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How to Choose Marketing Automation: SaaS vs Legacy Systems

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Are you struggling to choose the best marketing automation platform for your business? Confused between SaaS and Legacy systems? Or maybe you are unsure which would bring the most value to your organization? These are some common questions businesses face while deciding on the right marketing automation platform.

With advancing technologies, selecting the ideal marketing automation has become a significant challenge due to the rapid evolution of both SaaS and Legacy systems. According to Forbes, one of the biggest hurdles businesses face is overcoming system integration issues, which particularly affect Legacy systems. On the other hand, Gartner states that SaaS platforms, while having distinct advantages, may not suffice for complex enterprise requirements. Therefore, there is a clear need for a nuanced understanding to strike the right balance between the two platforms.

In this article, you will learn about the benefits and drawbacks of both SaaS and Legacy systems. These will be explored through real-world cases and industry insights to give you a comprehensive understanding of these platforms. This information will enable you to evaluate which system can drive the most effective results for your business’s unique requirements.

Furthermore, we will delve into critical factors you should consider when deciding between SaaS and Legacy systems. These encompass cost-effectiveness, scalability, integration capabilities, data security, and more, giving you the tools to make an informed decision.

How to Choose Marketing Automation: SaaS vs Legacy Systems

Key Definitions: Marketing Automation, SaaS, and Legacy Systems

Marketing Automation refers to the use of software to automate repetitive marketing tasks -such as email marketing and social media posting- making these tasks more efficient and effective.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud-based service where you access an application via an internet browser. Instead of downloading software to run on your local computer, you typically purchase a subscription to a SaaS platform.

Legacy Systems typically refer to outdated computer systems, programming languages or application software that’s been used for a long time, but doesn’t conform to current tech standards. These systems are typically difficult to maintain, improve or expand.

Unlocking Greater Potential: Advantages of SaaS in Marketing Automation

Breaking Down the SaaS Advantage

In the realm of marketing automation, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms have distinct advantages over legacy systems. To begin with, SaaS platforms provide scalability and flexibility. These cloud-based systems allow businesses to easily scale their marketing efforts up and down based on their needs. In contrast, legacy systems often require significant time and resources to scale, which can be a noteworthy drawback for businesses in quickly-changing markets.

SaaS platforms also tend to have shorter implementation times compared to legacy systems. This is because most of the heavy lifting is done by the SaaS provider, reducing the burden on the company’s in-house IT team. In comparison, legacy systems often require substantial IT effort and intervention to get up and running.

Revealing the Hidden Benefits of SaaS in Marketing Automation

The unseen benefits of SaaS-based marketing automation solutions stretch beyond flexibility and reduced IT burdens. One surprisingly beneficial feature inherent to these platforms is their ability to frequently roll out updates and improvements. Because SaaS platforms are cloud-based, updates can be implemented more easily and regularly—meaning businesses can constantly have access to the latest features and advancements.

Moreover, SaaS platforms also offer on-demand service models. This means companies only pay for the services and features they use—a benefit unseen with legacy systems that often necessitate significant financial investments upfront.

  • Security: SaaS platforms typically handle data security, compliance, and uptime—so businesses don’t have to.
  • Integration: They are usually designed with robust APIs, making it possible for them to seamlessly integrate with other SaaS solutions and existing systems.
  • Cost-effectiveness: SaaS solutions in marketing automation are more likely to offer worthwhile financial returns due to their scalability, the possibility of custom pricing, and their potential for high ROI on successful campaigns.

As organizations globally continue to digitize and move their operations to the cloud, the shift toward SaaS platforms is becoming not only more prevalent but also more advantageous. However, it’s imperative that businesses approach this shift with a full understanding of their specific needs and requirements. This way, they can better navigate the vast sea of marketing automation tools available and pick a SaaS provider that best aligns with their structure, strategy, and ultimately, their success.

A Walkthrough: Can Legacy Systems Measure Up to SaaS in Marketing Automation?

Are Legacy Systems Cost-Effective in the Long Run?

One might wonder, given the plethora of options available out there, are legacy systems genuinely worth their heavy maintenance and update costs? To answer this question, we need to examine the fundamental attributes of legacy systems. Legacy systems, by definition, are older enterprise software systems that continue to be utilized by businesses mainly due to their criticality to operations. Their implementation and development were often unique, which initially provided a competitive advantage. However, as software technology rapidly advances – developing more efficient, user-friendly options, those initial benefits gradually turn into hindrances. These systems become difficult to integrate with newer applications and can prove to be less agile to emerging business needs.

The Main Hindrances with Legacy Systems

Moving onto the core issue surrounding these legacy systems. They require high maintenance and upgrading costs compared to their cloud-based counterparts. Since these systems are ‘tailor-made’, any minor change requires significant resources. Moreover, due to their age, they often suffer from lack of support, which further escalates their upkeep costs. Furthermore, these systems usually can’t keep up with the fast pace of marketing trends, leaving businesses struggling to adapt and evolve. They also fall short in offering the full range of data analytics capabilities that modern businesses require to identify market trends and build customer profiles.

Modern Solutions: Implementing SaaS in Marketing Automation

Nevertheless, a multitude of businesses have found success in transitioning towards Software as a Service (SaaS) model for their marketing automation needs. Utilizing cloud-based automation software like HubSpot, Marketo, or Salesforce provides substantial benefits. For example, HubSpot offers a versatile platform that easily adjusts to a company’s needs as it grows. It integrates seamlessly with other applications, making it more efficient and cost-effective. Marketo, on the other hand, is renowned for its user-friendly features and extensive automation capabilities. It empowers businesses with real-time personalization, superior customer engagement, and comprehensive reporting. Salesforce, a leader in CRM, offers advanced analytics capabilities that help businesses understand their customers better and make more informed marketing decisions. The reduced costs, ease-of-use, and enhanced integration capacity of these SaaS models illustrate why they are an effective alternative to their outdated, legacy system counterparts.

SaaS or Legacy? The Latest Trends in Choosing Marketing Automation Systems

A Questionable Conundrum: The Choice is Yours

When deliberating over which automation feature to select, the decision boils down to one pertinent question; Would you opt for modern SaaS-based solutions or do you find solace in traditional legacy systems? Several key factors need to be considered before zeroing in on the final decision. SaaS (Software as a Service) are hosted applications, typically subscription-based, that provide a wide array of services over the internet. Legacy systems, on the other hand, are older computing software or hardware that are still in use because they perform a necessary function within a particular set-up. The parameters for choosing could revolve around issues like the nature of business, costs, scalability, maintenance, and the kind of data security each offers.

The Conundrum: Strife Between the Old and New

The main pitfall lies in the fact that while legacy systems have been around for a long time, providing familiar interfaces and often offer a sense of security, they could turn out to be expensive in the long run with high maintenance costs and lack of modern, innovative features. Conversely, SaaS systems come with lower acquisition costs and the promise of constant functionality improvements but might seem intimidating to users with concerns over their ability to meet unique requirements, operational complexities, and data security issues. This cycle of constant weighing and comparison often leaves businesses stuck in a ‘paralysis by analysis’ situation, unable to make a firm choice.

Successful Practices Unveiled

A compelling way out of this quagmire has been scripting success stories for several businesses. It involves opting for a hybrid model — a blend of the old and new that offers the best of both worlds. Many organizations have successfully managed to modernize their marketing automation efforts while retaining their traditional systems. For instance, while managing customer relations, the institution could opt for a cloud-based system, while maintaining in-house data archives. Another example is adopting SaaS-based automation for marketing while using in-house emails and data servers, providing a perfect fusion of efficiency, familiarity, and cost-effectiveness. Making a thoughtful choice between SaaS and legacy system is no longer a static either-or equation but rather a dynamic blend of the two extremes. One needs to identify the strengths and limitations of both setups and then proceed to make an informed, strategic decision. The ideal marketing automation solution may just be a judicious mix of SaaS and legacy systems, leveraged to the best of their respective capabilities.


Have you ever thought about the resources and time you might be saving with a smart automation tool in your marketing strategy? After considering all the trade-offs between SaaS and Legacy Systems for marketing automation, one question might still linger: which one is the best fit for your business model? There is no clear-cut winner as both offer distinct benefits depending on your needs, budget, and technical skill set. Approaching the decision with these factors in mind can influence successful outcomes, whether you opt for the ease and scalability of SaaS or the customizability and robust controls of Legacy Systems.

We invite you now to join our blog community where we delve deeper into topics like this that are pivotal for businesses of all sizes. Empower yourself with knowledge and up-to-date insights on the business world, and see how you can contribute to an ever-growing conversation. Whether you’re a small scale entrepreneur, a seasoned business honcho, or simply have an eagerness to understand the evolving digital landscape, our blog creates a space for everyone. Patiently wait for our new releases as they promise to bring illuminating perspectives, proven strategies, and relevant information.

Finally, remember that the journey into automation involves a learning curve. It is more than just choosing between SaaS and Legacy Systems. It’s about embracing a technological shift, understanding the importance of a digital-first approach, and being open to adapt. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works best for your marketing needs. In our forthcoming blog posts, we assure engaging and beneficial content which will assist you in making these critical decisions. While both SaaS and Legacy systems possess their unique benefits and drawbacks, understanding your requirement will certainly enable you to make the most out of these technological advancements.


What are the core differences between SaaS and Legacy Systems in regards to marketing automation?
SaaS marketing automation systems operate in the cloud and are often more up-to-date, user-friendly, and are subscription-based. Legacy systems, on the other hand, are on-premise solutions that require significant upfront costs and ongoing maintenance.

How can I determine the right marketing automation system for my business?
The decision should factor in your business’s size, budget, and specific marketing needs. It also depends on your preference for cloud-based solutions (SaaS) or on-premise systems (Legacy).

What are the potential benefits of a SaaS marketing automation system?
SaaS marketing automation systems usually provide quicker setup, easier collaboration for geographically distributed teams, and are more cost-effective due to subscription pricing. They also tend to be more scalable and agile in adapting to changing business needs.

What can be the limitations or challenges with Legacy Systems for marketing automation?
Legacy systems could involve high initial investment costs and may require specialized technical teams for implementation and maintenance. They may also lack the flexibility and scalability that is often needed in a fast-paced marketing environment.

Does SaaS or Legacy Systems offer better security?
Both SaaS and Legacy systems have their own security measures and pros and cons. Typically, SaaS providers tend to have robust security protocols in place given that their business model relies heavily on client trust and data security, while legacy systems might offer more control over data security as they are hosted in-house.

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