Act-On vs. Hubspot vs. Marketo: 3 top marketing automation tools compared

Enterprise users weigh in on their favorite features and offer suggestions for improvement

If you’re in the process of researching marketing automation solutions, Marketo, Act-On and Hubspot are probably on your short list.

These tools promise to free your marketing staff from tedious, manual processes so that they can get on with the business of nurturing quality leads for your sales organization. But how do they deliver on that promise?

[ Related: 12 questions to ask marketing automation vendors (before you buy) ]

Here’s what some enterprise users say are the standout features (and greatest shortcomings) of each of these products.

Editor's note: These reviews of select marketing automation products come from the IT Central Station community. They are the opinions of the users and are based on their own experiences.


Valuable features:

Website visitor tracking, integration with Salesforce and Webex, landing pages and forms.
- Joe G., Marketing at a tech vendor with 1000+ employees
  • Analytics and Reporting
  • Marketing Automation
  • Social Integration
  • CRM Integration
- Elizabeth C., Marketing at a financial services firm with 1-100 employees

Improvements to my organization:

Our organization was operating blindfolded before implementing Act-On. We're able to have complete visibility into our website visitor behavior and easily integrate this into our CRM. We're able to segment our visitors based on behavior and lead score and serve them to the sales team on a platter.
- Joe G.

Room for improvement:

One area of improvement would be ability to use dynamic content fields. It is available, but not to the fullest extent where it would help me.
- Elizabeth C.

Read more Act-On user reviews on IT Central Station.


Valuable features:

It works well for email automation and workflows.
It has reasonable social tracking module.
- James C., senior application developer at a tech vendor with 1000+ employees
The most valuable feature for us is the lead-nurturing workflows. They give us the ability to create automated workflows that will operate certain flows-of-action automatically on a duration of time I set. This enables us to decide that a certain segment of database will receive content throughout time without us having to do it.
- Efrat F., Senior Director of Marketing Communications at a tech vendor with 100-1000 employees

Room for improvement:

They need to improve their reports and the ability to customize them.
- James C.
The module of scoring can improve immensely. It uses manual scoring, which is a tedious process because you have to design in advance and update it all the time. They've recently added predictive scoring, but it won't replace manual scoring. It's only complementary and is too manual and cumbersome. It can't aggregate scores and I have to input them manually, which is annoying. What's also missing are guidelines for best practices for scoring so that it instructs you on how to build scoring strategy.
- Efrat F.

Other advice:

When considering this product, check if all the features you need are in the tier you are planning to pay for.
- James C.

Read more HubSpot user reviews on IT Central Station.


Valuable features:

Email drip campaigns
- Maggie A., head of marketing at a company with 1-100 employees

Improvements to my organization:

Automated customer outreach from sign up to upgrade
- Maggie A.

[ See also: The 7 best marketing automation features in Marketo and 4 key marketing automation features Marketo lacks ]

Room for improvement:

Easier to create/modify graphic driven templates
Need automatic 404 reporting for links included in content
- Maggie A.

Other advice:

Hire a Marketo certified consultant prior to install and launch.
- Maggie A.

Read more Marketo user reviews on IT Central Station.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

People in vegan houses shouldn't throw bacon

Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?

Abbie Love

Strategist, Ikon Communications

The role of the CMO is evolving: Are you keeping up?

My (amazing) vacation in the Galapagos Islands earlier in the year got me thinking about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. What does this have to do with the role of today’s CMO, you ask? Plenty.

Sheryl Pattek

Vice-president, executive partner

Getting your business ready for the Entrepreneurial Consumer

We all know the digital revolution has completely transformed the way consumers are interacting with brands, and that a lot of businesses are finding it hard to catch up. One way to closing this brand gap is to understand consumer behaviour and build a brand experience that meets these new needs.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook

Great to see ActiveCampaign's growth funded with some serious money.As a platform, it's up there with the usual suspects in terms of feat...

Lawrence Ladomery

CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 13 October

Read more


Kerry Edwards

Open Colleges taps into social for better student interaction

Read more

Or just go to sites like www.shopsthatshiptoaustralia.c... and others and be sure that the stores will send to where you live :-)


Why online shopping is like dating – RedBalloon CEO

Read more

Personalisation is the key. Customers demand a very relatable and well defined CX where the sincerity and understanding of their disposit...

Hitesh Parekh

In pictures: Improving cutomer experiences through smart personalisation

Read more

Thanks for this. The key for me is the effective of governance where it dictates and sets the proactive policy when it comes to CX. Tech ...

Hitesh Parekh

6 lessons in modern marketing from a customer experience chief

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in