Best-of-Breed or All-in-One, or Both?

Best-of-Breed or All-in-One, or Both?

Investing in a Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) makes economic sense. It can improve your lead pipeline, automate repetitive tasks, reduce human error, and increase conversion rates.

However, many companies face dilemmas when choosing a marketing automation tool – namely which one?

After all, industry experts have announced that there will be more than 8,000 marketing automation platforms in the market by 2020.

What about what type of MAP that suits the company’s needs? Does it go with a best-in-breed solution that may not have everything they need, or are they going for an all-in-one platform?

Spoiler alert: these two types of platforms don’t have to be mutually exclusive!

The following article highlights a few reasons why best-of-breed and all-in-one platforms can be the same.

Best-of-breed platforms versus all-in-one marketing automation platforms

Marketing automation platforms are a class of software that equips marketers with the tools they need to identify, segment, and market their prospects and customers. The tools help you automate repetitive tasks, e.g. B. when running drip campaigns and maintaining an active presence on social media. They are also useful for improving accuracy, better targeting customers, increasing productivity, and a variety of other strategic business growth opportunities.

As all marketers know, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing automation. Every company needs different tools for its marketing campaigns, depending on the industry and target group. This is where best-of-breed vs. all-in-one comes into play.

Choosing the right technology is critical to your success. This leads to higher conversion rates and more creative sales and marketing teams. Most importantly, it enables marketers to get the most out of customer data.

Best of breed platforms

Best-of-breed tools focus on being the best option in their niche. Think of them as the person in high school who was always at the top of your class in a particular subject.

In marketing, best-of-breed tools are designed for a single task and carry it out as efficiently as possible. These tasks can include email, social media, personalization, analytics, or real-time content.

Best-of-breed platforms market themselves to be much more flexible and agile than all-in-one platforms, and the former are designed to improve the usability of the two options.

As with all things, however, there are pitfalls, and best-of-breed platforms are no different. The biggest shortcoming of best-of-breed platforms is that they are designed for a single task. While the tool does its job well, businesses need to purchase additional packages to fully meet their needs.

The need for additional packages also affects the price and can limit a company’s integration options with certain software. If you want the best marketing automation stack, you need to put together a collection of the best products.

All-in-one platforms

As the name suggests, all-in-one platforms offer multiple solutions in one. They are integrated solutions that support marketing departments at every touch point in their marketing strategy. They have a laundry list of services that often include social media management, website automation, tracking, data analysis, and reporting.

The challenging aspect of investing in all-in-one platforms is that such robust offerings in one place give the illusion of being cheap and flexible, which is not always correct.

A major downside to choosing an all-in-one platform is overall performance. Many all-in-one platforms started out as best-of-breed solutions but evolved into something more based on customer demand and other factors. As a result, many all-in-one platforms struggle to convert beyond their intended purpose, resulting in poor performance.

Another downside is that marketing departments can’t get all of the benefits because all-in-one tools do so much, resulting in wasted money.

A non-mutually exclusive approach to marketing automation

The respective shortcomings of the best-of-breed and all-in-one platforms make a company’s decision to go for one difficult. However, companies don’t have to forego the functionality they need to get the tools they want. It is possible to have both.

Integration features play a vital role in determining the best marketing automation tool for your marketing strategy. Rather than relying on a restrictive set of tools that generally just “talk” to each other, marketers can use custom integrations that provide flexibility and agility.

A mutually exclusive approach gives marketers the freedom to implement new solutions and features into their martech stacks as they see fit. This is a welcome departure from the tools offered by vendors under the same umbrella.

Before you head out to revamp your martech stack, there are a few things to keep in mind on an automation platform:

  • Provides ease of use and advanced features. A marketing automation tool should never be difficult to use. The user interface / UX of a platform should not overwhelm you. Choose software that doesn’t require a learning curve, but is intuitive, has all the data you need, and is easy to decipher.
  • Future-proof for your company. Businesses need to invest in tools that will help them grow and stand out from the crowd. With the right marketing automation platform, you’ll be light years ahead of the curve.
  • Increases your ability to adapt to changes in the market. The marketing industry is constantly changing. A trend today could be different in six months. Choose a solution that develops with you and won’t be out of date in two years.
  • Performs a cost-benefit analysis for all tasks. Analyzing your marketing strategy and its performance is critical to the success and growth of your business. Invest in a tool that weighs the odds, takes the data into account, and helps you determine the next steps in your strategy.
  • Is a cross-departmental tool. A sign of a great and rewarding automation platform is one that also improves other departments and team members, whether it’s helping the sales team qualify leads or promoting the corporate culture with the HR department.

A great marketing automation tool offers an all-in-one experience as well as standalone features that are equally powerful. Fortunately, there is such a tool.