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Case Study

Marigold Uses Zylo to Save on Sprawling SaaS Costs & Streamline M&A Technology Integration

  • industry: Marketing Technology
  • founded: 2004
  • headquarters: Nashville, Tennessee
  • employees: 1,473
  • Key Outcomes
    • Established and organized system of record
    • Maintained current SaaS inventory, canceling 166 applications
    • Integrated acquired company SaaS portfolio, eliminating apps with functional overlap
    • Negotiated more than $775k in savings over two years

Key Outcomes


savings negotiated over 2 years

applications canceled


Establish an Accurate System of Record for SaaS

For a typical organization, SaaS adds up to nearly 270 applications and $45M annually. At Marigold, a global martech pioneer with the industry’s more comprehensive Relationship Marketing solution, visibility into this dynamic and growing environment was limited. 

From 2017-2022, Marigold acquired seven companies, five of which occurred in the three years prior to the pandemic. Amidst this flurry of M&A activity, the company needed a single source of truth for all SaaS.

Eighty-five percent of Marigold’s spend is SaaS. So, it was essential for Karen Hodson, Global Procurement & Real Estate Officer, to understand what that spending was on, why, and whether it was a meaningful investment. 

“Zylo allows us to control spending better through connections to our financials – we know all the spend going out the door,” said Hodson.

In addition, this newfound visibility shed light on some cobwebs in their portfolio – in the form of unused applications. Taking data and insights from Zylo, Hodson dove into analyses and conversations with key stakeholders across the business.

As a result, they canceled 166 applications. But their work is not done. Keeping their system of record up-to-date is key to Marigold’s ongoing SaaS management and optimization efforts.



Integrate Newly Acquired Company’s SaaS Portfolio into Marigold’s

Since signing on with Zylo in 2020, Marigold has undergone several acquisitions and mergers. And with each, Hodson knew they needed a thoughtful approach to integrating the new tech stack.

“You can imagine, now we have this whole new set of information that comes in,” said Hodson. 

With each acquisition came another SaaS portfolio – as well as the challenges we often see, from sprawl to growing spend to functional overlap. Without full visibility into the acquired company’s environment alongside their own, the technology integration process was tedious and time consuming. 

With Zylo, that’s changed for the better.

“Having an instance of Zylo for Marigold and the acquired company allows us to connect to their finance systems and pull in that data,” said Hodson. “And then we’re doing an instant-compare of what tools are the exact same.”

With this deep visibility, Hodson held more meaningful discussions across the organization. And the team could confidently answer the important questions of whether a tool should be consolidated or eliminated after a merger. 

Fast-tracking the technology integration process with Zylo allowed Hodson to focus her time more strategically – on determining the right path forward for the organization as a whole.

“We’re finally going beyond this mashing together of companies,” said Hodson. “Now, [we can] start focusing on eliminating duplicative services and being more strategic about expanding on one tool over another and having those deeper discussions with each department owner.”



Reduce Operating Expenses by Partnering with SaaS Management Experts

When she first started working with Zylo, Hodson was a mighty team of one. And while her team has since grown, she still puts a premium on ensuring they are focused on important, strategic work. 

To do so, she brings in additional expertise and increased bandwidth with Zylo’s SaaS Negotiator service.

“If you take the cost to bring on [our SaaS Manager] from Zylo and try to hire a full-time employee, you’re not likely to find that senior-level skillset,” said Hodson. “I think that’s where [Managed Services] makes sense financially. It adds onto a tool we’re already investing in and allows that information to now really take flight.”

In its first year leveraging Zylo’s Managed Services, Marigold saved nearly half a million dollars – just in negotiated savings. Today, the company has saved more than $775,000.

The benefits of outsourcing SaaS management goes beyond fiscal responsibility. Having an expert who “understands these tools, understands negotiation, and can engage on our behalf as a member of our team” has been invaluable, according to Hodson.

“I often forget that Jonny is not part of Marigold technically, but he is part of our family and really keeps us on top of our game.”