Customer attributes

Information about using enterprise customer data from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) databases for content targeting in Adobe Target by using customer attributes in the Adobe Enterprise Cloud People service.

Enterprise customer data collected through multiple sources and stored inside CRM databases can be used in Target to strategically deliver the most relevant content to customers, specifically focusing on returning customers. Audiences and customer attributes in the People service (formerly Profiles and Audiences) brings together data collection and analysis with testing and optimization, making data and insights actionable.

Customer attributes overview section_B4099971FA4B48598294C56EAE86B45A

Customer Attributes in the People service is part of the Adobe Experience Cloud and provides enterprises a tool to push their customer data to the Experience Cloud platform.

Data onboarded to the Experience Cloud is available for all Experience Cloud workflows. Target uses this data for targeting returning customer based on attributes. Adobe Analytics consumes these attributes and they can be used for analysis and segmentation.

crs example

Consider the following information as your work with customer attributes and Target:

  • There are some prerequisite requirements that you must meet before you can use the Customer attributes feature in the People service. For more information, see “Prerequisites for uploading Customer Attributes” in Customer attributes in the Experience Cloud Services and Administration documentation.

  • Be aware of the limitations concerning file uploads, as documented in About data file and data sources for Customer Attributes in the Experience Cloud Central Interface Components Guide. As best practice:

    • Upload single large files (within the limits specified). Single large files are preferred over multiple smaller files.
    • If you must split the upload into several files, ensure that files are fully processed before submitting new files. Ensure that each file in a batch is fully processed prior to submitting the next file in the batch.
  • Adobe does not guarantee that 100% of customer attribute (visitor profile) data from CRM databases will be onboarded to the Experience Cloud and, thus, be available for use for targeting in Target. In the current design, there is a possibility that a small percentage of data (up to 0.1% of large production batches) might not be onboarded.

  • The lifetime of customer attributes data imported from the Experience Cloud to Target depends on the lifetime of the visitor profile, which is 14 days by default. For more information, see Visitor Profile Lifetime.

  • If the vst.* parameters are the only thing identifying the visitor, the existing “authenticated” profile will not be fetched as long as authState is UNAUTHENTICATED (0). The profile comes into play only if authState is changed to AUTHENTICATED (1).

    For example, if the parameter is used to identify the visitor (where myDataSource is the data source alias) and there is no MCID or third-party ID, using the parameter vst.myDataSource.authState=0 does not fetch the profile that might have been created through a Customer Attributes import. If the desired behavior is to fetch the authenticated profile, the vst.myDataSource.authState must have the value of 1 (AUTHENTICATED).

  • You cannot send the following characters in mbox3rdPartyID: plus sign (+) and forward slash (/).

Access Customer Attributes in the People service

  1. In the Adobe Experience Cloud, click the menu icon ( menu icon ) then click People.


  2. Click the Customer Attributes tab.

    Customer Attributes tab

Customer attribute workflow for Target section_00DAE94DA9BA41398B6FD170BC7D38A3

Complete the following steps to use CRM data in Target, as illustrated below:

crm workflow

Detailed instructions for completing each of the following tasks can be found in Create a customer attribute source and upload the data file in the Experience Cloud Services and Administration documentation.

  1. Create a data file.

    Export customer data from your CRM to CSV format to create a .csv file. Alternately, a zip or gzip file can be created for uploading. Ensure that first row of the CSV file is the header and all rows (customer data) have the same number of entries.

    The following illustration shows a sample enterprise customer data file:

    crs sample

    The following illustration shows a sample enterprise customer .csv file:

    csv sample

  2. Create the attribute source and upload the data file.

    Specify a Name and Description of the data source and the alias Id. The alias Id is a unique ID to be used in your Customer Attribute code in VisitorAPI.js.

    note important
    The data source name and the attribute name cannot contain a period.

    Your data file must comply with the file Upload Requirements and must not exceed 100 MB. If your file is too large, or you have data that must be uploaded on a recurring basis you can FTP your files instead.

    • HTTPS: You can drag-and-drop the .csv data file or click Browse to upload from your file system.
    • FTP: Click the FTP link to upload the file through FTP. First step is to provide a password for the Adobe-provided FTP server. Specify the password, then click Done.

    Now transfer your CSV/ZIP/GZIP file to the FTP server. After this file transfer is successful, create a file with the same name and a .fin extension. Transfer this empty file to the server. This indicates an End Of Transfer and the Experience Cloud starts to process the data file.

  3. Validate the schema.

    The validation process lets you map display names and descriptions to uploaded attributes (strings, integers, numbers, and so on). Map each attribute to its correct data type, display name, and description.

    Click Save after the schema validation is complete. The file upload time varies depending on the size.

    Validate schema

    Upload schema

  4. Configure subscriptions and activate the attribute source.

    Click Add Subscription, then select the solution to subscribe these attributes. Configure subscriptions sets up the data flow between the Experience Cloud and solutions. Activating the attribute source allows the data to flow to subscribed solutions. The customer records you have uploaded are matched up with incoming ID signals from your website or application.

    Configure solution


    While performing this step, be aware of the following limitations:

    • The maximum file size for each upload using the HTTP method is 100 MB.
    • The maximum file size for each upload using the FTP method is 4 GB.
    • The number of attributes allowed to subscribe: 5 for Target Standard and 200 for Target Premium.

Use customer attributes in Target section_107E3A0F0EC7478E82E6DBD17B30B756

You can use customer attributes in Target in the following ways:

Creating targeting audiences

In Target, you can select a customer attribute from the Visitor Profile section when creating an audience. All customer attributes have the prefix < data_source_name > in the list. Combine these attributes as required with other data attributes to build audiences.

Target Audience

Creating profile scripts using tokens

Customer attributes can be referenced in profile scripts using format crs.get('<Datasource Name>.<Attribute name>').

This profile script can be used directly in offers for delivering attributes that belong to the current visitor.

Using mbox3rdPartyID in your website for a successful implementation and usage

Pass mbox3rdPartyId as a parameter to the global mbox inside the targetPageParams() method. The value of mbox3rdPartyId should be set to the customer ID that was present in the CSV data file.

<script type="text/javascript">
            function targetPageParams() {
               return 'mbox3rdPartyId=2000578';

Using the Experience Cloud ID Service

If you are using the Experience Cloud ID service, you must set a Customer ID and Authentication State to use customer attributes in targeting. For more information, see Customer IDs and Authentication State in the Experience Cloud ID Service Help.

For more information about using customer attributes in Target, see the following resources:

Issues frequently encountered by customers section_BE0F70E563F64294B17087DE2BC1E74C

You might encounter the following issues when working with customer attributes and Target.

Issues 1 and 2 cause approximately 60% of problems in this area. Issue 3 causes approximately 30% of problems. Issue 4 causes approximately 5% of problems. The remaining 5% are due to miscellaneous issues.

Issue 1: Customer attributes are removed because the profile is too large

There is no character limit on a particular field in the user’s profile, but if the profile gets larger than 64 K, it is truncated by removing the oldest attributes until the profile is below 64 K again.

Issue 2: Attributes not listing in the Audience Library in Target, even after several days

This is usually a Pipeline connection problem. As a resolution, ask your Customer Attributes team to republish the feed.

Issue 3: Delivery not working based on the attribute

The profile has not been updated on the edge yet. As a resolution, ask your Customer Attributes team to republish the feed.

Issue 4: Implementation issues

Be aware of the following implementation issues:

  • The Visitor Id was not passed correctly. The ID was passed in mboxMCGVID instead of setCustomerId.
  • The Visitor Id was passed correctly, but the AUTHENTICATION state was not set to Authenticated.
  • mbox3rdPartyId was not passed correctly.

Issue 5: mboxUpdate not performed properly

mboxUpdate was not performed properly with mbox3rdPartyId.

Issue 6: Customer attributes are not being imported into Target

If you cannot find Customer Attributes data in Target, ensure that the import occurred within the last x days where x is the Target Visitor Profile Lifetime value (14 days by default).

Training video: Upload Offline Data using Customer Attributes Tutorial badge section_9A4E0FA0D0934D06BD8D5BFA673E9BD8

This video shows you how to import offline CRM, help desk, point-of-sale, and other marketing data into the Experience Cloud People service and associate it with visitors using their known IDs.