Marketing Cloud vs Cross-Channel Marketing Platforms


The difference between all-in-one marketing clouds and cross-channel marketing platforms is not always obvious. Therefore, the mindset becomes, if I am using this tool for “x” function, I should use it for “y” as well. However, choosing an all-in-one marketing solution to meet your organization’s needs has many limitations. There are also many benefits of selecting best-in-breed solutions that fit each area. This blog will look at a head-to-head matchup of marketing clouds vs. cross-channel platforms for your marketing solutions and the pros and cons of each. 

All-in-One Marketing Clouds

An all-in-one marketing cloud solution bundles various technologies onto one platform for you. Examples of technologies a marketing cloud will offer are CRM, eCommerce, social media marketing, and analytics, but there are other possibilities. As stated earlier, there are pros and cons to having all your tools within the same system. 

Benefits of an All-in-One Marketing Solution

The pros of an all-in-one marketing cloud are in the name- you buy one piece of technology, and you have several solutions. These types of solutions also come with many integrations for easy out-of-the-box use. All-in-one clouds are best for early-stage businesses that may have less data and need a single solution in place fast. 

Cons of an All-in-One Marketing Solution

However, things that seem like benefits of an all-in-one solution can also be cons. For example, this type of solution has a lot of bells and whistles, which may grab your attention at first glance. However, it may be more than your business needs. Also, marketing clouds’ design is for speed out-of-the-box, meaning this solution is not data powered or built for ingestion at scale. The only type of data that marketing clouds process is event data. Meaning it does not capture historical data. This gap ultimately limits your customer view. Aside from data limitations, marketing clouds require extensive time and resources from technical and engineering teams to properly use and access your data. This strain hinders marketers’ ability to work quickly, easily access a unified view of their customers, and autonomously query necessary data for campaigns.

Combining your e-commerce and data warehouse customer data is not easy for marketing clouds. As the business grows, this gap limits scalability, contributing to siloed and disaggregated data.

While all-in-one marketing clouds are great for smaller-sized businesses starting out, brands need access to more cross-channel endpoints as your business grows. Marketers need to get outside tools to fulfill this need. However, this results in more siloed data and a disjointed customer experience. 

Cross-Channel Marketing Platforms

Cross-channel platforms allow marketers to orchestrate customer journeys across various channels seamlessly.

Benefits of a Cross-Channel Marketing Platform

Future-proofing your techstack is essential. Its flexibility is one of the most significant benefits of unbundling your marketing tech stack by buying a cross-channel marketing platform over an all-in-one cloud. You can find the best solutions for each business need and plug and play as you scale.

Data activation is another typical piece missing from the all-in-one cloud that cross-channel platforms offer. Data activation enables marketers to act on their data autonomously. Marketers no longer need to rely on engineering or data science teams, which is beneficial for companies strapped for bandwidth or those who don’t have data science/engineering support. By gaining the ability to create their segments quickly, marketers can:

Having best-of-breed capabilities in one cohesive workflow ensures marketers get the most out of each channel and action. In other words, best-of-breed tools help ensure you are getting the ROI expected.

Cons of a Cross-Channel Marketing Platform

Cross-channel marketing platforms may not have all the bells and whistles an all-in-one cloud does. Also, the amount of data available can sometimes be overwhelming. Having access to all your data is good, but more data available means marketers have more decisions to make. This information overload seems overwhelming to some marketing teams. Lastly, because these platforms connect to data, marketers may need buy-in from additional technical team members. 

Unbundle Your Marketing Tech Stack 

There will inevitably be new technologies and channels you will need your existing technology to integrate with as time goes on. The ease of integration with best-in-breed solutions is the real power over an all-in-one cloud. And, as the number of new technologies and channels increases, so will the amount of data.  Therefore, understanding how to organize and segment audiences will be even more difficult. Marketers will have to double down on efforts to personalize content effectively. As your business grows, your tech stack needs to support more complex needs and use cases. Ultimately, flexibility will be more critical than ever. Enabling marketers to act quickly and power meaningful customer experiences requires workflows that seamlessly activate customer data to power targeted, hyper-personalized content.

Building your Tech Stack with Simon

Simon Data is a vendor-agnostic cross-channel marketing platform. In other words, no matter what other technologies you use or add to your tech bundle, Simon will seamlessly integrate with them. Simon will also ingest data from all sources in various forms without any reformatting needed on your end. These abilities are critical in making sure you’re ready to scale for the future. No matter the tools in your tech stack, you can feel confident that your cross-channel marketing efforts are powered by robust and unified customer data that result in lasting customer relationships.

Request a demo to see how Simon Data fits into your techstack! 

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