HubSpot Marketing Hub and Marketo Engage are two standout platforms that made our recent list of the best marketing automation platforms. Marketo was named our pick for Best for Enterprise and HubSpot was named Best for Business Growth.

Both were included on our list because of their all-in-one marketing automation solutions. But, today’s post is going to put these two head-to-head for those considering these options and wondering which is best for their company.    

Read on to explore the key differences in terms of features, ease of use, pricing, customizations/integrations, and a look at who each solution is best suited for.

A Note About Comparing Apples and Oranges

Before we dive into the details, it’s important to understand how we’ll be comparing these two in this post. Both Marketo and HubSpot offer an entire line of products and have a massive amount of capabilities. Marketo is a part of the Adobe suite of software, while HubSpot Marketing Hub is part of the HubSpot suite of software. For the purpose of this comparison, we’ll be focused on the marketing automation capabilities of each – HubSpot’s Marketing Hub and Marketo Engage.

Comparing HubSpot and Marketo is not apples to apples

The User Perspective – Thoughts from Clients, Staff, and Other Users

One of the best ways to find out the real deal about the software you’re considering is to talk to actual users. So, to understand the true experiences folks are having with HubSpot and Marketo, we’ll inject their comments throughout the post to help reinforce the points.


Marketo vs HubSpot – Comparing Features

Key Points:

  • Both HubSpot and Marketo have you covered with a wide range of foundational marketing automation features including email marketing, blogging, SEO tools, landing pages, lead management, and analytics.
  • Some standout HubSpot features include Content Strategy, Social Media Tools, and Ad Tracking & Management.
  • Some standout Marketo features include Advanced Predictive Content, Predictive Audiences, and Experience Automation.

Both HubSpot and Marketo provide a suite of features that support essential marketing functions, including lead management, email marketing, automation workflows, and reporting. 

While each platform offers some unique capabilities and strengths, their shared foundation is designed to empower marketers to drive engagement, nurture leads, and achieve their marketing goals.

Outside of these foundational features, both HubSpot and Marketo offer additional advanced features in their higher-priced tiers. Here are a few of the standout features of each:

User exploring the key features of HubSpot and Marketo

Standout HubSpot Features

  • Content Strategy: Plan your content/SEO strategy, optimize your content, and measure ROI with HubSpot’s Content Strategy tools. (Learn More)
  • Social Media Tools: Prioritize social interactions to spend more time with the people who matter most with HubSpot’s social tool enabling you to schedule, track, and report on your social media posts. (Learn More)
  • Ad Tracking & Management: HubSpot’s simple ad creation tool enables easy lead syncing. (Learn More)

See all of HubSpot’s features here.

Standout Marketo Features

  • Advanced Predictive Content: Deliver the highest performing content to your website and your customer’s inbox alike with the predictive power of AI from Adobe Sensei. (Learn More)
  • Predictive Audiences: Predictive Audiences (PA) utilizes AI and machine learning to enable you to target audiences more effectively and take proactive steps to reach your marketing goals. (Learn More)
  • Experience Automation: Automate and streamline lead management, cross-channel engagement, and multi-touch attribution. (Learn More)

See all of Marketo’s features here.

What Users Say About Features

Users love the available features for both HubSpot and Marketo. However, with various available product tiers, it’s important to research each product’s feature set to ensure you get what you need. 

“The wide array of features from lead capture to email marketing to ads really allows us a lot of flexibility. We have HubSpot as our one primary piece of tech in our tech stack now, and that makes my life so much easier.” – HubSpot User

“Undoubtedly Marketo offers the best content personalization features that I have been able to use, including multichannel interaction within the platform, we can always optimize our services with this tool.” – Marketo User


Marketo vs HubSpot – Comparing User Interface and Ease of Use

When it comes to user interface and ease of use, both Marketo and HubSpot offer distinct experiences tailored to different user preferences and levels of comfort with technology.

Users want an interface that's intuitive

HubSpot: HubSpot is known for its ease of use, making it accessible to users with varying levels of technical expertise. The fact that it’s all completely by design is what helps HubSpot stand out. Let’s take a moment to dig in a little further on this.

To deliver an outstanding customer experience, HubSpot believes you need five core elements:

  • Content – Blogs, Landing Pages, Knowledge Base Articles
  • Messaging – 1:1 Communications, 1:Many Communications, Live Chat, Bots, etc.
  • Automation – Streamlining Processes
  • Data – Customer Experience Data
  • Reporting – Insight across all of these 5 core elements

What sets HubSpot apart from the pack in the marketing automation market is the way in which every HubSpot product has been strategically built around these 5 elements. This leads to easier adoption since all products are built on the same platform and similar, continuous improvement from HubSpot since as improvements are made, they are then carried out through the rest of the products. And because everything is connected, it leads to a more unified customer experience. 

Marketo: In contrast, Marketo presents a less intuitive interface, potentially posing a steeper learning curve for users who are new to marketing automation. While Marketo’s basic functions are designed to be easy, navigating its advanced features may demand additional familiarity with the platform.

What Users Say About User Interface and Ease of Use

“The ease of usage, that is the user interface is pretty smooth and is relatively easier to master in a short span of time. Also, this tool is pretty efficient in terms of sending out massive volumes of emails.”  – Marketo User

“HubSpot has a fantastic UI, better than other tools. I find it to be very clean and clear. It’s a great tool and a must-have for every Marketing company” – HubSpot User


Marketo vs HubSpot – Comparing Pricing

Key Points:

  • HubSpot offers a tiered pricing structure with different plans tailored to the needs of businesses of various sizes. It also offers a free version and free CRM.
  • Marketo pricing is not listed publicly on its pricing page but typically has higher pricing compared to HubSpot, and its pricing model may involve additional costs for add-on features and services.

Let’s take a look at the pricing of these two solutions. 

Comparing the pricing of HubSpot and Marketo

HubSpot’s Pricing

HubSpot’s pricing structure is designed to cater to businesses of all sizes. With a tiered and flexible model, it allows users to choose a plan that aligns with their budget and needs. 

Plan Tiers include:

  • HubSpot Marketing Hub Free
  • HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter
  • HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional
  • HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise

The availability of a free tier and the affordability of the Starter tier at $45/month, makes HubSpot accessible to startups and small businesses, providing essential tools to kickstart their marketing efforts.

HubSpot's 2024 Marketing Hub Pricing

See HubSpot Marketing Hub Pricing Here.

Marketo’s Pricing

Marketo’s pricing is not publicly listed on its pricing page. Instead, folks are encouraged to contact Marketo’s sales team directly for custom pricing. 

For comparison purposes – plans are roughly in the $800 – $3,000 per month range depending on the size of your database and desired features, according to some sources online

Marketo Engage is available in four different packaging options, including:

  1. Growth: Core marketing email, segmentation, automation, and measurement.
  2. Select: Essential marketing automation and measurement.
  3. Prime: Lead- and account-based marketing with journey analytics and AI personalization.
  4. Ultimate: The most powerful marketing automation with premium attribution.

Each of these packages varies in number of users, features, and more. A unique aspect of Marketo is that many of the premium features are available as add-ons at any tier. 

What Users Say About Pricing

Users of both platforms cite high cost as a challenge, but in both cases admit that you get what you pay for and the high costs are often realized in ROI. 

“I want to share one thing that I dislike about it and that is Marketo is a little bit expensive compared to other tools but I must say that it is worth it.” – Marketo User

“While HubSpot offers a plethora of features that streamline our operations, the cost escalates notably with the need for more advanced functionalities. This is particularly evident as we expand our customer base and require more extensive usage of their services. The tiered pricing model, although flexible, can lead to unexpectedly high expenses as we scale up our activities.”  -HubSpot User


Marketo vs HubSpot – Comparing Customizations and Integrations

Key Points:

  • HubSpot offers a wide range of integrations with third-party apps and services, as well as seamless integration with the rest of the HubSpot suite.
  • Marketo is highly customizable and offers extensive integration options with CRM systems, analytics tools, and other marketing technologies. It’s often favored by businesses with complex marketing automation needs.

Of course, both HubSpot Marketing Hub and Marketo Engage seamlessly integrate with the rest of their software suites – Adobe Experience Cloud and HubSpot.

Marketo Engage connects to Experience Manager Assets, Audience Manager, Target, Analytics, Workfront, Real-Time CDP, and Advertising.

HubSpot Marketing Hub connects to Sales Hub, Commerce Hub, Service Hub, CMS Hub, and Operations Hub.

Both also offer an entire marketplace with thousands of available apps. We recommend determining which apps you’ll need and then searching HubSpot Marketplace and Marketo Marketplace

What Users Say About Integrations and Customizations

“What I appreciate most about HubSpot Marketing Hub is its comprehensive integration capabilities. It allows us to seamlessly merge all our marketing channels into a single, unified platform. This integration has significantly streamlined our marketing processes, making it easier to manage everything from email campaigns to social media, SEO, and content management. The user-friendly interface and robust analytics tools have been instrumental in enhancing our decision-making process, providing us with clear insights to optimize our strategies. Moreover, its automation features have saved us considerable time, allowing our team to focus more on creative and strategic tasks rather than getting bogged down in routine operations.” – HubSpot User

“We love Marketo for its integration and CRM options, they allow us advanced mobile marketing, thanks to Leads management and sales flows our website design and development have been growing over time, offering solutions to our customers. Our content management system has also improved since the implementation of Marketo and its use in our facilitates.” – Marketo User


Marketo vs HubSpot – Comparing Target Audience

Key Points:

  • HubSpot is often favored by small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and startups due to its user-friendly interface and comprehensive suite of marketing tools.
  • Marketo’s advanced features and high pricing typically make it most attractive to large organizations with sophisticated marketing.

See the Target Audiences for HubSpot and Marketo

HubSpot:

  • Preferred by Small to Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) and Startups: HubSpot’s popularity stems from its user-friendly interface and comprehensive suite of marketing tools, making it particularly appealing to smaller organizations.
  • Entry-Level Pricing Models: HubSpot offers accessible pricing structures tailored to the budgets of growing businesses.
  • Ideal for Growing Marketing Teams: It serves as a valuable resource for businesses seeking to streamline marketing efforts, manage leads efficiently, and enhance alignment between marketing and sales strategies.

Marketo:

  • Caters to Mid-Sized to Large Organizations: Marketo is tailored to meet the needs of mid-sized to large enterprises with complex marketing requirements.
  • Advanced Marketing Features: Marketo stands out for its advanced lead management, analytics, and reporting capabilities, catering to companies that demand sophisticated marketing solutions.
  • Seamless Integration with Adobe Marketing Cloud: A significant advantage of Marketo is its seamless integration with other Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions, such as Adobe Analytics, making it an ideal choice for companies already invested in Adobe’s ecosystem.
  • Best for Enterprise: Adobe Marketo Engage is a premier option for large enterprises seeking sophisticated marketing automation, analytics, and lead management capabilities.

While HubSpot is favored by SMBs and startups for its accessibility and user-friendly interface, Marketo is geared toward larger enterprises with intricate marketing needs. The choice between the two depends on the size of your organization, your budget, and the complexity of your marketing strategies.


Which Marketing Automation Platform Is Right For Your Business?

In our experience using both platforms, HubSpot is like a Mac to Marketo’s PC. With HubSpot, you get a sleek user interface and a tool that’s easy to use at the cost of some customizability. With Marketo, you get an enormous amount of control over the platform, but at the cost of usability.

At the end of the day, HubSpot and Marketo are both powerful pieces of software that do essentially the same thing, help you automate your marketing and manage your contacts, just in different ways. The decision comes down to which is right for your business.

At Growth Spurt, we’re big fans of HubSpot and recommend it over Marketo in most scenarios. 

We’ve seen companies reduce the time it takes to onboard new marketing employees by up to 3 months by switching from Marketo to HubSpot due to the shallower learning curve of HubSpot. That alone makes it worth it.

However, if you’re a large enterprise or have standardized on the Adobe suite, there may be benefits that make Marketo Engage a better fit for you.

For more help with your decision, reach out to book some time.

Contact Growth Spurt - HubSpot Partner Agency