So, you’re thinking about implementing a new marketing automation platform?

To help solve your problem we’ve put together a short cheat sheet exploring two of the biggest names in the marketing automation game today: HubSpot and Marketo.

However, before we start, you should probably know from the beginning that Six & Flow are unashamed HubSpot users. But wait! That doesn't mean we can’t still be friends if you're thinking about implementing Marketo. In fact, if Marketo makes sense, if it works for your users, customers, budget, and future plans, then we genuinely WANT you to go with Marketo. Why? Because we want your business to grow using whatever tools work best for you. If that's using HubSpot, great. But if not, then that’s okay as well.

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How do they compare?

First, let’s begin by saying Marketo is a dependable marketing automation option when it comes to advanced analytics and complex email workflows. Lots of enterprise-level organisations today are running large-scale elaborate email campaigns which depend on Marketo thanks to its numerous options for niche customisation. If you need an automation tool that can handle large quantities of leads as they flow through a complex marketing process, then Marketo is for you. If you’re talking volume, you're talking Marketo.

Another significant benefit of Marketo is you can implement any or all of the five main modules (lead management, email marketing, consumer marketing, customer-based marketing and mobile marketing) depending on your needs. It’s also a marketing automation system capable of scaling as your company grows thanks to a versatile, customisable back-end.

Plus, with a simple 3-tier pricing structure (Pro, Elite and Enterprise) it’s also refreshingly transparent when it comes to costing a new implementation (although it should be noted that exact pricing is only available via a custom quote direct from Marketo themselves).

However, there are some drawbacks with Marketo if large, complex email marketing campaigns are not your primary marketing strategy.

Marketo

For starters, it’s no secret Marketo is built with the more technically minded marketer in mind. Yes, Marketo offers great value if you need niche customisation, but getting the most from the platform arguably requires a certain level of technical ability to reconfigure the system’s back-end. If you don’t already have (or plan to implement) a dedicated technical resource to manage this aspect of the Marketo platform, then you could end up paying costly fees to an external partner or (and perhaps even worse) only using Marketo as a superficial emailing tool and not as the powerful automation machine it’s designed to be.

Even though Marketo offers comprehensive customisation features capable of coping with large quantities of complex data, if you're new to marketing automation, or you just need a solution that gives you access to a wider range of generic marketing tools from day one, then HubSpot is arguably a much better option.

HubSpot

HubSpot is an all-in-one inbound marketing platform offering the ability to create optimised content for your web pages, blogs & social media strategy, email campaigns, workflows, reports, analytics and more. If Marketo is a Goliath in the world of marketing automation, impressive in both its brute force and capability for handling high volume, then HubSpot is an adaptable David; quick on its feet and flexible.

Additionally, because HubSpot has both a CRM and CMS built into the base product (unlike Marketo) it’s also easy to gather real-time information about your marketing efforts: reports that while may not be as in-depth as their Marketo equivalents, are both quick to generate, easy to understand and simple to act upon thanks to HubSpot’s fully integrated suite of content management tools.

Which is best?

Hopefully, this short comparative summary has helped you understand there are clear benefits to both marketing automation solutions. However, your decision to choose either HubSpot or Marketo is probably going to boil down to one question: ‘how big are your boots?’

If you’re a large, enterprise-level outfit whose marketing strategy focuses on regularly processing vast amounts of data, and you have a dependable technical resource capable of customising your marketing automation platform to suit specific email marketing campaigns, then Marketo is undoubtedly for you.

But, if you're a smaller enterprise in need of a more simplistic, ready-to-use solution that marketing all-rounders can use to promote effective inbound marketing campaigns through optimised blogs, social media and email marketing tools, then HubSpot is without a doubt your go-to solution.

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