Forrester Consulting study confirms that best-of-breed marketing stacks are “thriving”
Study, commissioned by DMP Krux, also puts DMPs at the center of any media-buying technology stack, whether mix-and-match or a full solution.
Scott Brinker, author of the famous Marketing Technology Landscape and program chair of our MarTech conference, recently pointed out one of the key takeaways of this year’s event:
“Best-of-breed marketing technology stacks are thriving.”
A recently released Forrester Research study, commissioned by data management provider (DMP) Krux, confirms that assessment.
According to “Put Data Management at The Core of 1:1 Marketing,” 74 percent of all surveyed marketers are employing a “best-of-breed” approach as they mix and match their choice of tools. Only 23 percent are choosing a “full-stack” provider that offers a marketing cloud or suite.
But, as Brinker noted: “Even all of the major platform vendors who joined me for [an onstage] fireside chat — Google, Marketo, Oracle, and Salesforce — acknowledged that multi-vendor marketing tech stacks were the reality of the market.”
Nevertheless, some parts of a marketer’s tool set benefit from a single solution. Forrester pointed out that “the most common approach” for 41 percent of “high-maturity marketers” — its label for the most proficient marketers — “was to have one central solution for performance and campaign management,” such as a marketing automation platform, which is “then supplemented with other technologies, such as with an independent data management platform.”
The second most common scenario, for 31 percent: “[C]obble together many solutions to provide the best mix of capabilities.” In third place, with 28 percent of high-maturity marketers: Choose “a single vendor to manage all aspects of planning, measuring, and executing their 1:1 marketing campaigns.”
On top of this confirmation from the field that best-of-breed approaches are popular, the report also centered marketing stacks around a DMP.
It found that nearly 60 percent of high-maturity marketers build their stack around a DMP, which is about a third higher than “low-maturity” marketers.
A centralized, individual-oriented data system is required in this age of personalized marketing. It should be noted, however, that the Forrester report focused on marketers who are big media buyers, since DMPs are key to driving targeted ad campaigns.
Although they can also be used for content- or email-oriented campaigns, best-of-breed or even full-stack solutions that are not designed for programmatic ad buying can also be built around other kinds of data centers, like customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Marketers can also employ DMPs-for-hire when they want to engage in media buys.
Although this DMP-centric finding naturally benefits DMP Krux, its chief marketing and strategy officer, Jon Suarez-Davis, told me by email that Forrester Consulting conducted the report’s data collection and the analysis by itself. The research firm queried 150 marketing organizations via an online survey.
He pointed out that Gartner senior analyst Martin Kihn has described the DMP as “The Soul of Modern Marketing,” again assuming that you want to include ad buying as a capability of your marketing stack.
Of course, “best-of-breed” approaches mean there are the issues of integration and workflow, while full-stack solutions are designed as integrated environments. The Forrester Consulting report mentions that key issue indirectly:
“Full-stack solutions offer data management capabilities as part of a suite of marketing execution solutions, making managing the technology stack overall a lower burden. Independent solutions, on the other hand, are highlighted by flexible customization to meet client needs, agile innovation, more flexibility regarding the executing systems they interoperate with, and data source flexibility and agnosticism.”
The report points out that high-maturity teams usually have more leeway to experiment, so they could consider different mixes of tools and approaches. In other words, they have the resources and authority to mix and match their marketing stack, which could offer both bigger integration headaches and a more “flexible customization.”
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