Good experience with Marketo so far
Updated September 10, 2019

Good experience with Marketo so far

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

Global Enterprise

Modules Used

  • Marketo Lead Management
  • Marketo Sales Insight

Overall Satisfaction with Marketo

Our marketing team uses Marketo. On my side of things, I specifically utilize Marketo and its services to create, design and automate emails to focus on lead generation. I have used both nurture, drip and single-send emails during my time with Marketo so far (less than a year). I also serve as one of the go-to persons with my organization to contact Marketo support.
  • I enjoy how the "Smart List" and "Flow" steps allow you to drag-and-drop criteria to build your audience.
  • Premade templates are great starting places to build emails.
  • It is easy to look at all off the details you need to see on a lead.
  • Support is fast to answer your questions and very helpful.
  • I wish there was a way to send emails across all time zones at the same time.
  • The predesigned templates could be improved if you could add elements into them rather than just remove them.
  • It is a bit complex to do simple birthday email sendouts to leads.
  • Lead Management
The goal is to communicate with leads across all levels. This may be through nurturing old leads and hopefully bringing them back to the organization, or immediately getting in contact with new leads so that they immediately know their value and receive contact as soon as they enter into our system.
My team did research and a comparison when it came to choosing the marketing automation engine that would best work for us. I was not a part of this process, so I am not able to specifically answer why. However, I do know that Marketo outranked competitors in terms of features offered that would best suit our organization.
This has been the first marketing automation engine I have used in full, so I cannot well compare it to other situations. However, to date I do not feel that it has let me down. We have always been able to successfully launch campaigns in the way we want them to launch, and support has always given us a helping hand when needed.

Marketo Feature Ratings

WYSIWYG email editor
10
Dynamic content
10
Ability to test dynamic content
10
Landing pages
10
A/B testing
10
Mobile optimization
9
Email deliverability reporting
10
List management
10
Triggered drip sequences
10
Lead nurturing
10
Lead scoring and grading
10
Data quality management
10
Automated sales alerts and tasks
10
Event/webinar marketing
9
Social sharing and campaigns
10
Social profile integration
10
Dashboards
10
Standard reports
10
Custom reports
10
API
10
Role-based workflow & approvals
10
Customizability
10
Integration with Salesforce.com
8
Integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Not Rated
Integration with SugarCRM
Not Rated

Learnings & Advice

We have seen multiple leads that were inactive for a period of time greater than six months come back to us and reach a stage of conversion. We accomplished this directly because of building nurture email campaigns through Marketo, using smart lists to target this audience, and scheduling a regular cadence of emails to be sent to them. I am honestly still learning Marketo every day even after two years of use; it is a multi-faceted program and there is always something new to learn or master, but it has already brought us a lot of success.
We use Marketo to provide a fun, knowledgeable series of emails to leads who have gone cold. These emails are not salesy and are full of fun, useful information that is not always even directly related to our business. Sometimes they are encouraging. Even if these mails don't result in a sale, we just hope they bring some value and fun into our customer's lives.
If you are about to embark on your Marketo journey, my first piece of advice would be to engage in the many documents Marketo makes available and get yourself educated on what you need to do to make your email programs work. Learn about smart lists, smart campaigns, reporting capabilities, streams, filters, and so on. It can seem like a very intimidating product when you first open it, but once you have a grasp of the basics, it's pretty easy to conduct your everyday business while constantly striving to learn more and do better. The Marketo community is also a valuable resource where you can connect with others who are using Marketo for work just like you are. They are sometimes even more knowledgeable than Marketo's support staff.
The Marketo community has been invaluable to me. I have been able to learn much more through getting firsthand accounts from other users who have already been there and done what I am doing. It is a great place to get advice, talk about wished for features, review release notes, discover workarounds and just gain a lot of knowledge about the product. I recommend it to any level Marketo user.
The most valuable thing you can do is get yourself involved in the Marketo community and familiarize yourself with Marketo's thorough documents. I would not pay for a training service if it was not provided to me for free as you can learn everything you need to know through the documents Marketo provides as well as by communicating with other users on the support forum.

Using Marketo's core features

  • Programs
  • Email Templates
  • Forms
  • Landing Pages
  • Smart Campaigns
  • Lead Nurture
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Reporting - It is easy to create and tweak reports to our needs
  • Smart Lists - The smart list feature is very thorough and can let you target anywhere from a broad to a narrow selection of leads
  • Email Campaigns - It is easy to create and schedule email campaigns
I am a big fan of the nurture streams and even though I have used it quite a bit, I feel like I am just now really grasping how flexible they can be. We currently use nurture streams to send out emails to leads who have gone cold, or not been in contact us for a significant period of time. It is a great way to schedule content to send to these leads, and we have seen increased engagement because of them.
I have most certainly learned a lot from the Marketo Community, especially when I have had an issue where I wanted an answer fast instead of needing to rely on support. The forums are a bit tricky to navigate at first (I honestly usually just end up where I need to be with a quick Google search) but there is a treasure trove of information within.
I do not have first-hand experience with other platforms.
I really appreciate how folders are organized using the tree system; the archive is also extremely helpful for hiding things that we no longer actively use, but would prefer keeping just in case! The one thing that would better help organization in Marketo would be an easier way of opening new tabs while inside the software.

Benefits of using some of Marketo's core features

Lead sourcing is actually something I am just now delving into, and I can already see the difference Marketo has made. How I currently utilize information regarding lead sources is by tracking what leads have made active, positive strides on both a weekly and all-time basis. After checking to see the status of those leads, I then look and track the lead sources all within Marketo and create a thorough report for my superiors. This helps us see how we are performing organically as well as which of our paid sources are performing well (or not so well).

Using Marketo

5 - Currently, we are a small marketing team who uses Marketo on behalf of the rest of our organization. We are a private university and we primarily use Marketo as a means to reach out to prospective students who have recently inquired about enrolling with us, as well as students who reached out to us at one point but we have not heard from for a while.
2 - We have two individuals (myself and a co-worker) who are by no means Marketo professionals, but have taken on the brunt of learning about the software. We attended a few of Marketo's supplied digital training sessions, but most of our learning has come from on-the-job experience as well as perusing the Marketo support community. Marketo does a LOT of things, and it can be really overwhelming at first, but the support is out there to get the help you need.
  • Lead generation - Communicating efficiently and effectively with recent inquiries
  • Lead nurturing - Reaching out to cold leads through informative, soft sales emails
  • Promotional - Singular emails to promote special events
  • Birthday greetings - One fun thing we have been able to organize is a digital birthday card to send on the birthdays of our prospective students! They really appreciate the gesture.
  • We are always looking into how we can expand our Marketo usage with new innovations. Currently, I hope to also begin several email campaigns using Marketo that will target a more traditional student audience.
Our organization heavily relies on Marketo, and we have seen a lot of success because of it, including students who enrolled because of our emails. These are not just recent inquiries, but several dozen students who had not had contact with us in six months or even more than a year. That is invaluable to us.
  • By far our most positive ROI has been the lead conversion. Through the marketing mails we send via Marketo, we have generated many new students who we may not have otherwise been able to reach.

Evaluating Marketo and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
I was not a part of the team who made the decision to go with Marketo, however I do know some about the decision-making progress. The team who chose Marketo took a close look at other platforms and made intricate notes of price, features, usability, compatibility, and so on. Marketo was chosen because it was the best matched to our needs.
Since I was not a part of the initial team, it is difficult for me to say what I would change. I think that my organization was very thorough in looking at every conceivable category before choosing to go with Marketo. One thing I would definitely be sure to evaluate is the availability of customer support and training videos, sessions, and other materials.

Marketo Training

  • Online training
  • Self-taught
It may have just been the specific individual our organization was assigned, but our Marketo training left something to be desired. It was included in our package so we did not pay extra for it; had we spent money on the training, we would have had bigger complaints. It was two days of training that lasted most of the day. The presenter was not very professional and there was no time to practice implementing what we had just learned, which I really could have benefited from. A more interactive experience would have been nice. There is a LOT of information to absorb as Marketo boasts a very wide range of capabilities, so even two days' worth of training was just scratching the surface. I would have preferred an interactive dive into the areas that were most pertinent to our business.
Marketo is a bit intimidating at first glance, but one of the great things I've utilized is their online selection of self-help and tutorials, as well as the Marketo community. They have really great guides in place that will walk you through most aspects of the automation platform. The community is a bonus as you are able to speak directly with other Marketo users who typically have more experience than you. The website is docs.marketo.com and it is a pathway to all of the tutorials, release notes, and so on. It has been a bigger help to me than our actual trainer was.

Marketo Support

I have overall had good interactions with the Marketo support team. There have been a few instances where responses have been slow or the support technicians have seemed as if they are not as knowledgeable with their product as they should be, but even during these times, they strive to help us with our issues or connect us with the people who can. It is always easy to check the status of your ticket or reconnect if needed.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
No - We had premium support as a part of our initial Marketo entrance period, but it was not something that was cost effective for us. Our team has been devoted to learning as much as we can about Marketo to tackle things ourselves and then working with non-premium support when it is needed.
A support engineer from Marketo was once incredibly diligent about a difficult issue, and it was really appreciated. He actually emailed me every single day to let me know the latest update, even if there really wasn't an update at all. He always made sure that myself and my organization were not forgotten about as we worked through the issue. It was very appreciated an an excellent example of customer service.

Using Marketo

Marketo can do a lot, and I think it is amazing at what it does. That being said, it is a beast to learn and take full advantage of! Even more than a year later, I feel like I am barely scratching the surface of some capabilities. It is difficult to master, especially if you are new to marketing engines.
ProsCons
Easy to use
Well integrated
Consistent
Unnecessarily complex
Requires technical support
Slow to learn
Cumbersome
Lots to learn
  • Database storage, searches, and creating exemption lists from them
  • Sending non-HTML mails
  • Creating HTML mails without a very deep knowledge of coding - their Design Studio leaves a lot to be desired
  • The sort from ascending/descending option in most lists is unavailable and forces you to download to an Excel rather than doing it inside of Marketo

Marketo Reliability

The scalability of Marketo is great, at least from my perspective. We are a smallish organization with a large database of folks we are communicating with via email. Our database in Marketo typically stays around 50,000 records. I would imagine that Marketo would work just as well on a larger scale or even a smaller one. There are no issues in scalability that I can see.
I wish there were a way for more mobile functionality, but apart from that, Marketo is pretty stable and reliable. When Adobe first acquired the company, it did have some random moments of downtime, but those kinks seem to have been smoothed out. I do occasionally get timeout errors after I have been on a page for even a short amount of time, but it is not a frequent issue.
For the most part, things are pretty fast. I have imported lists of more than 20,000 individuals in under a couple of minutes. Sometimes exporting lists can take longer, but this is to be expected. Most reports I run are fairly small and can be generated quickly, which I appreciate.