When you’re looking for tools to help power your next high-converting marketing campaign, it’s easy to fall back on proprietary software. However, there is another and arguably better option.
In this post, we’ll share four reasons to choose open-source tools for your next marketing drive. Along the way, we’ll recommend open-source alternatives to some of the world’s most popular software. Let’s get started!
1. Keep Control Over Your Data
However, 79% of Americans are concerned about how companies are using their information. By demonstrating that you take data protection seriously, you can immediately boost your appeal to today’s privacy-conscious consumers.
This trustworthiness can be excellent for your conversion rates. It can also give you an advantage over your competitors, who may not be taking the same steps to protect their audience’s data.
Your choice of marketing tools can play a huge role in your data protection. Unfortunately, when you use proprietary software, the information is often stored on a third-party server. This can be a concern for your customers. In fact, 81% of Americans feel they’ve lost control over their data.
When you opt for open-source, self-hosted tools, all of the data remains in-house. This secure information storage can make your company seem more trustworthy.
Google Analytics is a hugely popular solution for collecting information about the people who visit your site. You can use this platform to record everything from visitor ages and genders, right through to their interests.
However, suppose you’re keen to keep your information in-house. In that case, you may want to consider an open-source alternative such as Matomo:
Although Matomo offers cloud hosting, it’s possible to host this solution on-premise. Regardless of which option you choose, Matomo has a strict no data sampling policy and promises to give you complete ownership of your information.
2. Avoid Vendor Lock-In
Vendor lock-in is a common problem among marketers who use proprietary software. It happens when you become reliant on a single solution or brand.
It may not initially represent a considerable problem—until you need to move to an alternative vendor. For example, your business may grow to the point where your original software no longer meets your needs.
Migrating from proprietary technology isn’t always straightforward. Often, you’ll encounter significant business disruptions and expenses.
Therefore, businesses often continue using software that no longer fulfills all of their requirements due to vendor lock-in. While doing this may help you avoid the short-term pain associated with migrating to new technology, it can stunt your growth over the long term.
By opting for open-source alternatives as marketing tools, you can often avoid vendor lock-in. In fact, a recent survey discovered that 65% of respondents identified vendor lock-in as one of the primary reasons why companies should adopt more open-source software.
Let’s look at an example. When developing an upcoming marketing campaign, your staff may need to collaborate with co-workers remotely. There are plenty of proprietary file hosting services, including Microsoft 365 and Google Drive:
However, there are also open-source alternatives. They include the NextCloud productivity platform. It has full support for sharing and accessing documents, regardless of your geographical location:
Since the code is publicly available, open-source software isn’t tied to a specific vendor. There are often multiple businesses offering training, support, and professional services related to it. Therefore, you have the freedom to move between different companies while continuing to use the same technology.
Alternatively, you might host the software on your own servers. This feature is available with NextCloud. Doing this can altogether remove a third-party vendor from the equation.
3. Maintain Complete Access to the Source Code
Depending on your chosen proprietary solution, there may be some scope to customize your experience. The vendor might offer multiple subscriptions that provide different features and integrations. However, your options will usually be limited to off-the-shelf solutions.
These limitations can make it challenging to integrate a proprietary solution into your marketing stack. The software may even prove to be incompatible with some of your existing tools. In this scenario, you might need to implement awkward workarounds or even replace some of your original software.
In contrast, open-source solutions offer you complete access to their source code. Your team can modify this software to ensure seamless integration with the rest of your marketing tools.
4. Use Extensible and Flexible Add-Ons
Even if you don’t have the expertise to extend and modify your chosen software in-house, open-source software is all about collaboration. Many open-source users develop add-ons for their preferred technology. Some even publish their work in the hopes that others will benefit from it.
This is precisely what we see with the Mautic open-source marketing automation software. This tool aims to help businesses automate repetitive and time-consuming marketing tasks. For example, it can streamline lead generation, contact segmentation, and lead scoring:
In addition to the core platform, there is a Mixins marketplace. Here, you’ll find a wide range of add-ons developed by third parties. They include many integrations for popular marketing software.
Marketplaces such as Mixins let you extend your open-source software, even if you don’t have the resources to develop these add-ons in-house. However, sometimes the add-on you have in mind may not already be publicly available.
Fortunately, open-source communities are often helpful and supportive. If you cannot find exactly what you’re looking for, you may get positive results by asking the community for help.
For example, you might post your request to the open-source software’s official forum or social media page. If you’re lucky, a community member will have already developed what you’re looking for and will be happy to share their work with you.
Today, it’s possible to create world-beating marketing campaigns using only open-source tools. By opting for open-source tech, you’ll be able to keep control over your data while avoiding common business pitfalls such as vendor lock-in.
Do you have any questions about using open-source alternatives in your marketing campaigns? Let us know in the comments section below!
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