Why Best-of-Breed Marketing Automation Software Is Better Than All-in-one Solutions

Demand and usage of marketing automation software has been on the increase in recent years.

Why the steady increase?

More companies are buying into these systems because of the numerous benefits of marketing automation, for example:

  • Increased efficiency
  • Higher lead generation and conversion rates
  • Lower labor costs
  • Alignment of marketing and sales goals
  • Accurate campaign data reporting

However, choosing a marketing platform is often quite tricky. There are multiple options available on the market, each with its own upsides and downsides.

As a result, many marketers still debate whether to get "best-of-breed"/niche software or "all-in-one"/general software.

On the outlook, all-in-one software seems the better and obvious choice. Yet, best-of-breed solutions have proven to be more effective for most marketing goals.

In this article, you will learn why best of breed software is better for your business and how to make the best of these solutions.

All-in-one Software

All-in-one marketing automation solutions provide multiple tools within one package that help you in every marketing aspect.

They include various capabilities such as campaign creation and automation, website optimization and tracking, analysis and reporting, among others.

  • Pros
  • General Software Cheaper

Since all the tools are combined into one at a reduced cost, you may end up paying significantly less than if you have multiple programs doing different things.

  • Easy To Set Up

Since all the tools and capabilities are available in one, you can set up all-in-one software in a few easy steps. That is because there are little or no complex integrations and synchronizations needed.

  • Cons
  • Average Performance

Since all-in-one tools are broader in scale, little development attention is given to each individual feature. This makes all the tools either average or substandard compared to each other. This factor could greatly limit functionality.

  • Inefficient Usage

General software has several features all in one, most of which your businesses will not need. As a result, you will be paying large sums for tools you don't use, which becomes uneconomical and wasteful.

  • Steep Learning Curve

General software may be easy to set up and install. However, it may be harder to learn, especially for non-tech-savvy team members.

There are so many tools and functionalities to learn, making it harder for your staff to adopt and fully adopt the software.

  • Compromises User Experience

All-in-one software comes with multiple functionalities, which makes them harder to perform optimally across the board.

Usually, one tool will deliver at the expense of the other. This makes for a poor user experience, especially when the underperforming tool is of utmost importance at the time.

Best-of-breed Software: Pros and Cons

Niche software is the exact opposite of all-in-one solutions. These come as standalone tools which perform well. Think of it as that one tv station that shows only one kind of program, like the SuperSport channel.

Best-of-breed software comes in many forms, depending on what you need at the time. It could be a specialist content management software, social media manager, customer relationship tool, etc.

The beauty of best-of-breed solutions is they are built around the tool’s core competencies, perfected over years of experience. As such, they come with multiple advantages.

  • Pros
  • Better User Experience

Niche software can be more flexible than all-in-one options. They can often be more customizable to suit the user's unique needs.

Since it is centred around particular capabilities, you can easily adjust them within the same perimeters. As such, they provide an excellent user experience for each of the different functionalities.

  • Tools Functionality

Niche software tools generally outperform their counterparts integrated into all-in-one automation solutions. This is because they are specifically designed for single tasks and thus perform them more efficiently.

  • Faster Implementation

Best-of-breed software is reportedly much easier and faster to implement and learn. Since the tools and capabilities revolve around one niche, your team can quickly learn and start using it without too much training needed.

  • Cons
  • More costly

Since best-of-breed software is designed to perform specific tasks, you may have to acquire different tools to do other activities. It may bring about extra costs if you are purchasing several tools that cost more individually.

Furthermore, niche software also costs more time and technical resources. Businesses that go down this route need more time and expertise to integrate the different tools to work together when the need arises. 

The Future Is Best of breed

Although both options come with specific pros and cons, niche software is by far the best option for your business. Gartner’s 2019 Marketing Technology Survey showed that some of the best brands used multiple technologies to achieve their outstanding results.

The majority of businesses invest in comprehensive marketing automation tools, much of which they never fully use.

However, Gartner’s studies also showed that buyers who use best of breed tools report higher levels of marketing technology utilization and effectiveness.”

They do not waste resources buying and learning tools that are not relevant to their businesses, which is cost-effective in the long run.

Using specialized tools also increases the effectiveness and ROI of your marketing activities. They enable you to conduct your core activities at a higher level, thus helping you achieve your goals faster and easier.


Integration capabilities can greatly help your business to overcome the complexities around using multiple best-of-breed software. You may not need general platforms that offer you too many tools and yet have average performance.

Instead, you can choose niche tools that allow you to make custom integrations and therefore allow you more flexibility. Due to such flexibility, you can always add new solutions to your package that address your business’s unique needs.

Pro tips

1.When choosing best of breed software, you must first define your needs. Then you will know which specific capabilities you need and choose the best from the available options.

2.The best choice for businesses is to find marketing automation tools that can offer powerful standalone capabilities and yet be able to seamlessly integrate with others to suit specific needs.

One such software is SharpSpring. It offers a comprehensive set of marketing automation tools that can integrate easily with other standalone tools like CRM or even third-party solutions.

Soon, we’ll be releasing case studies showcasing some of the enterprise CRM integrations we’ve done with Salesforce, Pipedrive, Lime and SuperOffice (two Swedish enterprise CRM systems). 

Subscribe to our blog now so you’ll be notified when they are released to learn more about how our largest clients work with CRM integrations!


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About the Author

Priscilla Achieng

Priscilla Achieng is a lead Technical Content Writer at Funnelbud. A Content marketing professional by day, a passionate soccer fan by night, she also provides copywriting and SEO services for businesses of all sizes.