycle you are introduced to a success partner that will be with you throughout your whole experience with Marketo. From monthly to quarterly calls, you will feel part of the team and are provided insight knowledge of things up and coming.
Without going into too much detail we were able to negotiate a decent discounted rate for consecutive years of using Marketo. Database size and scalability were a factor in the discounted structure. Also the more add on features that are purchased also helped the discount structure in our conversations. You have the flexibility to sign a one year contract if you desire as well.
My advice to anyone looking to enter into a partnership with the vendor would be to do your research. The purchasing process can get so confusing if you are not properly informed. Know all the different tier breakdowns and implications that happen if you go over your allotted size. Know the different features that are available and see if you can get a discount by purchase two together.

Upgrading Marketo

Yes - We recently just went through a new release of Marketo. This release happened over the weekend and had minimal down time due to the strategic day of updates. When you have a large system of partners one thing to keep in mind is you might not see the updates the very next day you walk in the door. Normal updates take two weeks to be fully implemented. If you are not in the highest tier you can expect a few days delay of updated product release. This does not hinder normal productivity unless you are expecting to roll out the changes immediately.
  • Email Editor
  • Email Insights
  • Better Analytics
Yes - Currently we have the highest level edition of Marketo. If there is a time when a new edition comes out and it meets our business case we will absolutely look to move and upgrade to the new edition. Keeping up with each edition and the features of each are very important for decision making.