Marketing automation platforms are powerful and necessary solutions for brands today. It makes it possible for businesses to create a thorough profile of their audience, employ targeted marketing messages that will help drive conversions and much more. Unfortunately, new solutions appear on the market every day, each one seeming to offer marginally different feature sets from their competitors. Two of the most well-known, cloud-based marketing automation platforms are HubSpot and Marketo. Both of these industry leaders have high satisfaction scores, good client bases, and a few similar features, yet they do have their own strengths and weaknesses. The following information will help you determine which would be the best solution for your business.

NOTE: This is not meant to be an exhaustive comparison, rather an informative review to guide your research process. You’re encouraged to do your own digging to determine what’s best for your organization’s needs. We have no vested interest in either and are in fact customers of Infusionsoft at the moment. We compiled this information to help marketers better understand two of the most popular tools. Enjoy!

Marketing_Stats_Infographic_2014_02

System Comparisons

HubSpot’s capabilities and features are offered using a single system, with their sales applications being provided via free add-ons. In addition, HubSpot offers several pre-built integrations along with well-known business apps, allowing for additional customization. Most buyers appreciate “all-in-one” solutions like HubSpot’s because they provide seamless functionality and is priced as a single unit.

marketing-automation-platforms-hubspot-dashboard-mixed-digital-llc-mark-f-simmons

Unlike Hubspot, Marketo’s system is divided into 4 distinctive modules. The modules, referred to as marketing automation, marketing management, consumer engagement and real-time personalization can be purchased independently or can be consolidated to create a powerful integrated suite. This model gives users the opportunity to create a customized solution that addresses their specific needs, however, some business owners might want a more unified process.

marketing-automation-platforms-marketo-dashboard-mixed-digital-llc-mark-f-simmons

Similarities
There are a few areas where Marketo and HubSpot are similar when it comes to functionality and usage. Both marketing automation platforms have been designed to help businesses develop their marketing strategies spanning multiple channels, whether it’s via email, social media or the web in general. In these cases, both platforms include built-in email campaigns together with delivery optimizing tools, lead nurturing, event based triggers as well as A/B testing. In addition, both platforms have the ability to analyze and monitor web traffic, and can manage and track social media marketing efforts.

Differences
There are a few functions that are exclusive to either one of these two marketing automation platforms. For instance, Marketo as a general rule has been associated with business to business (B2B) marketing due to their more in depth focus on nurturing leads, while in comparison, HubSpot’s has been more focused on inbound, business to customer (B2C) marketing.

Ease of Use
Expect to deal with a learning curve if you choose Marketo because, due to the fact that it specializes in personalized solutions, their program requires a certain amount of IT knowledge to operate. That said, if you have an employee (s) that specializes in marketing technologies and/or a dedicated marketing automation specialist, this won’t be a problem and once it’s set up, you’ll appreciate the range of special features Marketo boasts.

On the flip side, if you’re new to marketing automation and are looking for a solution that provides you with a simpler, user-friendly access to a wide array of marketing capabilities, you might be better off using HubSpot. When it comes to software programs in general, ease-of-use is an important asset, as substantiated by its influence on a product’s viability and user satisfaction. In both these cases, HubSpot’s average user rating ranks higher than Marketo’s by about a half a point.

CRM Integration

Hubspot
In numerous ways, marketing automation (MA) and customer relationship management (CRM) are dependent on each other. This is why the majority of brands choose a MA solution that integrates smoothly with their CRM and the other way around. HubSpot comes with a built-in CRM and also integrates seamlessly with popular systems that includes Salesforce and many others.

Marketo
Marketo doesn’t offer a built-in CRM module, but they were built utilizing the Salesforce platform, meaning that they provide some of the best Salesforce integration in the automated marketing industry. Marketo also offers native integrations for SAP and MS Dynamics, as well as certified integrations for Oracle, Netsuite and SugarCRM.

Data Analytics Tools
Both Marketo and HubSpot provide marketers with access to a robust set of analytics tools that they can use to monitor campaigns and generate reports. Successful marketing is powered by the insight that is produced by data about clients and potential clients, engagement with content and business deliverables which is why data analytic tools are so important. Marketo’s analytics appear to provide more strategic, in-depth visibility.

For instance, the platform’s Success Path analyzer exhibits the connection between the user’s marketing efforts and revenue changes over time. It’s also possible to execute modeling and predictive analytics influenced by digital behaviors, content preferences, firmographics and CRM data.

Pricing Comparisons
For small businesses with budget concerns, HubSpot is the more economical option. The company’s key product pricing is structured into 3 tiers (Basic/Professional/Enterprise) based on functionality and scale. HubSpot’s entry level option is significantly less expensive than Marketo’s “Spark” edition, however Marketo offers quarterly payment/pricing options that help distribute the expense. Marketo’s components are also priced in tiers (Spark/Standard/Select/Enterprise) based on scale. Their “Spark” level is ideal for small businesses.

Below is the published pricing for Hubspot as of the posting date. Marketo does not make their pricing publically available.

marketing-automation-platforms-hubspot-pricing-mixed-digital-llc-mark-f-simmons

Conclusion

There are some clear distinctions between HubSpot’s “inbound marketing” platform and Marketo’s “engagement marketing” platform. HubSpot serves approximately 13,000 businesses in varying sizes, worldwide, in comparison to Marketo who has approximately 3,300, however, that difference has a lot to do with the type of clients the solutions attract. If your business is a larger B2B enterprise that wants a custom built solution that helps streamline prospect engagement and align them with your business goals, Marketo would probably be the best choice. On the other hand, if you consider yourself to be a mid-size or small business wanting to attract more visitors to your website and nurture your leads, without being required to go through an extensive learning curve, you may want to consider HubSpot. Both marketing automation platforms will get the job done, just in different ways for different organizations.