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HubSpot vs Marketo – A 2018 No-Nonsense Practical Comparison

The number of marketing automation tools increases exponentially, year on year. According to Grand View Research, Inc., the global marketing automation software market is due to reach $7.63 billion by 2025. With a plethora of vendors vying for your custom, how do you decide which one is the most suitable for your business? In this post we are going to explore HubSpot VS Marketo, but to make sure you get your evaluation right, enlist an experts help.

Before you begin to compare marketing automation options, you should have a clear idea about your goals. Identify your priorities by determining the critical features as well as the deal breakers. The process of selecting a marketing automation tool becomes simpler after you have set the framework that works best for your business.

Two of the leading marketing automation tools are HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing and Marketo’s Engagement Marketing Platform. It’s reported that 38% of U.S websites that utilize marketing automation software use HubSpot while 29% use Marketo. Unfortunately, popularity is only one of the many factors that determine the suitability of marketing automation software.

hubspot vs marketo

Source: Bold Digital – The state of marketing automation 2017

The Marketing Automation Strategy Survey found that:

 “91% of successful users stated that marketing automation is very important to the overall success of their marketing programs.”

The following HubSpot vs Marketo comparison of key features should assist in your decision when selecting marketing automation software to:

  • Generate leads.
  • Convert leads.
  • Produce new revenue.

Both HubSpot and Marketo have a growing customer base and rank highly in terms of customer satisfaction (4.1 out of 5 stars and 4.4 out of 5 stars respectively). In my experience as a marketing automation consultant, I have identified five elements that make the most impact when deciding on the suitability of marketing automation software.

  1. Hubspot vs Marketo on pricing and plans

61% of research participants reported that overall cost is a key factor that drives the decision when choosing a vendor.

According to Gartner, 61% of research participants reported that overall cost is a key factor that drives the decision when choosing a vendor. HubSpot and Marketo offer various pricing plans for different business needs. Factors such as the number of users and the amount of active contacts affect the price on both platforms.

Marketo’s pricing plan

Identifying Marketo’s pricing isn’t as simple as most business owners may be used to. The prices are not displayed on their website. Instead, you can choose from five different bundles (see below).

hubspot vs marketo - pricing

After you select a bundle, you’re invited to speak to a member of Marketo’s sales team. You also have the option to customize a bundle if the pre-packaged bundle isn’t right for your business.

The lack of transparency in pricing can be regarded as an obstacle and could deter some businesses. However, Marketo may have adopted this pricing model because its customer base mainly consists of enterprises that require custom solutions.

Marketo offers four pricing options:

hubspot vs marketo - pricing

According to the marketing agency, IMPACT, the latest prices for Marketo’s packages are as follows:

  • Basic $895 per month
  • Pro – $1,795 per month
  • Elite -$3,195 per month

In addition to the monthly package price, there may be additional costs associated with using Marketo including consultancy fees for customizations.

HubSpot’s pricing plan

HubSpot has five pricing plans:

hubspot vs marketo - pricing

HubSpot pricing package

The pricing model is based on features and the size of your contact database.

Compared to Marketo, HubSpot’s pricing structure is more transparent with a useful feature that enables you to estimate your costs before speaking to a sales person. The following three-step process provides an accurate picture of potential costs:

  1. Choose a package.
  2. Select add-ons or premium services, such as consulting.
  3. Use the tool provided to select the number of database contacts.

Note – The add-ons, premiums and contact tools are unavailable on the free and starter plans.

The example below shows the cost of a basic package with no add-ons or premiums with 3,000 contacts.

Hubspot vs marketo - pricing

Hubspot Contact calculator

Summing up

In terms of pricing, HubSpot has the edge for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Their free and basic plans make it an attractive option for businesses who want to ‘dip their toes’ into the marketing automation market. In addition, HubSpot offers a free CRM with an option to add a Sales Hub.

Marketo’s separate bundles can save on costs if your business needs just one solution. However, the price can add up if you need all five bundles. Customers could end up paying more for the original bundles if customization is required.

HubSpot vs Marketo – Pricing – Winner: Hubspot

  1. Hubspot vs Marketo on onboarding and support

It’s far from ideal to spend an unreasonable amount of time and money getting up to speed with your marketing automation software. Therefore, the onboarding process and on-going support becomes an important consideration.

Marketo’s onboarding and support

Marketo provides onboarding via its launch packs, which are available in four options:

hubspot vs marketo - onboarding

Marketo launch pack

In addition to the launch pack, Marketo also offers expert consulting, strategic advisory services and creative services.

Marketo has four levels of customer support:

  • Online support
  • Business support
  • Premier support
  • Elite support
hubspot vs marketo - onboarding

Marketo support package

Marketo claims that each level of support provides users with access to their highly-skilled technical team.

A useful element of Marketo’s support packages is the clear service level targets and priority assessment.

hubspot vs marketo - onboarding

Marketo SLA

Marketo users can also post questions in The Marketing Nation® community.

In addition, Marketo University is the educational hub that offers free training, courses and certification.

HubSpot’s onboarding and support

HubSpot provides three levels of onboarding services:

  • Basic
  • Professional
  • Enterprise
Hubspot vs marketo - onboarding

Hubspot onboarding

All packages are chargeable with a $600 fee for basic users, professional users pay $3,000 and users on the enterprise package are charged $6,000.

HubSpot provides phone and email support to paying customers. Users on a free plan can request assistance from the HubSpot Community.

Hubspot community

Hubspot community

For users who require additional technical support HubSpot provides remote technical consulting for a $1,500 charge.

HubSpot also provides support via an extensive library of free tutorials, tools and resources in its HubSpot Academy.

Summing up

Both HubSpot and Marketo offer tiered packages for onboarding, so users can opt for the best fit. HubSpot users are aware of the cost of onboarding upfront, but Marketo does not state pricing in its onboarding literature. What Marketo lacks in pricing transparency, it makes up for in clarity around service level agreements. HubSpot, on the other hand, advises that they aim to respond to queries within one working day.

Both providers have an active community but, if you would like to educate yourself on different aspects of inbound and outbound marketing, HubSpot has the advantage with the HubSpot Academy. Marketo also has an educational hub, but it contains a fraction of the courses compared to the HubSpot Academy.

HubSpot vs Marketo – Onboarding – winner: HubSpot

  1. HubSpot vs Marketo on lead management

80% of marketers report that their lead generation efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective

Given that 80% of marketers report that their lead generation efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective, selecting marketing automation software with effective and streamlined lead generation features is an important consideration.

According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management, an effective lead includes:

  • Multichannel lead management –For inbound and outbound marketing activities and for processing leads from traditional and digital channels as part of the same campaign.
  • Lead nurturing – Direct the full lead cycle from collection to conversion and to integrate with web content management systems.
  • Lead scoring/qualification – Carry out numerous lead qualification processes at one time based on different criteria, like customer segments.

Marketo’s lead management

Marketo has a specific bundle dedicated to lead management with the functionality to score leads based on a vast number of factors, for example, prospects’ behavior and demographics.

hubspot vs marketo - lead management

Marketo lead management

Marketo allows lead scores to be amended by either increasing points or decreasing points according to your prospect’s behavior.

This video provides a summary of how to develop a scoring model to achieve your business objectives.

HubSpot’s lead management

HubSpot’s lead management functionality is part of its core marketing automation offering. As HubSpot’s contact database integrates with the HubSpot CRM, users are able to organize contacts from a single source.

HubSpot’s lead management feature provides users with the ability to formulate custom lead scoring criteria or they can choose to use HubSpot’s predictive lead scoring system.

Here is an overview of HubSpot’s lead management features and functionality.

Summing up

Gartner identifies lead management as one of Marketo’s strengths due to the creation of advance lead workflows, which isn’t offered by competitors.

HubSpot’s lead management triggers are not as extensive as Marketo’s. However, given that Marketo is predominantly regarded as a solution for enterprises, SMBs may find that HubSpot’s lead management capabilities are adequate.

HubSpot vs Marketo – Lead Management – Winner: Marketo

  1. HubSpot vs Marketo on CRM Integration

Marketing automation and CRM should go hand-in-hand. Marketing automation software should seamlessly integrate with your CRM to avoid unnecessary work and database inaccuracies.

Marketo’s CRM integration

Marketo does not have a in-built CRM, but integrates with most CRM systems (where platforms effortlessly exchange data) with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

Marketo’s native integration facilitates real-time data syncing, so changes are reflected in both Marketo and the CRM when an update is made in either platform.

Netsuite, Oracle, SAP Cloud for Sales and Sugar CRM can also be integrated with Marketo via their open API. 

See the video below demonstrating how to sync Marketo to Salesforce.

HubSpot CRM integration

HubSpot has a built-in CRM, which is also a free stand-alone option. The CRM offers core features, such as email scheduling and contact management.

hubspot vs marketo - crm intergarion

Hubspot free CRM

As well as having its own CRM module, HubSpot is also able to integrate with other CRMs, like Zoho, SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce.

Summing up

Marketo’s native integration with Salesforce, which is a CRM market leader, makes it an attractive solution if you want the power of Marketo’s marketing automation combined with the robustness of Salesforce. The native integrations help sales teams to accurately follow prospects through the funnel. Although some users have reported issues when synching Salesforce to Marketo, the benefits are evident after issues have been ironed out.

Although HubSpot has its own CRM, Gartner lists integration as one of its strengths. So, you’re likely to have a positive experience when integrating a different CRM.

Hubspot vs Marketo – CRM Integration – Winner: Marketo (More integrations)

  1. HubSpot vs Marketo on analytics and reporting

The more accurate your data and analysis, the better your insight will be into your customer journey. Gartner describes a fit for purpose analytics function as one that’s capable of providing insight to inform actions to maximize campaign objectives, including:

  • Generating key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Offering pre-packaged reports, management and sales dashboards, metrics and KPIs.
  • Producing real-time graphical depiction of data and metrics.

Marketo’s analytics and reporting

Marketo has a host of standard reports that enable users to track the progress on different elements. These standard reports include:

Email reports – Track key metrics, such as open and deliverability rates.

Person reports – Provide information about people and campaigns.

Program performance reports – Measures the success of marketing initiatives.

Marketo’s analytics gives users the data to recognize the campaigns and channels with the highest ROI to focus resources in the appropriate areas.

HubSpot’s analytics and reporting

HubSpot provides reports for marketing assets, such as blog posts, emails and calls-to-action. The analytics allow users to track the customer lifecycle and also provide as attribution and revenue reporting.

HubSpot also provides analysis of users’ websites and measures traffic sources.

Summing up

HubSpot and Marketo offer analytics to help users make data-driven decisions and tie-in revenue to marketing campaigns.

Gartner found that both HubSpot and Marketo had issues in relation to reporting.

HubSpot’s reports were singled out for criticism because clients stated that there was a lack of flexibility due to limited customization options.

Clients also awarded Marketo below-average scores for reporting and analytics.

HubSpot vs Marketo – Reporting – Winner: Marketo (However, difficult to use and setup)

Strengths and weaknesses of HubSpot vs Marketo

The following summary of strengths and areas of improvements are based on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management report and customer reviews.


Functionality – Easy to use, set-up and design workflows. Intuitive lead segmentation and personalization. Product strategy – Standard bundled applications can be extended to meet users’ needs.
Content management – Doubles up as a CMS to update and optimize web content. Market responsiveness – Responds to customer and market demands by offering improved automated marketing capabilities.
Integrations – Over 30 native integrations (one with Zapier that enables connections to 100s of applications). Robust functionality and integrations – Advance lead workflows with a vast number of triggers.
Education – HubSpot invests heavily in free resources to educate their users. Salesforce integration – Salesforce is popular with many enterprises, so provides a good fit.  



Customer segmentation – May not be able to meet the requirements of enterprises because its user base is mostly SMBs. Complex set up – Strong software and analytics knowledge required to implement custom solutions. Steep learning curve before and after implementation.
Reporting – Limited flexibility and customization options. Reporting – Analytics tools may not provide the deep insight required for enterprises.
Pricing Despite the seemingly low price point, costs can creep up quickly when more contacts are added. Pricing This is one of the most expensive marketing automation options. Different payment plans for each bundle with dozens of options that can impact on the price.
Training Fees New users are required to pay a minimum of $600 in training, depending on their plan. Usability – Difficult to use and integrate with sales channels.


Deciding whether HubSpot vs Marketo is best for your business depends on your goals. As both platforms have strengths and drawbacks, you will need to assess your objectives against their offerings. However, reviewing marketing automation providers can become complicated due to the various options involved.

If you’re looking for a free helping hand to narrow down your options to find the right solution, fill out the form below and we can have a chat. Yes, my services are absolutely free! If you want to know how I’m able to work with you at no charge, find out on my homepage.


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