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What’s the Best Marketing Automation Software for Microsoft Dynamics CRM?


Marketo Review—An Independent Marketing Software Analysis

Marketo Strengths and Weaknesses

Marketo Strengths

  • Marketo possesses the most marketing feature sets of any application in this review. The application tends to be the most flexible as well. It also offers the most robust analytics and business intelligence.
  • Marketo customers generally incur superior marketing results. However, this has less to do with the marketing software’s capabilities are more to do with the people deploying Marketo. For example, the majority of ClickDimensions, CoreMotives and SalesFUSION customers contacted for this review were first-time marketing technology adopters, created fewer than five nurture campaigns, used a single (and basic) lead scoring model for all lead types and didn’t really measure the KPIs that most influence lead to revenue results. These customers also revealed a bit of a "set it and forget it" attitude, somehow naively believing that a one-time software deployment activity is going to produce meaningful performance results. As is too often the case with CRM software, these customers are using only a small portion of the marketing technology, and as a consequence are achieving minimal benefits. Marketo customers have often implemented marketing technology previously, routinely craft dozens of campaigns supported by dozens of content assets, designed sophisticated lead scoring models, manage SLAs which bridge the gaps between Sales and Marketing, and use actionable lead management analytics to constantly improve their performance results. This difference in performance is in large part reflective of the differences in target markets among the marketing software vendors.
  • Marketo is a brand recognized for marketing automation innovation and leadership. The company practices what it preaches, is a content marketing powerhouse and a recognized thought leader in the industry.

Marketo Weaknesses

  • While Marketo has more total marketing software customers than any other vendor in this review, they also have the fewest (around 76 at the time of the review) Dynamics CRM customers.
  • Marketo’s integrated approach to Dynamics CRM results in noticeably separate applications for marketing and Customer Relationship Management. This may be negatively perceived by some companies. While there are strengths with this approach, it does result in having little to no marketing data in the CRM system, and thereby losing tools and capabilities (such as queries, reports, dialogues, workflows and CRM/Outlook email integration) inherent in the CRM software.
  • As a more robust marketing application, the implementation effort is much more significant. While other systems in this marketing software review talk of 10 minute installs, Marketo talks of deployments measured in weeks or months. This isn’t to suggest that the marketing software is more complicated to install, but more so that Chief Marketing Officers deploying Marketo are typically using the software in larger companies with higher volumes of transactions, more users, more sophisticated marketing processes and more targeted objectives.
  • Marketo customer support is inconsistent. In some ways the company has fallen victim to its own success in that it has not always been able to keep up with its growth. Marketing software buyers considering Marketo should thoroughly review and plan for customer service and support.
  • Marketo is by far the highest TCO (total cost of ownership) solution in this marketing software review. The acquisition cost may include additional fees for Dynamics CRM integration, the highest subscription fee and the most costly deployment. Because the software is much more of an enterprise application, it may also require dedicated system administration or IT support.
  • I believe it is inevitable that Marketo will be acquired. Note that this is my own opinion and not acknowledged by Marketo. Marketing automation is highly complementary with CRM software, and as a consequence Marketo’s primary competitors have already been acquired by CRM publishers. SAP is the mostly likely acquirer, but others exist. Because Microsoft is the least likely acquirer, a change in Marketo ownership by a Microsoft CRM competitor could impose interruption to customers.

For marketing software buyers considering Marketo, you may want to review the full Marketo Review.

Next: SalesFUSION Review >>

Dynamics CRM Marketing ReviewClickDimensions ReviewClickDimensions EvaluationMarketo ReviewMarketo EvaluationSalesFusion ReviewSalesFusion EvaluationSilverpop CoreMotives ReviewSilverpop CoreMotives Evaluation





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