So, you’ve decided to upgrade your promotional marketing capabilities. Should you build it in-house or bring in the experts? We hear this question all of the time — “can we build Uniqodo ourselves?”
The quick answer is yes… kind of — not really.
It’s the same dilemma that businesses face when thinking about purchasing software of all kinds. In-house development projects allow you to own the IP, create a customised solution and guarantee results. But it comes at a cost — it’s down to you and your team to deliver outcomes, finish the project, and manage any future technical debt.
Realistically, this article isn’t just about Uniqodo, it applies to any “promotions engine” — dedicated software built for the generation, delivery and validation of promo codes. But we want to address this question straight-up where it applies to our own product, and there are some unique features of Uniqodo that really stand out against in-house development.
To help you make the right choice, we are going to lay out a series of questions you need to ask yourself in order to make the right decision. Let’s get started.
Question 1: Why haven’t you done it already?
Building software is no small task. Depending on the complexity of the project, it can take anywhere from 4 to 9 months to design and develop — and that’s just the beginning (more on this later).
More often than not, our customers who have considered building their own solution opted not to because their internal IT teams were:
Too busy working on other things that are more relevant to their day-to-day job (customer-facing projects for instance)
Lacking the expertise (or personnel) to execute a project of this magnitude (they’d have to hire them or train them)
This may not be the case for you. But before you decide to embark down the “do-it-yourself” path, take some time to consider why it is that you haven’t done it already. Chances are, the reason that you are still in the market from a promotional marketing tool is the reason why building it yourself won’t go as smoothly as you might think. Ultimately, your time is probably better spent running the day-to-day of your business.
Question 2: Why isn’t your CRM (or ecommerce platform ) good enough?
Most CRMs and ecommerce platforms already give you the ability to send promotions. So if you’re considering a promotions engine (either to purchase or buy), it’s likely that you’re looking for something that is more sophisticated. Something that can create hyper-specific promotions and drive business outcomes. Don't underestimate the complexity of that request.
The reason that this is important is that it adds to the upfront development and ongoing support requirements of such a tool. It will also help you actually build the tool if you decide to pursue that path. Consider the need to:
Generate single-use codes
Flexibly issue and validate unique codes
Pull criteria and customer information from multiple sources
Inform customers about why codes aren’t valid
Display promotions across a number of different channels — including onsite promotions and controlled partnerships with third parties
Long story short, you need to take accurate stock of what it is you need your custom promotions engine to do before you dive into a complex dev project. It may not be worth it depending on what you need. Plus, you need to be prepared to scale and update each of these things as the volume and complexity of your promotions increases. Which brings us to our third question…
Question 3: Do you have staying power?
Building your own in-house solution gives you complete control over how that software works. However, it’s easy to forget that the development project does end when it goes live. If anything, that’s when things get serious.
You need to monitor performance and resolve any problems that arise as your tool goes live. You will need to update integrations as code changes occur within your wider software ecosystem, and you will need to improve your tool as your promotional criteria evolves. “Owning” software IP is a continuous process.
If you build your own solution, you’ll either need to build an in-house development team to maintain it, or you’ll need to outsource that work to an external team. Both of which you’ll have to shoulder the cost for (and all headaches associated with it too).
Unless you have the staying power to keep up with it, buying a product with a team that handles these things for you will be a better option.
Uniqodo combines bespoke with off-the-shelf
The key to setting up a successful promotional campaign is flexibility. The ability to alter your promotional strategies and campaign features allows you to tailor your campaigns each time for maximum ROI.
And while it’s true that building something yourself provides much more of the flexibility you need to do this than buying a tool “off-the-shelf” and modifying it (which is what boxed solutions can end up requiring), this is not an endeavour that should be taken lightly.
And that’s why we built Uniqodo — to bridge the gap.
Our software makes it easy to create powerful, hyper-specific promotions that can take advantage of customer and trading data to deliver promotions based on past activity. For example, allowing a hotel chain to offer discounts that vary based on locations to maximise capacity on a given date.
But we’re more than just a SaaS product — we’re also your partners in strategy and development.
Think of us like one part software company, one part development team, and one part consulting firm. And you have the ability to pick and choose which parts you need when you need them. Working with us, you’ll have access to:
A comprehensive software tool that helps you run more effective promotional campaigns
A team of specialists who help you align your promotions to your business outcomes
A development team that are on hand to build bespoke solutions for your promotions
Advice on how to best deploy promotional strategies to drive the ROI you’re looking for
An IT team that keeps everything up to date for you at no extra cost
It’s like having your own custom software plus an in-house team of experts to manage it without all of the headaches and responsibilities that come with doing it all yourself. So, you can build all of this yourself — the question is, why?
If you’d like to speak to one of our specialists to learn more about what might be right for your business, get in touch, and we’ll talk it through with you!