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Absolutely--if you know that's the path you want to go down.
I've worked with companies who either had homegrown CRMs that didn't make sense to integrate with Marketo or ones that just didn't have a need for CRM, and they were able to use Marketo just fine. My only caution would be if you're not wanting to connect to a CRM you have now, be sure that you want to have that link permanently severed. Some of the most painful work I've done has been around systems that have been intentionally disconnected and reconnected to CRMs over long periods of time.
Otherwise, if all you need are Marketo's marketing automation functions, you can absolutely get away with just using Marketo's database.
You need to know that, without any connection to CRM, some functionality will be missing, though. for instance:
- End-to-end lead management process
- Feedback loop on the outcomes of the leads
- Capability to use opportunity information for targeting, filtering or adapting campaigns
Some businesses do not really need a CRM / Sales force automations solutions, though. e.g. e-commerce. but often, we see the need to integrate the e-commerce platform or the ERP, so that we get some closed loop info on the business generated.