Importing and using external audiences

Adobe Experience Platform supports the ability to import external audience, which can subsequently be used as components for a new segment definition. This document provides a tutorial for setting up Experience Platform to import and use external audiences.

Getting started

This tutorial requires a working understanding of the various Adobe Experience Platform services involved in creating audience segments. Before beginning this tutorial, please review the documentation for the following services:

  • Segmentation Service: Allows you to build audience segments from Real-time Customer Profile data.
  • Real-time Customer Profile: Provides a unified, real-time consumer profile based on aggregated data from multiple sources.
  • Experience Data Model (XDM): The standardized framework by which Platform organizes customer experience data. To best make use of Segmentation, please ensure your data is ingested as profiles and events according to the best practices for data modeling.
  • Datasets: The storage and management construct for data persistence in Experience Platform.
  • Streaming ingestion: How Experience Platform ingests and stores data from client- and server-side devices in real time.

Segment data vs segment metadata

Before you start importing and using external audiences, it is important to understand the difference between segment data and segment metadata.

Segment data refers to the profiles that meet the segment qualification criteria, and are therefore part of the audience.

Segment metadata is information about the segment itself, which includes the name, description, expression (if applicable), the creation date, the last modified date, and an ID. The ID links the segment metadata to the individual profiles that meet the segment qualification and are part of the resulting audience.

Segment data Segment metadata
Profiles that meet segment qualification Information about the segment itself

Create an identity namespace for the external audience

The first step for using external audiences is creating an identity namespace. Identity namespaces allow Platform to associate where a segment originates from.

To create an identity namespace, follow the instructions in the identity namespace guide. When creating your identity namespace, add the source details to the identity namespace, and mark its Type as a Non-people identifier.

Create a schema for the segment metadata

After creating an identity namespace, you need to create a new schema for the segment you will create.

To begin composing a schema, first select Schemas on the left navigation bar, followed by the Create schema in the top right corner of the Schemas workspace. From here, select Browse to see a full selection of the available Schema types.

Since you are creating a segment definition, which is a pre-defined class, select Use existing class. Now, select the Segment definition class, followed by Assign class.

Now that your schema has been created, you will need to specify which field will contain the segment ID. This field should be marked as the primary identity and assigned to the namespaces you previously created.

After marking the _id field as the primary identity, select the title of the schema, followed by the toggle labelled Profile. Select Enable to enable the schema for Real-time Customer Profile.

Now, this schema is enabled for Profile, with the primary identification assigned to the non-person identity namespace you created. As a result, this means that segment metadata imported into Platform using this schema will be ingested into Profile without being merged with other people-related Profile data.

Create a dataset for the schema

After configuring the schema, you will need to create a dataset for the segment metadata.

To create a dataset, follow the instructions in the dataset user guide. You’ll want to follow the Create dataset from schema option, using the schema you previously created.

After creating the dataset, continue following the instructions in the dataset user guide to enable this dataset for Real-time Customer Profile.

Set up and import audience data

With the dataset enabled, data can now be sent into Platform either through the UI or using the Experience Platform APIs. To ingest this data into Platform, you will need to create a streaming connection.

To create a streaming connection, you can follow the instructions in either the API tutorial or the UI tutorial.

Once you have created your streaming connection, you will have access to your unique streaming endpoint which you can send your data to. To learn how to send data to these endpoints, please read the tutorial on streaming record data.

Building segments using imported audiences

Once the imported audiences have been set up, they can be used as part of the segmentation process. To find external audiences, go to the Segment Builder, and select Audiences tab in the Fields section.

Next steps

Now that you can use external audiences in your segments, you can use the Segment Builder to create segments. To learn how to create segments, please read the tutorial on creating segments.

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