What is the total cost of ownership of the best marketing automation tools

Profile picture Evgenia Kuzmenko HackerNoon

Evgenia Kuzmenko

Content Marketing Director @ KitRUM

Using automation software in your marketing is a big investment because such tools offer many benefits to businesses looking to increase their sales. Indeed, marketing automation is now used by 51% of companies. About 58% of B2B companies want to use it. But the problem is that many are embracing automation without first assessing the total cost of ownership and its impact on the organization’s operations. In this case, the right question is: how much will be spent on the purchase and maintenance of automation software?

We have used and recommended a number of these tools to our clients. As a result, we rely on our experience to assist you in estimating their TCO based on these criteria:

  • licenses;
  • the monthly cost of the plan;
  • employee training costs to prepare them to use the software;
  • the acquisition of new software if the chosen one is abandoned.

Before we begin, let’s talk about the exact elements that influence the TCO. Previously, I wrote an article about TCO in software development and decided to dig deeper and explore the marketing stuff.

What determines the total cost of ownership in marketing?

The total cost of ownership of marketing automation tools is determined by many factors. The list can be quite long, especially when it comes to highly technical products and services.

Here we look at some of the factors you need to know.

  1. Pre-acquisition costs: these are costs incurred before the actual purchase. For example research, procurement, etc.
  2. Acquisition cost includes purchase and installation costs
  3. Operating cost: includes employee training and certification costs
  4. Maintenance cost: Repairs and upgrades are the main maintenance costs
  5. Downtime cost: If the software stops working, additional expenses will include the labor cost to fix it as well as the production cost
  6. End-of-life cost: This is the cost of acquiring new tools when the old ones are no longer in use.

Other factors to consider are:

  1. Product Durability: The product should be durable enough and of high quality so that it can be used by the organization for a longer period of time, which saves money.
  2. Product lifespan: Automation software should have a very long lifespan. There is no point in buying a cheap product that will stop working after a short time.
  3. Ease of deployment: No one wants to buy a product they don’t know how to use. The best marketing tool should be easy to deploy so the company doesn’t have to spend a lot of money training its employees to use it.

What are some marketing tools?

Let’s review some marketing automation tools and see how they compare.


Customer.io is a marketing technology that helps businesses engage and retain customers by sending them personalized emails, push notifications, and SMS messages. This platform enables companies to retain customers by providing them with relevant contextual information, as well as convert new customers through the use of real-time behavioral data and fine-tuned segmentation across mobile and online channels. Customer.io has been used by several fast growing companies including Ring, Segment, Codecademy and others.

Tariff package


Customer.io monthly pricing starts at $150.00, depending on usage. There is no free plan available but users can enjoy a free trial period. Each month, your credit card will be charged for the renewal of the plan to which you subscribe on the platform.

Employee training cost

Because the platform is simple to use, training employees to use it will be inexpensive, if not free.


Marketo should be on your list of platforms to consider if you want to supercharge your marketing efforts with powerful technologies. The marketing automation tool performs a variety of functions such as lead generation and management, content nurturing, event management, and more.

The tool is extremely powerful which allows it to solve many business problems with just one tool. However, it is quite expensive.

Tariff package

As prices are not displayed on their website, getting the pricing plan on Marketo requires contacting their sales staff. Marketo divides its plans into three categories: Basic, Pro, and Elite, although pricing is based on the number of leads you have.

Pricing is determined by the plan you select and the number of leads in your account, which is best illustrated in the table below.


Employee training cost

The cost of training an employee to use Marketo ranges from $95 to $1,500 according to Marketo University.


Hubspot is a platform that helps businesses grow by providing everything they need to succeed. For starters, it differs from other platforms in that it focuses on inbound marketing (including content and search marketing). They also provide a sales and service center, which enables collaboration between the employees of the organization.

Tariff package

The Starter plan costs $45 per month and includes all the free features plus some extras like chat routing, email support, basic automation, and task queuing.


The Professional plan, which starts at $800 per month, includes Marketplace Automation, Goal-Based Development, Bespoke Workflow, and all the features included in the Starter Plan. Revenue reports, custom event reports, custom event automation triggers, and all other features are included in the $3,200 enterprise plan.

Employee training cost

An organization will spend between $340 and $510 to train a single employee to use Hubspot. However, the value can increase if the organization is willing to provide its employees with more information on how to use the tool.


Oracle Eloqua is a platform that enables marketers to attract customers by delivering personalized campaigns across multiple platforms. It is a platform for marketers that enables businesses to perform intelligent campaign management, flexible data management, accurate lead generation, and smart sales enablement.

It allows marketers to run targeted campaigns through various mediums such as email, mobile, SMS, etc. as well as track the results of their efforts using the analytics tool integrated.

They also allow you to build a dynamic journey through the buying cycle using the drag-and-drop campaign canvas interface.

Tariff package

Oracle Eloqua also offers three different plans starting at $2,000.

The Starter plan, which costs $2,000, supports 10 users, the Standard plan, which costs $4,000, supports 50 users, and the Enterprise plan, which requires contacting sales staff for a price, supports an unlimited number of users. The database has a monthly cost of less than $10,000.

Employee training cost

There are currently provisions for training and certification of Eloqua employees, but the cost is unknown. To obtain a quota, you will need to contact the company.


You may have noticed that we haven’t discussed the cost of acquiring new software if the chosen one is discontinued in our review. This is due to the fact that it is highly dependent on various factors, including:

  • If you acquire a completely new dealership or if you keep the same licence.
  • If new tools include new features that employees need to be trained to use.
  • If you are migrating to an entirely new environment where the software will run if there are any additional charges for a new license etc.

If your business is considering adopting a marketing automation platform in the distant or near future, we hope this TCO article will help you gain some valuable knowledge on the best ways to invest in a marketing automation platform. platform, as well as the total cost of ownership. .

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