Saturday, January 12, 2019

Miscellaneous Facts About Adobe Audience Manager

Happy New Year 2019 to all and Thanks for reading this post. Adobe Audience Manager just like any other data management has its fair share of characteristics that are not commonly known. Unless you've actually spent some working time on AAM, it's unlikely to find these facts readily available in our documentation. In this post, I've aimed to document some of these in a single post. So, let's get started!

1.    The third party Audience Manager demdex cookie is the same across all sites (customers) that have AAM deployed. The reason why it's the same as it allows cross domain tracking of AAM customers and also forms the basis to share data across all AAM customers (2nd party data share). So, if you delete the demdex cookie, it gets refreshed for all AAM customer sites.

2.  Metrics in Audience Manager are based off Cookies/Visitors tied to the UUID (device/browser) or demdex. Customer often ask about replicating Adobe Analytics segments based on Visits in AAM which isn't possible to replicate 1:1 so it's important to understand this nuance.

 3. Server side Forwarded Adobe Analytics data to Audience Manager is billed separately in Audience Manager. Customers often assume that this data is forwarded for free which isn't the case as the same applies to data captured via the client side DIL data collection method in AAM which is billed separately.

4. Audience Manager variables starting with 'c_' are customer defined keys, 'd_' are platform level keys and h_ are typically browser header keys. Let's review of few of these.
o   Following are some keys to filter for the URL and/or referrer.
§  d_referer (not traffic referrer) allows you to filter for the page URL
§  If you have Adobe Analytics forwarding enabled, you can also use c_pageURL.
§  If you want to filter for the traffic referrer and have Analytics data forwarded, you can use c_referrer.
o   If you have a scenario where you capture the same page name across multiple sites (with different Adobe Analytics report suite IDs) and have SSF enabled, you need to use the d_dst_filter field. I've included a screenshot which shows how to filter it using a trait. See how the customer variable starts with 'c_' and platform variable starts with 'd_'.

o   If you want to capture data tied to city or country based off automatic IP address which is collected in AAM, you can use the following Geo platform keys
§  d_city 
§  d_country

5.   Given that Adobe Analytics data is now forwarded to AAM via report suites, the Audience Management Module is not required to forward data BUT should ALWAYS be implemented if you want yours users to qualify for segment as without it, you cannot leverage AAM for A/B testing and personalization. The other advantage of the module is that it creates a first party cookie for AAM (covered in #7).

6.  One other confusion that clients have is around the data collection frequency and availability of rule-based traits in AAM. Rule based traits start collecting data in real time since creation even though the data may be take up to 24 hours to show up in the AAM UI. So, if you have a scenario where you want users to qualify for a trait in real-time for personalization, you can rest assured. To validate if you qualified for a trait, you can use Visitor Profile Viewer in AAM and other methods defined here.

7.  UUID demdex cookie (covered in #1) which is usually a third party cookie can be captured as a first party cookie called 'aam_uuid' within the Audience Management module (#5). Once you set the UUID as a first party cookie, you can easily create a data element in Launch by Adobe (shown below) and map it to an Analytics variable.

8.  Customer IDs synced using natural match upon authentication need to be hashed and should not contain any ids that are even borderline PII. A good method to anonymize your user ids is to leverage the SHA256. The other important thing to keep in mind is that you should leverage the same type of user ID across multiple sites and map them to the same AAM data source so that there's no ID collision.

9. Data onboarded via 3rd party data providers such as Acxiom or data onboarders such as LiveRamp upload data to AAM using a unique 'ic' (integration code) which is numeric (example below). In a previous post, I covered how to upload data using key value pairs but an 'ic' can also be used to upload your CRM data.

10. 3rd party ID syncs enabled by AAM consultants shares the AAM UUID with Demand Side Platforms where they store this ID in a match table so that they can target users on their own network using this ID. Adobe also receives a corresponding ID from that system as well so that each system's cookies can be synced with each other. This sync is used to calculate the match rate which is why it's recommended to ask your consultant to turn on these id syncs to get a higher match rate between AAM and your DSP. However, these cookies can be turned off by setting the disableThirdPartyCookies variable to true in the ID Service library.
Below is what these id syncs look like in the network tab of your browser (Adobe Ad Cloud) populated the very first time a user visits your site. Also, note that subscribing to a data provider in the Adobe Marketplace automatically turns on an id sync as well.

I hope you found this post helpful and feel free to share any other misc facts that you learnt about Audience Manager.