Should You Build or Buy Your Own CDP?

Amelia Woolard
Amelia Woolard
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Want to make more sales? You’ll need to gather lots and lots of customer data. 

Customer data is the secret sauce behind marketing campaigns that convert and sow the seeds of customer loyalty. 86% of medium- and large-sized companies consider first-party customer data the most important aspect of their communications strategy. 

Customer data platforms (CDPs) are customer databases that house unified records of your customers, their preferences, and other relevant data. Because they organize all of the customer data you need to hit your business goals, CDPs are indispensable for organizations looking to deliver personalized experiences that drive revenue. 

When it comes to CDP installation, you have two options: building or buying your customer data platform. Before you decide whether to build or buy a customer data platform, let’s take a look at some important factors for your consideration.

Key takeaways: 

  • Building a CDP from scratch can be pricey. Prebuilt solutions will save you time and money on development and ongoing maintenance.
  • Bringing your own CDP to market can take years, while an off-the-shelf CDP can go live in as little as six weeks. 
  • Trying to scale a DIY solution can lead to resourcing challenges and compatibility issues with other tools, while out-of-the-box CDPs can seamlessly handle big increases in data volume. 
  • Using a single vendor for your CDP means less complexity and more streamlined operations. You’ll also get standardized training and 24/7 support instead of doing it all in house. 

Key Considerations for Your Customer Data Platform

Cost-Efficiency

If you’re looking for an effective customer data platform that doesn’t break the bank, weighing cost-efficiency is crucial when deciding whether to build or buy your CDP.

Building a CDP from the ground up can be expensive. You not only have to invest significant capital upfront, but you’ll also need to update and maintain your CDP over time to keep it running effectively. 

A prebuilt solution allows you to avoid hefty development costs and ongoing maintenance expenses. While you’ll still need to pay for the initial setup and deployment of the customer data platform, prebuilt systems aren’t as expensive in the long run. 

Time-to-Market

You know what they say: time is money. This is especially true when you want to deploy a customer data platform. 

Designing your own platform is an attractive part of DIY CDPs. However, when you have so many decisions to make, you can easily spend years developing and deploying your CDP. When it takes too long to bring your CDP to market, it’s easy to go over your budget and cut costs elsewhere to fund the project.

Buying an off-the-shelf customer data platform saves you an incredible amount of time. For example, Bloomreach Engagement can have you up and running in just six weeks, so your team can spend less time building your CDP and more time actually using it. 

Scalability

Scaling up is a goal for most brands. Expanding your business indicates that your brand is successful and attractive to both customers and investors. When your business scales, you’ll need to make sure that your tools can scale with it. 

A do-it-yourself CDP can be hard to scale, especially when you mix and match several different tools to create one master CDP. This is because some vendors may not accommodate scalability to the extent of others, and if your platforms can’t play nice together, your business suffers.

An out-of-the-box CDP like Bloomreach Engagement is designed to seamlessly expand with your business, ensuring uninterrupted operations even during high-traffic events like Black Friday. In fact, during Cyber Week 2022, Bloomreach handled approximately 1.2 billion user events per day, while consistently maintaining 100% uptime. When you use a CDP like Bloomreach, you can provide exceptional customer experiences year-round.

Customization

Every business is different, so it only makes sense to pursue a CDP that can be customized to fit your needs.

In fact, customization is what drives many teams to build their own CDP. Creating a CDP from scratch is an appealing idea to those who believe they can only get what they need from a CDP when they build it themselves. 

However, that’s not the case. Expert CDP providers also prioritize data flexibility and customization. With Bloomreach Engagement, you can configure capabilities, like custom analytics, reporting, segmentation, and AI prediction models, so that they align with your unique needs.

Single Vendor Advantage

Managing multiple suppliers can be a logistical nightmare. Dealing with several different vendors and systems can lead to problems like inefficiency and disorganized data management.

Unfortunately, that’s what many business owners face when building their own customer data platform. Because building a CDP necessitates that you work with countless vendors to build your own tech stack, you don’t get the luxury of having a solid relationship with one vendor. 

When you buy an out-of-the-box CDP, you don’t need to deal with multiple service providers. With only one company handling your CDP and its upkeep, you can simplify contract management, reduce complexity, and streamline your operations, ultimately leading to cost savings.

System Integrations

System integrations should be top of mind when considering building or buying a CDP. Why? Because if you can’t plug in all of your tools, you can’t use your CDP. 

When building a CDP, dealing with system integrations can become complicated and expensive, causing delays in your implementation. You’ll need to collaborate with each vendor to ensure you understand how to connect their product to others. This process can drag on, especially if your CDP tech stack includes numerous solutions.

Working with one supplier who has already done the legwork in securing integrations saves you from having to do this yourself. For example, Bloomreach offers an impressive 139 integrations with some of the most common tools on the market, so you can streamline your integration process and reduce costs.

System integrations are a big advantage of purchasing your CDP

Standardized Training

Customer data can take your brand’s success to new heights. Once your CDP is implemented, you’ll need to make sure that everyone on your team can use it properly so you can put that data to good use. 

This can be a challenge for a DIY customer data platform, which will include several different parts and protocols. When you build your CDP, your tech stack isn’t unified and will therefore lack standardized certifications and training materials. This makes it harder to teach your team how to use your new CDP effectively. 

When you buy your CDP, you’re purchasing a single solution that is powered by a single vendor and has its own training system. This empowers you to train your team in one standardized way, which reduces confusion and speeds up adoption. 

24/7 Expert Support

As an ecommerce pro, you understand that Murphy’s law can strike at any time. When that happens, you’ll need round-the-clock support to help you get back to work. 

When you create your own CDP, you are in charge of fixing issues and offering support during platform downtime. While you can seek assistance from individual vendors who can help with specific parts of your CDP, you won’t have a single reliable source for resolving conflicts. This could lead to a costly and time-consuming process to ensure your CDP operates smoothly.

When you buy a prebuilt CDP, you can rely on 24/7 expert support. Trusted vendors provide personalized assistance through global teams, available whenever you need help. This means you can get back to work quicker without the hassle and cost of troubleshooting your platform during downtime.

Trust Bloomreach for an Off-the-Shelf Customer Data Platform

When it comes to building your own CDP or opting for a prebuilt solution like Bloomreach Engagement, the decision is clear. 

With lower costs, faster implementation, scalability, customization, single-vendor simplicity, prebuilt integrations, standardized training, and 24/7 support, Bloomreach Engagement offers a comprehensive solution that allows you to leverage a CDP without having to build one from scratch. 

Make the smart choice for your business by selecting Bloomreach Engagement as your CDP solution, and propel your customer experience efforts to new heights. 

Let’s get started! Request a Bloomreach Engagement demo now. 

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Amelia Woolard

Copywriter

Amelia is an experienced content developer with a focus on technology trends across domestic and international markets. Drawing from her experience in digital marketing and account management, Amelia produces written copy that informs and engages the B2B industry.

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