Advantages of New Adobe Target: Profiles & Audiences

In part one of this blog series, I began outlining five key areas of a successful, sustainable optimization program that we’ve evolved within the new Adobe Target. September saw a milestone release and was a moment in our redevelopment to take a step back and see how all of the new capabilities within our major monthly releases combine to provide massive benefits for practitioners who are looking to efficiently scale their optimization efforts and deliver personalized content to all of their digital properties.

In my last blog, we saw how Rick Patterson, our web- analytics manager for an expectant parents’ website, was recently assigned the task of governing an optimization and personalization program. Rick easily deployed Adobe Target’s single line of code to his web and mobile site pages using a free tag-management solution provided with Adobe Target. He could also easily embed tags and leverage application programming interfaces (APIs) for utilizing Adobe Target in any offsite location (display, email, etc.). For any of his various mobile applications, he was also able to implement Adobe Target and use it alongside analytics by using Adobe Target’s flexible software development kit (SDK). Then, he could quickly execute A/B/n and multivariate tests himself, as well as leverage recommendations and automated personalization, with our standardized guided workflow. Rick leveraged our powerful visual toolkit for moving and redesigning layout, content and copy, including a side-by-side code editor for more advanced code editing or additions. Rick shared experience URLs for quality assurance (QA) of his test variations, and he was able to govern concurrent activities through prioritization and activity-collision alerts. Rick can manage his entire program from a single location using Adobe Target’s proven maturity model for ongoing evaluation and benchmarks as well as to assist with quarterly performance reviews to ensure he’s hitting his mark on all levels.

The next key area of Adobe Target development that supports Rick’s confidence in the accuracy and actionability of his test results and analytics is Sophisticated Profiles & Audiences. With Rick’s analytics background, he knows that the effectiveness and clarity of his test results are completely dependent on the data that he makes available to Adobe Target. Ideally, he wants a single view of his customer, aggregating both online and offline data sources, such as customer relationship management data (CRM), into a single progressive profile. He also wants to take action on the same audience-segment definitions that he is surfacing and analyzing within his Adobe Analytics account or from his data-management platform, Adobe Audience Manager (through lookalike modeling and other means). If the data and audience-segment definitions are the same between Adobe Target and Analytics, Rick could also leverage Analytics’ audience segments and success metrics for drilling down into his Adobe Target testing, targeting and automated reports.

Rick is excited that this ability is built right into his solution. Adobe Target comes with free access to Adobe Marketing Cloud, which has several major core services that are essentially free features enabled for Adobe Target from the collective integrated solutions within the Cloud. One of these core services is called Profiles & Audiences, and it provides that single view of his customer that Rick is seeking. The Profiles & Audiences core service is essentially a unified profile ID service, which means that visitors to any Adobe Marketing Cloud solution are counted once and in the same manner. This allows the Adobe Marketing Cloud’s progressive unified profile to be available to any solution, especially Adobe Target for executing tests or targeting personalized content.

When it’s time to add that valuable CRM, call center, brick-and-mortar store, partner, or other third-party data feeds to this unified profile, Rick can easily pass these attributes in regularly through another core service, Customer Attributes. Customer Attributes aggregates these additional profile variables with the Adobe Marketing Cloud profile either through Analytics or directly within Adobe Target. It is basically a drag-and-drop scenario for managing the regularly scheduled uploading of these data feeds. Rick now has the unique advantage that Adobe Target brings to the optimization market: seeing a single complete view of his customer (spanning online and offline) for the deepest clarity, consistency and insights into the performance of his targeted experience variations.

This is where the “sophisticated” adjective applies to Adobe Target’s profiles and audiences. Rick can use any Adobe Analytics or Adobe Marketing Cloud shared audience for building testing or targeted activities, or he can build rich audience segments to act upon within Adobe Target based on all of this aggregate profile data. Rick can put all of these profile variables into play. He can thoroughly evaluate his test results by filtering with all of these sophisticated audience segments, or he can feed the profile variables into his machine-learning algorithms. The algorithms will do the heavy-lifting analysis for him and quickly uncover which of these audience segments are acting appreciably and are, thus, worthy of targeting specific creative to. Essentially, the algorithms can show which of the profile variables are most predictive — for example, geo-targeting & gender vs. category affinity & time since last visit — based on the content location and content type. These sophisticated audiences also contribute to deeper filtering or drill down into the reporting from any activity — from manual A/B/n and multivariate tests to targeted recommendations and automated personalization.

An additional bonus is that the synchronized Analytics data and shared audience segments flow seamlessly to Adobe Target through a server-to-server integration, requiring no page code or maintenance of said code across Rick’s digital properties. It’s just there, synchronized and immediate. Rick can feel confident that all of his visitor and customer data is available to feed into Adobe Target and that he has the full power to analyze the real-time reports based on all of the online and offline data he’s collecting.

Another additional “sophisticated” capability available to Rick within Adobe Target is profile scripting. This allows Rick to create more advanced targeting and event triggering based on any data point within the profile. This includes both data being collected online in real-time and data being passed in from offline.

So, in terms of my first two-of-five areas of redevelopment that we’ve focused on within the new Adobe Target, we see that Rick not only has complete control over the basic and advanced content variations he can build for testing and targeting, but also has control over actioning upon and evaluating his reports based on the full profile view of his visitors and customers with Profiles & Audiences.

Next up, we’ll explore how he can use this marketer control and powerful data to expand his optimization and personalization reach to offsite locations and connected multi-page customer-journey optimization and personalization.