Why Your ESP Will Always Stifle the Disruptor

A conceptual rendering of the martech stack
Dec 02, 2021
Jeff Haws

You want to be a Disruptor in your industry, always innovating and running circles around your competition. It’s just natural. But you’re almost certainly not going to be able to do everything yourself, so you’ll need third-party help along the way. Even the biggest companies out there make strategic choices to rely on outside expertise in certain areas.

One of the most important such areas where most will lean on outside help for a variety of reasons is your email service provider (ESP), which may very well handle your mobile push and SMS marketing as well. The problem is, traditional marketing cloud ESPs simply aren’t built to serve your needs. They’re built for the mid-market, though they’re happy to have any Super Sender’s business.

That doesn’t mean they’re going to change. They won’t and can’t. They’ll always get in your way and keep you firmly planted in the Disrupted camp with your marketing. Here’s why:

They don’t connect to your data

There’s no getting around the fact that ESPs like Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Adobe Campaign, Iterable, and Braze require Super Senders to copy data and send it out to their marketing cloud in order to create audiences and build campaigns. That’s because they don’t have any way to connect directly to your data, which is why you may already be familiar with all the waiting around you have to do for syncs to complete.

And all that waiting around is going to keep you stuck in neutral, unable to move at the speed you need to or to send the sorts of innovative, real-time data-driven, personalized campaigns many of your competitors are. The more time you spend jumping through all sorts of hoops just to get campaigns out the door, the less time you spend thinking strategically about how you can use your data to build campaigns that shake up the industry and entice your customers.

They were built in another era

All of the traditional marketing cloud ESPs were built close to 20 years ago, many by companies that sold them a decade or so ago. It might be worth taking a moment to think about all the things that have changed about marketing and messaging expectations over the past 20 years, and then consider that these ESPs haven’t fundamentally changed much at all in that time.

When they were built, personalization was barely a thing when it came to email marketing, which was still a pretty new concept itself. Mobile push and SMS weren’t even really a thing and were a long way from being viable marketing channels. There was very little social media to speak of, and consumer expectations for email marketing were pretty modest.

You can’t disrupt an industry while using technology that was built before Facebook. You need technology built with today’s consumer and Super Sender in mind. That’s how you shed the technological baggage and start innovating.

They don’t devote the resources needed to help you

These big marketing cloud ESPs have never put the resources into customer service that they’d need to in order to provide timely service, and they don’t have much reason to start. You’ll take a number and get into the queue, but the wait to hear back from a representative could be days or weeks. At Salesforce, you can pay more to get “premium” service, but all that does is dump you into a different queue.

When you have problems — and with them, you will have problems — these sorts of waits can grind much of your marketing operation to a halt. Even when you don’t have major issues and just want to do something simple like add a single data point to a campaign, there’s no way to do it without getting them to do it for you. And who knows when that will be?

All this time, the Disruptors are coming up with new ways to attract your customers, and then executing on them because they either get the immediate help they deserve or just don’t have those same issues in the first place.


To consistently and effectively reach your customers, cross-channel messaging is an essential part of your marketing strategy. And without the right partner to help you execute, your ability to be a Disruptor is going to be hampered every single day. We’d love to talk to you about how MessageGears’ unique customer engagement platform can help you send innovative campaigns your competition simply can’t.

About the Author

Jeff Haws

As MessageGears’ Senior Marketing Manager, Jeff is focused on producing engaging and thoughtful content that resonates with enterprise marketers, helping them to better understand how MessageGears makes their jobs easier. He’s passionate about understanding the way data impacts messaging, and he’s also hopelessly obsessed with baseball.