Should I build or buy? That is the common question we hear, at TangoCode, from clients and prospects alike in the digital marketing space. It is also subject to surveys, countless articles, blogs and even panels such as the one I recently witness in LSA18.
I went to the LSA18 event on April 30th, where Greg Sterling curated high-quality content and speakers for a well-attended event. In particular, I was listening to a panel where panelists had this open question: “What’s Wrong with ____ and How to Fix It.”
Lisa Bradner from OMD proposed “What is wrong with AdTech…” and what she suggested as wrong in the space was letting technology be the master when technology is a great servant, and wholeheartedly I agree.
Instead of taking industry opinions on the question of whether it is better to buy or build, the question is a lot more personal, because the answer is what makes sense for each company.
Where should I start?
There are so many choices, so many point solutions, companies are relying on acquisitions to create the illusion of exhaustive and cohesive platforms trying to promote that one size fits all. Point solutions are making us feel every day that we are missing something, and if we could have that one thing, we would excel.
But this is a dynamic market with dynamic problems, so you need to own the problem, own your destiny and do not let the solution happen to you.
You need to make technology work for you, but it is also impossible to think that you can evaluate all the options available. So, what does this mean?
It means to start with the basics, to start with your objectives and own your strategy. What are your goals? What is between you and achieving your goals?
This will allow you start to focus on the problem to solve instead of trying to fit a technology to solve a problem you don’t know you have.
And, in an environment as dynamic as digital marketing, there is not a stance of EITHER OR but rather an AND.
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There will be things you buy and things you build, to make the right decisions pick a technology partner that will help you connect technology to your objectives.
Always prioritize based on business goals and don’t let “the perfect” be the enemy of “the ready”. It is more important to get a solution out of the door, so you can start testing your hypothesis than wait to have every scenario covered.
Every time we define a business goal you are establishing a hypothesis, “If I do X I will obtain Y” it is essential to test it and improve it by collecting real data and results.
After all, technology needs to work for you so instead of technology being the master it can be your effective servant.
(Thank you, Lisa).