HubSpot vs. Marketo: What's the Best Marketing Automation Tool?

Posted in: Marketing Operations, Product Comparisons, Sales Operations

marketo vs hubspotMarketing automation is now table stakes for businesses: mass email blasts have been replaced by audience segmentation, carefully crafted drip campaigns, and content tailored to buyer personas. And underlying this change is data: knowing exactly whom to target, at what time, and with what message. HubSpot and Marketo both aim to help businesses get the insights they need and deliver content efficiently. But which one is the better tool? We break it down.

Pricing Deep dive Verdict

Pricing

Marketo removed pricing from its website, and instead bundles its products into email marketing, lead management, consumer marketing, customer base marketing and mobile marketing. Those solutions don't have prices either – the website just says to call its sales team. However, its historical pricing was as follows:

Tier Description Pricing
Spark "Fast and easy B2B marketing automation. Perfect for small companies and beginners." – SEO, email marketing, lead nurturing and scoring $895/month for 5 Sales Insight seats
Standard "Our most popular package for B2B marketing automation" – A/B testing, advanced lead scoring, dynamic content, CRM & more $1,795/month for 10 Sales Insight seats
Select "Advanced B2B marketing solution with full-insight into your revenue funnel." – advanced analytics and data warehousing, social sweepstakes and referrals, role-based permissions $3,195/month for 20 Sales Insight seats

HubSpot's marketing solution pricing is much more straightforward:

Tier Description Pricing
Basic "An entry tool for those new to inbound marketing" – basic content, email, social media, analytics $600 required onboarding + $200/month with 100 contacts; additional contacts are $100 for 1,000
Pro "An integrated solution for professional marketers" – all the above, plus Salesforce integration, marketing automation and smart content $3,000 required onboarding + $800/month with 1,000 contacts; additional contacts are $50 for 1,000
Enterprise "An advanced platform for marketing teams" – all the above, plus A/B testing, lead scoring and advanced reports $5,000 required onboarding + $2,400/month with 10,000 contacts; additional contacts are $10 for 1,000

It's important to note that HubSpot bills annually and has a startup cost, while Marketo bills monthly and has no contract. Generally, HubSpot is cheaper, but Marketo offers a lot more functionality for large teams.

Winner: HubSpot for small businesses and startups, Marketo for enterprises

Deep dive

Content management

HubSpot and Marketo both offer landing page templates, SEO tools and and dynamic content, but when it comes to top-of-the-funnel content, HubSpot wins out. HubSpot offers a content management system with robust built-in templates (listicles, how-to's and visual posts) as well as easy social and mobile optimization.

Marketo's landing pages are a bit more unwieldy: you can still have templates, but it's meant more for lead capture or webpages than a straight-up content management system. As for calls to action, it offers lightboxes and webforms, and integrates with OptinMonster, but HubSpot offers better CTAs out of the box.

Winner: HubSpot

Emails, e-books and webinars

When it comes to engaging with returning visitors, both Marketo and HubSpot offer the ability to send emails to lists or segments, optimize send times, and run split (A/B) tests. However, Marketo offers support for live events and webinars, which HubSpot does not. If you're just looking to send drip campaigns or email blasts to known visitors, HubSpot may do the trick, but for more robust forms of engagement, Marketo carries the day.

Winner: Marketo

Reporting

Both integrate with Salesforce, neither plays very nicely with Google Analytics (though you can add tracking code to landing pages on both), and both allow you to customize your campaigns based on audience engagement and segmentation. HubSpot offers good reporting out of the box, but Marketo's reporting is much more robust. It's the old Apple vs. PC debate: Hubspot is better for people who want decent reports without the legwork, while Marketo is ideal for the pros who want to invest the time to get detailed analyses.

Winner: HubSpot for casual users, Marketo for power users

Integrations

HubSpot and Marketo both have a number of key integrations for sales and marketing, including digital advertising (including Google and LinkedIn), a bi-directional Salesforce sync, and hundreds more. If you have a product you're particularly tied to, you can check out HubSpot and Marketo's app marketplaces individually.

Depending on which ones your team finds most useful, you may prefer one or the other, but in a vacuum, they're pretty much equal.

Winner: Tossup

Verdict

HubSpot is best for top-of-the-funnel, lead acquisition efforts: killer content platform, SEO, segmentation, you name it. They're an excellent CMS with solid analytics, and they make it easy to distribute your content. And at a lower price, they're a better option for small businesses, startups and others on a low budget.

Marketo, on the other hand, carries the day for converting leads into customers. It's great for hosting events (whether live or on webinars), lead scoring, and nurturing. Though more expensive, enterprise companies will get their money's worth when following leads through the funnel.