TMW #175 | The CDP is mutating

May 19, 2024

Welcome to The Martech Weekly, where every week I review some of the most interesting ideas, research, and latest news. I look to where the industry is going and what you should be paying attention to.

👋 Get TMW every Sunday

TMW is the fastest and easiest way to stay ahead of the Martech industry. Sign up to get TMW newsletters, along with a once-a-month complimentary Sunday Deep Dive. Learn more here.

The CDP is mutating 

CDPs are changing, because they have no choice 

About 2 years ago, I was introduced to the concept of Reverse ETL. It was through Hightouch’s now-infamous essay “CDPs are Dead,” which argued that “CDPs, as we know them, are fundamentally broken” because of the growing sophistication of the data warehouse, which will lead to CDPs pivoting to a “composable, warehouse-first offering, or completely lose relevance in the market.”  

Initially, I was highly critical of the idea that data warehouse-native tech was going to supplant the CDP. After all, wasn’t that why CDPs existed? To make the data from a warehouse and other sources usable? To this day, the CDP Institute makes this very point: 

“The CDP is packaged software providing a full set of functions to build, maintain, and access the customer database. This distinguishes CDPs from data warehouses and data lakes, which are usually custom-built by corporate IT staff or external specialists. The packaged nature of the CDP makes it easier to deploy and change as new needs arise.”

Back in TMW #083, I argued against the idea suggesting that CDPs make data way more usable for the non-technical business user, and that because of this, the data warehouse cannot compete. 

Oh boy, how wrong I was. 

A look back on the industry over the past two years shows just how much has changed. There’s been a small revolution towards CDPs embracing composable architecture, CDPs have become the gateway to data sharing with Adtech platforms, and there’s been a shift towards building more customer experience management features. The CDP has mutated into many different things, becoming something totally other than what it was two years ago. 

What is that something? Let’s find out.

🔓 Continue reading with TMW PRO

Get the entire Wednesday Martech Briefing and all of our newsletters every week with TMW PRO. It's the easiest and fastest way to make sure you're fully informed on how the marketing technology industry is evolving. 

Here’s what some of our existing TMW PRO members have to say;
“TWM is a finger on the pulse of what's happening, with the clarity of insight to see the important patterns underneath the noise” – Scott Brinker (VP, Hubspot).

“I recommend TMW to all leaders who are customer-focused and transforming companies via digital technologies” – Kazuki Ohta (CEO, Treasure Data).
“I've subscribed to many Marketing newsletters, but TMW is at the top of my list with the most valuable content for marketing professionals" – Lilly Lou (Marketing Director, Icertis).
TMW PRO is an invaluable resource that’ll help you to truly transform and future-proof your career in Martech. 

Are you ready to join the PRO's?

If the answer is yes, CLICK HERE.

Stay Curious,

Make sense of marketing technology.

Sign up now to get TMW delivered to your inbox every Sunday evening plus an invite to the slack community.

Want to share something interesting or be featured in The Martech Weekly? Drop me a line at

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.