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How to Choose the Right Marketing Automation Platform

Marketo or Hubspot – what do you prefer? Marketo or Hubspot? How about Pardot or Marketo? Or maybe Act-On or Hubspot? What marketing automation platform do you like or prefer?

We get these questions a lot here at Overdrive. Why – because we work with dozens of large enterprises that use these platforms to power their marketing. Our teams have experience across all these platforms and have to integrate them with our media and nurture programs every day.

So recently, I chimed in on with a prospect asking for our thoughts on migrating from Marketo to Hubspot. Here is my reply almost verbatim:

As for the question of Hubspot vs. Marketo, let me put in my 2 cents here as I see these migrations a lot.

As for preference, we are agnostic but probably have more experience with Marketo just because of its popularity with large enterprises.

As an email and marketing automation platform, Hubspot and Marketo are pretty similar from a feature-to-feature standpoint. They both do personalization and email nurture and can also plug into various media and tracking platforms.

Now Hubspot is more expansive with CMS and CRM add-on capabilities. However, as a Marketo replacement, the main issues in my mind are:

    1. The migration and re-deploying of all your nurture campaigns, reports, training, etc. (as you stated, Marketo is a known quantity). But it’s still a good amount of work, and we can help you do it fast with our complete Customer Journey mapping approach.
    2. Losing historical data and cookie profiles in Marketo. This is something that you cannot just replace and requires more consideration. Suppose you have thousands of Marketo cookies set and paired with known email addresses and lead records. In that case, you can trigger email alerts, personalize UX, perform lead scoring, and trigger other events based on live web engagements and segmentation. If you change platforms, you have to build up those cookie/email parings or, in Marketo speak, “known leads.”

So when changing marketing automation platforms, I always ask what data assets am I losing or being forced to rebuild. And in the case of marketing automation platforms, it’s usually this CRM/marketing automation cookie connection. You have to get everyone to click on their emails again so you can set a cookie on their browser.

Now in the long term, HubSpot is saying they bring that together under one umbrella – like Salesforce and Pardot.

But either way, you have to rebuild your cookie pools in any new platform you deploy.

To gauge the risk of the change, you look at two metrics and whether you use them. So ask yourselves these four questions:

    1. How much work to set all this up again? Really think about all API and data flows, media connections, live nurture campaigns, etc.
    2. How many “named leads” do I have in Marketo? (in other words, how many email records also have a cookie set on the user’s browser? This is what you have to rebuild over time.)
    3. How many un-named leads? (or Marketo cookies set on browsers where you don’t know the email address or user history yet, but you will when they enter it.)
    4. Ok, even if we have a bunch of cookies set, are we really using them, and can we live without them? (So, how crucial are these Marketo cookies you built up in your lead scoring, nurture programs, triggered events, sales engagement alerts, etc.? Are you doing any real-time personalization? If you are not marketing, interruptions may be minimal.)

So, we have no concerns with any platform you choose. Certainly, if you’re doing a clean slate, we can help you get it deployed and integrated with media as required. We work with clients that have both platforms. If you’re ready to make the change with your marketing automation, Contact Us so we can get the conversation started.

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