A strong player in the Automation space, but worth considering other options first.
July 27, 2021

A strong player in the Automation space, but worth considering other options first.

Greg Beazley | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • Marketo Lead Management
  • Marketo Sales Insight
  • Marketo Social Marketing

Overall Satisfaction with Marketo

Marketo is used for lead generation, lead management, data normalisation and management, content nurturing, event management, behavioural alerts, lead scoring, and more.
It addresses many business challenges in one tool and is substantially more robust than many other automation platforms in the market today.
  • The ability to clone entire programs and campaigns should not be underestimated as a marketing manager. This is a stand-out feature that other automation tools can't do (yet) in my experience.
  • myTokens: Campaign-based/local variables that can be used in emails and landing pages for everything from basic text, rich text, email scripts, CSS, scoring, and more. Set up your emails and LPs with myTokens and you'll be able to create an entire campaign without opening the email or LP editor. Clone program, update myTokens, test, and launch.
  • Engagement Programs: let you quickly create basic email nurture tracks with ease. Currently EPs can only send on a cadence of once per week, but future product release announcements suggest variable cadence will be possible soon.
  • AB Testing: using Email Programs and AB Test or ABCDEFG Test is simple to set up and report on. Manually chose the winner of your test or have Marketo choose automatically.
  • Marketo's email editor is basic in comparison to other cheaper alternatives out there.
  • Marketo doesn't work as well in B2C scenarios as it does in B2B. One of the painpoints of this is it's difficult to showcase a selection of product recommendations based on purchase behaviour without a very time consuming workaround. It's manageable if you're only selling a handful of products, but it's inefficient when dealing with a large catalogue.
  • Marketo's form and landing page builder are also behind the times. Perhaps not as bad as the Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform, but for an enterprise company the product should be much better.
  • Product Launches
  • Lead Management
In the past, I've used Marketo to manage community events to support customer development, product launches, and large company flagship events. The objective there was to encourage as many attendees to these events as possible, while also collecting valuable customer feedback for future improvements. Attendees meant extra revenue for the business. We also integrated a two-way SMS solution into Marketo, which enabled us to boost engagement rates to our events and surprise and delight attendees in the process.

We also used Marketo to manage leads through the customer journey. From prospecting, to nurturing, to booking confirmations, reminders, and so on. Over the course of a year since implementing Marketo, we had over 1000 automations running concurrently, each making an otherwise manual process more efficient and driving recurring revenue into the business.
Marketo is quite quick and easy to implement and you can send your first campaign really quickly. If your data is visible and synced from your CRM then it's simple to create a Smart Campaign to segment your audience and send emails, update data values, etc.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud on the other hand is a whole other kettle of fish. It's a BEAST of a platform and it's given to you as essentially a blank canvas with no clear "best practice" way to use it. The UI isn't user-friendly, the system is clunky and slow, and it could take days or weeks before you could send your first automated email journey. SFMC also relies on SQL to segment audiences, unlike Marketo's drag and drop segment builder. SQL is understandably more powerful and since SFMC uses Data Extensions for list management, this opens up a whole range of personalisation possibilities for you to leverage. Hence why SFMC is much better suited for B2C scenarios than Marketo is. SFDC also incorporates the power of AMPscript, which again, allows you to hyper-personalise every email you send. Whereas, you are limited to use Marketo Segmentations for Dynamic content which are more difficult to manage and a little less reliable.
If you are a growing B2B company with limited products and services and are looking for a platform that any Marketer can use, without the need of a Developer or specialised Agency, then Marketo is the way to go.
Marketo is well-suited to medium to enterprise B2Bs that are service-based or have a few key products on offer. Its drag and drop segment builder is very user-friendly (side note: it's so much better to use than Salesforce Marketing Cloud, which relies on SQL). What I also like about Marketo is its bidirectional sync with Salesforce because it makes it easier to manage duplicates and make simple or mass data updates for data hygiene practices.

Where Marketo falls short is its email, landing page, and form builder. It just doesn't compete when compared with modern-day alternatives, such as Unbounce, LeadPages, Mailchimp, or even ClickFunnels.

In the past, Marketo was one of the top choices for automation solutions, but with many competitor tools out there in the market these days, I would take longer to consider my options before placing Marketo at the top of the list. With the acquisition from Adobe, I've heard from many in the industry that areas of the business have suffered as a result - from Sales to Marketing, to Product Dev, and Support.

Adobe Marketo Engage Feature Ratings

WYSIWYG email editor
Dynamic content
Ability to test dynamic content
Landing pages
A/B testing
Mobile optimization
Email deliverability reporting
List management
Triggered drip sequences
Lead nurturing automation
Lead scoring and grading
Data quality management
Automated sales alerts and tasks
Event/webinar marketing
Standard reports
Custom reports
Role-based workflow & approvals
Integration with Salesforce.com
Integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Integration with SugarCRM
Not Rated