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Choosing the Right Marketing Platform: Salesforce Marketing Cloud vs. HubSpot

Choosing the right marketing automation platform is crucial for the success of any marketing strategy. While there are many options available, Salesforce Marketing Cloud and HubSpot are two leaders in this space. This blog helps to compare Salesforce Marketing Cloud vs HubSpot, so that you can decide which is a better fit. Salesforce Marketing Cloud integrates tightly with the broader Salesforce ecosystem but can be complex for simpler needs. 

HubSpot, on the other hand, is easier to use though lacks some advanced functions. Key factors like capabilities, costs, ease of use, customizability, and support are compared. The goal is to highlight areas of strengths and weakness so readers can evaluate what's important for their unique business and budget. By considering these important selection criteria, one will be better equipped to pick the platform that enables optimum results.



Hubspot vs Salesforce Marketing Cloud


What is Salesforce Marketing Cloud?

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a platform that allows businesses to run integrated marketing campaigns across channels like email, mobile, social media, web and more. Using the Marketing Cloud, companies can build audience profiles based on website and app activity to personalize communications. It includes tools like:

  • Email Marketing - Send triggered and segmented marketing emails to current and potential customers from Marketing Cloud. Track opens, clicks and conversions.

  • Social Studio - Manage ad campaigns and pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other networks. Measure engagement and leads from social.

  • Journey Builder - Create automated cross-channel customer journeys based on their behaviors and interests over time. Deliver targeted messages via different touchpoints.

  • Advertising Studio - Design and deliver campaigns for search, display and social advertising. See results in real time and optimize spend based on ROI.

  • Mobile Studio - Engage app users and drive in-app behavior with push notifications, in-app messages and mobile web experiences.



What is HubSpot?

HubSpot Marketing Hub is a growth platform that offers tools for inbound marketing, sales, customer service and other business functions. Some key parts of HubSpot include:

  • Marketing Hub - Create and publish blog content, emails and landing pages. Track traffic sources and measure campaigns.

  • CRM - Store contact information, track deals and automate workflows based on behavior. Interface integrates with other HubSpot products.

  • Website Builder - Build customized responsive sites using drag-and-drop editor. Templates are optimized for lead capturing.

  • Social Media - Post updates and analyze engagement on networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn directly in HubSpot.

  • PR - Monitor brand mentions, analyze coverage trends and distribute press releases.

  • Contacts - Central repository to view full customer profiles and interactions across functions.

  • Reporting - Visual dashboards and metrics to quantify marketing ROI, sales pipelines and service levels over time.



Factors to consider in Choosing the Right Marketing Platform

This article looks at Salesforce Marketing Cloud and HubSpot, two leading marketing automation platforms. Key aspects are covered such as features, ease of use, customization options, reporting etc. 


Customer Segmentation

Marketing Cloud provides powerful segmentation tools to slice audiences based on a wide range of profile attributes and behaviors. Segments can be built dynamically based on complex logical rules using its Query Builder functionality.

HubSpot offers basic contact segmentation capabilities within its free plan. More advanced dynamic segmentation requires upgrade to Professional or Enterprise plans. It lacks the granular rule-building flexibility of Marketing Cloud but provides pre-built behavioral segments.

Marketing Cloud's highly robust segmentation suited for large databases and complex B2B use cases. HubSpot is simpler to use for basic profiling but lacks advanced functionality for data-heavy enterprises.

Personalization

Salesforce enables deep personalization of content across channels using dynamic content blocks, customizable templates and personalization studio. It supports A/B testing, dynamic variables and real-time profile lookup for contextually relevant messages.

HubSpot Marketing Hub provides basic personalization via tokens that dynamically pull contact fields. It doesn't support complex dynamic content styling or A/B testing. Personalization flexibilities are more limited compared to the robust rules and designer of Marketing Cloud.

Marketing Cloud offers professional-grade personalization for complex B2B communications. HubSpot suffices for simple personalized emails; additional functionality requires heavier investment.

Cross-Channel Campaigns

Marketing Cloud empowers crafting of correlated cross-channel journeys spanning emails, websites, paid media and others. Its Journey Builder visual tool lets marketers map entire customer experiences with dynamic pathing across stages.

HubSpot supports basic cross-channel workflows that trigger communications based on website and social actions. But full-fledged adaptive journeys spanning owned and paid channels require the Enterprise plan. Its journey-building is less flexible compared to the drag-and-drop ease of Marketing Cloud.

Marketing Cloud uniquely caters to complex B2B scenarios requiring deeply coordinated cross-channel interactions. HubSpot is better suited for basic reactive journeys than choreographed experiences.

Reporting & Analytics

Marketing Cloud provides role-based dashboards and 200+ comprehensive, customizable reports to track campaigns, metrics, behaviors and ROI across channels and touchpoints. Advanced users can access Data Extensions and Query activity reports.

HubSpot dashboards focus on top-line metrics for contacts, deals, pipeline. Additional analytics on campaign performance requires separately upgrading to its CMS or paid "Marketing Hub" add-on. Standard reports lack depth and flexibility compared to Marketing Cloud.

Marketing Cloud enables informed continuous optimization with detailed multi-touch attribution, cohort analysis and predictive modelling tools suited for data-driven enterprises. HubSpot suffices for basic reporting needs of small businesses.

Ease of Use

Marketing Cloud adoption requires learning its complex architecture and suite of advanced capabilities. Onboarding, training services and implementation partner support is recommended for quicker learning.

HubSpot focuses on simplicity and intuitiveness with drop-and-drag workflows and guided processes. Much easier for non-technical profiles to learn the basics independently through online resources without guidance.

HubSpot offers a shallower but faster learning curve suitable for small solopreneurs and teams. Marketing Cloud caters to larger budgets willing to invest in professional onboarding.

Customer Support

Salesforce offers multiple customer support plans ranging from self-service to 24x7 dedicated experts based on your package. Response times and case priorities vary with contracts.

HubSpot provides ticketing support for all subscribers during business hours with targeted SLAs based on package levels. Customers can also interact on community forums, but contracts don't offer premium support.

Both offer responsive support overall but Marketing Cloud customers with SLAs and deeper response times get premium handholding lacking with HubSpot self-service. Cost of Salesforce support factors into total investments.

Scalability

Marketing Cloud seamlessly scales for massive global deployments involving petabytes of data and thousands of concurrent users. Data partitioning enables processing huge volumes.

HubSpot capabilities scale elastically based on package tiers with limits on contacts, integrations and functionality at lower tiers. Not suitable for truly massive data-heavy enterprise needs beyond a few hundred thousand contacts.

Marketing Cloud caters to the largest B2B/B2C global use cases. HubSpot better for scaling small to medium sized organizations with simpler needs.

Market Presence

Salesforce dominates the marketing technology industry with highest brand awareness, market share and customer base spanning mid-market to Fortune 500 enterprises. Widely adopted for complex B2B use cases.

HubSpot remains a successful mid-market player but is smaller compared to Salesforce's dominance. Known more for simple use cases and SMB/Solo business adoption in comparison.

The Salesforce brand and large customer base translate to stronger credibility for high-stakes B2B organizations. HubSpot may seem riskier for high-profile larger companies.



Benefits of Salesforce Marketing Cloud

When choosing between platforms, it's important to understand the advantages of Salesforce Marketing Cloud:

  • It allows combining customer data from various sources into a single view, giving marketers a full profile of each contact.

  • Marketers can build highly targeted audiences based on past behaviors and attributes.

  • Automation tools make it easy to manage marketing workflows and campaigns from lead generation to follow up.

  • Integrations with the Salesforce CRM provides seamless passing of leads and syncing of profiles.

  • Real-time analytics give insights into campaign performance to optimize ROI.

  • Teams can collaborate more efficiently with tools for jointly working on content, campaigns and report partner's work quality from others who have recently engaged them.

Benefits of HubSpot

When evaluating options, HubSpot has several advantages to consider:

  • It provides a straightforward, all-in-one solution with no need for multiple point products.

  • HubSpot is easier for smaller teams and budgets to implement compared to more complex suites.

  • The CRM, marketing automation and CMS tools integrate tightly to streamline workflows.

  • A strong focus on inbound marketing makes it ideal for companies emphasizing organic growth.

  • Agencies and clients can collaborate easily through its admin portals and permissions.

  • Analytics clearly show the impact of campaigns and touchpoints on leads and pipeline.


Comparison Table: Salesforce Marketing Cloud vs HubSpot

Let's take a quick look at how two popular marketing automation platforms compare. Salesforce Marketing Cloud and HubSpot both offer features to help you better engage customers across various channels. While they share some similarities, there are also differences in their capabilities.

Feature

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

HubSpot

Ease of use

More complex platform with deeper features

Simpler/easier interface good for smaller teams

Campaign tools

Robust options for emails, ads and more

Strong for email/social but fewer ad options

Analytics/reports

Advanced analytics and dashboards

Good standard reports but less customizable

Scalability

Can grow with very large businesses

Best for smaller businesses currently

Integrations

Tightly integrates with Salesforce

Integrates well with many 3rd party tools


Why choose Salesforce marketing cloud over HubSpot?

There are some key factors to consider when deciding between these options. Salesforce Marketing Cloud may be a better fit for larger enterprises and more complex businesses for several reasons:

  • It can handle extremely high user volumes and large amounts of customer data from various sources.

  • The ability to integrate tightly with Salesforce's powerful CRM and other business apps enables incredibly nuanced, personalized experiences across every touchpoint.

  • More advanced capabilities like predictive analytics and sophisticated audience segmentation allow targeting customers with uncanny accuracy.

  • Its flexibility lets marketers customize the platform extensively and take advantage of new features through continuous updates.

  • Salesforce's ecosystem offers better opportunities to leverage complementary solutions and consult experts as needs evolve.



Conclusion

Both Salesforce Marketing Cloud and HubSpot are robust platforms, but which is more suitable depends on specific needs and size of organisation. Salesforce offers more power and flexibility but a steeper learning curve. It excels for large enterprises with sophisticated marketing programs. HubSpot, however, provides an excellent option for growing small and medium businesses with its user-friendliness, free basic plan and focus on inbound methodology.  

While no platform is perfect, evaluating core factors discussed should make the choice clearer. An important step is also to check online reviews and discuss with implementations partners or current users. With the right match, one can create impactful campaigns and scale their business through meaningful customer connections.




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