John Lincoln

Complete Review of Marketo

review of marketo

CenturyLink faced a challenge. Following an acquisition, the $24 billion telecommunications company consisted of eight revenue-generating organizations, each with its own marketing technology stack.

Every business unit had its own solution to specific problems. There wasn’t a single source of truth for marketing initiatives.

To make matters even worse, CenturyLink had no solution to handle multi-touch attribution across a long sales lifecycle.

That’s when the company turned to Marketo Engage. The transition took less than six months and significantly reduced the size of its marketing tech stack.

Further, CenturyLink used Marketo’s powerful integration capabilities to roll out a solution that acted as a central hub for third-party marketing programs. That move empowered number-crunchers to extract,  aggregate, and analyze metrics so they could build predictive data models.

The end results speak for themselves:

  • 114 million marketing emails that influenced $220 million in monthly recurring charges
  • Annualized revenue impact of approximately $2.6 billion
  • Monthly savings of $1.2 million by using Marketo Engage for invoicing instead of sending out paper invoices

“With Marketo Engage, we can connect with our customers often enough so we stay top of mind for them,” says Kate Federhar, senior manager of marketing operations at CenturyLink. “We can easily move them along through the funnel. CenturyLink has bought billion-dollar companies that used other competitors. We repeatedly came back to Marketo Engage, and one of the key reasons is the ease of use and more reliable integration with other tools.”

That’s how Marketo can help your business as well.

What Is Marketo?

Marketo is a complete end-to-end online B2B marketing solution. The platform offers two products:

  • Marketo Engage – Transforms the customer journey by enabling marketers to create personalized experiences, optimize content, and measure results across every channel.
  • Bizible – Offers complete attribution across every touchpoint.

Of the two, Marketo Engage offers the richest feature set. It’s also part of the Adobe Experience Cloud.

Adobe Marketo

The Adobe Experience Cloud, by the way, is a suite of tools for marketing, commerce, and analytics.

One of the reasons that Marketo is such an attractive solution is because it’s part of the Adobe family. As a rule of thumb, you really can’t go wrong with Adobe.

Sure, you’ll pay extra for Adobe products. But that’s because they’re worth the additional expense.

Even outside of Adobe, though, Marketo has quite a bit to offer. Let’s look at each of the platform’s two products in detail.


I’ll start with Bizible. It’s a tool that helps you improve marketing return on investment (ROI) by delivering a complete picture of where customers touched your brand.

According to Marketo, 87% of customers say that Bizible helps them increase marketing efficiencies.

Here’s what Bizible offers:

  • Increased visibility – See which campaigns and channels are giving you the most bang for your buck.
  • Informed decision-making – Use fine-grained performance data with machine learning forecasts to orchestrate revenue-generating campaigns.
  • Growth – Harvest insights from the tool to streamline operations, double-down on successes, and fuel expansion.


To track your customers’ journey through the sales funnel, Bizible uses pretty much everything: ad network integrations, UTM parameters, and on-site Javascript. The tool will even track events and conferences.

It’s a great solution to have in your tech stack if you’re wondering how people are finding your brand and finally deciding to make a purchase.

Marketo Engage

Marketo Engage

Marketo Engage is arguably the tool in the Marketo ecosystem. It’s probably why you’re reading this article.

It’s designed for B2B marketers who want to optimize customer experiences through a long sales cycle.

As is the case with so many other tools, though, Marketo Engage isn’t just a single application. It’s a whole suite of applications.

You get to choose the ones you think are suitable for your business.

Put Marketo together with other solutions in the Adobe Experience Cloud and you’ll create a powerhouse marketing tech stack that’s sure to make your customers and stakeholders happy.

Features of Marketo Engage

Lead Management

The Lead Management software enables you to attract customers from your target market and take them all the way through the sales cycle.

Even better: Market Engage offers the ability to deliver personalized marketing messages.

Start your lead nurturing efforts by attracting top-of-funnel traffic. The tool offers inbound and outbound programs to help you do just that.

Marketo Engage also makes it easy to create landing pages and progressive forms.

Once you’ve attracted some leads, the tool will help you qualify buyers. Then, you can pass them to your sales team with scoring and other relevant info.

Marketo Engage also plays nicely with state-of-the-art software like Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce. That means your sales reps can stick with what they know while leveraging the full feature set of the Marketo platform.

Of course, the tool also offers a powerful reporting system so you can improve your sales cycle practices.

Account-Based Marketing

If you’re unfamiliar with account-based marketing (ABM), it’s a strategy that puts marketing resources towards a specific set of segmented accounts and uses personalized messaging to increase the likelihood of conversion.

Marketo Engage helps you optimize your ABM outreach efforts.

For starters, the tool enables you to create a shared strategy that identifies the best accounts for your ABM strategy. Then, you can manage all your accounts from a single place.

Additionally, the tool helps you identify new contacts via paid media. It will also highlight key personas within your accounts.

If you don’t have enough time to chase down leads, you’ll be happy to learn that Marketo Engage also automates personalized experiences with account nurturing.

It also enables your sales and marketing teams to stay in sync with full visibility of current outreach efforts to both groups.

Finally, the ABM solution integrates with LinkedIn as well as more than 30 other ABM tools.

Email Marketing

Marketo Engage also offers a powerful email marketing tool. It enables you to deliver personalized, engaging emails to customers.

Marketo Engage email tool

And it handles email distribution automatically.

The tool gives you a 360-degree view of each of your customers. That info will show you how they interact across the web, social media, and mobile channels.

Use that data to create market segments. Then, initiate a relevant conversation with potential buyers based on their personas.

By the way, Marketo Engage also enables you to create powerful email templates with a simple drag-and-drop interface. You don’t need to know anything about coding.

No email marketing solution would be complete without an A/B testing feature. Fortunately, Marketo Engage gives you the ability to compare different types of emails so you can see which ones are performing best.

And, of course, the tool offers plenty of metrics. Browse through that data to find out what’s working best.

Customer Base Marketing

You probably already know that it costs significantly more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing customer. Marketo Engage helps you build relationships with people who already know your brand and identifies complementary products that they’ll appreciate.

Marketo Engage

The tool highlights potential cross-sell and upsell opportunities. It also provides lead-scoring across demographics and interests to help you pinpoint the right marketing message.

Marketo Engage also identifies the best channels for reaching out to existing customers. Use that info to produce the right kind of outreach program via social media, paid advertising, or email marketing.

The tool even offers forecasting capabilities so your team can prioritize and focus on closing “the best bets.”

Mobile Marketing

There are more mobile devices than people in the world. Let that sink in.

The reality is that if you aren’t marketing to a mobile audience, you’re leaving lots of market share on the table. Fortunately, Marketo Engage empowers you to deliver cross-channel experiences to people on a smartphone, tablet, or phablet.

For starters, the tool harvests the mobile app activity of people in your target market. Use that info to determine their interests and deliver timely, relevant marketing messages.

Marketo Engage Mobile

Additionally, Marketo Engage will help you locate the right people for your mobile app. Harvest that data to target the people who will most likely engage with your app and possibly become customers.

The tool will also show you how people engage with your brand on other mobile touchpoints. That kind of detail will help you create the right experiences for them.

Digital Advertising

Marketo’s assistance in digital advertising can be summed up in one word: personalization.

Use the tool to segment your customers based on interests and preferences. Then, grab their attention with a targeted ad on the right platform.

Marketo Engage will also show you which ads are reeling in customers. Improve your advertising ROI by focusing on channels and audiences that are boosting sales.

And if you’re interested in retargeting, the tool will help with that. Bring one-time visitors back to your site personalized display ads.

Social Media Marketing

Marketo Engage leverages the power of social media to help you learn about your existing customers, acquire new customers, and engage with people who’ve touched your brand.

The tool enables you reach out to your target audience on social with the aid of polls, referral programs, sweepstakes, and more.

Marketo Engage social media marketing

Marketo Engage also comes packed with social media sharing buttons. They’ll make it easy for your loyal customers to share your content with friends and family members on their favorite social channels.

You can even use the tool to enable visitors to fill out online forms by using their social media profiles.

Predictive Analytics

Marketo Engage goes beyond just giving you reports about what’s already happened across your various sales channels. It also offers advice about what to do next.

The Predictive Analytics component uses machine learning to put the most relevant content in front of each of your customers.

Marketo Engage predictive content

And it does that on the right channel as well.

End result: you get more ROI from your existing content and your customers are happy because they’re seeing the kinds of articles, blog posts, and videos that they want to see.


Marketo doesn’t post prices on its website. You have to request a demo and get the price from the sales rep you speak with.

Still, there’s enough info online that I can give you a ballpark.

Expect to spend around $33,000 annually for Marketo. That includes the “Get Started” cost of about $7,000.

The “Get Started” cost is a one-time fee that you pay when you first adopt Marketo.

After that, budget about $2,400 a month for continued use.

For that, you can support as many as 20,000 contacts and make 50,000 calls per day. You also get 50 users, which is probably more than you’ll ever need.

Maybe best of all: you get unlimited emails.

Wrapping It Up

Is Marketo Engage right for you? It is if you have a medium or larger sized business and a lot of cash on hand for marketing.

As with most other Adobe solutions, Marketo isn’t cheap. You will pay for it.

But remember: you get what you pay for. Adobe has a proven track-record of delivering quality software. To further sweeten the pot, the company’s team of experienced developers continue to add features and improve its products.

So if you’re unsure, reach out to the Marketo sales team today and learn more about the product. You’ll likely find that it’s just what you’re looking for.

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John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation. Ignite Visibility is a 4x  Inc. 5,000 company. Ignite Visibility offers a unique digital marketing program tied directly to ROI with a focus on using SEO, social media, paid media, CRO, email, Amazon and PR to achieve results. Outside of Ignite Visibility, Lincoln is a frequent speaker and author of the books “Digital Influencer” and “The Forecaster Method.” Lincoln is consistently named one of the top digital marketers in the industry and was the recipient of the coveted Search Engine Land “Search Marketer of The Year” award. Lincoln has taught digital marketing and Web Analytics at the University of California San Diego since 2010, has been named as one of San Diego’s most admired CEO’s and a top business leader under 40. Lincoln has also made “SEO: The Movie” and “Social Media Marketing: The Movie.” His business mission is to help others through digital marketing.

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