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Is Marketo Abandonware?

by Assessor

I can see no one’s contributed to this topic for a few years so let me share my experience. With almost 20 years in Marketing, as I’ve moved up the ladder I’ve been a heavy users of a number of different systems. Salesforce, Pardot, HubSpot, Active Campaign, Autopilot and for the past 2 years Marketo.

Of all these products, Marketo feels the oldest and deadest of all the marketing tools I’ve used. I now have a team responsible for Ops and Automation and spend about 50% of my time helping them solve Marketo related issues, many of which we have more knowledge of than Adobe’s support agents. Marketo is old, the user interface has had no development for years and it feels like an early 2000’s product. Even Salesforce now feels easier to use than Marketo and that’s saying something. The product seems to have been built to deliberately cause mess and chaos, since correcting setup errors or performing cleanups are made pretty much impossible by terrible UX and UI.And then there’s the bugs… I open support tickets on a weekly basis due to simple, product breaking bugs. Want to change company names of people in Marketo by uploading a static list? You can’t, you’re unexpectedly blocked, and no this isn’t because we’ve blocked field updates from list uploads, it’s a bug that’s been out in the wild since 2015. https://nation.marketo.com/t5/product-discussions/explicitcompanyupdatenotallowed/td-p/125564Want to update company names manually? Not possible. Company Objects are blocked from editing. Want to move something from one workspace to another? Drag and drop doesn’t work. Instead, you need to create a folder, add the thing you want to move like a program or campaign, then move the entire folder, remove the item you’ve moved from the folder, now it’s in the correct workspace, delete the folder. Why can’t Adobe fix the UI? They tried with “new experience” and added a little toggle switch which allowed a user to change the layout of a couple of pages within the interface. No new features, just a layout change, and then this was rolled back. Come on Adobe, you’re the people that made Photoshop and Premiere, surely there’s someone there who can bring Marketo into the 21st century?Many basic features people have requested as far back as 2016 have been completely ignored. It feels like Adobe has a skeleton crew running Marketo, with just enough people to keep the cash cow alive for their Enterprise customers like my organisation. Features like being able to sort columns of custom fields in tables have been ignored for decades. Imagine you have a custom field like “account revenue” and want to sort people in a smart list from largest to smallest? You can’t sort custom fields. You need to export the whole list as a .csv file and sort that instead. Want to delete something? Good luck. Mass selection and editing of objects like Programs or Emails, as you’d expect in a product in 2023, is simply not possible. Was that email used by a campaign 2 years ago? Well, if it was, unless you delete the related campaign that email is going to sit in your Marketo instance for eternity. Need to remove a Segment because you’ve hit your limit or misconfigured it? Tough. That segment is used by thousands of assets and the ONLY way to remove it is to first manually track down all those assets and delete them one-by-one.Anyone considering a Marketing Automation platform for their organisation would do well to steer clear of Marketo in its current state in 2023. It’s expensive, difficult to use, full of bugs and requires an army of people to support, it’s not been updated in decades and the support provided simply adds band aids to a completely outdated system. As OP suggested, Marketo is abandonware and terrible value for money for new users. As a heavy user for the last 2 years I’m left wondering if my organisation has made a huge mistake with Marketo and am seriously considering the business impact and cost to migrate to something like Hubspot.

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