Enterprise Marketing Software Suites: Settling The Debate

No company discussion on email marketing software is complete before the topic of enterprise marketing software suites versus best-of-breed software solutions is brought up.

Whether you’re switching platforms or jumping into marketing automation for the first time, the questions always come up…

Which route is the best for our business?

Software suites versus best-of-breed has been a long-running parley, with many organizations left wondering which philosophy they should choose.

And frankly, it’s one we hear from prospects all the time that inquire about our email marketing software (so rest assured knowing you’re not alone).

It’s a fantasy many marketers can’t stop replaying…

A high-octane rocketship that is an enterprise marketing software suite, with visions of lifting their marketing technology stack off the ground and it taking them to the moon and back.

But in reality, marketers often pay a steep price, financially and functionally, for choosing enterprise marketing software suites.

And recent trends show best-of-breed marketing technology stacks are actually leading the field.

But first, let’s set the stage…

What Are Enterprise Marketing Software Suites?

If you’re not familiar with what enterprise marketing software suites are, take a look at Salesforce, Oracle, Adobe or Marketo.

These software suites are comprised of multiple robust applications to manage all processes that make up marketing campaign management.

Put another way, a full suite of tools to create, build, analyze and optimize marketing campaigns.

Enterprise Marketing Software Suites via MarTech Report

“A jack of all trades” for the modern marketer…

But in reality, they’re really a master of none.

These software suites might perform some tasks really well, but leave you with sub-par parts you’re left struggling to work with.

Take Salesforce for example…

They have one of the leading CRMs out there, and do it well.

I mean, we even use Salesforce as our CRM.

And under the Salesforce suite umbrella falls additional products for service, marketing, commerce, analytics, and community.

Marketers today need all of these powerful pieces to run a well-integrated demand generation and customer journey engine.

Yet less than half of enterprise marketing software suite customers are “totally satisfied” with their all-in-one solution, according to a Forrester report.

What’s keeping these marketers from enjoying arguably their most important piece of marketing technology?

Best-of-Breed vs. Suites

One suite, one purchase, one vendor to work with.

Sounds like the lifelong marriage any marketer would want with the solutions they use, right?

Not exactly.

In the 2017 State of Marketing Technology report, 48 percent of 335 marketers surveyed have built best-of-breed marketing technology stacks made up of multiple point solutions.

Only 21 percent use a single-vendor software suite.

2017 State of Marketing Technology - Enterprise Marketing Suite Solutions vs Best-of-Breed Solutions

From the same report, 83 percent of marketers using best-of-breed stacks reported positive success in fully leveraging their tools.

Additionally, email marketing is the third most sought after planned purchase in the coming year, behind social media marketing and advertising technology.

The reality is these enterprise marketing software suites are made up of multiple product acquisitions, inorganically forced to work with one another, hodgepodge together behind one big name and brand logo.

Buyer be warned that a best-of-breed solution can supply all the necessary capabilities your business needs…

Working with your valuable customer data…

How you need it to work for your customer journey…

At a price point that won’t make your CFO scream.

The battles enterprise marketing software suites often fall short at surround insufficient feature sets, cost of contracts and seats, lack of consolidated reporting, and an inability to integrate with applications outside the suite itself.

Often times, these enterprise companies would rather invest in acquiring new parts to add to their portfolio or spread investments thin and unevenly across a portion of their offerings.

Marketers today cannot afford to have customer data handcuffed to a non-customizable solution with limited functionality.

Best-of-breed solutions give modern marketers three major components enterprise marketing software suites fail to reach.

3 Deciding Factors for Best-of-Breed Software Solutions

When it comes to building your marketing technology stack, here are three major deciding factors best-of-breed solutions can offer your business.


Enterprise marketing software suites will say they integrate when their definition of integrate is different than what most marketers are familiar with.

Their strongest integrations are all of the different tools they have bolted together to make up their suite solution.

The ability for companies using software suites to scale as needed to additional platforms or data sources is hindered by the way data passes using an outside source.

They may tout exchanges or showcases of partners they “integrate” with, but the number of options are limited due to the relationships they have with the suite.

The beauty of best-of-breed software solutions is the ability to plug and play with a multitude of third-parties to collect and actionably use data to benefit your customers.


Data only works when it is active.

Often times, data collected from customers is limited in use once in a suite solution.

It’s their database, and you can’t configure it to achieve the goals you set out.

When you silo data within a software suite, you are constricted how you can use the data in your marketing campaigns by the guardrails built into the suite.

And what about features?

Determining how well the core features of the suite fit your needs plays a role.

If a feature falls out of alignment with your marketing structure, best-of-breed software solutions will often work with customers to build the feature they need.

What you see is what you get with software suites.

Financial Efficiency

Last but not least, you can’t ignore cost.

Some companies have the budget where they can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an enterprise marketing software suite.

These are the same companies that can spend even more money to build custom integrations with the suite provider to make the platform fit with their business.

This isn’t the same scenario for every marketer.

In fact, this is a rare instance for many marketers, which makes best-of-breed pricing more appealing.

Software shouldn’t always come down to price, but when you compare dollar for dollar what you truly get out of a suite solution and the adaptability you have within the suite, it’s hard to justify the cost for what you get back.

Can Your Business Afford The Suite Life?

You are the software you use.

Make the decision between enterprise marketing software suites or building a stack of a la cart, best-of-breed software solutions that best fit your business.

Delivra offers a multitude of features and services that makes it a leading email marketing software choice for any marketing technology stack.

Schedule a personalized demo today!


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