What’s Better: A DIY MarTech Stack, or An All-in-One Solution?

August 17, 2016

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Content Marketing | Digital | Email | Marketing Budgets | Return on Investment | Social Media

CampaignMonitor-Key-Factors-Assessing-MarTech-Stack-Value-Aug2016With the explosive growth of marketing technology solutions, marketers are increasingly being faced with the decision of how to manage an array of vendors and solutions. Or are they? Single vendor solutions promise a wide toolset to satisfy all marketing functions. Two recent studies – including a new survey released today from Campaign Monitor – offer competing visions of marketers and their technology needs today.

First, a look at Campaign Monitor’s survey, which was fielded among more than 500 marketers at mid-size businesses who are responsible for growing brands.

The vast majority (82%) of respondents reported using best-of-breed technology stacks as opposed to a single vendor marketing cloud. That should give a good signal as to what’s coming next…

Virtually all (95%) of those using a stack feel that it gives them greater value for the money than a single vendor cloud. While their confidence in their choice is to be expected, it seems that the thinking behind it is that otherwise they end up paying for functions they don’t use, something that appeared to be a common refrain.

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When assessing their stack’s value, respondents most commonly pointed to the flexibility to buy exactly what they need, with 63% citing this. Also important are the ability to choose the best tech for every function (45%) and the ability to tailor to every budget (45%). Ease of use doesn’t appear to factor into the value calculus as heavily, although separately the report notes that a majority of marketers feel that single vendor marketing clouds require too much work from a consultant or developer.

And now we’ve arrived at the counterpoint: what about the work required to deal with multiple vendors? Here it’s worth taking a look at a survey from DataXu that we recently covered. Some respondents to that survey – who hailed from the US and Europe – reported working with as many as 10 or more specialized marketing technology vendors. As a result, the greatest perceived threat to respondents’ marketing success was, wait for it…: being stretched too thin due to working with and managing too many vendors. And that’s without even counting ad tech vendors!

(A separate survey released a couple of years ago similarly found that the key benefit of a fully integrated stack was the time and effort saved.)

We don’t have a horse in this race, but maybe you do. Got an opinion? Leave it in the comments section below.

Moving onto somewhat more neutral ground, the Campaign Monitor survey results indicate that email marketing delivers the top ROI, followed by content marketing and online advertising. We should point out that Campaign Monitor is a specialized email marketing technology solution, but we should also note that survey after survey after survey finds marketers pointing to email as the most effective digital marketing channel.

Finally, the Campaign Monitor research notes that email is the most widely used function of the new best-of-breed technology stack, closely followed by social media. That’s actually pretty close to the results of the DataXu survey, which found social and email to be the most commonly used marketing technologies. See, we can agree on something, after all!

About the Data: The Campaign Monitor survey was conducted online in the US among 512 adult marketers aged 18-64 at small to mid-size companies across multiple industries. Some 43% identified as B2B marketers, with 25% B2C and 32% B2B to B2C.

The DataXu survey was carried out in May 2016 by Morar and Withpr on behalf of DataXu. There were 532 respondents in the US (174) and Europe (UK: 156; France: 52; Germany: 50; Spain: 50; and Italy: 50). Roughly three-quarters work with companies with 500 or more total employees, and a majority (57%) have annual marketing budgets of at least $750k.

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