Marketing Automation Software Compare: best platforms

7 min read
Apr 29, 2024 11:34:13 AM
[Update June 2018] what is the best Marketing Automation software system for your organization? That's a question that a lot of marketers and IT professionals start with when they start exploring this field. In this blog: what are the best Marketing Automation platforms of the moment according to independent comparison websites?


What changes in the Pricing model?

This blog discusses:

What are the best Marketing Automation platforms of the moment?

The results come from the two most well-known independent comparison websites, which are created thanks to the reviews of hundreds of users. These sites are continuously updated.

The best Marketing Automation platforms, reviewed by G2Crowd

- For Small-business:

1. HubSpot Software
2. ActiveCampaign
3. GetResponse
4. Pardot

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- For Mid-market:

1. HubSpot
2. Marketo
3. Pardot
4. Act-on

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-For Enterprise:

1. HubSpot
2. Marketo
3. Oracle Eloqua
4. Pardot

Blog 16.2In the images below, you can see that G2Crowd also compares the Marketing Automation platforms side by side based on ease of use and how well setup and support is rated, among other things.

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The best Marketing Automation platforms, rated by TrustRadius:

-For Small Businesses (1-50 Employees)

1. HubSpot
2. SharpSpring
3. Salesforce
4. Act-on

Beste Marketing Automation platforms

- For Small Businesses (51-1000 employees).

1. Marketo
2. HubSpot
3. Salesforce
4. Oracle Eloqua

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- For Enterprises (1001+ employees)

1. Oracle Eloqua
2. Marketo
3. Adobe Campaign
4. IBM Campaign

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The top performing Marketing Automation platforms highlighted

A brief description of the three platforms that most often emerged as winners can be found below.


HubSpot develops and sells software for Marketing and Sales. The different suites they offer are: Marketing Automation, a CRM, Sales tools, a Service hub. It also has its own Content Management System (CMS). With this, HubSpot can rightly call itself an all-in-one platform for the commercial professional that puts the customer first, with high ease of use. Various integrations are possible with other systems, such as Salesforce.

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Marketo also appears in several lists and is therefore worth mentioning. You can purchase individual bundles to suit the different purposes of marketers: Lead Management, Email Marketing, Consumer marketing, Customer base marketing and Mobile marketing. Marketo does not have a CRM, but like HubSpot, it offers the ability to integrate the tool with Salesforce.

Tip: Also read the blog
"HubSpot vs Marketo for SMEs: a comparison"

Oracle Eloqua

In 2012, Eloqua was acquired by Oracle. The tool, which had been around for quite a long time was then revived. It is now a strong Marketing Automation tool, especially for Enterprises. Eloqua's focus is on automating the lead generation process. It does not have its own Content Management System. It does not have a CRM, but there is good service around integration with other CRM systems such as Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics.


Pardot is a Marketing Automation tool that has been part of the Salesforce Customer Success Platform since 2012. SalesForce had actually set its sights on HubSpot but HubSpot has remained strong on its own, although Salesforce still has a small stake in HubSpot. With the acquisition of Exact Target which became the later Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Salesforce gained Pardot because just before that ExactTarget had acquired Pardot. Salesforce has long since ceased to be a simple CRM system in the cloud (plug and play), but a complex set of systems bought and knotted together with a strong marketing sauce thrown on top. Anything is possible, of course, but you will have to dig deep. Firstly for the software itself and secondly for the scarce Salesforce consultancy.

Short test: is your organization ready for Marketing Automation tooling?

Before starting this search, most marketers who want something in this area have already looked into it (and they may very well have, given the offerings from agencies like ours, and vendors of various Marketing Automation software systems).

They download numerous whitepapers, read all or half of them, attend an event and/or knowledge session, and then very quickly dive into the tools. Combined with the knowledge the average marketer already has, they then start looking for the most tangible, and the one thing they don't already have: namely, the tool, because;

  1. Yes, of course I'm going to develop marketing campaigns from the customer's perspective. We already do that - or at least - I think we should.
  2. Yes, of course there has to be a plan and we have to use an inbound methodology/phasing and customer journey.
  3. Yes, of course it must contribute to the business - what else are we doing it for!
  4. Yes, of course there must be support from management and sales and they must go along with this. Logical.
  5. Yes, of course it takes a lot of time.

In short, people often think very lightly about the above. In our experience, this is where the most profit can be made. Internally, we often call these matters the soft side of a Marketing Automation implementation. The technical choice and implementation is of course the hard side.

Blog 18Before you start comparing different systems, it is first useful to make a check whether your organization has sufficiently addressed the soft side and whether you have an internal 'fit' with Marketing Automation.

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Did you have to answer " No" to the question three or more times in the table above? Then we recommend you get your act together. Do the more extensive Digital Maturity Scan if you want to know where you stand with your organization and what you can do about it.

Should you have only answered "No" to the question once or twice and are really ready to compare Marketing Automation tools on requirements and functionalities, the following resources are a good starting point.

What other parties have subjected Marketing Automation software to comparison?

The sources deal with Marketing Automation software in general and don't really address functionalities. However, they are good sources to come up with a set of requirements for your own organization. The last two sources are also useful and informative but somewhat colored.

Marketingfacts special on Marketing Automation

On the B2Bmarkeeters platform you will find not so much a comparison of packages but a lot of information on what to look out for when starting with Marketing Automation. You will find plenty of information and resources to help you along.

Marketingfacts special on Marketing Automation

Marketingfacts put together a marketing special in early 2016 with lots of readable content. This is about tips, cases, practical guides, blogs et cetera. A great starting point if you are still in the process of getting your bearings and want to arrive at a set of requirements for Marketing Automation.

Which marketing automation software suits you?

The Belgian Internet agency Dallas has done a nice comparison of four top tools namely HubSpot, Eloqua, Marketo and Pardot. They mainly looked at what kind of company you are and what might be a good fit. They are themselves resellers of HubSpot and Eloqua so sometimes the information is colored, but also worth reading.

Overview 6 Marketing Automation software tools on functionalities

Amsterdam-based agency Stan&Stacy also did a comparison. Namely of Sharpspring, Act-on, Pardot, Marketo, Eloqua and HubSpot and its functionalities. Useful overview if you are going to select by specs. The overview is not quite up to date anymore as the various packages evolve almost daily. For example, HubSpot also has a CRM system. Stan and Stacy is an official reseller of Act-on and Sharpspring. Stan and Stacy also has an interest in certain packages so please read through those.


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