By Tejas Manohar, Co-Founder and Co-CEO – Hightouch
By Chintan Sanghavi, Sr. Partner Solutions Architect – AWS
By Harmeet Nandrey, Sr. Partner Solutions Architect – AWS
By Mansi Vaghela, Sr. Partner Solutions Architect – AWS


Customer data drives the modern digital organization. Growth marketing teams strive to deliver personalized user experiences, performance marketing teams focus on building precise lookalike audiences, and analytics teams seek deep insights into user behavior. The success of these teams relies heavily on their ability to access and harness valuable customer data effectively.

Despite its critical importance, organizations often grapple with the challenge of organizing customer data across their many tools and platforms. Data can end up scattered and inaccessible, rendering it useless for marketers. This conundrum, known as the paradox of data, encapsulates the irony of companies possessing a wealth of customer information while struggling to leverage it effectively to enhance their marketing strategies.

Historically, organizations turned to bundled customer data platforms (CDPs) to address these operational and customer-focused use cases. The primary purpose of a CDP was to provide easy access to customer data, empowering business teams to tap into rich insights for activities like building lookalike audiences, executing retargeting campaigns, personalization efforts, or profile enrichment.

However, organizations quickly realized these integrated solutions didn’t offer a flexible approach and they were missing out on taking advantage of existing investments. Now, these bundled solutions are becoming less preferred as organizations strive to adopt a more streamlined approach, activating data directly from Amazon Web Services (AWS) with a new customer data architecture known as the Composable CDP.

This post will shed light on the essence of a CDP, why organizations are embracing the new Composable model, and provide a comprehensive guide on how to embark on your Composable CDP journey by integrating Hightouch with your existing AWS infrastructure.

Hightouch is an AWS Partner and AWS Marketplace Seller that makes it easy to collect, prepare, and sync your data into any ad platform, customer relationship management (CRM) system, email tool, and more. No engineering, manual work, or costly traditional CDP is required.

What is a Customer Data Platform?

A customer data platform is an all-in-one data and marketing platform for storing and activating customer data. Every CDP offers four bundled components: data collection, storage, modeling, and activation.


Figure 1 – Customer data platforms.

Legacy CDPs have monolithic architecture that do not integrate well with various data stores like Amazon Redshift and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). As organizations have invested more heavily to centralize customer data into AWS in recent years, they have begun to move away from legacy CDPs in favor of a Composable CDP architecture that lives within their existing AWS infrastructure.

Here, you will learn how companies can unlock additional value from their AWS investments using a Composable CDP to sync rich customer data from Amazon Redshift and Amazon S3 to their many downstream operational tools.

Composable CDP on AWS

Rather than adopting a single, bundled CDP solution, organizations are looking to leverage their existing AWS investments across their organization by activating data directly from systems like Amazon Redshift and Amazon S3. This new architectural approach is known as the Composable CDP.

A Composable CDP has similar goals and outcomes as a legacy CDP. The core difference lies in the underlying architecture; rather than being bundled into a single, siloed product offering that runs separate from your AWS infrastructure, a Composable CDP leverages existing AWS investments by activating data directly from Redshift or S3.

By implementing Hightouch on top of Redshift, customers can leverage several advantages (high scalability and performance) to adapt to evolving data needs. Data teams can seamlessly send Redshift data to downstream tools, where business teams can use that data to take action and deliver personalized experiences.

This architectural approach allows organizations to maximize existing AWS investments while unlocking additional capabilities that are not possible with a legacy CDP.


Figure 2 – Composable CDP architecture.

Data Ingestion

Data collection is the first step to create a CDP and involves collecting behavioral and first-party data. Behavioral data is usually collected via a software development kit (SDK), such as Hightouch Events, deployed on websites or applications, while first-party data is collected in software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools or internal databases.

Data from third-party systems can be transmitted through batch processes or by streaming events. AWS customers have the option to utilize services like Amazon Kinesis or Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK) for streaming events. For batch ingestion, customers can use services such as AWS DataSync, Amazon AppFlow, and S3.

Data Modeling and Analysis

Once the data is collected, organizations can transform and model their data to create a single view of the customer to ensure it’s ready for various marketing use cases.

For example, they may perform identity and entity resolution to unify disparate records into a unified customer and entity profiles, either by using Hightouch’s Customer 360 Toolkit or AWS Entity Resolution service. The transformed data can be stored in Amazon S3 or Amazon Redshift for further analysis.

Data Activation

Data activation is the final (and one of the most important components) of a Composable CDP. The data activation platform allows organizations to move data out of Redshift and into their many downstream marketing and operational platforms.

For this component, Hightouch is an optimal choice because it’s available directly within AWS Marketplace and offers an entire suite of powerful features to make activation seamless for anyone within an organization.

Powered by a technology coined Reverse ETL, Hightouch enables organizations to run queries against their data warehouse and send those results to 200+ destinations. Hightouch integrates with Amazon S3 or Amazon Redshift in minutes and offers a seamless way to activate data to downstream tools—all without a need to store data at rest in the platform.

Technical users are able to use SQL to define the data models they wish to activate, while marketing teams can use an entire suite of no-code products in Customer Studio. With Customer Studio, non-technical users can visually explore, build and activate audiences and experiment using their AWS data through a powerful no-code audience builder.


Figure 3 – Hightouch Customer Studio.

Additionally, Hightouch offers advanced features like Splits, Priority Lists, and Traits to help marketers seamlessly manage and orchestrate omnichannel personalization and experimentation across channels while also measuring performance with built-in analytics.

Hightouch offers more ways to make the most of data. Match Booster enriches first-party data with third-party identifiers in-flight to advertising walled gardens and demand-side platform (DSPs), which increases match rates with customers on those platforms to enhance campaign effectiveness. The Personalization API allows organizations to power real-time onsite and in-app personalization with machine learning predictive models they’ve built within Amazon Redshift.

With Hightouch, organizations can quickly empower data and marketing teams with the capabilities necessary to activate their customer data from Redshift and Amazon S3 to various channels.

Customer Benefits

There are several benefits to this modular approach when compared to an off-the-shelf CDP:

  • Flexibility: Organizations choosing to build on top of Amazon Redshift avoid vendor lock-in and leverage their existing source of truth rather than maintaining two disparate systems.
  • Cost and infrastructure: Organizations can take advantage of their existing AWS infrastructure and avoid having to pay redundant storage costs of a CDP.
  • Modeling and transformation: Redshift gives companies the full flexibility to transform their data in the way that best suits their business needs, unencumbering the limitations imposed by legacy CDPs.
  • Data governance: Maintaining data within Redshift ensures organizations can keep strict control over how their data is managed from a compliance standpoint to meet industry compliance standards like CCPA, HIPAA, and GDPR.
  • Existing tools: AWS customers can leverage their existing AWS services and integrations.
  • Implementation time: Legacy CDPs can take upwards of a year to implement and onboard use cases. Adding an activation layer on top of AWS allows organizations to take action on their data immediately using the tools they already have in place.
  • Future-proofed: The modular architecture of a Composable CDP gives organizations the ability to choose the best tools for each architectural component. This removes the limitations of off-the-shelf CDPs and establishes a future-proofed architecture.


There’s only so much value that comes from just analyzing data. In this digital-first world, organizations are increasingly looking for ways to capture, store, and activate their customer data at scale. Hightouch unlocks additional use cases for AWS customers giving them the ability to activate any and all of their customer data in minutes.

Hightouch builds on top of AWS infrastructure so organizations can take advantage of their existing data investments to power personalization at scale and put data into the hands of any business team.

To get started with Hightouch, you can request a demo or create your own workspace today.


Hightouch – AWS Partner Spotlight

Hightouch is an AWS Partner that makes it easy to collect, prepare, and sync your data into any ad platform, CRM system, email tool, and more. No engineering, manual work, or costly traditional CDP is required.

Contact Hightouch | Partner Overview | AWS Marketplace