In the universe of marketing technology stacks, there are two main varieties: all-in-one software suites from a single vendor, and best-of-breed stacks. Here at Percolate, we’re big advocates for the second kind.

It would be disingenuous to claim we’re completely neutral about this – after all, Percolate is generally used as part of a best-of-breed marketing tech stack. It’s true that we might have a bit of bias on the subject, but we’re not the only ones who think best of breed is the way to go:

  • CMSWire: “Our 2017 report was very clear, the group getting the most out of their marketing tools are those using best-of breed stacks. This year’s respondents agree, and now 34% of marketers use an integrated best-of-breed stack.”
  • Chief Martec, on a 2019 Stackie winner: “They’re also a great example of a ‘best-of-breed’ stack — let’s face it, most marketing stacks these days are best-of-breed— featuring tools from nearly all of the major enterprise martech vendors: Adobe, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, and SAP. Heterogeneity for the win.
  • Forrester: “No single vendor offers a 100% complete marketing solution.”

So what is it that makes best of breed such a popular approach? We just wrote a book on the subject, as a matter of fact, but if you’re in a hurry? What it boils down to is limits, or not.

A single-vendor martech approach is inherently limited. By definition, you buy into a set catalog of software, and your tech stack is made up from what’s available inside it. If all of that vendor’s offerings are the ideal match for your organization, then this is great – assuming they’re able to keep them updated as the markets change. What often happens, however, is that some of those offerings might be a good fit, and others less so. 

Best of breed, on the other hand, is all about getting the right technology in place, regardless of logos. It’s inherently unlimited.

A best-of-breed martech stack lets you pick and choose the products that most closely match your business needs, across categories. If those needs later change, you can replace the parts of your martech stack that are no longer optimal, while keeping the ones that are. Ditto if you need more robust data integration than some of your current tools can provide – you can bring in tools with stronger API capabilities to solve the problem.  In a single-vendor approach, that’s not an option.

Our free ebook The Best of Breed Advantage digs into more of what makes this approach the preferable one, and also expands on what we mean when we talk about an API-integrated ecosystem, using Percolate as an example (because hey, it’s the product we know best). You can download it for free here, and as always, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions about how a best-of-breed tech stack might work for you.