Get started with Adobe Experience Platform audiences about-segments

An audience is a set of people who share similar behaviors and/or characteristics. Learn more about audiences in the Adobe Experience Platform Segmentation Service documentation.

Journey Optimizer allows you to build Adobe Experience Platform audiences directly from the Audiences menu, and leverage them into your journeys or campaigns.

Audiences can be generated using different methods:

Target audiences in Journey Optimizer segments-in-journey-optimizer

You can select in campaigns and journeys any audience generated using segment definitions, custom upload or composition workflows.

The use of audiences and attributes from audience composition and custom upload (CSV file) audiences is currently unavailable for use with Healthcare Shield or Privacy and Security Shield. Learn how to use audiences enrichment attributes in Journey Optimizer

You can leverage audiences in Journey Optimizer in different ways:

  • Choose an audience for a campaign, where the message is sent to all the individuals belonging to the selected audience. Learn how to define the audience of a campaign.

  • Use a Read audience orchestration activity in a journey to make all individuals in the audience enter the journey and receive the messages included in your journey. Let’s say you have a “silver customer” audience. With this activity, you can make all silver customers enter a journey and send them a series of personalized messages. Learn how to configure a Read audience activity.

  • Use the Condition activity in a journey to build conditions based on audience membership. Learn how to use audiences in conditions.

  • Use the Audience qualification event activity in a journey to make individuals enter or move forward in the journey based on Adobe Experience Platform audience entrances and exits. For example, you can make all new silver customers enter a journey and send them messages. For more on how to use this activity, refer to Learn how to configure an Audience qualification activity.

    note note
    Due to the batch nature of audiences created using composition workflows and custom upload, you cannot target these audiences in an “Audience Qualification” activity. Only audiences created using segment definitions can be leveraged in this activity.

Use audiences enrichment attributes enrichment

When targeting an audience generated using composition workflows, you can leverage enrichment attributes from these audiences to build your journey and personalize your messages.

To use enrichment attributes in a Journey, ensure they are added to a Field Group within the “ExperiencePlatform” Data Source.

Learn how to add enrichment attributes to a Field Group
  1. Navigate to “Administration” > “Configuration” > “Data Sources”.
  2. Select “Experience Platform” and create or edit a Field Group.
  3. Open the field selector, find the enrichment attributes you want to add, and select the check box next to them.
  4. Save your changes.

Detailed information on data sources is available in these sections:

Once enrichment attributes have been added to a Field Group, you can leverage them at differences locations in Journey Optimizer:

  • Create multiple path in a journey based on rules that leverage the targeted audience’s enrichement attributes. To do this, target the audience using a Read audience activity then create rules in a Condition activity based on the audience’s enrichment attributes.

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  • Personalize your messages in journeys or campaigns by adding enrichment attributes from the targeted audience in the personalization editor. Learn how to work with the personalization editor

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Custom upload enrichment attributes are not yet available for use in Journey Optimizer.

Audience evaluation methods evaluation-method-in-journey-optimizer

In Adobe Journey Optimizer, audiences are generated from segment definitions using one of three evaluation methods below.

Streaming segmentation

The profiles list for the audience is kept up-to-date in real-time as new data flows into the system.

Streaming segmentation is an ongoing data selection process that updates your audiences in response to user activity. Once a segment definition has been built and the resulting audience has been saved, the segment definition is applied against incoming data to Journey Optimizer. This means that individuals are added or removed from the audience as their profile data changes, ensuring that your target audience is always relevant. Learn more

note note
Make sure to use the right events as streaming segmentation criteria. Learn more
Batch segmentation

The profiles list for the audience is evaluated every 24 hours.

Batch segmentation is an alternative to streaming segmentation that processes all profile data at once through segment definitions. This creates a snapshot of the audience that can be saved and exported for use. However, unlike streaming segmentation, batch segmentation does not continuously update the audience list in real-time, and new data that comes in after the batch process will not be reflected in the audience until the next batch process. Learn more

Edge segmentation
Edge segmentation is the ability to evaluate segments in Adobe Experience Platform instantaneously on the edge, enabling same-page and next-page personalization use cases. Currently only select query types can be evaluated with edge segmentation. Learn more

If you know what evaluation method you want to use, select it using the drop-down list. You can also click the browse icon folder icon with a magnifying glass to see a list of the available segment definition evaluation methods. Learn more

After you have first defined an audience, profiles are added to the audience when they qualify.

Backfilling the audience from prior data can take up to 24 hours. After the audience has been backfilled, the audience is continuously kept up-to-date and is always ready for targeting.

Event usage with streaming segmentation streaming-segmentation-events-guardrails

Streaming segmentation is useful for real-time personalization with high-value use cases. However, it is important to choose the right events to use as segmentation criteria.

Consequently, for streaming segmentation optimal performance, avoid using the following events:

  • Message Opened Interaction Type event

    When building your audience, the use of Message Opened interaction events became unreliable, because they are not actual indicators of user activity and can negatively impact segmentation performance. Learn why in this Adobe Blog post. Hence, Adobe recommends not using Message Opened interaction events with streaming segmentation. Instead, use real user-activity signals like clicks, purchases, or beacon data.

  • Message sent Feedback Status event

    The Message sent feedback event is often used for frequency or suppression checking prior to sending an email. Adobe recommends avoiding it as it puts pressure on performance and may cause degradation of the system. Therefore, for frequency or suppression logic, use business rules rather than Message sent feedback events. Note that daily frequency caps for individual profiles will soon be available, complementing the existing monthly cadence for business rules.

You can use Message Opened and Message Sent events in batch segmentation without any performance concerns.

Audience composition & custom upload FAQ faq

The following section lists frequently asked questions regarding the use in Journey Optimizer of audiences created with composition workflows and custom upload (CSV files).

Where can I use audiences from audience composition and custom upload within Journey Optimizer?

Audiences from audience composition and custom upload can be targeted either from campaigns and journeys. Learn how to target audiences in Journey Optimizer

  • In Campaigns, these audiences appear in the audience picker after clicking the “Select audience” button.

  • In Journeys, you can use these audiences in a “Read Audience” activity during audience selection, and in a “Condition” activity for audience membership checks. However, due to their batch nature, these audiences do not appear in the “Audience Qualification” activity.

    note note
    For custom upload audiences, if “Incremental read” is enabled in a recurring journey, profiles are only retrieved on the first recurrence, as these audiences are fixed.

Additionally, these audiences are available for use in the personalization editor to personalize your messages in journeys and campaigns. Learn how to work with the personalization editor

What are enrichment attributes?

Enrichment attributes are additional attributes that are contextual and specific to an audience. They are not associated with the profile, and are typically used for personalization purposes.

Enrichment attributes are linked to an audience via an Enrich activity in audience composition or through the custom upload process.

Where can I use enrichment attributes within Journey Optimizer?

Enrichment attributes from audience composition can be leveraged in the following areas. Learn how to use audiences enrichment attributes

  • Condition activity (Journeys)
  • Custom action attributes (Journeys)
  • Message personalization (Journeys and Campaigns)
note availability
Custom upload enrichment attributes are not yet available for use in Journey Optimizer.
How do I enable enrichment attributes in Journeys?
To use enrichment attributes in a Journey, ensure they are added to a Field Group within the “ExperiencePlatform” Data Source. Information on how to add enrichment attributes to a Field Group is available in this section
How soon after publishing an audience from audience composition or custom upload can I use it in Journey Optimizer?
  • Audiences from audience composition are executed daily, so you may need to wait up to 24 hours to use them in Journey Optimizer.
  • Audiences from custom upload become available in Journey Optimizer approximately 2 hours after publication.
Are enrichment attribute values updated after a journeys starts?
Currently no. Even after wait or event nodes, enrichment attribute values remain the same as they were when the journey started.
How do custom upload audiences join with profiles?

During the custom upload process, specify the CSV attribute to use as the identity and the profile identity it maps to. This establishes a link between the audience data and the profile. If the CSV file contains an identity value not found in the profile, a new profile is created with that identity value.

Detailed information on the custom upload process is available in Adobe Experience Platform Segmentation Service documentation.

How fresh is my data in Journey Optimizer?

Data in audiences from audience composition and custom upload is populated by the Audience Export Service (AES). AES reads profile attributes and audience membership, which it makes available to these audiences with the following timelines:

  • Audience composition: Daily export (~24 hours)
  • Cutom upload: Dedicated export job (~2 hours)

Any journey that utilizes an audience from audience composition or custom upload in the “Read Audience” activity will have profile attributes as fresh as the last batch evaluation. This includes consent/suppressions in the journey.

Additionally, enriched attributes in audience composition audiences are as fresh as the last composition run, which can be up to 24 hours in the past.