Marketo is a web-based marketing automation software system designed to help sales and marketing professionals automate the marketing process and collaborate more closely throughout the sales cycle. The software provides lead management and sales insight solutions to help reps automate focused marketing campaigns based on highly targeted criteria, with a goal of “warming up” leads over time. Marketo has different packages designed for different sized companies, with corresponding feature differences as well.
While Marketo offers three versions of their software for multiple business sizes, the price point makes it a more ideal fit for mid-market or enterprise-sized companies. The software is able to handle clients with anywhere from three users to organizations with a user base in the thousands. Marketo is a B2B marketing solution and is especially prevalent among tech companies.
For companies in need of a more tailored solution for just sales or marketing, Marketo offers both a Lead Management solution and a Lead Insight for Sales solution. While these function independently, deployment of the software in one department will help to support and enhance the efforts of the other department.
The following are the primary features of Marketo:
|Lead nurturing||List management||Salesforce CRM integration|
|Lead scoring||Smart lead capture forms||Database management tools|
|Lead management||Batch email marketing||Social media integration|
|Web activity tracking||Automated drip marketing||Custom security controls|
|Campaign analytics||Email deliverability tools||Secure partner / channel access|
|Territory assignment||Real-time sales alerts||Revenue cycle analytics|
The SMB edition shares many features in common with the other Marketo editions, such as basic email marketing and lead nurturing. However, larger businesses require more functionality for activities such as channel management and high-volume web activity tracking, both of which are available in the Enterprise edition. Marketo has full integration with Salesforce.com, and in August 2010, it launched Chatter for Sales Insight on Salesforce.com’s ChatterExchange. This advancement will help sales professionals better prioritize leads and opportunities.
Marketo’s email drip marketing capability is an important feature for B2B marketing efforts. However, Marketo lacks the functionality for multi-channel drip marketing, such as print, mail-outs, etc., which are commonly used by companies conducting B2C marketing campaigns. A company looking for a B2C marketing solution will not find all the capabilities they need in Marketo’s offering.
Marketo users across the board enjoy the software’s web-based deployment model. Instead of on-site backups, all data storage is handled by Marketo in Rackspace’s secure data centers. This web-based model also allows Marketo to push out updates and enhancements to its software quickly and regularly, without the need of IT support. Marketo’s Sales Insight is a Force.com solution built on the Force Platform, which currently runs all the Salesforce.com apps. This means easy integration with Salesforce.com at no additional cost.
In addition to the Force Platform, Marketo products use the LAMP stack (Linux Operating System, Apache HTTP Web Server, MySQL database server and a PHP Web Applications Framework). For developing a desirable front-end user interface, Marketo uses the EXT JS Java Script Library. These applications are commonly used in software today, meaning Marketo products are stable and can easily integrate with a wide range of other systems and software.
Marketo presents the following as key differentiators in their product:
- Combined sales and marketing solution
- Out-of-the box integration with Salesforce.com and other CRM systems
- Revenue cycle analytics
- Enhanced scalability
- “Sandbox” application for testing, development and training purposes
- A process-driven automated campaign builder, which offers flexibility and scalability over traditional graphical if/then campaign builders
- Since its foundation in 2006, Marketo has gained lots of momentum to become the fastest growing marketing automation vendor.
Marketo is priced per month with a usage cap. Total monthly pricing ranges from $1,200/month for 3 users in the SMB edition up to $3,600/month for 25 users in the Enterprise edition. Those prices can also fluctuate depending on the number of database records. Marketo’s Sales Insight is priced per user per month. It starts at $49/user for 1-10 users, with the price dropping as the number of users increases. Packages are available for integration with systems from Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, etc. They range from $6,000 to $10,000 per year. Finally, each edition comes with a certain level of support, but add-on packages are available for customers in need of additional support resources.
Founded in 2006 by former Epiphany executives, Marketo is a fairly young company with an already impressive track record. As of April 2010, they had secured $32 million in venture capital funding from investors such as Mayfield Fund and InterWest Partners. Marketo experienced an annual growth rate of 800% from Q2-2008 to Q2-2009, and currently has 600+ customers in software, manufacturing, financial services and business services. A network of agency partnerships provides consulting, best practices and service bureau services. The Marketo Community and blog, found at blog.marketo.com, provides additional best practices and networking with fellow users and experts. The company is headquartered in San Mateo, CA, and has over 100 employees.
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