Marketing automation tools are proving to be efficient digital platforms.
For facilitating more effective marketing via multiple channels by automating recurring tasks or processes.
These channels typically include websites, social media, and e-mails.
Marketing with these tools is undeniably a quickly growing digital trend at present.
Unlike in 2015 when just 10% companies were relying on these tools, today more than 65% of market leaders use them as per a recent Salesforce survey.
The same survey also reported that 21% more are planning to start using these tools over a period of next two years.
So, now that the world of marketing is flourishing with automation, what would you like to do ?
Well, you would surely like to choose the best marketing automation tool for your company or business, wouldn’t you ?
Well, this is why you are reading this post.
Marketing automation tools or programs allow businesses to capture leads from their blog or website, nurture them, and convert them into loyal customers.
It does by giving all the possible tools or utilities under one roof.
When it is the matter of marketing automation, you will see that there is no dearth of contenders.
At the same time, you should also recognize that there is no single platform or tool that is perfect for each company or business.
The reason is simple:
The tool that will function well for your business depends on the system you require not on what is the most popular.
By choosing the right tool, it becomes easy to bridge gaps with the automation of marketing for fulfilling all the objectives.
Although both have similar features as well as functionality along with a strong fan base, there are significant differences.
In this post, we will compare both the tools in terms of what they have to offer so that you can identify which one is the best for your marketing efforts.
Here you can read my comparison of HubSpot VS MailChimp.
HubSpot is developed to deliver a comprehensive inbound marketing platform on which all users log onto a single system to work distinctly.
It is a fully-featured tool to consider.
This is exactly what anyone would expect from the pioneers of inbound marketing technologies.
It provides all important digital marketing tools
including a social media scheduler,
an e-mail marketing provider,
a Content Management System (CMS) for your business website,
a contact manager,
and a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) that Marketo does not offer.
Further, it helps in handling the whole lifecycle of a prospect, right from gaining a visitor to becoming a loyal customer.
There are three hubs within the HubSpot platform namely, sales, marketing, and service for selling, marketing, and serving, respectively.
There is also a free version that does not give you all the bells and whistles but is perhaps a reliable way to get started without spending significantly.
On the other hand, Marketo is designed for automating marketing for large enterprises.
Particularly those tackling humongous amounts of data along with quite complex processes relevant to marketing.
This is applicable to businesses that run big e-mail campaigns with different triggers.
Its system is split into five key marketing segments namely, consumer, customer base, mobile, e-mail, and lead management.
Within these modules, it is possible to implement everything with regards to digital marketing.
Unlike HubSpot, Marketo as an enterprise-level tool comes with advanced analytics as well as e-mail marketing capabilities for which it is always admired.
Some of the noteworthy e-mail marketing capabilities are automation and segmentation.
According to many experts, HubSpot and Marketo are the top marketing automation tools on the planet.
Both of them together make up a market share of more than 25% according to relevance.com.
In terms of similarity, both tools are cloud-oriented due to which they are highly accessible and more popular amongst the marketers, unlike other automation tools.
Further, they function on role-based access and have integrated e-mail campaigns.
HubSpot and Marketo both have many similar features too, which include CRM, content management, social media marketing, lead nurturing workflows, and reporting.
There is a mobile version of both so that its customers remain connected while on the go.
As these tools are quite similar in different aspects, they end up giving somewhat the same functionality.
This has actually resulted in an intense competition that keeps growing despite there being significant differences.
The two popular tools differ significantly in terms of composition or the way they function.
These differences are mostly with regards to the dissimilarities in the client bases that are being served.
Marketo is chiefly focused on helping enterprises and businesses that want to excel in B2B marketing.
The system provides a specific level of customization as well as flexibility to its customers.
This includes different buying options for individual modules, pre-mixed packages, or groupings bundled in an integrated system.
However, there is no CRM of its own and comes with fewer content management abilities than HubSpot.
There are different pricing levels for modules such as Basic, Pro, and Enterprise.
So that Marketo can serve a wide variety of businesses.
On the other hand, HubSpot is somewhat more equipped for handling smaller customers.
Contrasting to Marketo, it has no segments or functions as individual units.
Rather, this system offers the same coherent platform to each customer, which encompasses all features, utilities, and abilities.
However, just as Marketo, HubSpot has five pricing options such as Free, Starter, Professional, and Enterprise for its fundamental product, Marketing Hub.
This enables its customers to yet pay only for the services that are useful for them.
The customers can also use free add-ons such as the CRM tool.
A single-unit platform is just ideal for those marketers who are just not interested in customizing a specific product and want all-in-one functionality.
Such a platform also does not curb customization, as it provides several standard integrations with famous apps already in use for business.
These differences in the constitution are also responsible for the variance in its price.
The core software from HubSpot is quite cheaper than the Marketo’s Basic version.
However, it is costlier at the enterprise level than Marketo although the difference in price is trivial.
To take marketing to new levels, marketers leverage one of these tools.
According to SimilarTech, around 96,000 websites rely on HubSpot, while only 33,000 websites use Marketo.
This will easily allow anyone to conclude that HubSpot is the most popular automation tool.
So, should you directly choose HubSpot at this point of time ?
These numbers just do not say that Marketo is not worthy of your money and consideration.
It is just that it indicates which of the two tools is more popular.
However, a less popular tool does not mean that it is not ideal for any business.
As said above, you should choose your marketing automation tool as per your needs, and not as per popularity.
This is truly an informed decision to make.
For that, you need to compare the features of both the tools and see which one best suits your needs.
Thus, this is too early to decide at this stage.
You actually have not gone through a comparative analysis of the two tools.
Now, the challenge is that how will you choose, as many features of both these platforms are the same.
This is exactly what we make you overcome ahead in this post.
From here, this post focuses on the features and compare them to know which one is better for each of those features.
HubSpot offers a free CRM hub around which all of the platform’s functionality revolves.
This functionality encompasses
▪️ e-mail scheduling,
▪️ form management,
▪️ tracking, deal management,
▪️ contact management,
▪️ and integration of e-mail services such as Gmail and Outlook.
It impeccably integrates with the existing marketing and sales tools.
Further, the platform supports a big number of integrations.
This also includes integrating Salesforce.
The platform allows you to track and keep informative records of all your customers in one place.
As per the edition or package selected, you get access to more sales and market automation tools.
That are related to generating leads, nurturing them, and eventually making them customers.
You even can go through the analytics and data of your contacts along with whom they work with.
This data is made available to you from their own database that stores data about millions of businesses.
The required information moves to your CRM records seamlessly, which makes HubSpot’s CRM a valuable tool in searching leads.
On the other hand, Marketo has no integrated or built-in CRM.
Rather, it is developed on the Salesforce platform.
As a result, it syncs with this popular CRM in such a way that the information flows between the two platforms in both directions.
Nevertheless, just as HubSpot, Marketo supports integration with other famous CRM apps or tools.
It also enables your data to flow into an existing CRM you may be running.
This allows maintaining up-to-date contact information with less marketing efforts.
HubSpot not only supports integrating with Outlook and Gmail but also enables you to make different e-mail templates.
And track all e-mails. Sending e-mails using its CRM allows you to track e-mails.
This enables the sales team to find out precisely when a probable customer or a lead clicked an e-mail along with what action that lead has taken.
Further, email marketing on this platform optimizes e-mails not only for different e-mail providers but also for various mobile devices.
It also enables you to make dynamic contact lists as per the chosen criteria.
This allows you to split your own e-mail campaigns so that you can direct them towards the most relevant customers.
For composing e-mails, there is a user-friendly e-mail designer.
This designer allows forming e-mails using its drag-and-drop icons and tools rather than composing through code.
On the contrary, Marketo offers an advanced e-mail automation experience due to which you can form long-tail campaigns.
This feature also encompasses accurate A/B testing.
So that you can test variables such as sender, date and time of sending, subject line, and even the e-mail’s content.
Despite having a drag-and-drop facility, Marketo’s e-mail designer seems to be less intuitive than the e-mail marketing hub of HubSpot’s.
Still, it is admired for its extremely detailed workflows for campaigns once they are configured by you.
HubSpot comes with robust social media publishing as well as monitoring tools through.
Which you can easily oversee how your leads are engaging and how much is their engagement.
Through these tools, you can also create workflows as per the activities happening on your social media pages.
The publishing tool is simple to use. It enables you to make and run scheduled campaigns and posts on all famous social media channels.
You actually enjoy far-reaching control over composing content and publishing it to the right channels as per the pre-determined marketing goals.
The listening and monitoring tools enable you to keep your marketing efforts concentrated on leads.
And customers as per their engagement and behavior on your company’s social media pages.
All activities done on social media flows into the integrated monitoring tools.
Which allows creating lead workflows easily as per the customers’ engagement with your brand.
These tools, also available in Marketo but unlike it, are available for free in the Marketing hub.
Marketo’s social media tools, too, allow posting content across all social networks.
They also allow creating streams for listening to as well as monitoring activities of customers or leads on social media.
Marketo also facilitates social media sign-in and sharing for generating leads.
This allows leads to easily fill the forms.
All these social media features need you to subscribe to extra software modules.
In other words, you will have to pay extra for them.
HubSpot offers a CMS that enables you to host your official website.
Or an official blog in the most optimized manner for ensuring lucrative content such that you can then easily get leads.
It is advanced enough to enable you to make responsive landing webpages that aim to capture leads via pop-ups and forms.
The CMS is capable of enabling you to change the content that is viewable to the visitors.
You can make these changes as per the visitor’s demographics, former activity, and lead score.
It comes with robust SEO analytics tools through which you not only publish content but even optimize and promote it.
In fact, one of the most powerful abilities is to publish content as a blog post after optimizing it for your target audience.
As the content is hosted on the HubSpot’s CMS, it is flawlessly integrated with the platform’s automation tools.
If there is already a blog or a site that you are hosting on other popular CMS platforms such as WordPress.
All you need to do is add HubSpot’s code and use its tracking and automation features on your blog or site.
It is possible to integrate HubSpot with other famous blogging software with the help of its tracking code.
On the other hand, Marketo does not come integrated with a fully-featured CMS.
However, it still enables you to make lead forms and post them on your prevalent website.
Unlike HubSpot, you cannot create content, landing pages, or your site on this platform.
Nevertheless, Marketo allows integrating with other popular CMS platforms.
Further, as Adobe had procured Marketo, you can take advantage of other available options.
HubSpot enables scoring leads or prospects as per the different available criteria such as emails clicked, form submitted, pages visited, and contact variables.
It automatically scores the leads according to who are most likely to get converted into customers.
The scoring takes place using the gathered information, demographics, and engagement signals.
For making lead flows, HubSpot provides a fluid lead flow designer.
This designer allows you to visualize easily how the leads pass through your channel as you build campaigns.
It also allows you to assign specific scores as per the demographics, behavior, and custom criteria that you may set.
For you, scoring is useful for improving your marketing strategies or efforts.
For example, you may then decide to change a webpage’s content for those leads or trigger notifications for establishing a personal bond.
Even Marketo is equipped with the functionality of lead scoring.
However, HubSpot is one step further here, as it automatically flows the related information in its CRM.
Marketo terms the process of lead nurturing as the engagement engine tool.
This engine enables you to score leads on the basis of different criteria.
Or variables such as behavior on the site or blog, demographics, and action that sales members have taken.
Just as in the case with HubSpot, scoring happens automatically and is capable of initiating a few marketing activities.
Such as sending a special e-mail to that contact or sending an alert notification to a sales assistant.
With HubSpot, it is easy to learn, comprehend, and use its analytics tools.
As its CMS and CRM are integrated, it is easy to collect real-time details of your attempts to fulfill marketing goals.
HubSpot arranges its analytics in the form of four modules namely:
Contact analytics showing details of demographics and contact’s behavior
▪️ Website analytics showing your blog’s and landing pages’ performance
▪️Traffic analytics to reveal the number of visitors to your website and the media through which they came
▪️ Campaign analytics showing the total performance of each camping along with the overall performance during a timespan
The reports of all these analytics are simple to generate and decipher.
On the other hand, Marketo comes with a powerful collection of reporting features.
This set encompasses information of lead activity, conversions as per the particular marketing activities, and projected scoring.
It enables tracking and gauging which marketing attempts are giving you sales revenue at the end.
This helps you in assessing the overall performance of the marketing-to-sales channel as well as making critical strategic decisions.
Marketo and HubSpot are rich in features due to which you can generate a variety of marketing workflows.
Both suites provide proper support to use them for maximizing the outcomes of your marketing efforts.
However, regardless of which you choose, investment in time and other resources required.
For managing your marketing campaigns regularly by fully implementing the advanced features is indispensable.
Relatively, it seems that HubSpot is simpler and more intuitive to use keeping in mind its robustness.
While it needs time to think meticulously for developing an overall strategy.
The pictorial flow designer of this platform makes it stress-free to know and track how the different campaigns will work.
All vital features are accessible through the drag and drop utilities integrated into your workflow so that you can incorporate the changes instantly.
The overall interface of HubSpot is simple to navigate in the sense that you will find all utilities where you expect them to be.
On the other hand, the enterprise-level Marketo tool with advanced workflows for e-mail marketing.
Most enterprises that are using it have employed a team of devoted specialists having both marketing and IT backgrounds.
They are involved in configuring and managing the platform on a daily basis.
Although Marketo is powerful, it is somewhat complex to trigger a learning curve.
Both these market automation platforms are admired for their exceptional support.
Along with extensive knowledge bases and trainings available.
These platforms promote loyal followings to exchange best practices across partners as well as end-users.
The customer service at HubSpot is quite reputed.
It is true that the support media such as e-mail, phone, and chat are confined to their respective paid editions.
There is a big user community forming its ecosystem.
This community encompasses support forums that the experts of HubSpot.
Tend to supervise along with the partners available to all customers regardless of their subscribed plan.
You can also expect extensive onboarding training as well as support, which is only available if you have subscribed to the Professional plan.
This is likely to aid you in configuring and running the different marketing campaigns.
Just as HubSpot, Marketo also offers diverse supports media such as e-mail, phone, and live chat.
Apart from that, it maintains an extensive knowledge base along with a dedicated portal giving access to different self-help tools.
You can even use this portal for submitting a support request.
The platform has recently joined Adobe due to which you as a customer can benefit from even Adobe resources.
This is something that HubSpot will not have on offer.
There is also onboarding support that encompasses access to a devoted operation consultant.
When approached, this consultant takes you through the technical configuration along with the overall marketing strategy.
Marketo offers customized solutions, which is really the need of an hour for several industries.
All its five main marketing modules are available in packages/bundles.
Or separately so that you get an automated program that best adapts to your needs.
This also indicates that Marketo offers more profound coverage on that module such as lead management.
It also indicates that you will have to spend more lavishly to use this fully integrated platform up to your advantage.
On the contrary, HubSpot is a comprehensive inbound marketing platform that allows optimizing content, checking analytics, and integrating existing marketing tools.
You can actually integrate up to 1,000 third-party programs through its Connect Program for fortifying your marketing power.
All these pros are available to you through a single package.
However, in case of Marketo, you are required to invest in additional bundles.
As a result, HubSpot becomes a more appealing option to single marketers.
As well as those businesses that are planning to use a marketing automation platform for the first time.
Moreover, HubSpot is also geared towards content production, a capability that is not there in Marketo.
The user experience for both the marketing automation platforms seems to be a matter of personal preference.
They both have a striking and appealing user interface with smart dashboards and easy navigation.
However, as compared to Marketo, HubSpot has informative utilities.
In simple words, they offer more step-by-step instructions when you start using them.
This means even a naive marketer who has little to no knowledge of IT software platforms can easily work with HubSpot.
In recent months, HubSpot has modernized its user interface so that it behaves like a more user-friendly interface.
In other words, it is now quick to learn this platform and master it regardless of the educational and professional experience backgrounds.
After all, the pioneers have not stopped at the original version.
They have continued to significantly give more time and other resources to their research and development for importing its automation platform.
Keeping in mind that Marketo is a specialist for giving solutions to enterprises and larger businesses.
It is more geared toward advanced marketers.
Thus, the learning curve is not smooth and typically needs more IT wisdom for operations.
Without dedicated marketers, it is tough to use this platform.
Even with these specialists on the job, getting acquainted with it and utilizing it to its maximum potential may be more time-consuming.
Thus, the graph of user experience may not be that straightforward.
It is true that the features of Marketo have somewhat more depth.
However, this is not for those who are new to automation tools and need a solution having friendly access.
Smart interface, and efficient performance regardless of the range of marketing tools.
You can have easy access to all utilities and tools required from one place rather than looking for them in separate modules.
Unlike Marketo, HubSpot for its Marketing hub offers a Free basic plan after which it charges a monthly fee as per the additional features you choose.
Each plan allows you to handle 1,000 contacts.
You are charged for additional contacts but the exact price depends on the plan you choose.
The Free plan offers contact management, form submissions, live chat, Inbox utility, a few reporting dashboards, and contact and company acumens.
Then, there is the Starter plan charging you a fee per month.
It removes the platform’s brand promotion from landing pages and provides mobile optimization and list segmentation.
Then, there is Professional plan charging you monthly along with a separate but significant amount charged for onboarding.
Subscribing to this plan gives you access to tools for creating content and blogs.
Handling social media channels and SEO requirements, and managing different aspects.
These aspects include calls to action, dynamic content changing as per the lead (yearly billing for this), A/B testing, subdomains, landing pages, and Salesforce integration.
While HubSpot discloses its price for each plan, Marketo does not. It only shares the specifics once you come into contact with its sales team.
Just as HubSpot, here also you get charged as per the number of contacts you handle.
It’s base service has charges per annum for 10,000 contacts. In addition to these fees or charges, it has a significant free for one-time setup.
In terms of price, Marketo is in line with several other analogous enterprise-level platforms.
Nevertheless, no entry-level editions or plans exist for small-scale companies or startups having fewer contacts.
Moreover, the platform necessitates semi-annually or annual billing due to which smaller companies having a tight budget may not consider it.
The cost of HubSpot increases with the addition of more users and features.
Still, it seems to be less pricey than Marketo. Keeping in mind that most companies require two or more modules for fulfilling their marketing needs.
HubSpot wins in the matter of cost while giving a relatively similar service.
Pros of HubSpot
▪️ A genuine all-in-one inbound marketing engine
▪️ All tools integrated for creating and managing an all-inclusive campaign for inbound marketing
▪️ Extended services in the form of sales and customer services
▪️ Efficient management of your contacts’ lifecycle
▪️ End-to-end solution
Pros of Marketo
▪️ Advanced analytics and workflows for e-mails
▪️ Ideal for users with a great IT background
▪️ E-mail marketing customization in detail for big enterprises
▪️ For big businesses with thousands of leads
▪️ Efficient handling of mass processes as well as leads
▪️ Great mobile optimization tools and app
Cons of HubSpot
▪️ More inclined towards medium- and small-sized businesses although the Enterprise version is overcoming this restriction
Cons of Marketo
▪️ Initial learning curve for getting familiar with the user interface
While both are popular tools, each one has its own unique use case scenarios.
This is to be fair with both the renowned tools.
So, for what is HubSpot most suitable ?
Let’s consider the Enterprise plan here, as Marketo is an enterprise-oriented platform and the discernment will then be fair.
HubSpot is after all the pioneer or inventor of inbound marketing tools.
Thus, it is not wrong to say that it is also the pioneer of the marketing culture that emerged from it.
However, it is successful because not only it has offered a great solution but also has developed a dynamic brand identical to inbound marketing.
So, the rise of this platform as a robust marketing automation solution provider is due to much more reasons apart from just being a great solution giver.
As a part of this all-inclusive approach, the platform is best suited for those who are in need of an all-in-one automation tool.
Unlike Marketo, HubSpot includes all marketing tools in an integrated way, which is something that an inbound marketer would always need and admire.
It is the best tool for those who want to manage all sales and marketing activities under one roof or at one place.
For B2B marketers, HubSpot is perhaps an innovative platform, not an ordinary one.
They enjoy some of the most wanted benefits such as easy setup, no elaborate integrations, and inclusive capabilities.
As an enterprise solution, marketers can expect a well-established ecosystem of diverse integrations as well as different partners.
Thus, HubSpot is ideal for those who wish to take full advantage of all that the tool has in its user interface.
No matter what you wish to do or complete, you will easily find a utility for it inside this tool.
Okay, so now what Marketo is suitable for ?
Well, it is a great warrior for those who consider marketing automation as their frontline.
Just like any great soldier, Marketo was designed with a functional purpose of automating complex marketing tasks.
This is the main reason why many big companies clearly have Marketo as their first choice.
Comparable to a skillful warrior, this platform is agile and adjustable.
It is fully aware of how to collaborate with any other entity through integrations for completing an assigned task.
Thus, fundamentally, Marketo is suitable for well-established marketing teams who have already built their strategic portfolio.
And now only need an automation platform to integrate all under one roof.
The platform also offers powerful APIs that integrates seamlessly with several marketing tools to maximize the blend’s lucrative potential.
This is valuable for those who firmly believe in customization and are aware of the effective tools and workflows to use.
Marketo is truly for enterprises, while HubSpot is ideal for everyone else.
Go for Marketo if you are ready for profound analytics and advanced workflow functionality for your big company.
On the other hand, if you need something that is easy to use and is capable of tackling all your inbound needs, you just cannot go wrong with HubSpot.
After a head-to-head comparison, it is easy to conclude that Marketo and HubSpot are somewhat similar but are also sufficiently dissimilar automation platforms.
Each of them has its own set of pros, cons, and unique functioning strategy.
The choice between the two is like a selection between an all-in-one traditional and best-in-type model.
Marketo is better for experienced B2B marketers who have their strategic stack and want to now customize their marketing efforts.
On the other hand, HubSpot is better for those who need an out-of-the-box tool with comprehensive utilities catering to each need.
For deciding the right tool, it is wise to first identify your needs or requirements along with the nature of marketing processes and operations in place.
If these two things are clear to you, it truly becomes easy to choose the right platform to employ.
Still, you need to compare HubSpot and Marketo.
Of the two, we highly recommend HubSpot.
As it caters to all businesses regardless of their scale of operations or contacts.
It is a fully-featured tool that is easier to learn and use than Marketo.
You get an ideal mix of all marketing features along with timely support and training.
Even its pricing packages have sufficient plans to choose for enjoying a myriad of features.
This makes it economical for most budgets.
So, what you wish to choose ?
We are a HubSpot affiliate and receive a commission when you purchase.