Marketo vs Eloqua vs Pardot: A Massive Review

by Marcus Sheridan

marketing toolsMarketing automation is blowing up, big time. And just like there is an arms race with content marketing, there is another battle going on when it comes to marketing automation software companies that are trying to establish themselves as “top dog” in a very nascent industry that’s getting ready to hit a tipping point and receive acceptance by hundreds upon thousands of businesses around the world. This movement makes sense though, because marketing automation software can change the entire sales, marketing, and customer service culture of an organization if used properly. I’ve seen it change mine and certainly seen the same with many clients. This being said, the debate and questions surrounding these solutions is constant.

When it comes down to it, marketing automation software costs time and money, and companies don’t want to make a mistake. Furthermore, they require serious commitment and cultural shifts, often times from the management on down. Whether you choose Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot, HubSpot, Infusionsoft, or any other– success will not happen overnight.

It’s Starts with YOU, Not the Tool

Some people may consider me a  “HubSpot Guy,” but in reality I’m a “better marketing” guy. This is why I’m passionate about tools that help companies and customers get greater results. Many people that come to us at The Sales Lion will ask about HubSpot, but often times, we end up suggesting a different solution based on their individual needs. And that, my friends, is the key to all of this.

Before you can choose an automated marketing software, you must know what YOUR priorities are. What are your requirements? What are “must-haves”? Once these parameters are defined, the choice as to the right solution becomes much, much easier, as is the case with every client we work with at TSL.

A few weeks ago, we kicked off our marketing automation series with an in-depth comparison of HubSpot vs. Infusionsoft to much success and conversation. Today, we’re going to take a deep look and review Marketo, Pardot, and Eloqua. As before, my fellow TSL team-member Rich McElaney had a HUGE part of this post , as did I. We both spent hours of research in an effort to offer up the components of each company that merited discussion. Assuredly, we have missed some noteworthy information, which is why I’d like to strongly urge any person with experience using these products (or the brands themselves) to voice your thoughts in the comment section at the bottom of the post. Also, if you’re wondering why this post is 4,000+ words long, our answer is simple: This is going to be a big decision for your company, and we don’t want you to mess it up.

That being said, here goes…

1. Company Background

Marketo was founded in 2006, has over 2,300 customers, 300 + employees and over 100,000 users worldwide. Marketo has enjoyed explosive revenue growth, posting a 3,545% revenue increase over a three year period ending in 2011 ($32.9 million) and was named the 78th fastest growing business by Inc. magazine in 2012.

Pardot was founded in 2007, has over 1,000 customers, 59 employees and was named the 172nd fastest growing business in 2012 by Inc. magazine with a 2,001% growth rate over the three year period ending in 2011.   Pardot was acquired by Exact Target for $95.5 million in October of 2012.

Eloqua was founded in 1999 and currently has more than 1,300 clients and over 100,000 global users, with about 400 employees. On Dec. 20th 2012, Eloqua made big news by announcing it had signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Oracle Corporation for $871M.

 2. Platform Functionality

While all three of these companies offer marketing automation and many of the functional aspects of their software overlap, there are distinct differences in feature sets. Marketo does a good job simplifying the definition of marketing automation in their latest eBook, The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation  : a category of software that streamlines, automates and measures marketing tasks and workflows to increase efficiencies and grow revenue.

The common feature set in marketing automation includes:

  • Email marketing
  • Landing pages
  • Lead management
  • CRM integration
  • Social marketing
  • Analytics and Reporting

We’ll use this feature set as the context for comparing these three platforms.

Email Marketing

Marketo offers the ability to design emails with a visual drag and drop interface and the user doesn’t need any html skills to build a high quality design. Email can be sent based on actions, timing or a series of pre-defined steps. Testing email versions is simple and content can be changed dynamically to fit specific situations via rules and filter settings.  Email can include a social component with the Forward to a Friend feature. Reporting is available through a library of standard report formats.

Marketo Email Template

Marketo Email Interface

Pardot also offers a WYSIWYG email design interface, along with 36 pre-built template designs. As with Marketo, email can be sent based on actions, time intervals or a range of other parameters and can include auto-responders. Email content can be configured dynamically – driven by prospect data fields and/or sales rep assignments. List segmentation, scheduling, social sharing and integration with preferred email programs (Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010, Apple Mail, Gmail, Mozilla Thunderbird and Chrome) round out the features. Pardot also features an integrated spam analysis and rendering engine that shows how your email will look in the leading programs and browsers and help in getting maximum inbox delivery. (http://www.pardot.com/products/marketing-automation/features/email-marketing/email-rendering-preview)

Pardot Dynamic Email

An example of a dynamic email created within Pardot

As with Pardot and Marketo, Eloqua has a very robust email platform, with multiple templates to choose from and customize while using a very simple user interface. In fact, the interface for building an email with Eloqua is the same interface they use in their landing page creation. No matter what segmentation you’re trying to achieve when dealing with your database, there are many possibilities, including behavioral filters, which lends itself to precision targeting for best results.

Landing Pages

Just as it does with its email design capabilities, Marketo offers a drag and drop interface combined with a range of pre-designed templates with which to create landing pages.  Data capture forms are set up for progressive profiling which means you can obtain more lead data over time as prospects fill out subsequent forms.

A/B testing is easy with Marketo’s automated process and landing pages can be easily converted into Facebook pages.  Landing pages can be personalized using Marketo’s dynamic content capabilities and text, images and calls to action can be customized using a number of attributes in the prospect’s record or based on the prospect’s previous activities on your site.

Marketo also offers a social sign in capability with its landing page forms – a site visitor can fill out form fields automatically by connecting with their social profile of choice, which, for some users, is a great sign-in alternative.

Pardot also offers pre-defined templates and a visual drag and drop landing page builder to facilitate landing page creation.  Progressive profiling, dynamic content personalization and custom fields are additional features incorporated into Pardot’s landing page functionality. One unique feature is the ability to block the input of both invalid email addresses and free email addresses on landing page forms, which can help in providing higher quality leads to your sales team.

Just as it was with email, Eloqua shares many of the same characteristics as Pardot and Marketo when it comes to landing page creation—predesigned templates, dynamic content, drag and drop images, powerful form customization, etc. One feature of note here is what Eloqua refers to as “Microsites.” Specifically, they state:

“…When a single landing page isn’t enough, Eloqua Hypersites™ – content-driven, personalized microsites that greet your prospects by name, deliver targeted content and increase conversion rates – help you create a unique, relevant experience. You can develop, deploy and maintain Hypersites in Eloqua without any IT involvement using an intuitive content editor – or simply import HTML files.

Hypersites feature personalized URLs like http://moviestars.eloqua.com/bradpitt that can increase visitor rates, personalization to improve conversion and powerful content management rules to match offers to prospect interests. Hypersites are particularly effective for industry and account-based marketing campaigns, new product launches and events.”

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Integration

To track and report on the full sales cycle – from initial lead to closing the sale – marketing automation software needs to integrate with your CRM system. Marketo offers native integration (meaning the platforms seamlessly exchange data with each other) with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics(as shown in the video below). Native integration allows for bi-directional data syncing – which means a change in Marketo will pass through to the CRM system and conversely, a change in the CRM system will pass to Marketo. This bi-directional syncing keeps both the sales team and marketing team aware of any changes triggered by either team and allows for more accurate tracking of prospects’ progress through the pipeline.

Marketo partners offer integrations with other CRM platforms such as NetSuite, Oracle and SugarCRM.

Pardot natively syncs with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite and SugarCRM. Pardot also offers developers an API (application programming interface) with which to connect other third party CRM platforms.

Like the other two software, Eloqua does not act as its own  CRM, and instead uses what they refer to as their “integration studio”—which natively syncs with Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Oracle/Siebel CRM On Demand.

Lead Management

Lead management typically denotes a platform’s ability to nurture leads through various stages of the sales pipeline and score leads based on a combination of factors such as prospect data attributes and behaviors. We addressed both Marketo’s and Pardot’s lead nurturing capabilities in the email section, so we’ll focus on the lead scoring features from each provider.

Marketo offers the capability to score leads based on an unlimited number of dimensions such as:

  • Demographics
  • Product-specific scoring
  • Sales rep input
  • Prospect behavior (downloaded a white paper, attended a webinar)

Pardot divides this process into two sub-components – lead grade and lead score. The lead grade is based on demographic factors such as company size, industry and prospect title, while the lead score is based on prospect activities. The scoring component can be customized by adjusting the points assigned to the various activities included in the scoring model.

Eloqua’s “Co-Dynamic Lead Scoring” technology uses common lead quality definitions such as Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline, as well as key qualification data, including lead response, activity and behavior. Also, Eloqua released an updated lead scoring engine in 2012 which allows a company to run multiple scoring models at the same time so they can have different lead scoring modules for various geographies, product lines, etc. and a prospect’s score always updates in real time based on what they’re doing online or responding to.

All three platforms offer adjustments to the score in either direction, which is important if you want your scoring model to reflect prospect inactivity by deducting points.

Social Marketing

Social Marketing provides the capability to increase the reach and impact of your content across your social channels. Marketo offers what they term “social media applications” in three areas:

  • Social sharing – which offers intelligent share buttons triggered by prospect actions, customization of the share message and image and the capability to build a database with social profiles and prospects’ sharing behavior
  • Social engagement – allows you to publish video content on your site and your Facebook page, engage your audience with polls and voting and embed forms across all your channels with reward or discount incentives
  • Social promotion – run sweepstakes offers for data capture and build socially driven referral programs

Pardot offers a social posting capability that connects with users social accounts and allows for posting to those accounts with custom bit.ly pro urls which allows tracking of retweets, likes and comments.

Pardot also scans for prospect profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Klout. Location and prospect summary data, if available, will display by the prospect’s name. Two versions of Pardot offer this social profile capability – Pardot Enterprise and Ultimate Edition. A third party resource (Full Contact) provides the social information.

When it comes to Eloqua, “Social Suite” is the hub of their social media marketing, and is a collection of apps broken down into three core categories:

  • Social apps that allow you to drag social content directly onto landing pages from within the Eloqua editor.
  • Social data apps that pull in and manipulate social data from leading social sites
  • Social reports and dashboards for measuring social conversions.

Analytics and Reporting

Closed-loop reporting is the standard here – users need to see how the efforts of the marketing and sales team moved the prospect through the sales funnel – from first conversion to the closed sale. Other critical data can answer the following questions:

  • Who are the hottest, most engaged buyers?
  • What web pages did the prospect visit?
  • Which search terms brought them to your site?
  • How did they respond to your email marketing campaign?
  • Are they on the website now?

This process is the essence of inbound and content marketing, as its importance to a business can’t be emphasized enough. Considering all 3 software answer these questions, this feature alone can pay for the entire system cost within a short period of time when used properly by a company’s sales department.

Marketo offers a library of standard reports showing email and landing page performance, web activity, and lead performance.  They also offer campaign performance results with customizable metrics, influence reports showing the impact of marketing campaigns and a revenue modeling capability that reviews the sales and marketing process at a high level.

If users want to look at specific performance data not provided in the library of standard reports, Marketo provides fully customizable reporting.

Pardot relies on a third party resource for reporting – GoodData (shown below). Users can create custom reporting using the GoodData visual interface and then schedule report frequency and distribution – highlighting specific metrics tailored to the recipient.

Pardot also offers a connector to Google Analytics, which passes data from your Google Analytics tagged site into Pardot to be synced with your CRM system.  This provides a review of marketing effectiveness at both the campaign and individual level.

Also included in Pardot’s reporting and analytics is a campaign ROI calculator which shows cost per lead, cost per sale and ROI data.

“Eloqua For Sales” offers the following 4 main feature:

  • Eloqua Discover for Salesforce: A prioritized view of the hottest, most engaged prospects and accounts to increase lead generation quality.
  • Eloqua Profiler: The most intuitive graphical summary of prospect online activities and behaviors that helps sales people focus conversations on topics that resonate with buyers and create qualified sales leads.
  • Eloqua Engage: A tool that lets sales professionals customize, send and track pre-built email templates from the iPad, CRM, or web.
  • Web Visit Alerts: Real-time lead generation email alerts sent directly to sales when hot prospects visit your website, containing visitor details like pages visited, length of visit and search terms used.

Also,  Eloqua offers closed-loop reporting and since “Eloqua Insight” is built on a BI platform, Eloqua provides powerful reporting and dashboards that companies can customize to uniquely meet their reporting requirements and needs.

3. Structure and Strength of Providers’ Sales Channels

As with most marketing automation providers, Marketo sells direct to businesses and through a partner network. Marketo’s LaunchPoint offers information about the partner network.  The network is divided into two groups: Agency Managed Service Providers and Services Partners. At the time of writing this article, 12 companies are currently listed on Launchpoint on the Agency Provider side and 21 are listed on the Service Partners side.  The actual number of Agency Providers and Service Partners is higher than displayed on Launchpoint – the approximate numbers we received were 50+ Agency Providers and 33+ Service Partners and this number is growing.

Marketo Launchpoint

Marketo Launchpoint

Agency Managed Service Providers typically offer a full range of interactive services, such as brand management, creative services, P.R., lead generation and related marketing services. They also manage Marketo’s marketing automation solutions for clients in need of that support.

Service Partners tend to be consulting companies, systems integrators and agencies with a deeper focus on demand generation, integration of CRM systems with Marketo and the alignment of the sales and marketing process.

Pardot sells directly to businesses and has two categories of providers: Agency Partners, of which there are currently 29 and Technology Partners, of which there are 6.  Agency Partners typically provide full service support: strategy, content creation, email execution, lead generation and management of the Pardot platform. Technology Partners tend to focus on system integration, most notably CRM integration, but can also provide a deeper set of services around lead generation.

Like the other two, Eloqua does direct-to-business sales but also has a partner program, with 50+ at the time of this writing, broken down into the following categories:

  • Global Strategic Partners
  • App Cloud and Technology  Partners
  • Marketing Ambassadors
  • Revenue Performance Management (RPM) Partners

4. Integration Capabilities and the Application Marketplace

Marketo’s LaunchPoint also offers information on the applications that work with their platform. There are 9 application categories listed on LaunchPoint:

  • Analytics and Big Data – 24 apps
  • Content Marketing – 19 apps
  • Events & Webinars – 5 apps
  • Lead Data – 34 apps
  • Lifecycle Marketing – 13 apps
  • Online Ads & Campaigns – 16 apps
  • Sales Tools – 29 apps
  • Social Media – 23 apps
  • Top of Funnel – 28 apps

Not all of the applications listed in LaunchPoint natively integrate with Marketo – so be sure to read the overview of relevant applications to determine integration options. Marketo offers comprehensive APIs to allow connectivity to a wide range of existing applications such as CRM, ERP and eCommerce systems.

Pardot offers connectors to the following 12 programs:

  • Eventbrite
  • ReadyTalk
  • WebEx
  • GoToWebinar
  • GoodData
  • Olark Chat
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Adwords
  • Jigsaw
  • LinkedIn
  • Twilio
  • bit.ly

Pardot also offers an API that allows for integration with other third party apps – access to this API is not standard with the Professional Edition of Pardot.

As with the other two, Eloqua has a robust and growing app community—Eloqua AppCloud, which features apps/connectors in the following categories:

  • Community
  • Data Sources and Quality
  • Sales Enablement Apps
  • Webinars and Events
  • Communication
  • General Tools
  • Social Landing Page Apps
  • Channel Management
  • Social Data
  • Incentives
  • Content Marketing
  • Landing Page Apps
  • Content Management Systems

5. Onboarding Approach

Marketo offers onboarding and training in five modalities:

Customer Enablement – Marketo offers what they term “Launch Packs,” which are pre-configured training packages that include a range of onboarding and support services from integration consulting to creative services. There are 6 Launch Pack versions and you can review them here.

Expert Services – Marketo offers three levels of Expert Services delivered via a framework they call Marketo Drive, which is a standardized process of marketing software implementation.

  • Campaign Expert Services – Marketo experts help clients optimize campaign design, segmentation, nurture tracks, lead scoring and personalization.
  • Reporting Expert Services – Experts help clients optimally set up reporting and analytics to provide complete insight into your revenue cycle (how your customers buy).
  • Social Marketing Expert Services – Expert guidance on leveraging social media to find and connect with your ideal audience, setting and measuring social media goals and maximizing the return from social media marketing efforts.

Education – Marketo offers a range of training formats:  self-paced online courses, live classroom and  virtual classes focusing on three key areas:

  • Product Training
  • Advanced Techniques
  • Sales and Marketing Best Practices

Community – Marketo Community provides help articles, product documentation and on-demand training. Collaboration with a sizable percentage of the Marketo user base provides insight on best practices from the real world.

Customer Support – Marketo offers four levels of Customer Support Services: Basic, Standard, Premier and Elite. Basic service is included with the Spark Edition (small business). The Standard, Select and Enterprise Editions come with a Standard Support subscription and a dedicated Customer Success Manager.  The Premier and Elite Support Services offer higher touch and faster response times and subscription costs for these are extra.

The table below provides a good snapshot of the features included with each Support Service plan.

Marketo Service Plan

Marketo Service Plan

Pardot offers a range of onboarding and training services to help users quickly maximize the value of their subscription.

Pardot’s  Quick Start Onboarding programsconnect new users to a dedicated Pardot implementation manager. Typical program length is 30 days, but new customers have up 90 days to configure the Pardot system, launch campaigns and evaluate campaign results. Beyond the Onboarding program, users have access to weekly instructor led trainings on all Pardot features.

Pardot offers three Quick Start Programs, Bronze, Silver and Gold. The Bronze program is included with all three versions. The Silver program is $2,500 and the Gold program is $5,000. The table below provides a summary of features in each program:

 

Pardot Service Plan

Pardot Service Plan

*Client must provide applicable HTML creative for HTML emails or copy for text emails

Other support resources include:

  • Complimentary Instructor-led Training – 18 group training sessions each month which are recorded and offered on the Knowledge Base.
  • Office Hours – 30 minute consulting calls with trainers
  • Custom Training – personalized training offered at $250 per hour
Eloqua University” offers 3 main delivery options to its customer base:Instructor Led Training (ILT)An Eloqua facilitator travels to the customer’s location to deliver learning face-to-face. Alternately, this can be held in one of the Eloqua offices located globally.

  • Content can be selected from current course catalog
  • Maximum of 12 learners per class
  • Optimal solution for companies with groups of learners

Instructor Led Online (ILO)

  • Courses are delivered in a web virtual classroom with a facilitator
  • Most sessions are hands-on, in either a training install, or sandbox
  • Maximum of 15 learners per class
  • Optimal solution for individual learners

Web-Based Training (WBT)

  • On-demand eLearning modules
  • Interactive content with video and dynamic exercises
  • Ideal solution for learners with specific content questions or want to learn Eloqua at their own pace

Also, as a response to this post, a staff member at Eloqua stated, “SmartStart is the way we onboard customers. It’s an onboarding methodology we developed that gets customers up and running in 3-5 days. Eloqua used to have a reputation as taking awhile to get running but not the case the last few years and SmartStart is a big reason why.”

6. Marketo, Pardot and Eloqua Costs, Pricing and Packages

Marketo comes in three versions for small and medium businesses and one version for large enterprises. Pricing tiers are set at two levels: Annual contracts and Quarterly contracts.

  • Spark is the basic version and ranges from $1,195 per month to $2,495 per month and tops out at 100,000 “known leads” in your database. Known leads are contacts in your database with an email address, postal address or phone number.
  • Standard is the next version in the Marketo lineup and ranges from $1,995 per month to $7,195 per month and tops out at 500,000 known leads.
  • Select is the top tier in the small and medium business lineup and ranges from $3,195 to $11,995 per month, topping out at 1 million known leads.
Marketo Costs and Pricing

Marketo Pricing

Discounts for signing an annual contract can be significant, ranging from $240 per month on the low end to $2,400 on the high end.

For a comprehensive review of all pricing and features, you can download Marketo’s pricing and feature options PDF here.

Note: we did not include pricing on the Enterprise version of Marketo

Pardot comes in three versions: Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. The base pricing for each version includes up to 30,000 database contacts. Additional “blocks” of 30,000 contacts can be purchased for $300 per block per month up to 500,000 contacts – that price drops to $200 for any 30,000 block above 500,000 contacts.  All pricing below reflects an annual contract; billing is quarterly.

  • Professional starts at $1,000 per month.
  • Enterprise starts at $2,000 per month.
  • Ultimate starts at $3,000 per month.
Pardot Costs/Pricing

Pardot Pricing

As you can see from the following chart, Eloqua has 3 main pricing tiers: Marketer, Team, and Enterprise:

Eloqua Cost/Pricing

Eloqua Pricing Chart

7. Total Cost of Ownership

To provide a balanced review of the TCO of these three platforms, we selected the mid-tier package with an annual agreement for each as the basis of our cost calculations.

 

Feature Marketo Standard Pardot Enterprise Eloqua 
Base program cost $3,995 per month $2,000 per month $4,000 per month
Number of users Unlimited1 Unlimited 50
Number of emails sent per month Unlimited Unlimited
Training cost Included Included Included
Integration cost:    
CRM $200 per hour2 $200 per hour2
CMS $200 per hour2 $200 per hour2
Total Annual Cost: $47,940 $27,600  $50,000+

1.                Unlimited marketing users, 10 users for the CRM Sales Dashboard  2. Integrations are not provided by any of the platform providers, this service is typically delivered by the Technology Partners. Light integration projects are usually under 10 hours; complex integration projects can be up to 100 hours or more. A growing number of connectors are being built for the most popular CRM and CMS systems. Consult with a sales rep regarding your particular integration needs to get a referral to the right integration partner.

Problems and Drawbacks of Marketo, Pardot, and Eloqua

As mentioned previously, there is not such thing as “the perfect marketing software.” In fact, in order to keep things as real as it gets, we wanted to put a few “negative” points of these 3 vendors. Keep in mind, if you’re considering one of these companies and they do not currently offer a particular component to their software you desire, you may want to ask if such a feature is in the works and at what point it will be available. That being said, here are some potential drawbacks to consider:

Marketo:

  • Along with Eloqua, it’s one of the most expensive automated marketing software available today, which can lessen the ability of certainly small-mid sized businesses from using the product
  • There are a very small number of actual partners
  • Does not support dynamic website content integration (Smart CTAs)
  • Arguably too Salesforce centric

 Pardot:

  • Not a strong social marketing tool
  • Lead sourcing is also limited to identifying only a single source (if they are a repeat lead, this can be a problem)
  • Only basic lead nurturing is offered

Eloqua:

  • Like Marketo, BIG pricetag
  • Can be slower to implement
  • Does not integrate with PPC/Adwords so as to achieve better ROI metrics for keyword campaigns

Which Software is Best for You?

So the question you may still be asking is, “Which is the best?”

As I said at the beginning of this post, the phrase “best,” at least when it comes to marketing automation software, is extremely relative. This is exactly why you must first develop your wishlist of features, components, and requirements– and then choose the tool that best fits these needs. By so doing, you’re much more likely to get the greatest bang for your buck, and embrace a technology that is becoming more and more mainstream by the day.

Your Turn:

Questions? Comments? Have you ever used any of these software providers? What was your experience like. Jump in folks, your voice matters!





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{ 128 comments… read them below or add one }

Walter Pollard March 13, 2013 at 10:23 am

Marcus and Rich – you are spot-on with priorities and requirements based upon individual client needs. The cookie cutter approach with a narrow focus for onboarding a client is doomed for failure. All three of these platforms are worthy of consideration and should be thoroughly reviewed by inbound and content marketers.

I believe this is the most thorough review, and best comparison of these three marketing automation software packages available today. This is produced with great detail, consideration and unbiased opinions.

Fantastic work!

Reply

Rich McElaney March 14, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Thanks for your feedback Walter – much appreciated!

Prospective buyers have to do the upfront homework in determining and defining their needs. They also have to take stock of the available resources to support the adoption of any of these tools. Good prep and planning speeds up the payback!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan March 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Walter, really appreciate the kind words my friend. This one took a couple of minutes longer to write, that’s for sure ;-)

Talk soon bud,

Marcus

Reply

Gemma Brewis March 13, 2013 at 11:41 am

Marcus, Rich,

First of all thank you for this great guide!. I am currently looking at implementing a marketing automation strategy and this guide is exactly what I needed. This will save me time and for that I am grateful!.

Thanks Gemma.
@sharepointgem

Reply

Rich McElaney March 14, 2013 at 11:20 pm

We’re glad this can be a helpful resource for you Gemma and thanks for your kind words!

Good luck with your implementation!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan March 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Gemma, we’re thrilled to help, and don’t hesitate to shoot us more questions as they arise.

Good luck!!

Marcus

Reply

Darnell Jackson March 13, 2013 at 1:19 pm

This is interesting I spent many years working with Planview and Aprimo and I noticed these new competitors coming in back in the day as start ups.

Infusionsoft and Salesforce is also another very popular option also.

I agree with you it all depends on what you really need.

It’s easy to overspend on software most companies would come out better using OfficeAutopilot or even ZOHO based on their budget and revenue prospects.

Reply

Rich McElaney March 14, 2013 at 11:29 pm

There are lots of good options available these days Darnell – no question about it. And the lines between functionality offered are getting a little blurry – which makes it more challenging to choose.

We’re going to look closer at some of the platforms you mention here in the near future – love to get your feedback when those come out!

Thanks for your insight here!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan March 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Good stuff Darnell, and we’ll actually be writing about some of the companies you’ve mentioned.

Best,

Marcus

Reply

Jon Loomer March 13, 2013 at 1:25 pm

My goodness. This is ridiculously incredible. The amount of work you must have put in to publish this… insane.

HIGH quality. And if it’s not already #1 on Google for your money keywords, it’s about to be!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan March 15, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Hahaha, yeah, I was up for two straight nights until 3am Jon, it was brutal…but worth it.

And yeah, from a search standpoint, it was a home-run, immediately ;-)

Good seeing you bud,

Marcus

Reply

Ruth Zive March 13, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I’ve been waiting for this Marcus, and you did not disappoint. You’ve saved me a great deal of homework! One thing I can add (though admittedly, my level of familiarity with all three of these solutions is extremely rudimentary), we have a client whose target market is very ‘verticalized’, although some leads and contacts cross verticals. Apparently, according to their investigations, Marketo was the only automation solution that was able to handle multiple Salesforce instances of the same account. Does that make sense to you? Just curious if this is indeed the case.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan March 15, 2013 at 2:32 pm

That does make sense Ruth, and although I can’t say that I’ve got experience w multiple verticals, it’s a very relevant point.

And thanks so much for showing interest in this series Ruth.It’s not for everyone, but with those agencies and consultants that are really getting their elbows dirty, I think it’s pretty darn important we’re all at least casually aware as to what is out there.

Smiles :-)

Marcus

Reply

Jon Miller, Marketo March 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Thank you Marcus and Rich for such a comprehensive post. As the co-founder of Marketo, I fervently believe that the more attention this exciting technology gets, the better. So I appreciate you calling more attention to the space!

We founded Marketo with a simple vision: to make powerful marketing
software that was still easy to buy, easy to own, and easy to use. We’ve built a solution that’s affordable and easy, but also one that you’ll never outgrow. I think this strategy of “powerful but easy” has paid off: in the last five years, more companies have selected – and gotten successful with – Marketo’s marketing automation than any other vendor. (This includes big companies and small start-ups alike.) What’s exciting is that this creates a growing community of expert users, library of best practices, and ecosystem of integrated third-party products and partners. (Note: we actually have over 100 partners, so I don’t understand why you would say very small number of actual partners.) We call this “network” the Marketing Nation, and like a social network, each additional customer makes the Marketing Nation more powerful to drive success for the next customer (you!).

Our ability to make more companies successful with marketing automation is a key reason why Salesforce customers selected Marketo as the Best Marketing Solution five years running, and it’s why CRM Magazine named Marketo the marketing solutions category winner in the 2012 CRM Market Leaders awards for the 2nd year in a row.

In addition, here are some links to additional 3rd party evaluations of various vendors (free downloads from the Marketo website).
Sirius: http://www.marketo.com/reports/2013-siriusview-marketing-automation-platforms-/
Gartner: http://www.marketo.com/reports/gartner-magic-quadrant-for-crm-lead-management/
Raab (SMB segment): http://customerexperiencematrix.blogspot.com/2012/08/raab-report-act-on-eloqua-pardot-and.html

Finally, I do understand that some of our competitors like to portray us as expensive or complicated. However, our solutions start as low as $1,195 a month, which is certainly in the reach of most companies – and if you dig into the functionality, you’ll see that our Spark edition compares favorably with higher-end editions from companies. But more importantly, when most companies build a business case they find that the revenue benefits you’ll enjoy when you achieve your goals are much more significant than any small price differences – so if your goal is to be successful, then it’s usually best to choose the solution with the best chance of getting you there.

As anyone who reads by book The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation (www.marketo.com/DG2MA) will see, I’m always happy to share neutral opinions on what’s required for marketing automation success and how to find the right solution for your company (chapter 7). Feel free to ask my any additional questions here, or at jon [at] marketo.com.
- Jon Miller, Marketo

Reply

Marcus Sheridan March 15, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Jon, great comment, and thrilled you stopped by man. You’re right, this space is growing by the day, and conversations need to be had, educating the public must be the goal.

I plan on making this a dynamic article, one that gets adjusted and changed with time so that it properly reflects the growth of all 3 companies, and certainly hope you’ll let me know when those things occur, although we’ll be paying close attention :-)

Keep up the great work,

Marcus

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Matt Mansfield March 14, 2013 at 8:35 am

Awesome piece Marcus! Definitely sharing far and wide.

One question: how does Infusionsoft compare to these three? Is it even in the same ballpark?

-Matt

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Marcus Sheridan March 15, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Hey Matt, great seeing you bud. Infusionsoft is certainly more targeted to the small business currently and isn’t what I’d call an “enterprise solution.” This is also why you see so many solopreneurs and bloggers use Infusionsoft.

Reply

Matt Mansfield March 15, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Ah, that makes sense, thanks. I went back a couple of posts and read your take on Infusionsoft – thanks for that as well!

-Matt

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Damian March 14, 2013 at 10:30 am

Good summary – a few comments:

1. Marketo offers direct integration with a variety of “event” providers out-of-the-box including Webex, Gotomeeting and a few others. It also integrates with Data.com – not sure about Olark.

2. What about Eloqua reporting? You go into great detail about Marketo’s reporting, but then jump into Salesforce/CRM integration for Eloqua. Would love to hear you comments on this.

3. Lastly, does Eloqua charge by the # of contact/lead records? Might alter the pricing picture/total value in comparing the two.

Thanks for the article – great stuff!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan March 15, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Damian, so glad you stopped by, I appreciate it very much.

Nice point about the “event” providers, as that was an area I would have liked to discuss more.

Eloqua’s reporting is quite solid, in terms of lead behaviors and such, certainly comparable IMO to Marketo.

Regarding how much they charge, yes, the # of contacts has an influence, and would like to refine that part of the post better if I could.

Marcus

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Mark Schaefer March 14, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Thanks for doing the heavy lifting Marcus. Job well done!

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Marcus Sheridan March 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Appreciate it Mark. I feel like I went through a year’s worth of college classes in about a week to come up with this post :-)

Look forward to seeing you in San Diego soon bud,

Marcus

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Davina K. Brewer March 14, 2013 at 4:32 pm

One thing – as I bookmark for sending to clients – is the cost (spend it to make it). Not just the buy-in and operational, but the on-going management by people who know how to get most out of this. I know I’m a little broken record about automation — simplifying processes, completing rote tasks; you’re not going to ‘set and forget’ strategic thinking or data analysis or customer support, etc.

These are tools, they’ll save time and money – and will always require the human input to look at the data, the market and decide on what we need, what to integrate, etc. Like you said, serious commitment and cultural shift. Even though this is way over my head.. this is good stuff and I’m sure 4K words barely covers it. Which is kinda the point, isn’t it? FWIW.

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Marcus Sheridan March 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Davina, really great point. This is very much a “cultural” thing, which I think is exactly why so few companies do it well.Heck, most never take the time to truly learn 80% of the tool’s capabilities.

And yes, 4k is just the tip of the iceberg with this group, especially considering the dynamic changes they’re always undergoing.

Great seeing you lady!

Marcus

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Jon Miller, Marketo March 16, 2013 at 10:46 am

Davina — Thanks for your insight. The need to invest in people, process, and content is another reason why the minor price differences between solutions is ultimately not the main factor to consider. Focus on the total investment needed AND on the value you’ll create.

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Davina K. Brewer March 16, 2013 at 10:53 am

Well said Jon. Many small biz I work with forget the people parts of the equation – content and critical thinking especially – when they hear ‘automated.’ Mistake, hurts the value they get in the end.

Reply

Joseph Manna, Infusionsoft March 15, 2013 at 11:22 am

Great overview, Marcus. I learned a handful of things about this comparison. I appreciate the focus and the intensity you’re putting into uncovering the specifics around current marketing automation solutions on the market.

Looking forward to learning from many more insightful comments!

Joe

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Marcus Sheridan March 15, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Our pleasure Joseph. One thing about this–There is plenty of room for everyone considering we’ve tapped into less than 5% of the market.

Keep up the good work over there at Infusionsoft,

Marcus

Reply

Jon Miller, Marketo March 15, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Thank you Marcus and Rich for such a comprehensive post. As the co-founder of Marketo, I fervently believe that the more attention this exciting technology gets, the better. So I appreciate you calling more attention to the space!

We founded Marketo with a simple vision: to make powerful marketing
software that was still easy to buy, easy to own, and easy to use. We’ve built a solution that’s affordable and easy, but also one that you’ll never outgrow. I think this strategy of “powerful but easy” has paid off: in the last five years, more companies have selected – and gotten successful with – Marketo’s marketing automation than any other vendor. (This includes big companies and small start-ups alike.) What’s exciting is that this creates a growing community of expert users, library of best practices, and ecosystem of integrated third-party products and partners. (Note: we actually have over 100 partners, so I don’t understand why you would say very small number of actual partners.) We call this “network” the Marketing Nation, and like a social network, each additional customer makes the Marketing Nation more powerful to drive success for the next customer (you!).

Our ability to make more companies successful with marketing automation is a key reason why Salesforce customers selected Marketo as the Best Marketing Solution five years running, and it’s why CRM Magazine named Marketo the marketing solutions category winner in the 2012 CRM Market Leaders awards for the 2nd year in a row.

In addition, here are some links to additional 3rd party evaluations of various vendors (free downloads from the Marketo website).
Sirius: http://www.marketo.com/reports/2013-siriusview-marketing-automation-platforms-/
Gartner: http://www.marketo.com/reports/gartner-magic-quadrant-for-crm-lead-management/
Raab (SMB segment): http://customerexperiencematrix.blogspot.com/2012/08/raab-report-act-on-eloqua-pardot-and.html

Finally, I do understand that some of our competitors like to portray us as expensive or complicated. However, our solutions start as low as $1,195 a month, which is certainly in the reach of most companies – and if you dig into the functionality, you’ll see that our Spark edition compares favorably with higher-end editions from companies. But more importantly, when most companies build a business case they find that the revenue benefits you’ll enjoy when you achieve your goals are much more significant than any small price differences – so if your goal is to be successful, then it’s usually best to choose the solution with the best chance of getting you there.

As anyone who reads by book The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation (http://www.marketo.com/DG2MA) will see, I’m always happy to share neutral opinions on what’s required for marketing automation success and how to find the right solution for your company (chapter 7). Feel free to ask my any additional questions here, or at jon [at] marketo.com.

- Jon Miller, Marketo

Reply

Andrea T.H.W. March 16, 2013 at 5:36 am

Great post Marcus, massive and well detailed. If someone is looking for answers about these softwares here finds everything.

There is one silly question that comes to my mind though, even if clearly you are talking about high level services: given the monthly price how much time is needed just to cover the investment and then start to earn? If a service costs 3,000 bucks per month it must give me a ROI of 4,000 at minimum otherwise I’m on the losing side. If someone pays 36,000 bucks per year how much and when can he or she expect to earn from these services?

Very interesting as usual, have a great weekend! :)

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Jon Miller, Marketo March 16, 2013 at 10:56 am

Good question, Andrea. My perspective is that the upside from these services (including Marketo) usually is much larger than the investment.

Let’s say you are a $10M revenue company with a marketing budget of $500,000 a year. Nucleus Research found that that these investments average a 3.4% reduction in administrative overhead. That’s $17K savings a year. But the real ROI comes on the revenue side. Nucleus also found that companies average a 4% increase in sales productivity, which is $400,000 a year. Total upside: $417K for an investment of $48K.

So for most companies, even small businesses, marketing automation makes a ton of sense. If you are a VERY small business (e.g. too small to even have a ‘marketing department’) then it is possible that marketing automation solutions may be too much for you. But as Davina points out above, if you are that small, you may not have the time or resource required to invest in the solution for maximum success.

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Andrea T.H.W. March 17, 2013 at 3:26 am

Hi Jon, nice to meet you and thanks for your answer. I see your point and it’s right, these are solutions and services for big enough businesses so prices and services offered go together. And with that numbers a small increase is a lot of money.

Not sure that this is the only way to get maximum success though but being that my marketing department it’s me I’m a bit biased. :)

Thanks again and have a great Sunday!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan March 18, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Andrea, thanks for jumping in the conversation here bud. My answer is a simple one– The tool in and of itself doesn’t make money, but *how* we use the tool is what makes the money.

So if you’re using it the right way, and really leveraging content properly, you can get immediate returns on this stuff. Heck, I know I did. But for some, it’s slower. That’s why it all depends.

But for those that use it and use it well, boy is it worth it.

Cheers,

Marcus

Reply

Eran Malloch March 17, 2013 at 9:08 am

Hi Marcus,
I’ve been passing the wasted time I have (currently stuck in hospital) reading your EXCELLENT ebook.

Fabulous body of work and it has really inspired me to get serious about inbound/content marketing for my company.

While I have looked at hubspot & marketo as options for us, I just cannot justify their costs for a variety of reasons.

1) I am a wordpress user since v1.5 so know and love it a lot. I dont need a simple cms since I know basic html already.

2) we use salesforce as our crm and there’s no way I could persuade upper management to change.

3) I have plenty of experience with email marketing tools such as aweber and mailchimp and would prefer to keep using 1 of them.

I understand the power of these tools to integrate all this functionality into 1 platform but don’t wish to change mid stream.

So my question is: how do I integrate WP, salesforce, aweber/mailchimp/infusionsoft into 1 centralized system to achieve good to great results matching what these platforms offer?

Particularly tracking leads to and around our site (perhaps using kissmetrics?)…

I know you use wordpress and so forth so I was hoping you might be able to advise how I could best keep using the tools I know already?

Thanks in advance for your advice and keep up the excellent work. You are a fantastic teacher and writer and your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Eran

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Jason April 18, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Just commenting that I’m surprised nobody has responded to you. I’m in a similar boat and just asked a similar question.

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Ritch Brandon March 19, 2013 at 10:37 pm

What an impressive post, guys! Great information that will be very valuable to anyone considering implementing inbound marketing/marketing automation.

As a fellow HubSpotter, I’m always on the look-out for information about competing platforms so I can guide my clients armed with as much knowledge as possible. Do you have clients currently using Pardot, Marketo, or Eloqua? I would love to know about their customer service experience and satisfaction with the platforms.

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Jon Miller, Marketo March 20, 2013 at 12:21 am

Hi Ritch –

You can see what Marketo customers say about their experience with us at http://www.marketo.com/customers/. And you can see reviews from more than 350 customers at https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N300000016beeEAA.

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Marcus Sheridan March 20, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Frankly Ritch, I believe all of these platforms can help companies achieve great success. More often than not I believe, folks that had a very “bad” experience simply didn’t put in the time and effort to learn the system.

Thanks again,

Marcus

Reply

Matt March 20, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I notice that in 2 places in this post, you refer to Marketo, when I believe you are actually referring to Eloqua.

1) You write, “As with Pardot and Marketo, Eloqua has a very robust email platform, with multiple templates to choose from and customize while using a very simple user interface. In fact, the interface for building an email with *Marketo* is the same interface they use in their landing page creation. …”

But here, it seems you mean to say that this is true for Eloqua.

2) Microsites discussion… You write, “Just as it was with email, Eloqua shares many of the same characteristics as Pardot and Marketo when it comes to landing page creation—predesigned templates, dynamic content, drag and drop images, powerful form customization, etc. One feature of note here is what *Marketo* refers to as “Microsites.” Specifically, they state…”
And what follows is text from *Eloqua* referring to their hypersites(TM).

Otherwise, a helpful article. Thanks.

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Marcus Sheridan March 20, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Matt, thanks for that, appreciate you pointing it out!

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Shannon Brunston April 4, 2013 at 8:50 pm

You listed not being able to do A/B testing as a main detractor for Eloqua. Its pretty easy to set up emails as tests, even though there isn’t a feature that does this automatically. http://topliners.eloqua.com/thread/6994

This is a great post I’ll definitely be bookmarking!

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Jared April 6, 2013 at 11:28 pm

With Marketo recently filing to go public you have to think HubSpot is next. With more ad dollars going online, these companies have a lot of potential.

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Jason April 18, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Let me first say that I’m a complete noob (I’m basically a recent grad). That said, fantastic evaluation, just what I was looking for! I’ve actually re-read it a couple times (as I still don’t fully understand what marketing automation is, or why I need it) My only gripe is that I wish Hubspot would have been in this direct comparison (Can you offer up how Hubspot would fit into this particular comparison?). Our firms is small (and the marketing budget is basically nonexistent). I love the features of Marketo, but not the pricing. I know that a major reason for my firm’s interest in the software is SEO management – but I didn’t see a lot of detail around that in the report. Is SEO something we will still need to go third party for? Is improved SEO even a “feature” of this type of software? Again, sorry if these questions are redundant or off topic, I’m just trying to wrap my head around this whole thing. As the end user, I’m more interested in the CMS capability, but my boss’ favorite catchphrase for the past couple months is “SEO.” So, I’m looking for a way to supercharge our SEO, organize and automate our email campaigns (currently done in Constant Contact), track visitor movements (to include what they download/click, what they “like/share” and who then sees their “likes/shares”) and streamline the website updating process. (Our overseas developer custom built our site with no CMS feature, do I need a CMS built into our website in order to manage content via Hubspot/Pardot/etc.? Does Hubspot host the site? I’m lost on this bit)

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Jason April 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm

I forgot to mention Act-On, any thoughts on them?

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Jason April 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm

My apologizes for the typos…yick!

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Dave May 9, 2013 at 5:44 am

Might be a obvious answer to this obvious question but…

…from a pitface point of view, looking at Marketo especially here and the design and build of emails and landing pages, i am assuming there is an import HTML function available? Everything sells it through the WYSIWYG functionality. If i have a team that want to design and build the old fashioned way and then import, this is possible yeah?

Thanks

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Jon Miller, Marketo May 9, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Dave — you are correct, it’s possible to import HTML to create an email. You can also add custom HTML to landing pages, though typically we don’t see customers create the entire LP from scratch in HTML.

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Laurie May 10, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I also was hoping there was a comparison to HubSpot in here… perhaps it’s elsewhere on your blog?
I’m not new to marketing automation. I’m a veteran of Pardot and have been using them for 3 years now, but when I learned that HubSpot gained lead nurturing capabilities, which they didn’t have 14 months ago, I became intrigued and have been considering switching… should I?

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Scott Rossow June 11, 2013 at 11:28 am

Hi Laurie! I’m intrigued to see how Marcus responds as well (looks like he’s in Indy this week speaking and may be a bit behind on his comment-responses) but in the interim, if you have specific questions or would like a more biased perspective from a HubSpot sales guy, I’ll gladly raise my hand. srossow (at) hubspot .com . As with the rest of HubSpot’s capabilities, our view on Marketing Automation is a bit different and Inbound-focused than the vendors above. I’d love to share some thoughts as we await Marcus’s perspective.

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Leslie Tyng May 19, 2013 at 10:20 am

Thank you for this in-depth analysis of Marketo, Pardot, and Eloqua.This information helps to shape decisions about marketing automation software. However, the examination of only the “top 5″ (company size) marketing automation vendors ignores the abundance of other MA vendors in this relatively new industry. For instance, we have been using Lead Liaison’s MA platform with great success (close rate up 12% in two months). As a mid-size financial software vendor we tried Marketo and Pardot and found the pricing model didn’t meet our budget.

We looked at smaller vendors and found better success at negotiating pricing to our advantage.I realize it takes great effort to review such a broad group but it may be helpful to write another post about some of the mid-tier vendors. Perhaps some pricing comparisons??:) Thanks for keeping us informed

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Leslie Tyng May 19, 2013 at 10:24 am

If you want to check them out it’s http://bit.ly/13vVDLG

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William Boyd May 22, 2013 at 11:10 am

I am not a huge proponent of Eloqua, but I will point out that your statement that “Eloqua Cannot split-test emails” is not really correct. There is a pretty simple way to split a segment of contacts randomly to do A/B testing in their program builder. Perhaps you are talking about something else.

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Tom Gaydos May 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm

This is truly a great write-up, Marcus. Having gone through this exact analysis about months ago, I can safely say that you hit on almost every important aspect of these systems. As these were my final 3, I agree that these are the top choices in the market. At Evolve IP, we ended up choosing Marketo and have had great success with them thus far. All 3 are extremely capable systems, but the more advanced Analytics and super-tight SFDC integration were too good to pass up.

I’d love to see a comparison of some of the systems that are maybe a step down from this tier from a pricing perspective. Maybe a HubSpot vs. Silverpop vs. Genius (of which I’m a big fan.)

Keep up the good work, my man. You’ve got a new reader here, that’s for sure.

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Marcus Sheridan May 28, 2013 at 9:09 am

Tom, so glad you enjoyed this and appreciate the suggestions as well. :-)

Best to you sir,

Marcus

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Zeeshan Dogar June 12, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Eloqua does integrate with PPP/Adwords, which the article incorrectly states as does not.

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Julia June 13, 2013 at 11:27 am

Hey, this is just brilliant. Thanks for putting it all together. Definitely need to be shared:) I think that choosing a right marketing automation software is a difficult task! I work for a company that helps people to find awesome software, and questions about picking this type of tools are very frequent.

I wanted to share with you guys the review of Marketo – http://www.getapp.com/blog/marketo-review/

Hope you will find it useful!

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Volker Hartzsch August 28, 2013 at 4:17 am

Great overview!
Thanks a lot, I know this takes time.

Have you tested OfficeAutoPilot/Ontraport?
Any comments or recommendations how they rank compared to the solutions discussed here? Definitely a different price level.

Thanks,

Volker

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Marcus Sheridan August 29, 2013 at 7:38 am

I haven’t yet Volker, they are certainly a company I’ll be looking at in the future though. :-)

Marcus

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Volker Hartzsch August 29, 2013 at 7:49 am

Thanks for your fast response.
Appreciated :-)

Volker

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Tatiana September 9, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Pardot was acquired by SalesForce about 1-2 months ago. I hope they make substantial changes to fields, so that SFDC lookup , formula, and dependent fields are visible in Pardot.

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Tony Yang September 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Great post!

You’re absolutely correct in saying that determining the best tool is really dependent upon your goals and objectives as a marketer, and the needs of your company.

We created an interesting infographic earlier this year that shows the differences between the types of marketers that use Marketo versus those that use Eloqua. You can view it in the link below. What do you think?

http://www.mintigo.com/battle-of-the-marketers-marketo-vs-eloqua/

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Cate November 13, 2013 at 3:26 pm

What would be your review of these systems as it relates to B2C marketing?

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Reto Stoeckli December 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Great Post!

This is a great overview and also interesting comments from the audience.
Thank you.

As Marketing Automation is coming popular in Switzerland, these kind of questions been ask a lot. Due to the fact, that we have lot of smaller companies, Act-On Software could be also a solution to look at.

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Neil F January 13, 2014 at 11:22 am

Thanks for an excellent review of these marketing systems.

Now that Pardot is owned by Salesforce it has the home advantage for Salesforce CRM customers. Good value, in house app, not many reasons to look elsewhere.

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Curt F July 21, 2014 at 2:17 pm

One needs to consider whether Pardot is integrated with Salesforce.com as well as Marketo and Eloqua. Also, you have to look at the other capabilities of Pardot in comparison, e.g. scalability, deliverability, etc. “Owned by” a specific CRM company is a weak point for whether it’s the best marketing automation for a particular company.

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Marcus Sheridan July 25, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Appreciate the points Curt :)

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Chris Fossenier February 11, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Marcus,

What are you thoughts on HubSpot vs. Pardot now that Pardot is a Salesforce gig? I have heard mixed reviews. Do you have any updates at all?

Chris.

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Marcus Sheridan February 15, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Hey Chris, thanks for the question. Frankly, they are both evolving so fast that I believe both *can* be a good fit for just about any organization assuming they’re used the right way and leveraged properly.

Sorry not to be of more help!!

Marcus

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Vanessa Shayan March 12, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Hi Marcus, I wanted to add an important differentiator you neglected to include under “Support and Enablement” services available to Eloqua customers. The Marketing Cloud Success Program (MCSP) is available to all clients, free of charge, for their entire duration as an Eloqua customer . This includes Success Planning, Facilitated Discussions and Performance Health Checks. Our team is comprised of marketers previously responsible for directing demand generation, marketing automation, sales and marketing operations, content creation etc. More details can be found on our website here:
http://www.eloqua.com/support-and-services/Marketing-Cloud-Success-Program.html

-Vanessa

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Paul McDevitt March 20, 2014 at 4:38 pm

The challenge with showing the pricing here and then saying it is big dollars is that when I compare to, say, Hubspot, because of the number of contacts, I am seeing the same ballpark. If you have around 10,000 contacts, you are going to have to go for the $2,400 per month price point of Hubspot. When I look at a similar number and use the midlevel of the ones quoted above, they are coming out at about the same price point. And, I hear many stories of Hubspot implementation challenges that I don’t hear about these three. So what am I missing? You are fairly up to date on Hubspot.

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