Marketing Automation Software: HubSpot vs Marketo

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With the many marketing automation tools available today, it can be a challenging task to select the one that’s right for you. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at two of the leading marketing automation giants on the market – it’s time to compare HubSpot vs Marketo.

If you’ve been checking out the market, keen to acquire a new marketing powerhouse, then you’ve most likely come across both Marketo and HubSpot. They have long been two of the best marketing automation software worldwide, and they can undoubtedly help you take your marketing efforts and lead generation to the next level. 

According to SimilarTech, HubSpot is currently being used on more than 106,000 websites. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s the most popular marketing automation tool in the Western world, having the largest market share in countries such as the UK, Canada and the US. Competitor Marketo is noticeably smaller, and it’s currently in use on approximately 36,000 websites around the world. However, don’t let the size fool you, Marketo is a solid and powerful platform – and a worthy contender to HubSpot’s throne.

HubSpot: The one-stop-solution

HubSpot’s greatest asset is that it contains basically everything a marketer will need.

Marketing automation? Check.

Content management? Check.

SEO? Check.

Reporting and analytics features? Check.

Email workflow? Check.

CRM? Check.

In other words, HubSpot is a true marketing powerhouse.

According to a survey by Mintingo, HubSpot has the largest global market share by customers, thereby rather brutally beating all of the other marketing automation competitors on the market. Essentially, HubSpot’s sales and marketing platform aims to help their clients attract, nurture and convert as many leads as possible. HubSpot is basically responsible for coining and developing the inbound marketing term, so it’s not exactly surprising to find that their platform is built with this methodology in mind. “If you’re looking for an end-to-end solution, you won’t find anything better than HubSpot,” argues Carina Duffy at Impactbnd.

Do you want to learn more? We have previously written about the six best alternatives to HubSpot here.

Marketo: A solid email platform

On the opposite side of the ring, we find marketing platform Marketo.

While being far from the all-in-one solution of HubSpot, Marketo is really strong when it comes to powerful email workflows and advanced analytics features, both of who are arguably two important factors in any marketing or lead generation campaign. Marketo is a great fit for most large companies, as the solution gives you the opportunity to add thousands of leads into the system.

Marketo is undoubtedly a worthy competitor.

HubSpot vs Marketo: Best Landing Pages

You’re probably well aware that landing pages are an essential part of any marketing campaign. According to SEO specialists Moz, a landing page focuses information targeted towards a particular user in order to encourage and achieve one of the following actions:

  • Get the visitor to buy a product/ order a service
  • Get the visitor’s permission to contact them again
  • Get the visitor to click onto another page
  • Get the visitor to learn something new

There are plenty of elements that goes into the creation of a well-functioning and converting landing page. Naturally, most of these elements will depend on what the goal if your landing page is, but there are still a few things that should be considered:

Your landing pages should be easy to design

Always remember that your landing pages should be intuitive and easy to design and create. If you have to call in a professional designer or developer every time you require a new landing page, then it’s not the right platform for you.

Your landing pages should be mobile optimised

It’s 2019 and it’s absolutely imperative that your landing pages are optimised for mobile devices. According to Huffington Post, 57% of mobile users will abandon your website or landing page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. As they say: there’s no second chance to make a first impression.

The landing pages available in Marketo and HubSpot vary quite considerably. If you’re lacking in coding skills, HubSpot will arguably be the best option for you. Their marketing platform lets you select from more than thousands of landing page templates, most of which are available as drag-and-drop so that you can personalise any template you use. HubSpot also gets a few bonus points, as you can add forms and CTAs without acquiring professional help.

With Marketo, you will get much further if you have an extensive knowledge of HTML and CSS. While the platform does offer a free-form (basically a drag-and-drop) landing page editor, you’ll find that these offers are much more limited compared to what is being offered by HubSpot. Marketo also offer a guided landing page editor which provides you with structured editing for responsive landing pages, but – again – coding skills can be a necessity.

A clear downside of Marketo’s landing pages, is that the pages are not automatically mobile optimised – that is a feature you have to manually activate. Another issue is the URL, as Marketo automatically choose the name of your landing page to create a unique URL. This often results in a not very SEO-friendly URL, which you will need to change in the page settings.

HubSpot vs Marketo: Best Email Workflow

Email marketing is an important way of engaging with your prospect and close leads. Arguably, a good email workflow should be at the core of any good marketing automation platform. Let’s take a closer look at the email features available in Marketo and HubSpot.

Firstly, Marketo offers some solid email marketing capabilities. A great benefit is that you can integrate Marketo with your CRM, CMS or any other valuable software you are using for your marketing activities. While the integrations can indeed be challenging to set up, they are both easy to use and perfectly streamlined once all the integrations are in place. In addition to this, Marketo offers advanced email automation workflows, enabling thorough A/B testing.

HubSpot, in comparison, is more of an all-in-one-solution. The platform offers capabilities and features, such as email workflow, marketing automation, content management systems (CMS) and CRM, meaning that you don’t need to integrate any software tools. Furthermore, HubSpot integrates seamlessly with both Gmail and Outlook, ensuring that everything you need will be available in one place. Finally, an added benefit is their strong email tracking, a feature which allows your sales and marketing team to see when an email was opened – and what action it triggered from the lead. As with their landing pages, all of HubSpot’s emails can be optimised for email devices.

HubSpot vs Marketo: Reporting and analytics features

You’ve sent your emails. You’ve designed your landing pages. What now? As most marketers will know, you can’t make data-driven decisions without measuring the outcome of any previous activities.

  • Which types of content worked? And which ones didn’t deliver?
  • Which CTAs converted best?
  • How many leads have been generated?
  • How many leads have been closed?

To achieve future success, it’s imperative that each step in your funnel provides you with full visibility into what’s generating results – and which efforts are not. Luckily, both of these marketing automation platforms are equipped with strong reporting and analytics features.

As HubSpot is fully integrated with your other tools, it will give you full visibility into your metrics and KPIs in one place. Due to the platform being a one-stop-solution, you will not need any manual integration in order to access the metrics you need. Marketo, on the other hand, offer strong and robust reporting abilities. A downside is that its analytics tool requires a manual setup and integration, which can be both challenging and requires a bit of time.

Should you select HubSpot or Marketo?

Frankly, that depends entirely on your company.

HubSpot’s appeal is so strong simply because it’s so much more than just a marketing automation platform. As was mentioned in the introduction, HubSpot basically invented the inbound marketing culture which exists today. For many marketers out there, the HubSpot brand is synonymous with the art of inbound marketing. Rather than offering a simple marketing automation tool, HubSpot provides you with a holistic approach where everything is included – CRM, CMS, Social Media, Reporting and analytics, Sales Hub, landing page design and whatnot. This makes HubSpot the perfect option for those looking to manage all of their sales and marketing efforts in one place.

In comparison, Marketo is better suited for companies that are already using tools such as CRM, but who need a more solid email automation tool. Let’s just say that if you run a large organisation and want to make 2019 the year of large-scale email campaigns, then Marketo is likely the best option for you.