Owing to the increasing competition, it is essential for businesses to choose a marketing technique that is not only cost effective but also less time-consuming. While email marketing is one of the best tools for marketing, marketing automation software like Marketo are crucial for staying ahead of the competition.
If you are looking for the perfect automated email marketing software, here’s a review of Marketo, which covers everything you need to know to make an informed choice.
Why Does Your Business Need Email Marketing?
In a crux, email marketing is a tool business use to promote themselves. It is used to build relations with potential customers while keeping current customers updated about their brand. Some businesses also use email marketing to offer coupons and other benefits in exchange for customer loyalty.
Email marketing, a direct form of marketing, is similar to snail mail. However, email marketing, known as part of the ‘Digital Era’ is more efficient as it is not only faster but totally paperless!
While effective, in order to make lasting connections and get results, spending quality time on building them is required. The reason for this is simple; email marketing is extremely time-consuming.
Members who are part of your list are not the same. Some join at a different time and are at a different stage in the buying process. Others are looking for various solutions for different problems. This can be overwhelming to track and maintain manually. This is where marketing automation software comes in. One of the best marketing automation software is Marketo – the perfect answer for all companies trying to build and maintain an email network.
What is Marketo?
Marketo was founded in 2006 and has now become a leading marketing automation platform with a range of capabilities for small and medium businesses and large enterprises across various industries. Marketo has become a popular option for various B2B players because of its abilities to simplify marketing processes and streamlining many marketing related tasks. Along with being a marketing automation, Marketo has various benefits such as customer engagement marketing and marketing management.
- Account-based marketing: Create extremely specific campaigns with messaging which caters to reach a well-defined target audience
- Mobile marketing: Through mobile marketing, you can customize your campaigns to align with the needs, behaviors and locations of your target audience, based on their preferences
- Digital marketing: Digital marketing lets you create campaigns that reach your target audience online, which includes social media, mobile apps, and email
- Predictive content: With predictive content, Marketo can recommend the most relevant information to individuals visiting your website, increasing their chances of finding the content they’re looking for
- Marketing analytics: Through analytics, you can see which campaign is working and which isn’t. This helps create effective strategies that are attractive and convert and keep customers
Overall, Marketo helps B2B companies create, automate, track and analyze various digital marketing campaigns. By putting everything in one place and under one dashboard, Marketo users can get an overall picture of how their different campaigns are working together.
Why Marketo Is Useful?
Marketo is equipped with a visual drag and drop interface that is easy to use and is extremely user-friendly. Users do not need special skills in HTML or professional email templates and allow them to easily send out emails based on timings, action or a series of other steps which are pre-defined.
With Marketo, users can easily create landing pages because of its drag and drop interface. Landing pages can also be converted into Facebook pages that can be tweaked and customized using Marketo’s dynamic content capabilities.
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Marketo allows integration of CRM platforms such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. This helps sync both the marketing and sales team for a better collaboration.
Marketo is useful in three different areas such as social sharing, social engagement and social platform.
Key Features of Marketo
Here are some of the core Marketo software features and solutions:
- Lead Management
- Lead Nurturing
- Lead Scoring
- Bi-directional CRM synching
- Email Marketing
- Consumer Marketing
- Website Personalization
- Web Activity Tracking
- Customer Base Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Marketing
- CRM Integration
- Campaign Dashboards and Reports
- Marketing Calendar
- Digital Ads
- Program and Campaign Analysis
- Anonymous Retargeting
- Opportunity Influence Modeler
- Advanced Report Builder.
These features are subsets of Marketo’s engagement applications, which include:
- Marketing Automation
- Account-Based Marketing
- Digital Ads
- Marketing Analytics
- Content AI
Using Marketo to Automate Email Campaigns
Here are a few ways in which Marketo can help automate and make your email campaigns more efficient:
1. Streamline Your Email Process
To achieve streamlined email marketing, you need to use Marketo’s pre-scheduled email marketing campaign set-up. This includes everything, right from timing an email to out on a certain day, to creating full campaigns that help transition leads into paying customers.
2. Customize Offers for Increased Personalization
Using Marketo’s marketing automation, you can send each recipient a personalized message or offer. This can be done by setting up different lists, which can be categorized into email subscribers based on their behavior. Hence, you can send individuals who purchased certain products a customized message, while sending new subscribers something different.
3. Indentify Customers Who Are Ready to Purchase
Using Marketo’s automation tools, you can see how ready a customer is to make a purchase. Using the ‘lead score’, you can see which member you should target the most. You can also identify how your content is influencing a customer to make a purchase. If the ‘readiness score’ is going up, you know your content is working.
Marketo’s Pros & Cons
- Easy and intuitive to use: Marketo receives a lot of praise for the usability of their platform. While it may not have the prettiest of user interfaces, everything is well labeled and easy to get used to, making adoption easier than some other tools.
- Great Salesforce integration: Marketo has an exceptional integration with Salesforce. While syncing between Salesforce and Marketo can take time, the two tools work together effortlessly.
- Quick and easy to setup: Compared to some of Marketo’s competitors, it’s relatively easy to implement and get up and running.
- Great customer support & community – Marketo has a great customer support team and a very active community of users helping one another with campaigns and technical issues.
- Poor landing page & form builder: Marketo didn’t start as a marketing automation service (it was originally a lead management tool). While most of the product has been updated, there are still a few remnants, such as their landing page builder, that is clunky and difficult to use.
- Reports & Analytics: The most common complaint about Marketo is in regards to their limited analytics and reporting functionality. Without additional extensions, it can take a long time to produce reports that you should be able to produce in the click of a button.
- Steep jumps in pricing: Marketo offers three standard pricing tiers, at $895, $1,795, and $3,175 per month. Each tier unlocks new features, which means that it might cost an additional $900 – $1,400 per month for just a handful of extra features.
Marketo Pricing Plans
The price of Marketo isn’t exactly displayed on their website, however, the plans and prices depend on how large your company is and what solutions and features you are looking for. Their software bundles are often divided into five categories, which includes lead management, email marketing, consumer marketing, customer base marketing, and mobile marketing.
It has been reported that Marketo generally offers three pricing plans; Basic, Pro & Elite. Here is a breakdown of what you can avail with each of these plans:
a) Marketo Basic Plan: This plan will cost you $895/month, under which you will get access to only a small portion of their main features, which includes marketing calendar, sales intelligence, social marketing & SEO.
b) Marketo Pro Plan: While costing you $1,795/month, this plan will give you the same features as the basic plan, it also includes digital ads, predictive content, and program & campaign analysis.
c) Marketo Elite Plan: The largest package offered by Marketo, this plan will cost you a whopping $3,195/month. However, it is also the package that offers the most features, which includes features from both the basic and pro plan, plus a revenue modeler, success path analyzer, anonymous retargeting and more.
As evident with the price, Marketo is not a budget program. If you are looking for a Marketo’s full dashboard features, you will have to pay a few thousand dollars every month. Hence, Marketo might not be the best option for small business, however, larger, more established companies should opt to purchase Marketo, regardless of its heavy price range.
That being said, as mentioned above, Marketo tends to customize its plans to cater to companies of all sizes. Hence, in order to find out exactly, you will have to pay for this automation software, it is recommended to contact a sales representative.
Top Marketo Alternatives
Here are the top five alternatives to Marketo, which you should consider while making a choice:
Founded in 2007, Pardot is a cloud-based marketing automation platform catered toward B2B marketing. Pardot lets marketers create and manage custom campaigns across email, web, and social, and provides detailed analytics on engagement, deliverability, and prospect firmographics. The system can also assimilate data on paid media campaigns through its “paid search reporting” feature.
HubSpot is another all-inclusive marketing automation platform, although tailored less exclusively toward B2B clients than Marketo and Pardot. It’s also the only solution on the list with a free, built-in CRM (albeit a basic one). HubSpot is designed to address a company’s end-to-end digital marketing needs, from lead gen to email campaigns, blogging, social media, SEO, and closed-loop analytics.
Like Marketo, Salesfusion is a cloud-based platform for B2B marketing automation. Unlike these three, Salesfusion is less expensive and targeted at mid-market companies. In terms of features, you can expect the standard marketing fare: email marketing, lead management, web tracking, and social. The system provides native integrations for major CRM (Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, Infor, SugarCRM) and an API for custom integration.
Infusionsoft is one of the best marketing automation platforms for companies with 2-25 members of staff. Aimed at small businesses, their pricing is slightly more affordable than Marketo, with many of the same features.
5. Oracle Eloqua
Owned by Oracle, Eloqua is another popular marketing automation solution that’s worth considering alongside Marketo. In general, more large enterprises use Eloqua and more mid-sized companies use Marketo, but both are popular among each group. Overall, most users find that Marketo is easier to use than Eloqua, but Eloqua’s decision map, a visual tool resembling a mind map, is a favorite among marketers and makes it easy to build custom campaigns that branch in various directions.
Marketo’s Live Demo
If you are still contemplating if Marketo is the right option for you, you can request a live demo to understand how the marketing software works and how it can benefit you.