Marketing · Marketing Automation

Marketo vs. Pardot (or others)?

Ryan Weldon Founder/CEO at Breakable

April 4th, 2016

We're evaluating marketing automation software options and right now Marketo and Pardot are in the lead but if you look at the check lists they have they are all very similar. So, I'm interested in personal experiences people have had with each - the good, the bad and the differences. I know Pardot is now Salesforce - not sure if that's net good or bad.

Jeff ☁ CMO | Demand Generation | Content Marketer | Revenue Marketer | Product Marketer | Chief Marketing Technology Officer

April 4th, 2016

Hey Ryan, Here are some factors that could influence your decision: 1. How experienced/sophisticated are the human resources that will be utilizing the marketing automation platform? Will your MA admin be able to program responsive HTML emails or will they need to rely on wysiwyg builder/templates provided by the MA platform? A less experienced resource would likely get up to speed and be productive faster with Pardot. A more experienced resource might be able to produce better results with Marketo. 2. What is the breadth of your utilization? Email only? Do you have your other bases covered? Landing page point solution? Social Media management? What are you doing with analytics? Do you need webinar platform integration? A/B testing? CRM? If you need more features then Marketo is likely going to cover more of what you need. However, if you're only sending email and managing nurture campaigns then Pardot does a fine job. If you need to integrate with a lot of other platforms then you'll want to make sure the platform of choice can deliver on your needs. 3. How large is your prospecting database? This certainly impacts your price so anticipate your future state and take that into consideration. 4. Start thinking about your contact and content strategies now. You're going to need to feed the beast in order to achieve the desired ROI. :-) Negotiate aggressively regardless of the platform that you choose. MA is a mature market and there is a lot of competition, including new companies like AutoPilot HQ; therefore you should ask them to sharpen their pencils

Ray Carroll Area Vice President, Sales at Marketo

April 8th, 2016

Disclaimer, I work for Marketo, but I'll give a balanced view here.

Pardot will do the job if you are uber price conscious, need the basics and are buying SFDC at the same time. If you buy both they'll cut you a killer deal and if you are trying to keep the burn down as a startup there is value there. If you are looking to do anything above beginner level it will catch up to you but if it's the super basics: ie: monthly newsletter and a landing page they can do that.

Hubspot is popular amongst really small startups and VSBs as they can do a small amount of everything. Their UI is slick and appears easy. You can also try it first. Like Pardot, if you try to do anything outside the lines of "basic", it's do-able, but it involves all kinds of work arounds and starts eating away at efficiency. 

Marketo's strength is in our ability to "grow with you" but also get you setup right the first time. If you know there's a big market ahead of you, you're going to need to switch sometime so you might as well start on the right platform. Like our website says, if you're going to play, why not play to win? Additionally, our implementation team are all seasoned ex-marketeres that understand the ins and outs of how to implement the software and build process, not just use it.

Whatever you decide, salesforce, hubspot and marketo are all great companies. Don't think you can go wrong, with either it's just a matter of figuring out which one is right for you. Don't forget about the sales rep too. That's often a reflection of the type of service you'll receive post-sale.

James Hipkin CEO, Managing Director at Red8 Interactive

April 4th, 2016

Assess your options carefully. I agree with David McKeen. We have worked with them all, my company builds websites, and in many cases we install marketing automation platforms that are way more than what's actually needed. 

Marketo is the most popular choice in our experience, but can be difficult to work with. With great power comes great responsibility. 

Justin Roff-Marsh

April 4th, 2016

Well, first you need to confirm that you actually need to spend that much money on one of these applications.

We use -- and provide our clients with -- Mautic. Mautic is an open-source alternative to Marketo and we all love it. It certainly has all of the basics (web tracking, forms, landing pages, email, etc) and, if you self-host it's totally free. Otherwise you just pay for hosting.

If you're Target or Revlon, you should probably go with Marketo, otherwise I'd look at Mautic.

Mark Jacobs Chief Executive Officer at Me!Box Media Inc.

April 4th, 2016

We've supported a number of Marketing Automation systems - and the one we have seen deliver the most for the client it Right on Interactive...from service to price.  (hope you big guys won't black list us!)

Craig DesBrisay

April 5th, 2016

Hi Ryan,

Disclaimer: I work for a Pardot services firm. We don't sell the software, but we benefit from customers hiring us to help them with Pardot implementations and on-going campaign development services.

In our experience, it doesn't really matter which of the two (Marketo or Pardot) you choose. Each has their pros and cons. Pardot has fewer features than Marketo, but it is easier to use.

The biggest things you need to consider are 1) your team, and 2) your resources. 

1) Your team. While Pardot has an easy-to-use user interface, it does not necessarily mean that it is "easy" to implement all of the amazing automation features. It takes someone who can really understand databases, automation logic, and a really deep understanding HTML/CSS coding. Yes, it comes with out-of-the-box email and landing page templates, but sophisticated companies end up wanting custom templates developed and that is not easy. Warning: running Marketo or Pardot is NOT like running a more basic email program like MailChimp or Constant Contact. You need a "full-stack" digital marketer on your team and they're hard to find.

2) Resources. Everyone always underestimates how much effort it is to implement all their awesome ideas for Marketing Automation. In reality, it requires a full person dedicated to running the software. If that same person also has to run events, social media, tradeshows, etc... they will not have enough time to fully utilize the system and realize the ROI you're expecting out of it.

If you can't afford a full-time person to run the MA system, then you should budget for an outside services firm like Audaxium (shameless plug) to do some of the on-going campaigns and drip program development work.

Let me know if you'd like to have a chat offline. :)
- Craig

AKBAR JAFFER Enterprise Software Product Marketing and Marketing Technology Executive

April 5th, 2016

I have personally configured and used all three, hubspot, Marketo, and Pardot multiple times for over 5 years now. If price is not a concern I would go with Marketo because it will grow with you as your requirements become more complex.

Pardot had some issues and you'd think that being part of SFDC it would work seamlessly. Alas not true. Both development teams got a long way to go.

Hubspot is great but its heavy on Inbound. 

If you have more questions I am happy to jump on a call with you.


Kim Albee Marketing Automation & Content Marketing Strategist

April 4th, 2016

If you're running WordPress, check out Genoo or WPMktgEngine. Depending upon what you need, you will pay A TON more for Marketo or Pardot, and not get more functionality ... Hubspot also expensive. You want to be able to generate leads easily, and nurture them with smart rules and triggers that allow you to automate how you stay in touch. Lead scoring allows you to know who's likely to be ready for a sales conversation... If you're running WordPress for your website - MOST of the expensive solutions actually don't make your life easier with their landing pages - at least not running from your domain -- which is just odd and not smart at all if you're interested in SEO, etc. And none of the higher end solutions have ready to go WordPress plugins... all of that is custom built "extensions" that will run you a min. of $5-15k with Marketo. Marketo only allows you so many support calls before it costs you money. Genoo doesn't have that restriction, comes with a WordPress plugin that includes a drag and drop landing page builder, CTA library that is easy to place calls-to-action in posts and sidebars, and extensive smart rule, email marketing and lead nurturing - with an integration to salesforce.com (AppExchange), or easy to implement Zapier integrations to 17 other CRMs. Ultimately, your success with marketing automation will come down to your content strategy and how you utilize the MA tool you select -- most companies don't do this well, and end up using their MA solution as a glorified email provider (and an expensive one at that). Kim

Anonymous

April 4th, 2016

Ryan, 

Look them up on TrustRadius.com

Chris
sensorpro.net/whatpeoplesay

Wayne Cerullo Advocate for prospect-centric B2B marketing

April 4th, 2016

Lots of opinions on this one! I think you will find the following to be true: 
  1. To be competitive, the top MAP offerings are quite similar. 
  2. The key differences will be around support and pricing. 
  3. Decide how much of an organization advantage it is to adopt a commonly-used system vs. a less expensive but less widely-known system. 
You can check out a brief comparison of all the top packages on G2 HERE