How to choose the best software solution: Customer Data Platform (CDP), Best of Breed, and Best of Suite

All you need to know for choosing the right software solution for marketing: Customer Data Platform (CDP), Best of Breed, and Best of Suite.



To strengthen your customer relations and improve your marketing efforts, it’s crucial to choose the right software solutions. Yet, with an abundance of available options, it’s no easy task for you as a marketer.

During your search for the most suitable software solutions, you surely bumped into terms like Customer Data Platform (CDP), Best of Breed, and Best of Suite. In this article, we’ll explore the world of these software solutions. We briefly explain what defines a Customer Data Platform (CDP), Best of Breed, and Best of Suite solution, and introduce an up-and-coming marketing solution: the CDP Suite. We discuss the specifics, highlight the differences, weigh out the pros and cons, and give valuable tips for choosing the right solution for you.

Personalized marketing with a Customer Data Platform
A Customer Data Platform gathers customer data from a variety of sources, merges the information, and thus creates one unique customer view. Thanks to these insights, marketers better understand their customers and segment more efficiently based on needs, behavior, and preferences.

A huge plus of using a CDP is the option of applying personalized marketing. The new customer insights give marketers the sense of grip to create personalized campaigns, with relevant messages for each customer segment.

Best of Breed: specialized tools for specific ends
A steady handyman doesn’t look for multifunctional tools but aims for the best material for each specific task. This is exactly how Best of Breed works: it’s all about combining the best tools for different marketing tasks, such as e-mail marketing and CMS management. These solutions excel in specific functions and offer the most detailed options for them.

An essential advantage of Best of Breed is the option of using a specialist set of marketing solutions that meet the marketing wishes and organizational needs. It offers flexibility because you exclusively choose the solutions that help you in achieving your goals. However, the management of all these tools and the integration and safeguarding of one customer view can be challenging. It requires specific knowledge or support, which is often lacking.

Best of Suite: all-in-one convenience
For the average job, one box with the best tools equally nails it. That’s why Best of Suite solutions are very popular: an all-in-one marketing platform, generally within one integrated environment, with diverse marketing functions like data management, marketing automation, and analyses.

The biggest benefit of Best of Suite is that you manage and execute all marketing activities in one place. This streamlines processes and adds more efficiency to cooperation. Another plus is that sharing data between various marketing functions happens more smoothly. This helps you to prevent data fragmentation and create an optimal use of data.

Customer Data Platform and Best of Suite vs. CDP Suite
Best of Suite providers understand the priorities of marketers to gain customer insights and unify data. That’s why they increasingly integrate CDP functionalities into their suites. This way, they offer a solution for gathering and merging customer data for personalized marketing, comparable with a standalone CDP.

Over the years, Customer Data Platforms have been developed with broad features that resemble the ones you can find in a Best of Suite marketing solution. They are often called CDP Suites. A CDP Suite is the perfect mix between a Customer Data Platform with additional marketing functions, such as e-mail marketing, CRM, and marketing automation. It offers marketers a complete package of marketing tools for data management, automated campaigns, and data analyses.

The most important difference between a CDP Suite and a traditional Best of Suite marketing solution is that a CDP Suite focuses on gathering, merging, and managing data while providing extra marketing tools to utilize these data.

The art of choosing the right software solution
Choosing between a CDP, Best of Breed, and Best of Suite is not an easy job. In approaching this decision you must take into account the broader organizational goals and needs. Some considerations to keep in mind are:

  • Complexity of your activities: if your daily marketing tasks require very specialized tools, then Best of Breed could be a suitable option. On the contrary, if you prefer an all-in-one solution and your marketing needs are mainly general, Best of Suite is worth considering.
  • Cooperating and sharing data: consider the importance of easily sharing data between various marketing tools and executing marketing activities based on these data. In that case, a CDP could be ideal for you.
  • Growth possibilities: think about the growth ambitions of your organization and whether the opted software solutions can be upscaled with ease.
  • Budget and costs: a complete Best of Breed marketing stack can be rather pricy, while CDPs and Best of Suite solutions mostly have a fixed rate. Include this in your considerations.
  • Consultancy and training: find out what support and training are available so that employees can properly use the chosen solutions. It would be a waste to invest in something that’s not used optimally.

From CDP to Best of Suite: your path towards the perfect marketing solution
When choosing the right marketing solutions, lots of research is involved. We discussed the 3 most used software solutions: Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), Best of Breed, and Best of Suite.

  • CDPs are the key when you want to gather and merge customer data and search for the best tool for personalized marketing.
  • Best of Breed offers specialized tools for specific marketing tasks. You get exactly what you need, which provides flexibility. However, because the tools function separately it can result in integration challenges.
  • Best of Suite has an all-in-one approach to marketing and delivers all marketing solutions within one environment. This streamlines processes and promotes cooperation.

Next to these three options, there are also up-and-coming CDP Suites. They exist because Best of Suite providers increasingly integrate CDP features into their suites. CDP Suites offer a combination of data management and additional marketing tools.

You can make the best choice by finding the balance between the needs of your organization and the available marketing solutions. Consider aspects like the complexity of your activities, the growth ambitions of the organization, the total costs, and the available support.