Troubleshoot with Target Traces

Mbox Trace

Let’s look at the crown jewel of Target debugging inside the Experience Cloud debugger: MBox Trace. You might have used MBox Trace outside of the debugger but the debugger adds much easier access to the information as well as a nice interface so you can quickly see which activities you’re in and what’s happening in your visitor profile. Here I am on my page and I’m going to open the Experience Cloud debugger. I’ll go to the Target tab and then to the MBox Trace tab. Now MBox Trace requires authentication. If I try to turn it on right now, I’ll get a message telling me that I’m not logged into the Experience Cloud. So the next thing I’m going to do is open a new Chrome tab and log into the Experience Cloud. Once I’m logged in I’ll go back to the tab with my website. Otherwise the debugger will still be active on the Experience Cloud UI instead of my site. Now I can enable MBox Trace and I can see that I’m authenticated because it shows me my name. The final step is to turn on MBox Trace for this specific client code you’re trying to debug. Remember the client code is Target’s account identifier so usually it’s something similar to your company’s name. Most of you will only see one client code in the list so this should be pretty simple. If you ever forget what your client code is, you can flip over to the summary tab and find it there. Click to authenticate your client code. Once you see the green checkmark you’re all set. My page will reload and I’ll see the Target requests appear in the MBox Trace area grouped by the client code. You just expand the Target request to see the MBox Trace data. You’ll see four tabs at the top: Activities, Request, Profile and Audience Manager. Let’s look at these capabilities in terms of common debugging scenarios. Say I want to know if I’ve qualified for any Target activities on this page. I can see that here under the Activities tab under the Matched Activities section. Matched means this is an activity that I’ve qualified for. The activity and experience I’m in are both named Simple Change to the Headline. Now say you’re expecting to also qualify for this other activity, immerse: 404. I see it here in the Evaluated Activities section but not in Matched Activities. Evaluated Activities means this activity uses the same Target request name, Target Global MBox. So I was evaluated for Entry but I didn’t qualify. Why didn’t I qualify? Well, if I expand the activity name, notice that there is this unmatched audiences section. This will point to the exact Targeting condition that I didn’t satisfy. In this case the activity was set up on a totally different domain than the one I’m on, so obviously I’m not getting in. Here’s another scenario. You’re writing a profile script that should increment every time a visitor views the homepage and you want to make sure that it’s working correctly. On the Profile tab, under the Profile Snapshot, you can see all of the profiles stored in the Target database. You can see which profiles changed within this scope of the request and the values before and after. This is hands down your best friend when working on profile scripts. Now imagine you’ve shared an audience from Audience Manager, the Audience Library or Analytics and you want to confirm that you can qualify for the audience and begin to use it in your Target activities. You can see which audiences have been shared from other Experience Cloud solutions in the Audience Manager tab. The audiences that you see in the cached and uncached segment IDs are the ones for which you’ve qualified. Now if you don’t recognize the audience by its ID, I have two suggestions. One if you’re an Audience Manager or customer, you can search in the Audience Manager UI by the ID. Or, if you have the people Core Service setup, and remember core services are free to all Experience Cloud customers, you can open up any audience and then change the last part of the URL which represents the audience ID. Just Copy and Paste the ID from MBox Trace, hit return to reload the page and it will open up the audience that you just qualified for and you can see the name where it was created and other details about the audience. So those are the elements of MBox Trace that I find most useful in my day to day. A quick breeze of the other options. The Audience Manager profile will show more details of the server site call that Target made to Audience Manager to retrieve the audiences. The profile of visitor ID shows Target’s unique visitor ID. The Experience Cloud visitor ID, the location of the Target profile on our servers and whether it’s a new or returning visitor. Most of this info you can see more quick we’re using other features in the debugger without having to authenticate. The same is true of the Requests tab in MBox Trace. It mostly shows you the parameters past and the Target requests. Additionally it shows you the headers in the request headers area. So that’s it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of MBox Trace in the Experience Cloud Debugger and I hope you find this tool as fun to use as I do.