Your statement is quite interesting because I feel no different about any amazing products that I admire greatly. There are always ways that a product can be improved (and that's why I love the profession). But, nobody is a hostage and there is always choice. The sum of the parts is what make platforms/ecosystems invaluable. Quick example that should resonate is the iPhone. One of the most successful technology products ever built. However, you'd probably characterize their user base as "trapped" within the ecosystem. I can quickly name for you hundreds of features the iPhone/iOS could have (I'm also sure Apple is well aware) but their product team has to make tough prioritization calls each development cycle. I still love their products and have no concerns with them making those tradeoffs on my behalf in order to provide a solid product.
No different in B2B software. The list of requests you shared above are not all "quick wins" and would need to be prioritized by the product team alongside the massive list of things that thousands of customers (and hundreds of thousands of users) ask for. Apple doesn't show you how they prioritize and I wouldn't expect Marketo to do so either.
Disclaimer: I've moved on and now lead product at NextRoll (Marketo customer and partner).
Thanks, Justin, I appreciate your perspective. I guess my point was looking at Marketo in the context of other marketing tools and technology that seem to be coming out by the day. Do I expect that Marketo is going to keep up with every new shiny thing that comes out? Of course not. But, even with your iPhone example, Apple still releases fairly major new features or enhancements every year. I've been an iPhone user since V1 and I remember being frustrated about lack of copy/paste, MMS, background apps, etc but Apple was well aware of those things the community wanted and rolled those features out within just a couple years. Contrast that with Guided Landing Pages that got released in 2015 (I think) and still do not have drag-n-drop/module capabilities? We know the functionality is there since it's been in emails 2.0 for years.
I'm not saying these enhancements are just a flip of a switch, and "quick win" means different things to different people. I guess the frustration is that when I look at the release notes every quarter, I'm often disappointed that the majority of the updates are to their up-sell apps (which we're always trying to get sold on), and seemingly very little is focussed on the core platform new features. Even with Marketo Sky (when it's not buggy), none of the things I listed above seem to have changed.
Maybe I'm wrong – maybe Marketo is innovating the core platform in ways I'm not noticing. But when users like me are dealing with the same issues that they've been dealing with for 5+ years, it's that perception of lack of innovation that I think we're all frustrated about.
Will I keep using Marketo? Of course – because it does do certain things better than any other platform out there (IMO). But even though the net result is usually better than other solutions, the path it takes to get there sometimes doesn't leave me feeling "excited" to use Marketo. That is what I meant by feeling held hostage. All we want in the end, is to feel like Marketo is always working toward making our lives easier with the tools and functionality we use most.
As a small non-profit, there are things that can be done in Marketo by a developer (someone with more than my fumbling novice attempts) that we simply can't afford, and likely never will be able to. But we can get those things already built in Marketing Cloud, and while the cost is roughly the same, we don't have to pay extra for SSL, we won't have to pay extra for a dedicated IP when our volume is high enough to warrant one, and the people who are building the day-to-day emails from our templates have a much better experience. Journeys are easier for people to understand and use than campaigns in Marketo are. And the analytics are light-years easier to use than those in Marketo.
For a company who can have employees dedicated to Marketo and have developer experience, I suppose the experience is noticeably better. An awful lot of companies aren't in that situation, though. And 7 weeks, with still no resolution to a problem, is absurd.
It's not hard for Marketo's engineers to improve the editor so that it's easier to use and more flexible. It's a marketing program; email marketing should be among the top concerns. It's great to have flashy new things to play with but the fact is that a marketing program needs to be easy to use for a non-developer who just wants to structure their email in a way the developer never thought of. And it shouldn't take more than 7 weeks to resolve an issue with something happening in the program that shouldn't.
I miss Marketo, no doubt. But I really like how much easier Marketing Cloud is to use, even though it's not perfect. We can deal with it's imperfections far more easily than we can with those of Marketo.