Agencies vs. SaaS


Buying a website is expensive, outdated, and even dangerous. Buying project based web services or static software is the way of the past, and is already being usurped by software as a service, which is cheaper, up-to-date, and more secure—simply more efficient.

Think of software subscriptions like your home utilities—a concept I covered to some extend in my previous article on utility computing. We shouldn’t make one-time purchases of software or web services for the same reason we don’t hire men with shovels to dig us wells. Purchasing water as a subscription from the water company is easier, cheaper, and faster—simply more efficient.

The marketing team here at buuteeq just finished directing this excellent infographic by the fine folks at Killer Infographics, exploring the journeys of hoteliers going the agency route compared to the SaaS route. I elaborated more on this after the jump.

Agencies vs. SaaS – Which Path Would You Pick?

Click on image to enlarge.


What is SaaS?

The old model of crafting a website, shipping it, and then moving on to the next thing, is long outdated. Software developers are also shying away from the ‘buy an upgrade’ method. Instead, they’re selling software as a subscription, and then offering updates to their clients for free, over time, as technology evolves. This method, called Software as a Service (SaaS), keeps software up-to-date and adapted to the day’s latest tech trends and necessary integrations—something traditional software can’t achieve without expensive, time-consuming software patches and upgrades.

Give me some context, please.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

In the late 90s, I worked as a sales rep for Comp USA, a big box computer store that I believe is out of business today. Back then, half the store was dedicated to selling software in boxes. I remember when Internet Explorer 5 was released—our shelves were filled with the browser in boxes. You had to buy Internet browsers back then, a concept which is ridiculous today since they’re all free.

Anyway, take a look at the boxed software section the next time you’re in Best Buy. Pretty tiny, isn’t it? You’ll likely find a slew of hastily made video games, or useless productivity software made irrelevant by free Google Chrome apps. Anything substantial can be found online.

Instead of buying tax software in a box, people login to TaxAct online, which is already updated with the latest tax regulations in time for the next tax season. Instead of buying the latest boxed set of Blizzard games, many people download and install them from When the next update is available for, say, World of Warcraft, gamers automatically download upgrades for free the next time they log in, because they’re still paying for the subscription.


Gone are the days of boxed software from Adobe, like this edition of Adobe Creative Suite. Photo credit: creative commons license, raitank on Flickr.

Gone are the days of boxed software from Adobe, like this edition of Adobe Creative Suite.Photo credit: creative commons license, raitank on Flickr. 

Recently, Adobe switched to the SaaS business model for their praised creative products. As a video editor and animator, I’ve been a huge fan of Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects since I started animating in 2005. My one gripe has always been that each year there was a new version of each product, introducing new functionality I would never enjoy unless I forked over $thousands for a complete upgrade. Last year, Adobe solved this problem by launching the Adobe Creative Cloud. For one monthly fee, I now have access to every product in the Creative Suite, always updated with the latest animating innovations, as long as I maintain my subscription. When asked to explain this radical business shift, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen quipped:

“Companies that simply try to preserve the status quo will fail.”

A Simple Subscription

Historically, hotels have been forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a new website. This steep cost has forced many hoteliers to pay for incremental upgrades, costing hundreds of dollars hourly, or to not update their website at all. I recently saw a hotel website urging viewers to install Internet Explorer 5, a 14 year old web browser, and then come back, because that’s the browser it was designed best to work in.

Instead, SaaS for hotel online marketing keeps up with technology so hoteliers don’t have to, upgrading their software and delivering it to their subscribers at no additional cost. This saves hoteliers time, money, and is far safer.

Simply, more efficient.


Infographic Transcript


Which path would you pick to get your dream site up on time and on budget?

Agency Avenue

  • High hopes and lofty promises. Advance 1 space.
  • Explain your vision. Advance 2 spaces.
  • Waiting for response…
  • WARNING: Fees ahead! Pay in full upfront, lose a turn.
  • Inquire about mobile features. Pay extra, roll the dice.
  • Ask for updates. Advance 1 space.
  • Waiting for a response. Roll the dice.
  • See first draft…but it’s a WordPress site. Lose 5 morale points, advance 1 space.
  • Request changes. Pay out-of-scope fees, lose a turn.
  • Waiting for changes. Roll doubles to receive them.
  • See revisions… they’re not what you asked for. Lose 10 morale points, roll the dice.
  • Clarify your vision, again. Pay out-of-scope fees, move back 1 space.
  • Clarify your vision again. Move back 2 spaces.
  • Clarify…seriously?! Lose patience, but push forward 1 space.
  • Get email from new contact. Lose remaining morale, but tiptoe ahead 1 space.
  • New contact asks for your vision again… Trudge ahead 1 space.
  • Lose your investment, time, and sanity.

buuteeq Boulevard

  • Your vision is understood! Advance 1 space.
  • buuteeq’s full content management system means you avoid the development stage entirely. Advance 2 spaces.
  • No development necessary.
  • Preview your site; changes are quick and easy.
  • Optimized for mobile devices.
  • Live and lookin’ good! Advance 1 space.
  • Break even in just 4 weeks. Advance 1 space. (This is the typical experience of a buuteeq customer).
  • See clear analytics. Advance 1 space.
  • 24/7 access to customer success team. Advance 1 space.
  • buuteeq’s customer success team has a 95% satisfaction rating.
  • Finished… time to celebrate! Morale and budget intact.

Hoteliers using buuteeq’s Cloud DMS see a 1-5% growth in unique visitors year over year.

Our site bounce rates are just 30-40% (compared to an industry average of 50-60%)

Subscription software platform updated 2 times monthly.

Hoteliers see a 1-2% minimum booking conversion increase with a buuteeq powered site.

You keep 100% of money made using our booking engine.

The path is clear: buuteeq is invested in your success, every step of the way.

Request a demo of buuteeq's hotel marketing software.

Agencies vs. SaaS by

About Brandon Dennis

Brandon M. Dennis is the Technical Marketing Manager at buuteeq, the digital marketing system for hotels. He manages buuteeq’s SEO, paid media channels, contributes content, and writes for the company blog. You can connect with him on Twitter @oxhorn.