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Build vs. Buy: Our take on this classic dilemma

Should you build it or should you buy it? We come up against this question a lot as marketers evaluate whether to buy the Uberflip content experience platform or look to build custom content experience solutions in-house. The decision is often difficult because many companies today have the resources and talent in-house to build. It is less  of “can we do it?” and more a question of “should we do it?”

Making the decision to build vs. buy involves numerous considerations—from strategic, to pricing, to effective resourcing. Our goal is to break down these important questions, outline some key advantages and disadvantages, and ultimately help you make an informed decision that is right for your organization.

When deciding to build vs. buy, here are some questions to think about:

1. Is your organization equipped with the in-house expertise? Can you build, maintain, and support a scalable solution?

  • Are you able to take engineers/developers away from building core product?
  • How will your organization maintain the software in the long run? Will you need to add additional resources or increase the workload of existing teams?
  • How long will it take to design, build, test, and integrate the system into the existing product and workflow process?

2. What is the scope of the problem that you are trying to solve?

  • Is this a problem unique to your organization where off-the-shelf software doesn’t exist, or is it a common problem for which software has been developed to address most of your needs?

3. How critical is the software to your core business function?

  • Is this software the reason you have paying customers? Are you able to build a defensible competitive advantage around it?

Advantages of Buying

Time Savings

Reducing time to market is an important benefit of off-the-shelf solutions. They typically save engineering/WebDev teams months of development time and plug into existing infrastructure using native integrations and open APIs.

Uberflip can be launched in as little as 4 to 6 weeks and empowers marketers to own the end-to-end publishing process. Our platform enables your team to create personalized streams of content in minutes for ABM programs, sales outreach, destinations for demand campaigns, and more, by incorporating easy-to-use design and publishing tools that require no coding knowledge.

Proven Reliability

A service disruption doesn't only affect the experience of online visitors — it affects your reputation. Downtime is costly and can make the difference between getting the lead and frustrating someone to the point where they look elsewhere.

Uberflip’s platform is built on Amazon Web Services (AWS)—a robust and redundant infrastructure that allows us to increase the speed of delivery, innovation, security, and operations of our product.

Dedicated Support

Third parties that provide software are more focused on the problem you’re looking to solve because they have best practices, human resources, and the technical infrastructure to think of things that you won’t. This means you’ll have to deal with fewer bugs and issues than you would when building the software yourself.

Uberflip has a dedicated support and success team that act as your trusted advisors from initial onboarding to renewal. We spend time understanding your goals and helping you achieve maximum value from the product. In addition, Uberflip’s product team is constantly providing new releases to improve the experience of your users and visitors.

Extended Functionality

Many SaaS vendors have marketplaces with extensions and other applications that provide new or enhanced functionality with minimal setup or integration work. These marketplaces give you an easy way to find and deploy applications that, for a specific need, offload curation to application developers and help standardize the technology architecture inside your organization.

Disadvantages to Building

Time Investment

It takes time to determine exact business needs, configure and write code, integrate with other systems, and adapt to user requests after deployment. The impact is magnified in larger organizations due to established processes and the number of stakeholders involved in decisions.

Development Cost

Developing custom solutions in-house is expensive because it takes a village to create good software. It’s not only the cost of the developers’ time, but the efforts of the designers, QA, data analysts, and many others. Mark Lutchen, former Global CIO of PricewaterhouseCoopers describes it best:

“When evaluating whether to buy or build, it’s critical to thoroughly understand total costs during the software life cycle—typically seven or eight years. This step is important because 70 percent of software costs occur after implementation. A rigorous lifecycle analysis that realistically estimates ongoing maintenance by in-house developers often tips the balance in favor of buying.” —Mark Lutchen, former Global CIO of PriceWaterhouseCoopers

Keeping Up-to-Date

Staying current is challenging especially when business needs change and in-house applications are no longer providing the value they had at their initial release. Third-party software like Uberflip is consistently updated with new features and functionality as the market changes.

What is Uberflip and Why Buy Our Solution?

Uberflip is a content experience platform that allows you to centralize all of your assets in one place in order to build out curated collections of content to power your marketing campaigns. Achieving similar functionality in-house requires a significant investment of time and resources. You would need to build and maintain hundreds if not thousands of customized web destinations in order to go to market. This approach quickly falls apart as you scale.  

But don't just take our word for it. Nate Dame, CEO of Propecta works with marketers to level-up their content performance. He's seen clients struggle with building their own content experiences even when they have six figures to spend. And after it's built, the custom UX needs extensive testing and personalization to truly see results.

"In our experience, an in-house build will launch with fewer than half of the features with a hope to ‘add those features later,’ but they never do. The result is that the marketing team is stuck with something that’s inflexible and lacks the features required for optimal performance, and the C-suite is frustrated they are not seeing a meaningful return on their investment.       —Nate Dame, CEO of Propecta

It’s not only partners who are seeing success, but our own customers as well. Rob Brown, Web Development Manager at Claranet saved over 200 hours a year of development time by adopting Uberflip. He realized the amount of custom coding and the ongoing maintenance was just not scalable. 

"Trying to create this internally would have required templates, a laundry list of plugins, and a ton of technical debt. The idea of managing that on an ongoing basis was not scalable. The implementation of Uberflip has given my team months back in our schedule."

- Rob Brown, Web Development Manager at Claranet

In our (humble) opinion, buying Uberflip is a no-brainer vs. trying to build in-house. We’ll leave you with a summary chart that recaps our take on this classic dilemma.


Build vs. Buy Summary

Factor Buy Uberflip Internal Build
Time to Launch 4 to 6 Weeks 3 to 6 months
Outcome Tailored experience that you can control, manage and optimize. Scalable across the buyer journey Static, one-dimensional experience that is hard to manage and is not scalable
Infrastructure Yes No
Resources Required Content Marketer, Demand Gen Content Marketer, Demand Gen, Design, Front-End Dev, Back-End Dev, Project Manager
Personalization Yes No
Content Insights Yes Limited
Sales Enablement Yes No
Optimization Yes Limited
Ongoing Support and Updates Yes Only if resources have been allocated

Want to see for yourself? Request a demo of Uberflip's content experience platform!

About the Author

Rahim is a former Senior Product Marketing Manager at Uberflip. He loves understanding the market, crafting messaging, and enabling internal teams for success.

Profile Photo of Rahim Lalani