So usually this is referred to as Marketo Hosted vs. Externally Hosted (or your own website). In general, always host in Marketo.
Benefits of Marketo Pages + Forms:
- easy to churn out
- full form functionality
- easy for marketers to go in and fix
- SEO may be missing because people forget
- SEO off main domain, but may not be a big deal
- templates can be unwieldy - page layouts need to be simple.
- not synced with main website changes
- synced with your site design
- connected to your SEO
- you don't have to maintain it
- embed code is easy if you dont require fancy designs
- lose progressive
- can lose prefill in some situations
- need to add CSS and test if you want form to match your site
- harder to manage for marketer.
- rely on other teams to get pages up.
We use Marketo landing pages for all of our events (registration page, confirmation page, etc.) and any misc. pages that may be needed quickly and may not necessarily fit within our websites' structure. But for everything else, we use our main CMS (Sitecore) to present a common/consistent user experience across our website. Every page has Munchkin code on it (and DemandBase) and all forms are embedded forms. Works great for us. The main downfall with embedded forms is the pre-fill does not work. We used to use iframes - and although prefill worked - it was very cumbersome. Embedded forms is the way to go for large, enterprise websites.
@Dan - Got a cool trick coming up for prefill on embedded forms.
@Joe - Agree with @Dan's and @Josh's overall takes. There's a place for both approaches to coexist within a well-managed marketing/IT organization. Of course, some orgs will want to create a policy of one or the other, in which case I would go for external pages with embedded forms because of the ability to align styles/layouts/changes/etc. across the enterprise. But if marketing people really hate their CMS's site builder and are willing to accept the simplicity of Design Studio in exchange for faster time-to-market, that may be their call...
Thanks all, all great info, one more question. Do you lose the ability to use Social Sign-on when pages are not hosted using Marketo?
@Dan, do you have any trouble seeing landing page interactions in the Opportunity Analyzer report?
@Sanford, would love to hear more about prefill for external pages!
@Joe, did you hear back on social sign on?
We don't use the Opportunity Analyzer (since we have hundreds of active opportunities). Instead we use RCE (specifically, Program Membership Analysis and Program Opportunity Analysis). As long as you're capture the appropriate program status within your programs, have a properly built revenue cycle model, and move leads into the proper lead lifecycle statuses, then these two reports work great.
@Dan, that's a lot of "ifs"
I haven't gotten too deep into the RCM because we have to sync our Marketo leads to Netsuite and it's pretty dark in there.
I'd love to have some help/guidance on how to reconfigure the inherited setups and start building proper processes.
Waiting to see if I get approved to blog about it here.
Hi Joseph - we do both extensively and it really just depends on the need for that page. One off content pieces sit with Marketo for us, established products, etc sit on our internal CMS. The only thing that has us leaning towards Marketo on occasion is we've had issues with forms loading very slowly when embedded on non-Marketo landing pages. Sometimes up to a minute in certain parts of the world. We've figured out how to resolve this by using our own forms and sending the data to Marketo but it's not a simple, quick solution that my team can do on its own.
We're experiencing this more frequently as well - long wait times for Marketo embedded forms to appear on our external website pages. I hope this is a known issue that Marketo is addressing.
Unfortunately Marketo support was not much help. I can get more detail from my developer on our solution if you are interested.