Marketo vs Salesforce Marketing Cloud (Formerly ExactTarget)

on under Marketing Automation.

Marketo and the Salesforce Marketing Cloud are two marketing automation solutions with big names behind them. With a brand name like Salesforce, you would expect the two to be close competitors on features aimed at the enterprise market.

Surprisingly, this is not the case. Marketo was built for the Salesforce CRM platform and, shockingly, offers better integration with the CRM than Salesforce Marketing Cloud does. Marketo additionally offers native integrations with SAP and MS Dynamics, as well as certified integrations with Oracle, NetSuite, and SugarCRM.

Looking at the feature sets, it's hard to recommend Salesforce Marketing Cloud over Marketo. Marketo dominates in every feature category. Marketing Cloud does not offer public pricing, so if it's less expensive than Marketo, this is only by virtue of negotiation. Furthermore, Marketing Cloud does not have a particularly sleek interface to compete with Marketo's admittedly cluttered interface, since both are designed for mid to enterprise level businesses.

We would not recommend Marketing Cloud over Marketo unless you can get it for a lower price, that you are able to test the interface, and that you find it more intuitive to use.

Advantages of Marketo:

  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers no free trial, and there is no set pricing; prices are doled out in quotes. Marketo offers a free trial and is available for a starting price of $1,195 per month.
  • While Salesforce is well known as one of the most powerful CRMs in existence, their marketing automation platform lacks some important campaign management features such as:
    • A campaign diagram to keep things organized
    • Event scheduling
    • File hosting for white papers, images, and other files, as well as the ability to track them
  • Similarly, Salesforce Marketing Cloud is missing various important lead management tools:
    • Behavioral scoring to assign positive and negative scores to leads based on certain behaviors, such as opening emails
    • Custom scoring: most marketing automation platforms give you the ability to create lead scoring rules based on criteria that you set yourself. This is not available with Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
    • Product-based scoring that assigns a score to a lead based on interactions that they have had with one of your products in your marketing activities
    • Progressive profiling that allows users to add more information about themselves to your platform as time goes on
    • Prospect routing that sends leads to sales when specific criteria are met
    • Time-based degradation that causes lead scores to decay over time if there has been no interaction
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud leaves a great deal to be desired when it comes to email marketing. It lacks all of the following features:
    • Automatic responsive design to ensure that emails are readable on all devices.
    • HTML, image, and link validation to ensure there are no code errors in the email and that it is legible on all devices.
    • Scheduled emails that allow you to plan when future emails will go out.
    • WYSIWYG interface to edit emails while seeing what they will look like when received.
  • Marketo offers several web management tools that aren't available in Salesforce Marketing Cloud:
    • A/B testing, same as above, except on landing pages instead of in emails.
    • Web form design to ensure that the forms your prospects fill out are attractive, effective, and match your brand
    • Web form templates
  • Notable social media features missing from Salesforce Marketing Cloud include:
    • Poll voting
    • Referral offers
    • Social sharing widgets that make it simple for prospects to share your content
    • Video sharing capabilities
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud does not include the ability to make custom reports, performance reports for landing pages, or make predictions about revenue with revenue modeling.
  • Remarkably, while they include some field mapping capabilities, Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Salesforce do not come with out of the box two-way syncing capabilities.
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud has fewer third party integrations that Marketo. Missing integrations include Beckon, Hootsuite, SugarCRM, and Unbounce, with Marketo totalling 88 integrations to Salesforce's 41.

Advantages of Salesforce Marketing Cloud:

  • Marketo does not produce list reports that provide in depth information about your contacts.
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud integrates with Shopify, while Marketo does not.
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  • Jerry

    "Marketo is built on the Salesforce CRM platform". It's not! It's not at all. That's totally wrong. It is not build on the SFDC platform. It integrates with SFDC using the app cloud and the API. Marketo is developed on it's own priority cloud infrastructure. Are you on the Marketo staff? Good grief, all of the xxx vs. Marketo are so incorrect. Marketo is a good product if you are looking for B2B lead nurturing solutions. But for large enterprises looking for B2C consumer engagement it is no where near the likes of, say, Adobe, SFDEC, Selligent, Emarsys and others.

    • Hi Jerry, no we're not on Marketo staff. :)

      You're correct, that's an error. I believe that Carter meant "for*" SalesForce. Which would be true. It's one of only two CRMs that integrates directly still (with MSDN happening later). SF themselves used it, at least before acquiring Pardot. Assume that they migrated after that, my own knowledge of that comes from the book Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross.

      Happy to make any other corrections that you find.

  • Which of the two have more powerful segmentation and email automation features?

    • As of writing this, Marketo edges out SF's available rules by a fair bit. SF compensates with a bit cleaner UX.

      They're both extremely powerful though, and almost any of the high end marketing automation solutions can solve for 90%+ implementations.