Customer Intelligence Platform: Build or Buy?

To build lasting customer relationships, marketers need to understand who their customers are, what they want, and when they want it. By now, forward-thinking CMOs have recognized the power of Customer Intelligence and how it delivers real-time insights and in-depth understanding into each customer’s preferences, behavior, and intent, enabling more effective personalization and driving customer engagement and brand affinity.

Yet leveraging vast amounts of data and delivering a seamless omnichannel strategy continues to be a challenge for even the most experienced marketers. Customer Intelligence Platforms (CIPs) are still emerging and evolving, and with any new technology comes an adoption and implementation curve. Nevertheless, today’s marketers need to adapt quickly to stay ahead of the curve. With Customer Intelligence, marketers get a comprehensive understanding of their customers, making it easier to deliver consistent and effective personalized interactions across channels, throughout the customer journey.

The Key to True Omnichannel Personalization

Customer Intelligence has changed the personalization game by giving marketers more functionality and connectivity. A CIP combines the capabilities of a customer data platform (CDP)—data unification, personalization, measurement and attribution, and campaign management—with additional capabilities that maximize reach and performance. CIPs are invaluable to any omnichannel marketing strategy, and the question is no longer whether to implement one, but how.

Should You Build or Buy A CIP?

As you assess different CIP vendors and their capabilities and weigh your options and available resources for potentially building your own, the following questions will help you determine the choice that’s right for your organization.

  1. Which aspects of customer data drive your business?

Today’s marketers must find a way to maximize their company’s first-party customer data. Are you building complete, comprehensive profiles of each customer journey? Are you relying on a third-party vendor to fill in the missing data? How do you ensure your data isn’t siloed? Is your data real-time? How are you extracting insights from that data? Many organizations can spend years managing customer data and still be dissatisfied with the results. Ultimately, which is more important to your business: your data model, or how long it takes to get actionable insights from it? If timely insights are what matter to your business, you don’t necessarily need custom systems to build your data model, and you can consider buying a CIP that has easily-managed systems in place that identify valuable insights for you.

  1. How much time do you have?

The world of digital marketing moves quickly, and customer experiences can be won or lost in a matter of moments. Buying a CIP rather than building it will give you a huge head start—for example, the IgnitionOne Customer Intelligence Platform seamlessly integrates with your existing technology, eliminating redundancies and inefficiencies, so your marketing initiatives are never compromised.

If you have the luxury of time, you can consider building your own solution, knowing that you will also have to build integrations with other platforms for data collection and sharing profile data with other applications. Bear in mind that you’ll also have to maintain those point-to-point integrations yourself in the future.

  1. What resources can you spare?

Is your team equipped with the technical knowledge and expertise to build an internal system? One advantage to third-party CIP solutions is that they come with built-in experts familiar with the tech to help solve any problems, onboard your team, or answer any questions as you implement the CIP into your strategy.

To facilitate compliance with the growing array of data privacy regulations, another skill set you’ll need internally is data governance. This is a highly specialized area involving the organization and streamlining of data collection and data management, as well as compliance with such directives and laws as the GDPR and the CCPA. Consider whether it might be easier to tap into the experience of industry experts for this role.

  1. Did you consider maintenance costs?

If you choose to build your own solution, you’ll have the advantage of retaining full ownership of the code, but you’ll need to maintain the system, which will require additional expenses—not to mention additional investments in maintenance, support, and subsequent updates to ensure your tech is innovating ahead of the competition.

Marketers who partner with IgnitionOne receive system reliability, competitive product capabilities, an on-hand support team, and periodic updates as we continue to innovate our industry-leading platform. It’s all built into the price.

Customer Intelligence as the key to success

Customer Intelligence gives marketers a real-time understanding of each customer’s products of interest, level of engagement, and stage in the customer journey. With a CIP, marketers can leverage this data to inform targeting, creatives, and remarketing efforts, all from a single platform.

CIPs have become essential in helping marketers make the most of their customer data. For marketers looking to implement a CIP, request a demo to see how IgnitionOne can help you maximize your omnichannel strategy.

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