The decision to build a CDP versus buy one is a conversation we have with many prospects. While this is the undying question for all technology, it certainly applies to anyone evaluating a CDP. What are the advantages, risks and costs associated with both. This blog shares our most common discussions around this critical question, and how we address them.
Dilemma 1: Time
We all want results as fast as we can, that includes insights that CDPs can provide to us. A common question we get from prospective clients is ‘when will I see results’. Understandably clients want to see results as fast as possible. First, their CDP needs to be up and running. Customer deployments take time, energy and human resources. If a prospective client is looking to build a CDP, they are looking at possible years, (that's right years!) of work ahead of them before they see results. Clients looking to build will need to research what they want, hire personnel to build the system, and figure out how to integrate other software into their system. All of this takes a lot of time and a lot of money. As none of this will ensure a successful working deployment, clients can invest years into building their own CDP without any guarantee that the system will work. In contrast, if a client is looking at buying software and implementing, it can take weeks or months, that's it. In a few weeks to a few months, a client can have access to an up and running CDP guaranteed. All of the features they want, and generally more will be up and running at a fraction of the time it would take them to build their own system.
Dilemma 2: Integrations
How do you tackle software integrations? Integrations can make or break the success of a CDP. In order to successfully compile all of your customer data you are more than likely going to have multiple data sources that will need to be pulled into your CDP. Data can come from different sources including in house databases, the cloud, or other 3rd party vendors. And, in order to see real time insights, manage data and activate changes, integrations need to be made to nearly all of your marketing tools where you want to see results. Zylotech already has the relations with these integration partners. Anywhere your data is and anywhere insights are needed, these integrations can occur. In many instances they already have in past client systems. If a client is looking at building a CDP, they now also have to integrate the multiple sources where their data exists, which is no easy task. This generally requires extra personnel to be hired specifically for the expertise in making sure they can integrate these systems and successfully keep the integrations running.
Dilemma 3: Data Enrichment
What makes a CDP run...that’s right - data. Clients seem to forget that they don’t have perfect data that is ready to be plugged into a newly built CDP. Data is the most important aspect of a CDP, and whether you are looking to build or to buy, you are going to have to get down with the data. A HUGE aspect of Zylotech as a CDP is data enrichment and data cleansing. Data can do the most good for any client when it is complete. This requires a huge effort to clean, unify and enrich customer data. Zylotech has a huge network of data partners and publishers in place that allows for enrichments and vital information to be found. If a client is looking to build a CDP, they need to tackle the build as well as the data enrichment. Data enrichment can be time consuming and costly, but it also needs to be done accurately. Without correctly enriched data, your customer insights won't have a chance at being accurate. So for clients thinking of building a CDP, they need to know they will be tackling both a software build and a huge data cleanup, unification and enrichment project as well.
Either way in building or buying a CDP, all marketers can agree that having a Customer Data Platform is a necessity when moving forward. Marketers can now understand their customers in real time allowing them to be that much more effective. Learn more about what CDPs can do here.
Courtney Porter is part of the branding & demand gen team here at Zylotech where she uses her background of digital marketing and experience working with tech companies. When not in the office, you can find her soaking up some nature and trying to tire out her rescue dog.
If you liked this post, check out our recent blog post: Understanding what your customers want is as easy as learning your "ABCs".