Destination types and categories

Read this page to understand the different types and categories of Adobe Experience Platform destinations.

Destination types destination-types

In Adobe Experience Platform, we distinguish between different destination types - connections, dataset exports, and extensions. There are several types of connection destinations, allowing you to export data to API-based destinations, social destinations, CRM platforms, and many more.

Finally, connections can also be distinguished between public destinations available across all organizations in the destinations catalog, and private destinations which Real-Time CDP Ultimate customers can create to satisfy their specific export use cases.

Types of destinations diagram.

Connections connections

Profile Export, Streaming Audience Export, and Edge Personalization destinations in Adobe Experience Platform capture event data, combine it with other data sources to form the Real-Time Customer Profile, apply segmentation, and export audiences and qualified profiles to destinations.

Profile export destinations profile-export

Profile export destinations receive raw data, often with email address as the primary key. Experience Platform currently supports two types of profile export destinations:

Streaming profile export destinations (enterprise destinations) streaming-profile-export

Enterprise destinations, or streaming profile export destinations, are available to Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform Ultimate customers only.

Use enterprise destination data connectors to deliver Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform profiles in near real-time to internal systems or to other third-party systems for data synchronization, analysis, and further profile enrichment use cases.

These destinations receive audience and profile data as Experience Platform data streams.

Enterprise destinations include:

Batch (file-based) destinations file-based

File-based destinations receive .csv files containing profiles and/or attributes. Amazon S3 is an example of a destination where you can export files containing profile exports.

Streaming audience export destinations streaming-destinations

Audience export destinations receive Experience Platform audience data. These destinations use audience IDs or user IDs. Advertising and social destinations like Google Display & Video 360, Google Ads, or Facebook are examples of such destinations.

Edge personalization destinations edge-personalization-destinations

Edge personalization destinations in Experience Platform include Adobe Target and the Custom personalization destination. By using these destinations, you can enable same-page and next-page personalization use cases for your customers.

Read more about how to configure personalization destinations for same-page and next-page personalization.

Profile export and audience export destinations - video overview video

The video below runs you through the particularities of the two types of destinations:

Now let’s dig into what destinations are and the different types of destinations available. Destinations are pre-built integrations with destination platforms supported by Real-Time Customer Data Platform that activates data to those partners in a seamless way. You can explore a list of destinations by navigating to our destination catalog page.
In Adobe Real-Time CDP there are currently two types of destinations. Profile export and segment export. Profile export destinations generate a file containing profiles and their attributes. Segment export destinations send the profile and segments they’re qualified for. The main difference between profile export destinations and segment export destinations is that profile export uses raw PII data with email often as the primary key. While segment export uses segment IDs and user IDs or pseudonymous data such as hash emails for social networks. There isn’t a destination that is better than another and most marketers use a combination of both. It all depends on your use case.
Let’s dig into profile exports. This type of destination is typically used to integrate with marketing automation platforms. Or email marketing platforms. Profile export destinations send customizable profile attributes or raw PII data in a CSV or tab-delimited file to a marketer specified SFTP server or Amazon S3 bucket.
A marketer can send profiles as segments to filter and qualify the profiles that get exported. When sending profile by segments to the destinations, a file will be generated for each segment. Let’s say that you have created multiple segments in your organization, such as a segment for VIP customers who bought a T-shirt or newly registered VIP members. If you wanted to activate that data into your email marketing platform so that you can use those segments for personalized email campaigns, this would be an example of a profile export destination use case. Now let’s take a look at segment exports. This type of destination is typically used to integrate with social networks, demand side platforms, supply side platforms, or digital media target platforms. Segment export destinations only export the audiences for which a user has qualified with a given partner. They don’t export a full profile, just the segments that are mapped to the destination for which the profile is qualified. The data sent to segment export destinations is anonymized using segment IDs and user IDs or pseudonymous data in the case of hash emails for social network. Adobe handles the hash email when sending the data so there’s no need to upload hash data. A typical use case for a segment export destination will be if you wanted to target visitors who have visited your website in the last seven days in a retargeting ad campaign. So those are the two types of destinations that you can use to activate data with Real-Time CDP.

Types of exported audiences exported-audiences-types

You can export three types of audiences from Experience Platform to various destinations:

  • People audiences
  • Account audiences
  • Prospect audiences

Learn more about the various audience types.

A symbol on the destination card shows which types of audiences you can export to each destination.

Example destination card with symbols showing which audience types can be exported.

Dataset export destinations dataset-export-destinations

Some cloud storage destinations in the destinations catalog support dataset exports. Use these destinations to export raw datasets to cloud storage locations.

Read more about how to export datasets.

Extensions extensions

Platform leverages the power and flexibility of tag management, allowing you to configure tag extensions in the UI.

For detailed information about tag extensions, including use cases and how to find them in the interface, see the tag extensions overview.

Tag extensions forward raw event data to several types of destinations. Think of extensions as an Event Forwarding type of destination. This is a simpler type of integration with destination platforms, which only forwards raw event data. Examples of those are the Gainsight personalization extension or the Confirmit Voice of the Customer extension.

Tag extensions compared to other destinations

When to use connections and extensions when-to-use

As a marketer, you could use a combination of connections and extensions to address your use cases.

Connections are useful when it’s necessary to leverage a complete centralized customer profile or a customer audience for activation. For example, use connections if you are joining behavioral data from an analytics system with uploaded CRM data to qualify a user for a given audience before delivering a personalized message to that user.

Extensions are helpful when event data is used to trigger an action, or to conduct segmentation in an external environment. For example, if behavioral data needs to be forwarded to an external system without being joined to other data sources on file for a given user.

Destination categories categories

The connections and extensions in the destinations catalog are grouped by destination category (Advertising, Cloud storage, Survey platforms, Email marketing, etc.), depending on the marketing action that they help you achieve. For more information on each of the categories, as well as the destinations included in each category, see the Destinations catalog documentation.

Destination categories highlighted in the catalog page.