I recently worked with a very well-known “unicorn” (a private company valued at more than $1 billion by investors).
The unicorn’s founder proudly told me that they were building their own AdWords campaign management software and that they had even hired an engineer from Google’s AdWords team (because, you know, one engineer probably knows the entire AdWords code set…). I did my best to dissuade the company from this strategy, but my arguments were ignored.
It’s possible that the unicorn will build an amazing piece of software that will outperform any other tool ever invented, but it’s more likely that the company will waste millions of dollars, hours of precious engineering time and lots of advertising dollars before they come to the conclusion that they should never have tried to build their own campaign management software in the first place.
My experience suggests that it almost never makes sense to build your own martech software. In this article, I’ll explain the strong arguments against “build,” why you should be in favor of “buy,” and detail the limited use cases where building is a good strategy.
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