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Marketing Technology: Build or Buy? Thoughts From GrowthStack 2016

Today’s marketers are faced with the difficult challenge of determining what tools and services are needed to support their quest to deliver omni-channel relevance. What are the tradeoffs of building a home-grown solution versus selecting a third-party growth marketing platform? And how do you evaluate the ROI of each option?

Last month, our VP of Marketing, David Rangel, joined a panel on this very subject at GrowthStack 2016, an event hosted by Titled, “Building a Modern Growth Stack: What to Build Internally, What to Outsource, and When,” the panel also included Janice Ryan, VP of Product at Jump Ramp Games, and Wilson Kriegel, Chief Business Officer at PicsArt.

Much of the discussion revolved around the symbiotic relationship between marketers and martech vendors. Kriegel explained that it’s vital that businesses select technology partners with enough capital and resources to support them, especially when evaluating startup solutions.

“You work with your vendors nonstop. You speak with them weekly, there’s always a hiccup, an issue, a crash […] So we grow their companies as much as they’re helping us grow. It’s a very hands-on environment of making them successful by sharing with them what’s working and what’s not working,” Kriegel said.

The risk of working with the wrong business also applies to vendors, as Rangel states that martech providers should recognize when a company is not a good fit for a particular platform. It’s important that the revenue generated by a customer more than compensates for the level of support required to make them successful.

“We only work with medium and large enterprises, so anyone who comes in with less than 50,000 users to put on our platform, we immediately say, ‘We’re probably not for you,’” Rangel said.

As an executive responsible for product management, Ryan considers many variables when evaluating whether to build or buy marketing technology. If the cost of hiring additional staff and expanding technical resources is too great, then she can see the value of outsourcing the job.

“It’s the constant balance between what is important to your business, what have you prioritized on your roadmap, and how does it all fit,” Ryan said.

Regardless of whether you’re building your growth marketing stack all on your own, outsourcing it entirely, or meeting somewhere in the middle, all the panelists agreed to look beyond cost and instead calculate the ROI to better determine the right strategy for your organization.

If you’re interested in learning how Iterable increases omni-channel relevance and engagement across all channels, contact our team to request a demo.

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