Marketo as a Marketing Automation SaaS

1.1. What is Marketo?

Marketo is a marketing automation software-as-a-service (SaaS). There is no installation needed, with the platform working entirely in the cloud. Marketo currently has the second largest market share in the marketing automation market with 14.9% (source: Mintigo). Marketo dominates the SMB segment but is used by many multibillion dollar enterprises. Among its defining features, Marketo is well regarded for its easy to use interface, powerful object oriented design, and a highly engaged community.

However, the system bewilders some customers, who feel it requires a full-time marketing engineer to get the most out of it.

It integrates with the Salesforce CRM well, and at the time of their IPO about 90% of their customers used Salesforce CRM. Importantly, it is not a standalone product: while some products on the market (such as Infusionsoft and Hubspot) can be used without an additional CRM, we’ve never seen a successful implementation of Marketo without a CRM. Fortunately, there is some flexibility in the CRM you use, as Marketo offers many integrations as well as SOAP and REST APIs.

1.2. What are Marketo’s features?

Category

Specific Features

Email & Online marketing – replacing an email service provider (ESP)

– Batch email marketing
– A/B testing
– Email deliverability and reputation management
– Real-time triggered emails
– Landing pages
– Forms
– Testing
– Dynamic content
– Mobile optimized
– Sales emails

Lead management

– Marketing database
– Single view of the customer
– Segmentation
– Real-time, behavior-based trigger responses
– Multi-touch campaigns / Lead nurturing
– Online behavior tracking
– Lead scoring and grading
– Data quality and append
– Automated sales alerts and tasks
– CRM integration
– Lead lifecycle workflows
– Sales intelligence
– Sales campaign
– Revenue cycle modeling

Marketing programs / Lead generation

– Program management
– Event marketing including webinars
– Cloning
– Program import/export

Social marketing

– Social listening and tracking
– Social sharing and campaigns
– Social campaigns
– Social profiles
– Social engagement and promotion
– Social analytics

Analytics

– Web analytics
– SEO/Keyword analytics
– Basic reporting
– Multi-touch revenue attribution
– Program ROI analytics
– Revenue cycle metrics

Resource management

– Budgeting
– Calendaring

Infrastructure

– User roles and permissions
– Secure partitions/workspaces
– Sandbox
– API/Integrations
– Ecosystem

1.3. Who is Marketo designed for?

Most of Marketo’s customers are in the SMB market. Some smaller businesses and enterprises use it as well, but the majority of their customer base is in the SMB space. The main vertical of Marketo users are in business services and technology.

Marketo is developing different offerings to cover their different customer segments.For example they now offer a service called Spark. Spark is designed for smaller businesses in B2B, while Standard and Select will target medium-sized B2B businesses. Marketo also built an offer for B2C customers called Dialog Standard and Dialog Enterprise.

Market share by company sizes:

Small businesses (<50 employees) 25% – Midsize businesses (50-500 employees) 60% – Enterprises (>500 employees) 15%

Looking at the location of Marketo’s clients you can see that 85% of Marketo customers are in the US, with one third of the total number of clients worldwide being in California. This is a function of their location and bias toward technology companies.

1.4. What are Marketo’s strengths?

Marketo is acclaimed for its usability, due to the drag & drop functionality and the overall intuitive design. The first version of Marketo was a landing page tool, enabling marketers to produce their own pages without requests to their IT team, and this theme pervades the tool today. The ability to easily and quickly create unique accounts for members of your team, while controlling which features they can use, simplifies collaboration.

While many vendors in the space get acquired, Marketo has been like the spurned bride at the altar who later drops 100 pounds and gains a six pack. Marketo’s independence allows them to develop features with their marketing customers in mind, rather than balancing the needs of other internal departments.

One of Marketo’s greatest strengths in marketing automation is the ability to track and respond to your prospect’s behavior. While many tools now support personalization of emails and even web pages, Marketo’s smart campaign UI is powerful and robust, if a bit technical. If you simply want to build an autoresponder to a lead filling out a form, you might find Marketo frustrating, but if you want to increase the complexity by 10x, then the smart campaigns will be a pleasure to work with compared to some alternatives on the market.

The incentive to purchase marketing automation is often related to someone in a company wanting accountability from the marketing department. It either comes from the CMO who wants to demonstrate their usefulness, or the CEO who wants to verify if the budget brings sufficient ROI. For this reason, users of Marketo appreciate the ability to show, at a basic level, contribution to revenue growth in a format their executive management team can consume.

There are also benefits for the sales team. Marketo’s integration with many CRMs, in particular Salesforce, allows the entire organization to have a unified view of every lead. Sales is able to see marketing interactions with a prospect, learn more and prepare better for calls, while Marketing can see what happens to a lead once it progresses to Sales. Marketo’s lead scoring and lead routing enables the marketing team to pass higher quality leads to sales, and recover the greenest leads back from sales for better nurturing.

If you have a lot of leads already, but they are not yet qualified to speak to a salesperson, Marketo is a solid option to consider for this use case.

1.5. The Marketo ecosystem

Launchpoint – An initiative from Marketo to offer products and services from partners. If you’re looking for something on the level of the Salesforce AppExchange, you’ll likely find the Launchpoint disappointing (as of Nov 2015). Currently, it is a listing of applications that have some related integration, but no one-click installs.

The Marketo Community – One of the real features of Marketo is its community. There you’ll find information about common problems, contributed both by Marketo’s official guides and other customers. The upside of a product requiring some technical discipline is a strong tribe of tacticians who can advise on the nuances of the product.

Marketing Nation Summit – The annual marketing meetup for Marketo users. First launched in 2012, the Marketing Nation Summit has been held in San Francisco each spring, but in 2016 it will move to Las Vegas. Former keynotes include Hillary Rodham Clinton, Arianna Huffington, Beth Comstock, Salman Khan, John Legend, and of course Phil Fernandez, the CEO of Marketo. The 2015 Summit included more than 6,000 marketers and more than 100 expo sponsors and rivals other marketing industry events in size and scope.

Marketo User Groups (MUGs) – Region-specific meetings by customers for customers. These groups allow the community to meet face to face, collaborate, network, and solve problems. There are currently user groups in fourteen different countries and most US states.

Learning Passport and Certification – The learning passport is the offer from Marketo to get unlimited access to their catalog of educational content. Offering instructor-led virtual training courses and access to premium learning content. It is possible to learn without it, and is not required if you are looking to become Marketo Certified, however many find it a useful starting point. Currently there are three different certifications available; Marketo Certified Expert for in-depth knowledge and proficiency, Marketo Certified Revenue Cycle Analyst focusing on the reporting, results analysis and trends identification. Finally the Marketo Certified Consultant, which represents advanced knowledge and proven experience delivering client success with Marketo.

1.6. Basics about Marketo pricing

All prices are per month, billed annually for up to 10,000 records.

Marketing Automation – B2B marketing & lead management

  • Spark $895

  • Standard $1,795

  • Select $3,195

  • Enterprise – on request

Consumer Engagement Marketing – Email & campaign management

  • Dialog Standard $1,395

  • Dialog Enterprise $2,995

Real-Time Personalization – Personalize messages across channels

  • Spark $999

  • Standard $1,499

  • Enterprise $2,999

  • Consumer $1,449

Marketing Management – Coordinate teams & calendars

  • Marketing calendar $250

  • Marketing calendar plus $400

Marketo as a Company

2.1. When was Marketo founded?

Marketo was founded in 2006 to “help marketers master the art and science of digital marketing”. In 2012, Marketo was ranked 78th on the Inc. 500, #7 among software companies, and #1 among marketing software companies.

2.2. Who founded Marketo? Where are the founders now?

Marketo was founded by Phil Fernandez, Jon Miller and David Morandi, who are respectively the former President & COO, Vice President and CTO of Epiphany, an enterprise software company that was acquired by SSA Global Technologies.

The three co-founders had been serving as top-executives of Marketo until Jon Miller left to found Engagio, an account-based marketing company, in February, 2015. Jon was formerly the VP of Marketing at Marketo.

As of July 2015, Phil Fernandez is the Chairman & CEO of Marketo and David Morandi is the CTO.

2.3. Who currently runs Marketo?

The following table lists down the current role and past experience of top-executives at Marketo.

Current role at Marketo

Name

Past experience

Additional information

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Phil Fernandez

– President and COO of Epiphany

– Author of “Revenue Disruption”

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

David Morandi

– CTO of Epiphany, Chief Architect of Red Brick Systems

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Fred Ball

– CFO of Webroot and CFO of BigBand Networks

– Board member of Electro-Scientific Industries and Advanced Energy

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

Sanjay Dholakia

– CEO of Crowd Factory
– CMO of Lithium Technologies

Chief Customer Officer (CCO)

Jason Holmes

– VP of Global Professional Services at Adobe Systems
– VP of Worldwide Consulting at Omniture
– VP of Consulting Services at Oracle
– VP of Americas technical services

Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Greg Higham

– CIO at FrontRange Solutions
– CIO and VP of Information Systems and Technology at Witness Systems
– VP of Worldwide Customer Services of Epiphany

2.4. Where are the headquarters and Marketo offices?

As of July 2015, Marketo runs eight offices around the world, with the headquarters located in San Mateo, California.

  • Marketo, Inc. Headquarters – San Mateo, California, United States

  • Marketo, Inc. – Atlanta, Georgia, United States

  • Marketo, Inc. Northwest – Portland, Oregon, United States

  • Marketo EMEA, Ltd. – Dublin, Ireland

  • Marketo EMEA, Ltd. – Staines, United Kingdom

  • Marketo Australia Pty Ltd. – Sydney, Australia

  • Marketo KK – Tokyo, Japan

  • Marketo Tel Aviv – Tel Aviv, Israel

2.5. Who funded Marketo? Who are in Marketo’s board of directors?

During the Series A-F of funding, which started on October 1, 2006 and ended on November 16, 2011, Marketo received in total $108.4 million of venture capital from Storm Ventures, InterWest Partners, Mayfield Fund, Institutional Venture Partners, and Battery Ventures.

The current board of director of Marketo consists of seven members.

  • Chairman and CEO Phil Fernandez

  • Marketo’s member Roger Siboni

  • Storm Ventures’ Tae Hea Nahm

  • InterWest Partners’ Douglas Pepper

  • Battery Ventures’ Neeraj Agrawal

  • Cadence Design Systems’ Susan Bostrom

  • Citrix Systems’ Wesley Wasson

2.6. When did Marketo IPO?

Marketo filed for initial public offering in April 2, 2013, and went public on May 17, 2013.

2.7. How profitable is Marketo?

Marketo is the #1 Marketing Software Vendor on the INC 500 list and was recently named one of “America’s Most Promising Companies” by Forbes. In both 2011 and 2012 the company received the Best Marketing Solution award from CRM Magazine, and Salesforce.com customers have honored the company with the Best Marketing Automation Solution on the AppExchange for three years.

From 2010 to 2012, Marketo’s revenue grew from $14.0 million to $58.4 million. The company’s customer base grew from over 200 at the end of 2009 to over 2,000 at the end of 2012, and over 3,000 at the end of 2013.

Between 2014 and 2015, Marketo’s revenue grew 7-10% per quarter. However, as the increase in R&D Expenses and Selling General & Admin Expenses are more significant than the increase in revenues,Marketo remains unprofitable for the moment.

In 2014, Marketo earned a net income of -$54.34M. For the first three quarters of 2015, Marketo’s net income is -$54.35M. With a quarterly average of around -$18M in 2015, we can predict a net income of -$72.35M for 2015.

2.8. Which companies have been acquired by Marketo?

In April 2012, Marketo started its M&A by acquiring Crowd Factory, which enabled the company to integrate social media marketing capabilities into its application suite.

In August 2013, Marketo acquired Optify, and through that integrated Optify’s SEO into Marketo’s main product as the SEO dashboard.

In December 2013, Marketo acquired Insightera, an Israeli company specializing in website personalization, for $20 million in cash and stock.

Most recently, in May 2015, Marketo completed acquiring Vessel.io, and as a result announced its Marketo Mobile Engagement product.

Marketo Integrations

3.1. List of products that integrate with Marketo

There are currently (July 15’), 169 applications integrated to Marketo, available on the LaunchPoint.

Marketo offers a strong integration to CRMs, with native integrations for Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online; and certified integrations for Microsoft Dynamics CRM On Premise, Netsuite, Oracle, SAP Cloud for Sales and SugarCRM.

Marketo also has an integration with other marketing solutions, WordPress, Google Analytics, Hootsuite, GoToWebinar, Gainsight, Optimizely, überflip and plenty others. Having clear communication between the different solutions you’re using can make a tremendous difference in time and effort required to use marketing automation from your team.

Below you can see a few marketing stacks gathered by Scott Brinker on Chiefmartec.com that outline well how different companies organize a set of products to work together in order to cover all their needs.

3.2. The perfect suite for B2B marketing and sales

Marketo covers a wide range of the marketing needs inside their software but its integration with other marketing solutions allows it to adapt to the evolving marketplace.

Here are two examples of marketing stacks, from Lattice Engines and Bloomreach, among the 21 marketing technology stacks published by Scott Brinker on ChiefMarTec.com.

Lattice Engines is a predictive lead scoring product used by many Marketo customers, demonstrating a trend of new marketing technologies to replace a Marketo features with a more advanced version. Note their stack includes 23 different products to cover the needs of marketing.

Bloomreach also uses Marketo but their stack is quite different.

With hundreds of marketing technology products on the market, building the right marketing stack has emerged as one of the key challenges for marketers, and we expect this trend to continue.

Learn Marketo and Get Certified

4.1. Marketo Certifications and their benefits

The Marketo Certification Program offers the following three levels of certification.

  • Marketo Certified Expert

  • Marketo Certified Revenue Cycle Analyst

  • Marketo Certified Consultant

The Marketo Certified Expert exam is the fundamental test, and is the one that most people think about when they hear the word “Marketo exam”. Most resources available only provide Marketo users with knowledge to get through the Marketo Certified Expert exam.

Here are the details of each certification exam so you can determine which one is best for you and what to expect if you take it.

Marketo Certified Expert

Marketo Certified Revenue Cycle Analyst

Marketo Certified Consultant

What it tests

Knowledge and proficiency in using Marketo

Expertise with the analytics features of Marketo

Advanced knowledge and experience delivering client success with Marketo

Its benefits to test takers

Demonstrates that the certified professional possesses knowledge and skills in all functional areas of Marketo Lead Management operation

Demonstrate the test taker’s ability to process quantitative data, understand the relationships between variables, and draw conclusions based on analysis

Represents the test taker’s ability to deliver client success through advanced skill sets including; implementation, operation and analysis of complex marketing automation programs and processes

Exam format

Approx. 100 questions / 90 minutes

Approx. 60 questions / 90 minutes

2-day Workshop featuring case studies and group work, and a hands on Strategy Project based on a complex use case

Passing score / criteria

75%

80%

Complete Partner Strategy Workshop, Project, and Presentation within 30 days

Prerequisite

Marketo Customers with active subscription

Current Marketo Certified Expert and Marketo Customers with active subscription

Possess all other Marketo Certifications

Registration fee

$175

$175

$1995 (inside the US)

4.2. Where can you learn Marketo?

Learning to pass the Marketo Certified Expert exam and learning to use Marketo require different approaches. If you google “the best way to learn Marketo”, you will see that each Marketo user, or each Marketo certified expert, suggests different ways and resources to do so. While for the exam, you need to know the terminologies that Marketo uses (note that the same terms may mean different things in different software), for actual use, you simply need to gain hands on experience and learn from trial and error.

We consider a valuable Marketo Certification as something that demonstrate test-takers’ real engagement in the software, skills to leverage its functionality, and the ability to create assets that contribute to a specific marketing goal. Therefore, we recommend that you do not substitute real experience using the product with the theoretical material listed below. That said, here are some resources we found most useful:

Resource

Type

Creator

Accesibility

Hands-on experience

Experience

Free of charge, 3-12 months of daily use

Marketo Product Docs

Guide

Marketo

Free

Marketo Learning Passport

Course, training

Marketo

Charge by users

Marketo Community discussions

Forum, Q&A

Marketo

Free, only accessible for current Marketo users

150 sample questions

Practice test

Marketo

Free, only accessible for current Marketo users

Marketo Rockstar’s Guide to Marketo

Guide

Josh Hill

Free

Marketo Certification Checklist

Checklist

Beachhead.io

Free

The Competitors of Marketo

5.1. Who does Marketo compete with?

There is an increasing number of marketing automation software platforms in the market. Here we have looked at some of top competitors.

5.1. HubSpot

HubSpot differentiates its product from the others as an all-in-one marketing platform focused on inbound marketing. Besides lead management, HubSpot’s functionality also includes management of social media, website content, blog, SEO and email marketing.

Although customer reviews of HubSpot on TrustRadius are quite positive, there are some limitations. First, the product comes with the paradigm of inbound marketing, which itself may not apply to your marketing needs. Adopting Hubspot without valuing their worldview will only frustrate you. Second, when compared to Marketo, Hubspot emphasizes ease of use over powerful features, with the target user being a business owner or a social media manager. This makes it easy to get started, but you may quickly run into limitations in the product. Our general recommendation is to purchase Hubspot when your biggest challenge is growing top of funnel lead flow, and consider Marketo when you have too many leads but not enough management capabilities for these leads.

HubSpot’s customer base leans more towards the smaller businesses, i.e. companies with no more than 50 employees. However they are starting to give Marketo some competition in mid-market, i.e. companies with between 51 and 500 employees. The best features of HubSpot for small and midsize business lie in its ease of use, flexible pricing options, and the amount of knowledge created to help you learn the system through their academy, courses, forum and support team.

5.2. Salesforce Pardot

As Pardot was acquired by ExactTarget, which was acquired later by Salesforce.com Marketing Cloud, Pardot’s integration with SFDC is expected to be the best among marketing automation software’s integrations.

Users mostly praise Pardot for its ease of use, compared to Eloqua and Marketo, its two competitors in the mid sized business market. Strong integrations with third-party tools and the quality of customer support further increase Pardot’s strengths. However, Pardot does not yet seem to be a competitive player in the field of email, page design or their social media integrations.

Although focusing on customers who are mid size businesses, Pardot is also a strong performer in both the small business market and the enterprise market. Due to the functionality and ease of integration with existing systems like SFDC, Pardot is mostly used by B2B companies.

5.3. Eloqua (Oracle Marketing Cloud)

Eloqua was acquired by Oracle and is the leader in marketing automation platforms for larger B2B companies. Because of its enterprise market target, the platform is designed to serve highly sophisticated requirements, and therefore loses some of the ease of use you can see in the above platforms.

As with HubSpot and Marketo, Eloqua has an excellent user base that acts as a knowledge source – the Eloqua University and the Topliners user community are brilliant resources not just addressing the product but also the capability of aligning Marketing and Sales and the complexity of campaign building.

The complex functionality of Eloqua is its biggest advantage when it competes in the enterprise market (more than 500 employees) but also its biggest disadvantage, when it comes to small and mid-sized businesses. In the Buyer’s Guide to Marketing Automation from TrustRadius in 2014, Eloqua was crowned the Best Product for Enterprise Marketing Automation, although unsurprisingly the reviews and customer estimates for smaller businesses are less favorable.

5.4. Act-On

Act-On is generally positioned as a low-cost alternative to products such as Marketo or Pardot. It is best suited to SMBs or functional departments in large enterprises.

Act-On’s platform features email automation, lead management, social media prospecting, webpage design and tracking, and content management, although it is not truly an all-in-one platform like HubSpot. Despite reviews highlighting the sometimes unsophisticated functionality, Act-On is well respected for its usability, especially its email engine and SFDC integration.

Small and mid-sized businesses (fewer than 500 employees) make up a major percentage of Act-On’s customer base because of the affordable pricing and the many functions.

5.5. Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft features sales automation features as well as marketing automation functions, positioning itself slightly differently from the others in this list. This gives them an advantage in the market of small businesses.

The lightweight solution they offer is both Infusionsoft’s strength and weakness. The functions are easy to use and manage, although there are also users claiming that the learning curve gets steeper when they start using the advanced capabilities. Infusionsoft appears to use Marketo themselves, which makes sense when you consider their size (700+ employees) compared to their target market (<50 employees)

Infusionsoft admits that its market focus is small business success, and with affordable pricing, it is a threat to other competitors, including HubSpot, Act-On and Marketo, in this segment.

5.6. Silverpop

Silverpop was known as an email marketing platform until it acquired Vtrenz and CoreMotives and added marketing automation capabilities into its platform. IBM acquired Silverpop in 2014.

Originally an email marketing solution, email capabilities remain Silverpop’s strength. However, the product’s user interface and client services lower its grade, making it a less attractive solution.

Although Silverpop is designed to work for both B2B and B2C customers, it is used by mainly large B2C companies.

5.2. How is Marketo different from its competitors?

Compared with its competitors, Marketo has a large base of Marketo partners (over 200 as of the start of 2014) and most of them are currently working on integrations that users can find on LaunchPoint. The Marketo Community is highly praised for the collaboration among users.

Marketo seems to be more in favor of unicorns (startups with valuation of greater than $1B) compared with other marketing automation platforms. In 131 unicorns listed down by Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones VentureSource, 31 are using Marketo while only 12 are using the next competitor in line, HubSpot, as of November 2015. Although B2C is a growing market segment for Marketo, most of their customers are B2B companies with long, sophisticated, sales cycles, which ask for extensive lead nurturing programs, reporting and predictive analysis.

Marketo also has a strong focus on middle of funnel (MoFu) lead management. The platform offers a high level of scalability in lead segmentation, lead scoring and sales cycle modeling. Marketo has also begun to expand its product to social and paid programs, but its most significant strength still remains managing a database with leads of high quantity but low quality.