As you’ve seen in previous posts, customer needs and revenue trajectory dictate technology decisions for the companies providing services. As mid-sized companies contemplate how to get their sales teams more productive and get revenue quicker, they have a variety of marketing automation choices – Pardot, Infusionsoft, and now Marketo. After listening to Marketo’s newest offer and watching a detailed demo, and contrasting it to the capabilities that some of my clients have, I am really impressed with Marketo’s offer. I am not compensated by them in any way nor by any other marketing automation vendor. Here’s why I’m impressed:
- After studying a variety of models at high and low ends, the integration with Salesforce.com is key. Marketo has perfected a native connection that makes it easy for companies to do this integration. From my client experiences and my own, other automation systems lack in this area. They’ll claim they have the functionality but it isn’t as clean as that of Marketo’s.
- At $750/month, it’s competitive with other offers – but what’s nice is if the company grows and has more need, there is no rip and replace needed in this cloud based solution. A configuration change is needed in the cloud. Now while I’ve not actually deployed this Spark software, it is my sense that with the upgrade, more business processes will be needed to be defined. This is a category of ‘good headaches to have’. The other lower end solutions do not have this capability. This makes Marketo an ideal ‘try before you buy’ scenario.
- Ease of use – the 4 step process makes this system incredibly easy to use so for a marketing shop with few or limited resources, this is definitely a solution to be aware of.
- On the fly lead scoring which enables more leads to flow to sales depending on definition criteria.
Some other things to be aware of regarding Spark:
- Marketing campaigns only get measured on first touch, not last touch or multi touch like the ‘Marketo Classic’ offer has. This may impact how one allocates their marketing budget. First touch allocation is common in about 45% of companies according to numerous industry surveys.
- There is limited PURL capability or personalized URLs which are more prevalent in the ‘classic’ version.
- There is a limit of 30,000 emails per month.
- Emails are sent through Marketo – not through your company. Email deliverability rates are high for Marketo but it’s an area to pay close attention to that not many in the industry know or study.
I think this move for Marketo is the right move and wish them luck tackling this new market.