Why marketing cloud platforms lose you money. Best of breed vs marketing cloud


When they first emerged more than 10 years ago, marketing clouds were hailed as digital heroes. As centralized hubs for marketing-related data streams, early platforms gave marketers access to a host of useful analytics and production tools. 

MarTech products evolved, and all-in-one marketing platforms were joined by best-of-breed technologies. Instead of offering fixed product suites, best-of-breed marketing cloud options promised easy API integration and greater flexibility. Best of all, they didn’t cost a fortune.

Fast forward to now, and marketing cloud platforms are more popular than ever. In the midst of the pandemic, the global demand for marketing cloud technologies grew to an estimated $9.1 billion. Strategists believe that the market for MarTech products — including best-of-breed options — will rise to $14.3 billion by 2027.

Tech experts maintain that best-of-breed technologies are more responsive and make better use of data than marketing cloud platforms — and that they save businesses money. In this article, we’ll compare best-of-breed solutions with marketing clouds to see if expensive all-in-one options really live up to the hype.

Marketing Clouds in a Nutshell

Marketing clouds are a great idea in principle. They bring a host of relationship-management and analytics tools together “under one roof,” allowing marketers to manage customer relationships, dissect data, and monitor website traffic in real time.

In theory, subscribers can use marketing clouds to create social media campaigns, craft email marketing strategies, and send timely push notifications to customers. Marketers can segment consumers and assign personalized content using cloud-based tools. Some advanced marketing platforms bring hyper-personalization to life with AI. 

This is all great — in theory. Unfortunately, all-in-one marketing cloud platforms don’t always work as intended. Data transfer isn’t always seamless, and tools aren’t always powerful enough or flexible enough to perform optimally. Marketing cloud platform subscriptions also tend to be quite expensive, making them inaccessible for smaller businesses.

Why Are Marketing Cloud Platforms Losing Businesses Money?

High subscription fees aren’t the only problem with marketing cloud platforms. All-in-one enterprise solutions stumble in a number of other ways, too. 

Let’s begin with data trouble. Data provides context for consumer behavior, making it arguably the most important resource for marketers. Marketing teams can leverage data to create messages that encourage repeat sales — but only if they’re not hampered by inadequate technology.

At first glance, marketing clouds make data analysis, digital marketing and results tracking easier. Unfortunately, businesses have to buy entire suites of products, and marketers are bound by the constraints of expensive, inflexible platform-based ecosystems. Information doesn’t generally arrive in real time, and sales opportunities get missed as a result. Site visitors leave in frustration, and they don’t come back.

Many platforms are created via acquisitions, making them a veritable mishmash of modules — some of which are more useful than others. Unfortunately, those modules don’t integrate seamlessly with each other: as soon as marketers begin working on campaigns, cracks begin to show. Beta integrations and acquired technologies simply don’t slot into the main module properly. 

It gets worse. Some modular platforms insist that you license multiple tools — and then they charge fees to move data. Vendor lock-in policies make third-party integration very difficult; as a result, users end up spending a lot of money on data transformation, or on vendor-specific solutions, they wouldn’t otherwise need.

In the end, enterprise marketing suites simply can’t deliver the convenience and intelligent centralized data analysis they promise. That’s where best-of-breed solutions come in.

How Does Best-Of-Breed Technology Differ from Marketing Cloud Platforms?

Best-of-breed solutions are lightweight, flexible alternatives to cumbersome marketing cloud platforms. Most enterprise marketing suite subscribers use only some of the modules included in the platforms they pay for. Users can’t remove modules and substitute preferred solutions: they have to stick with the onsite personalization tools and email marketing systems included with their subscriptions.

Agnostic best-of-breed products, on the other hand, “plug in” via API instead, so marketers can assemble a custom lineup of marketing tools that complement their businesses’ specific needs.

Here’s what that flexibility translates into: if you want to integrate a specific API-integrated best-of-breed email automation program, you can. Agnostic best-of-breed products play nicely together — and they cost less, collectively than enterprise platforms.

Let’s imagine that you have a legacy system and that you like your existing system and want to keep it in place. Best-of-breed solutions make it much easier to optimize existing systems with cutting-edge technologies. In real terms, that means you won’t get left behind in the digital transformation race.

Relay42, for example, is compatible with any system. If you love your legacy system, you can add Relay42 to your tech stack via API and use Intelligent Journey Orchestration to enhance your sales funnel right away.

How to Get the Most Out of a Best-Of-Breed System

You can save money and improve your marketing processes with a bespoke collection of best-of-breed tools. Which ones do you need, though? Set yourself up for success in four steps:

  1. Evaluate your current system: What does your enterprise marketing suite include? How much does it cost you per month, or per year?
  2. Identify which tools you use the most: Which modules do you use the most? Which ones offer you the most support? Are there tools you wish you had access to?
  3. Pinpoint best-of-breed solutions: Which best-of-breed solutions deliver the features on your marketing tech wishlist? 
  4. Implement and monitor your best-of-breed tech stack: Take your new marketing tools live, track results and tweak your approach where necessary.

The Best-Of-Breed Revolution Is Here

The best-of-breed revolution has officially begun, and legacy enterprise marketing suites are feeling the heat. All-in-one cloud marketing platforms promise a solution to data silos and convenient marketing tools — but they don’t always deliver, and they tend to be expensive.

Best-of-breed solutions like Relay42 are agnostic and integrate via API. You can leverage the data you collect to enhance your sales funnel and drive conversions with a custom best-of-breed tech stack.

Optimize Your Data-Driven Marketing with Relay42 Best-Of-Breed Solutions

Relay42 empowers businesses to personalize connections with their customers at scale, converting marketing interactions into increased sales.

Easily capture and access the data you need — whenever you need it — to optimize your marketing strategy ROI and transform your customers into brand advocates. 

Get in touch with us today to find out what Relay42 Intelligent Journey Optimization can do for you. 

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