Saturday, June 22, 2019

Send Real-Time Adobe Analytics Events to Adobe Campaign via Triggers

Triggers are part of the Experience Cloud Activation Core Service and have been in existence for a few years now. There's a lot of documentation already out there but with this post, I'll fill in some gaps that exist in the public facing documentation. I will also provide a quick overview of Triggers from my sandbox account, cover common use cases, share a logical architecture diagram and discuss the provisioning process along with some common access issues. Let's get into it!

Overview of Triggers

Triggers allow marketers to activate Adobe Analytics events in Adobe Campaign to re-market and engage customers via emails and other channels. Adobe Campaign is the main solution that leverages Triggers to send emails or SMS based on an action performed on the site in near real-time. I will be covering the integration between Triggers and Adobe Campaign Standard (ACS) at a high level.

We can access Triggers by going to the Activation site and clicking "Manage Triggers" (provisioning covered in the next section). There are 4 types of Triggers we can create which are:

  • Abandonment (Send an email or SMS after a gap of between 10 minutes to 2 hours)
  • Actions (Send an email or SMS if a particular action is performed on the site)
  • Session Start (Send an email or SMS if an action occurred at the start of a session)
  • Session End (Send an email or SMS if an action occurred at the end of a session)

Below is the UI we see when we create a new Trigger based on an abandonment.

Once created, Triggers will start collecting data immediately based on the conditional logic. In my actual example, I've created a simple Trigger based on an action tied to a particular Page Name.

Few Considerations While Using Triggers

  • We can create up to 100 Triggers.
  • We cannot bring in any calculated metrics or segments created in Adobe Analytics.
  • There's no way to select a Visitor container like we can in the Analytics Segment UI.
  • Values from Adobe Analytics reporting don't automatically populate in the dropdown menu when we use the "Equal" operator.
  • For Products or other dimensional data, there's no way to know which particular product has been added to the cart etc. so all the data is sent as it comes in. Prior manipulation of data will have to done to specify exactly which product was sent.
  • The conditional logic to create Triggers can get really cumbersome and there's a lot of flexibility provided around boolean logic and Containers provided in the Triggers UI.

Common Use Cases For Triggers 

There are numerous use cases that can be met using Triggers and below are some examples. Please note that for these to work properly, the user would have to be signed in.

  • Abandonment (Time Bound)

    • A user abandons the cart or form and needs to be contacted within 10 minutes
    • A user signs up for an offer and you need to send a confirmation email
    • Notify of a shipment or password reset
    • A user purchases a product
  • Actions (Event Driven)
    • A user views a promotional video
    • A user completes a survey 
    • Personalize email to show last product viewed
    • Confirm when a prospect opts-in for a newsletter

  • Session Start and End-I haven't used these yet

    • A user visits a campaign landing page after clicking on an ad
    • A user did not sign up for a form and exited the site

Aside from these, we can leverage the propensity score attribute to NOT trigger an email if a user is likely to visit the website in the next 30 days.

Triggers Provisioning

Email the Digital Request Alias

Anyone can can email the alias to get Triggers enabled for their Experience Cloud Org. This team will enable Triggers in the Admin Console as well as enable Triggers in Adobe Campaign Standard (They create an additional ticket). Below is what needs to be communicated in the email:

  • Marketing Cloud Company Name 
  • Analytics Login Company (could be same as marketing cloud company name)

Map Report Suites to the Experience Cloud Org

All Adobe Analytics Report Suites need to be mapped to the correct Experience Cloud Org as explained here.

Enable Triggers in the Admin Console

In the Adobe Admin console, we need to turn on the toggle to enable Triggers as shown below.

Create Data Sources

Create a data source in Customer Attributes to capture authenticated users which includes an integration code. This is needed to tie users logging in to the website with profile data in Adobe Campaign Standard. Please note that the user ID is hashed and needs to be reconciled in Adobe Campaign Standard (covered below).

Sync the Hashed User IDs with the Experience Cloud

This is a very important piece of this integration and is a required step to sync Customer or Declared IDs captured on the site with AAM or Customer Attributes and eventually with Campaign. This can be done easily in a Tag Manager like Launch.

Reconcile Triggers with the ID Service in Campaign Standard

The final step is to reconcile the an encrypted ID with a Declared ID data source in Adobe Campaign Standard. Below is an example of a Declared ID data source in ACS which is a new data source that needs to be created tied to the authenticated Customer ID by going to Administration -> Application settings -> Shared Data Sources. The link below the image covers this step in more detail.
Here's some more information on how to configure Triggers to send emails in Adobe Campaign Standard: 

Triggers are also Accessible via Adobe I/O

I recently wrote about Adobe APIs last time and covered how to create an integration in Adobe I/O but this link covers how to connect with the Triggers API.

Common Access Issues

I recently ran into some issues while trying to access Triggers and had to log tickets internally at Adobe so if you run into these issues, you'll have to ask your Campaign consultant to log these on your behalf.

The first issues I ran into was around not being able to create a trigger. The fix for this was to map the report suites to the Experience Cloud (covered above).

This is an issue which I'm currently facing for a client where I'm unable to create an authenticated Customer ID Data Source. I had to log an internal ticket to get this resolved.

Simplified Integration Architecture

Below is a simplified architecture diagram I put together to outline the integration between Analytics and Adobe Campaign Standard using Triggers. I've leveraged some internal documentation to provide more details primarily around steps 4-6. Below is a screenshot of that and a summary of the various steps.

1 - AEM Services the page
2a - ECID Service is called and relevant IDs are returned back to the page 

2b - If the visitor is logged in, an Authenticated "Declared ID" will be paired with the ECID
3 - Analytics image request fires and page/event level data gets sent to Adobe Analytics
4 - Real-Time Events sent via Analytics are detected using the Triggers State Machine
5 - Events are "enriched" with the Customer ID sent from the ID Service
6 - The enriched trigger events are sent through Pipeline Services and made available to Campaign. ACS "listens" for Trigger data that comes in as IDs starting with analyticsHitSummary
7 - Campaign queries data sources to build personalized multi-channel messages
8 - Campaign ingests/shares data from/to other data sources
9 - ACS delivers marketing messages across channels (Email, SMS) based on Triggers
10 - Customer clicks on the email and is routed back to the client website

So that was it! I hope you found this post helpful and hope that it will pique your interest in Triggers if you aren't already using it. Here's a link to another post where I've written about how to use webhooks to listen for Triggers.

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