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Create an Automated Personalization activity

Create an Automated Personalization (AP) activity in Adobe Target using the Visual Experience Composer (VEC).

The Automated Personalization (AP) activity workflow in Target varies from the workflow of the other activity types.

  1. From the Target Activities list, click Create Activity > Automated Personalization.

    Create Activity: Automated Personalization

  2. To use the Visual Experience Composer (VEC), click Visual.

    To use the Form-Based Experience Composer, select Form. See Form-Based Experience Composer for more information.

    note note
    In addition to the VEC and Form-Based Experience Composer, Target offers the Single Page Application VEC. For more information about the various composers, see Experiences and Offers.
    For troubleshooting information about the VEC, see Troubleshooting the Visual Experience Composer.
  3. (Conditional) Choose a workspace.

  4. Verify or enter the activity URL, then click Create.

    note note
    Target does not differentiate between URL protocols (https and http). As a result, http://www.adobe.com and https://wwww.adobe.com both match.

    The page with the specified URL opens in the VEC.

  5. Click the Name field and type your activity name.

    Name field

    The activity name cannot begin with any of the following characters:

    table 0-row-2 1-row-2 2-row-2 3-row-2 4-row-2
    Character Description
    = Equals to
    + Plus
    - Minus
    @ At sign

    The activity name cannot contain any of the following character sequences:

    table 0-row-2 1-row-2 2-row-2 3-row-2 4-row-2 5-row-2 6-row-2 7-row-2 8-row-2 9-row-2 10-row-2
    Character Sequence Description
    ;= Semicolon, Equals to
    ;+ Semicolon, Plus
    ;- Semicolon, Minus
    ;@ Semicolon, At sign
    ,= Comma, Equals to
    ,+ Comma, Plus
    ,- Comma, Minus
    ,@ Comma, At sign
    [" Open square bracket, Double quotation marks
    "] Double quotation marks, Close square bracket
  6. Modify page elements as explained in Visual Experience Composer options.

    You can select multiple images at once from the asset manager. This lets you quickly view the page with each of the images configured for the activity. You can also easily edit text elements in your offers. When you edit an element, bars appear on that element to indicate you have changed it.

  7. Click Manage Content to configure the available combinations.

    Manage Content option

    A dialogue box displays with three options at the top of the screen: Experiences, Offers, and Exclusion Groups.

    Manage Content dialog box

    note note
    Although you can create up to 30,000 experiences in an AP activity, the activity performs best when fewer than 5,000 experiences are used. This same limit is applied even when the activity has enabled the Disalow Duplicates option.

    The Experiences list shows each piece of content selected for the activity and the location that it is assigned to.

    You can exclude specific experiences by hovering over the desired experience and then clicking the Exclude icon.

    Exclude icon hover

    You can batch exclude or include experiences by selecting the checkbox for the relevant experiences and then by clicking the Exclude icon in the top-right corner of the dialog box.

    Batch exclude options

    You can filter this list view to see only excluded or only included activities by clicking the Status drop-down list.

  8. (Conditional) Click Offers to select pieces of content and assign them to reporting groups or only allow certain visitors to see certain offers with targeting.

    For more information about reporting groups, see Offer reporting groups in Automated Personalization.

  9. (Conditional) Click Exclusion Groups to choose any combination of elements that you want to exclude from the activity.

    Exclusion Groups tab of Manage Content dialog box

    Although you can create up to 30,000 experiences in an AP test, the algorithm performs its best when fewer than 10,000 distinct experiences are used. This same limit is applied even when the activity has enabled the Disalow Duplicates option.

    If you do not currently have any exclusion groups included in your activity, click Create Exclusion Group. You can filter to create a list that shows only the combinations you want to exclude. Name your exclusion group, then click Save.

    To edit an existing exclusion group, hover over the group you want to edit, then click the pencil icon.

  10. Click Done when you have finished setting up the content of your activity.

  11. The Targeting step looks familiar if you have used other Target activity types. Here you can select an audience and specify the percentage of visitors who see the control experience by clicking the Custom Allocation drop-down list, then click Next.

    The Custom Allocation drop-down list lets you choose from the following options:

    Traffic Allocation Goal drop-down list

    • Evaluate Personalization Algorithm (50/50): If your goal is to test the algorithm, use a 50/50 percent split of visitors between the control and the targeted algorithm. This split gives the most accurate estimate of the lift. Suggested for use with “random experiences” as your control.
    • Maximizing Personalization Traffic (90/10): If your goal is to create an “always on” activity, put 10% of the visitors into the control. This option ensures that there is enough data for the algorithms to continue learning over time. The tradeoff here is that in exchange for personalizing a larger proportion of your traffic, you have less precision in what the exact lift is. No matter your goal, this option is the recommended traffic split when using a specific experience as the control.
    • Custom Allocation: Manually split the percentage as desired.
  12. (Conditional) From the Control drop-down list, select a specific experience to be used as control or select Random Experience.

    The control experience provides a comparison to determine how much lift is provided by the automated test.

    Automated Personalization always measures performance against a control group. Best practice is to place at least 10% of entrants into the control group. If your goal is to test if the personalization algorithm on the data it is given performs better than no personalization (for example, the randomly served control), a 50/50 percent traffic split between the control and the personalization algorithm is the fastest and most accurate way to achieve this goal. If you want to maximize the amount of traffic that is personalized and you are less concerned with understanding the exact lift your activity is generating, a 10/90 percent traffic split between the control and the personalization algorithm is the fastest and most accurate way to achieve this goal.

    note note
    In Automated Personalization activities, entry criteria (URL targeting, template rules, and audience targets) are evaluated for each request. In previous versions, entry criteria were evaluated once per session.
  13. Click Next to display the Goals & Settings page.

  14. Configure the activity with the following settings, then click Save & Close.

    table 0-row-2 1-row-2 2-row-2 3-row-2 4-row-2 5-row-2 6-row-2 7-row-2 8-row-2 9-row-2
    Setting Description
    Name Name the activity. Give the activity a name that is descriptive enough that team members can recognize it in the Activities list. Consult the table above to see which characters are not allowed in an activity name.
    Objective (Optional) Type the objective of the test. The objective helps you remember the purpose of the activity.

    Depending on your settings, the Target UI and options for Priority vary. You can use the legacy settings of Low, Medium, or High, or you can enable fine-grained priorities from 0 to 999.

    The priority is used if multiple activities are assigned to the same location with the same audience. If two or more activities are assigned to the location, the activity with the highest priority displays.

    If this option is not enabled in Administration > Reporting (the default), specify a priority: Low, Medium, or High.

    To enable fine-grained priorities, click Administration > Reporting, then toggle the Enable Fine-Grained Priorities option to the “On” position.

    If this option is enabled, specify a value from 0 through 999:

    • 0 = Low
    • 999 = High

    For activities created in previous versions of Target Standard/Premium, Low priority is converted to 0, Medium priority is converted to 5, and High priority is converted to 10. You can adjust these values as necessary.

    Note: Before you can disable this option after using fine-grained priories, all priorities must be set back to 0, 5, and 10.

    Duration Set the start and end dates for the activity. You can select When Activated or you can specify a specific date and time.
    Optimization Goal

    Specify the optimization goal, which consists of two parameters:

    • What you want to measure with the activity
    • The action taken by an activity entrant that shows that the goal has been achieved.

    You can choose to name the optimization goal by selecting the three dots to the right of My Primary Goal. Automated Personalization activities can measure Conversion or Revenue. Conversion can be achieved by viewing a page or by viewing an mbox. Clicks can also be tracked.

    The primary goal also becomes the modeling metric used by the modeling system to calculate the success of the experience.

    Visitors can be kept in the activity for tracking purposes after reaching the modeling goal. For example, often an Automated Personalization activity is used to improve click-rates, and that is set as the modeling goal. However, it’s important to see how increased click-rates lead to final conversion, so tracking through the final conversion is essential.

    You can provide dependency on multiple metrics along with the flexibility to choose whether the metric should be reached or not reached for the count to increase.

    You must define both (or multiple) success metrics before you can make one dependent on another.

    The Add Dependency option allows the success metric to increment if another success metric has been reached or has not been reached.

    To add a dependency:

    1. After adding additional metrics, click Advanced Settings under the three-dot menu to the right of Additional Goal.
    2. Click the Add Dependency option at the bottom of the Reporting Settings section.
    3. Drag and drop the desired metrics from the left pane into the right pane, then click Reached to toggle the setting between Reached and Not Reached.

    You can edit or remove dependencies after adding them.

    Conversion Metric By default, the conversion metric is the same as the optimization goal metric. However, you can define a separate conversion metric by unchecking the Same as Optimization Goal option.
    Additional Metrics

    Add any additional reporting metrics that you want to use. You can add conversion or revenue metrics.

    Note: The Engagement metric is not supported as an additional metric. The Target UI might let you select the Engagement metric, but the data does not display accurately in reports.

    Audiences for Reporting

    Add audiences to enable filtering by audiences in reports. By default, the report shows results for all qualified visitors. Add audiences to filter results for more specific subsets of visitors.

    Note: Unlike other activity types, Automated Personalization cannot use Adobe Analytics as its reporting source (A4T).

    Notes Type any information about your activity that is useful for you or for other team members. The Notes pane is resizable.

    When you name or rename a metric, the following characters are not allowed:

    table 0-row-2 1-row-2 2-row-2 3-row-2 4-row-2 5-row-2 6-row-2 7-row-2 8-row-2
    Character Description
    / Forward slash
    ? Question mark
    # Number sign
    : Colon
    = Equals to
    + Plus
    - Minus
    @ At sign

After you click Save & Close, the activity’s Overview page displays. Click Preview Experiences to preview how your experiences look when delivered. A pop-up appears that you can use to view and share links to your AP experiences on your site to get a “true preview” of the experiences outside of the Target Visual Experience Composer (VEC). You must share the links from the message to share the preview. Clicking a link and then copying the URL directly from the browser does not work. Copying the link causes the URL to contain a parameter that displays the page correctly only when you access the page from the link in the message.

For information about reporting, see Automated Personalization Reports.