Digital marketing leaders are often faced with the choice of a “best-of-breed” or “integrated suite” approach to their marketing technology stack. Both approaches have merit. The best marketing leaders first assess their specific circumstance, then adjust their martech roadmap and vendor selection approach.
For years, survey data showed an increasingly strong preference for a best-of-breed approach to martech vendor selection. But in 2020, we saw a sharp reversal to a preference for integrated suites: 59% of respondents said they prefer to select their marketing technologies using an integrated suite approach, relying primarily on a single vendor with multiple interconnected capabilities to satisfy their needs.
Neither option, however, is necessarily better than the other. Instead, digital marketing leaders should choose an approach based on several variables that are specific to their company and its roadmap. These decisions have numerous implications:
Integrated suites may not be strong in all required areas, and often require multiyear commitments.
Best-of-breed architectures require organizational maturity, along with “high-touch” support from a martech leader in an organization.
Both approaches require a plan for how data will be used among systems.
- While there may be less integration work to be done when adopting an integrated suite, one still has to map data from outside a given set of integrated products into the suite itself.
Given the significance of the decision, a disciplined approach when making a selection is crucial to effective martech management. To utilize such an approach, take these steps: