Marketo vs Hubspot for SME: a comparison

6 min read
Apr 29, 2024 11:58:45 AM
Are you working at a mid-sized company and delving into different Marketing Automation software providers? And would you like to learn which tool - HubSpot or Marketo - is the best fit for your type of business and goals? This blog will help you get started.


Briefly: why a Marketing Automation tool?

A Marketing Automation tool can provide significant benefits to the organization you work for when you have one or more of the following goals in mind:

  • Streamline the lead generation process: bundling all the tools you need as a marketer to turn visitors into leads;
  • Automating lead nurturing: providing the right content at the right time, helping leads with challenges throughout the buying journey until they are ready to be handed over to Sales;
  • Providing customer behavior insight across all channels: insight from lead to customer. Then being able to capitalize on this with smart marketing campaigns;
  • Running clear reports and demonstrating Marketing ROI: how did marketing generate more traffic, more leads, more customers;
  • Personalization: offering content that fits the buying journey and thus the context of your main target groups;
  • Less dependence on IT: direction is with Marketing, quickly make changes without needing technical knowledge.

Independent ranking of HubSpot and Marketo as Marketing Automation tools

Independent business software comparator G2Crowd ranks Marketo and HubSpot among the "high performers" when it comes to the Marketing Automation platform, filtered by "mid-market.

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In addition, TrustRadius, independent site with reviews for business technology also shows how the 'top rated' providers of Marketing Automation software fare:

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HubSpot vs Marketo: a comparison

So it is clear that both HubSpot and Marketo are recommended by independent reviewers as suitable Marketing Automation tools for small and medium-sized businesses.

I subjected both platforms to a comparison on various axes and can conclude the following.

Quick to get started / IT knowledge needed / Usability?

Marketo has a longer learning curve to get started with. The software is clearly described as more suitable for marketers with deeper IT background, or for companies where an IT department is present. HubSpot is known as user-friendly software that does not require any IT knowledge. In independent reviews, HubSpot is named a winner when it comes to easy-to-learn, easy-to-use platform.


Both HubSpot and Marketo allow you to set up very fine workflows for all kinds of purposes. Marketo takes this further than HubSpot. So the marketer with IT background who really wants to dive deep into workflows will be happy with Marketo.


HubSpot stands out when it comes to comprehensive analytics to measure the progress and results of your campaigns and express them in clear reports. According to several reviews, Marketo still leaves some gaps here. If you want to generate good reports, you will soon need additional extensions. Read for example this blog from Quora about this.

Developing team skills?

HubSpot puts a lot of effort into developing the Marketing (and Sales) team and is praised for this in reviews. On the blog and in the very comprehensive HubSpot Academy you can get your fill.

Form and landing pages?

Several reviews mention that Marketo's form creation (to generate leads) and landing pages leave something to be desired.

Bundles / tiers vs. costs?

With Marketo, you can purchase bundles to suit the different purposes of marketers: Lead Management, Email Marketing, Consumer marketing, Customer base marketing and Mobile marketing. You can purchase these bundles separately or combine them. The Lead Management bundle offers different tiers: Basic, Pro, Elite and Enterprise. The website states that the price is based on the number of contacts in your database. Several reviews reveal that Marketo's prices can vary quite a bit based on additional features. So the cost can skyrocket if you use add-ons. Prices should be requested from Marketo. They are not listed on the website.

The major difference with Marketo is that HubSpot offers all features within the so-called "Marketing Hub. HubSpot's CRM is separate (but free). There are also additional Sales tools that you can purchase separately. HubSpot offers 5 different packages: the free version, Starter, Basic, Professional and Enterprise. On this page they are listed below each other with corresponding prices. As with Marketo, costs are based on the number of contacts in your database. Several reviews from people who have looked into costs tell us that Marketo's entry-level prices are a lot more expensive than HubSpot's Basic prices.

Applying inbound methodology?

The creators of HubSpot made the term and philosophy of "Inbound Marketing" big and the entire Marketing platform is aimed at attracting website visitors to you, converting them into leads and turning them into happy customers. Small side note: they are rolling out the Service platform in 2018 where you can help your current customers even better.

Integration with other platforms / integration with CRM?

HubSpot offers its own CRM (as mentioned, it's free) and also has integrations with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, ConnectWise, Zoho, Netsuite, SugarCRM and more. See all of HubSpot's integrations here. Marketo is known for its good integration with Salesforce. Furthermore, Marketo integrations with Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, Netsuite, Oracle, and SugarCRM. In short, in terms of integrations with other CRM systems, both parties score well.


Marketo does not have its own CMS. HubSpot does.

Marketo doesn't have its own CMS. HubSpot does.

HubSpot has a built-in social media tool where you can post, schedule posts and monitor discussions on various platforms.


Several user reviews on TrustRadius remarkably indicate that the load time within Marketo's tools is very long and the tool crashes frequently.

Customer support / community?

Both HubSpot and Marketo have excellent customer support and an active community of users.

HubSpot vs Marketo: conclusion

First things first: in every list, and in every blog touting Marketing Automation platforms for SMEs, both Marketo and HubSpot are represented. So at least here you are in the right place.

When Marketo? If you are IT savvy and don't shy away from some coding/programming, and really want to go deep with your workflows, then Marketo is the place to be. If you want to get in on basic, however, Marketo is listed as expensive.

When HubSpot? HubSpot's Marketing Automation platform is known everywhere as the most user-friendly and all-in-one solution for all your Marketing, Sales and Service activities. Especially for SMBs. You can get started with HubSpot right away. If your organization is a large enterprise then you may run into some limitations with HubSpot.

I hope I have taken you one step further in your search for the best Marketing Automation platform for your organization.


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Overview of HubSpot's new pricing subscription.


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Frequently asked questions

If I'm a HubSpot client, how does this new pricing model affect my current subscription account?

Existing customers will not be immediately impacted by this change. Your current subscription price will remain unaffected in the short-term.

Will my HubSpot subscription be migrated to the new model? And if so, when?

Existing customers will be migrated to the new pricing model in phases, starting later this year and likely extending into 2025. Your migration date will be communicated in advance, with assistance provided by your Customer Success Manager.


HubSpot's new pricing model represents a significant step forward in meeting the diverse needs of its user base. With its focus on scalability, flexibility, and connectivity, users can expect a more tailored and efficient CRM experience. While existing customers will undergo a phased migration, the ultimate goal is to enhance user satisfaction and drive business growth.


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