The Martech Show Episode #8: The Martech Suite Strikes Back?

Martech Suite vs. Best-of-Breed 2020

Ben Bloom, a senior research director at Gartner who specializes in marketing technology management, joined me for Episode #8 of The Martech Show to share some surprising data from their latest report, Marketing Technology Survey 2020.

The first surprise? A pretty significant shift in the preference for integrated suites over best-of-breed solutions. Like a 30 point shift from 29% in 2019 to 59% in 2020.

After years of trending away from suites to best-of-breed, The Suite Strikes Back..?

Yes — but it’s different this time. The first generation of marketing suites were generally closed solutions, without open APIs or ecosystems of third-party apps. They promised to include everything a marketer could ever want in one box. But as the martech landscape expanded exponentially, the dream that one company could build it all slipped out of reach.

Today’s “suite” is not about marketing. Or, more accurately, it isn’t just about marketing. It’s about providing the backbone for marketing, sales, and customer service. It’s less about trying to do all the things anyone could ever want in each of those functions, but rather to be the common foundation that connects all of them together.

These are open platforms with ecosystems, not closed suites behind barricades.

The huge jump in “suite” preference, Ben believes — and I agree — is being driven by the recognition that customer journeys need to be orchestrated across marketing, sales, and customer service. Enterprises are buying those three “modules” in the suite to get their teams aligned and customer experiences better coordinated across their organization.

However, they’re still using a variety of specialist apps within their martech stacks (and sales stacks and customer success stacks). But those specialist apps are now typically integrated with the primary platform/suite.

Anyway, this was just the first 10 minutes of my discussion with Ben, which went on to discuss one other major surprise too. But I’ll leave you to discover that in the full episode:

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