Personalization Technology: The Build vs. Buy Decision

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We are witnessing now a very interesting phenomenon. It used to be that the marketing team would own the decision on marketing products and what solutions they would use. But engineering and product teams are becoming more and more dominant within marketing organizations because, first of all, marketing teams they understand now that they rely a lot on product and engineering to create unique experiences for them. The second part is that everything becomes much more quantifiable and digital, so you want to be able to attribute all the different experiences and to see which works, which doesn’t work. And everything became just more, kind of, more techy, more geeky and this where the engineers really, they become much more powerful. It leads to an interesting phenomenon where now a lot of our smart costumers, they have the build versus buy decision. So, there’s a tendency for engineers, and I’m speaking as an engineer, we want to build. The problem is, how do you maintain this? And will you build the features that your marketing team wants but they are not sexy and they are not interesting? So, a lot of our customers, when they have a consideration on build versus buy, when they go deep into our APRs and our SDKs, the engineering team realizes that we can just become a building block in the experience they want to build and we literally are saving them two years. We have over 60 engineers working on creating progressive technologies so every year we have 60 man years devoted to advancing our products. Not a lot of companies can devote 60 developers for this type of solutions.

Should marketers build or buy the technology to personalize experiences for their customers? While there’s no simple answer, after years of working with some of the best engineering and marketing organizations around the world, we’ve discovered these six main factors to consider.