Target key concepts

Information about key concepts that help you understand the features and capabilities of Adobe Target.

Activities and Tests section_BEA0A0C51A8847579B566060206DE7E8

An activity determines the experiences a site visitor might encounter.

For example, you might design an activity that tests two different landing pages, one that highlights information about women’s summer shoes, and one that highlights more general summer apparel. The activity determines the conditions that control when each of these landing pages appears, and the metrics that determine which page is more successful. The activity is configured to start and end when specific conditions are met. These conditions can include starting and ending the activity between specific dates or to start when the activity is approved and to end when it is deactivated.

Plan carefully when designing an activity. Determine when the activity starts and how long it lasts. Then, list your offers and assign a target audience to each one.

Target includes several activity types. The following table provides an overview of each activity type with links to help you learn more. To help you better choose the best activity type for your purposes, the Target team has also created the Adobe Target Activities Guide.

Activity Type
A/B Test
A/B Testing compares two or more versions of your Web site content to see which version best improves your conversions during a pre-specified test period.
Note: You can now include recommendations inside A/B Test activities. This functionality requires that you have a Target Premium license.
Auto Allocate identifies a winner among two or more experiences and automatically reallocates more traffic to the winner to increase conversions while the test continues to run and learn.
Note: You can now include recommendations inside Auto-Allocate activities. This functionality requires that you have a Target Premium license.
Target Premium
Auto Target uses advanced machine learning to identify multiple high performing marketer-defined experiences. Auto-Target activities serve the most tailored experience to each visitor based on their individual customer profile and the behavior of previous visitors with similar profiles, in order to personalize content and drive conversions.
Note: You can now include recommendations inside Auto-Target activities. This functionality requires that you have a Target Premium license.
Using Analytics Data (A4T)
You can configure an activity to use Adobe Analytics as the reporting source. This activity type requires that you link your Adobe Experience Cloud account with both Analytics and Target.
Multivariate Test
Multivariate Testing (MVT) compares combinations of offers in elements on a page to determine which combination performs the best for a specific audience, and identifies which element most impacts the activity’s success.
Experience Targeting
Experience Targeting (XT) delivers content to a specific audience based on a set of marketer-defined rules and criteria.
Note: You can now include recommendations inside Experience Targeting activities. This functionality requires that you have a Target Premium license.
Automated Personalization
Target Premium
Automated Personalization (AP) combines offers or messages, and uses advanced machine learning to match different variations to each visitor based on their individual customer profile, in order to personalize content and drive conversions.
Target Premium
A recommendation determines how a product is suggested to a website user, depending on that user’s activities on the site.
For example, you might want to encourage people who purchase a backpack to consider buying hiking shoes and trekking poles. You could create a recommendation that shows items that are often purchased together, using the “People who bought this also bought that” algorithm. Or, you might want to encourage visitors to spend more time on your media site by recommending similar video to the one they are watching, using the “People who viewed this viewed that” algorithm.
Note: You can now include recommendations inside A/B Test (including Auto-Allocate and Auto-Target) and Experience Targeting (XT) activities. See Recommendations as an offer.

Locations section_F18FBF1ED23340ED9F39C51971A4E874

Primarily, a location is a page on your website. It could also refer to a place in a mobile app, an email, or any other place where you run an optimization.

Locations are essential to activities and experiences. You decide whether any location can do one, both, or none of the following:

  • Display and swap content for visitors.
  • Log visitor behavior.

In Target Standard, a location can be any element on a page, as long as the page contains a single line of code that enables Target in the <head> section of each page you want to track. This line of code calls the JavaScript libraries needed to collect information and deliver targeted experiences to your visitors.

Locations are combined with audiences to provide an almost endless number of options for targeting information to your customers. For example, if a visitor has never been to the site before, you might display a discount coupon for new customers. Likewise, the page might be changed to display offers that are more optimized to returning customers.

You can also use locations to track a visitor’s progress through your Web site. You can also use locations track whether the visitor completes a specific success metric, such as adding an item to the shopping cart or completing a purchase.

Experiences and Page Designs section_B806FB752EC1470784755C1EB3D4AC70

An experience, sometimes called a recipe, defines the content that displays on your page, and other page elements, such as links.

An experience determines which offer displays in a certain location when specific targeting conditions are met. For example, the experience determines that, when a return visitor visits your site, an offer for two-day shipping displays at the top of the page. The experience also determines that, when a first-time visitor views the page, a 10% discount appears in the same location.

An experience consists of the offers, image assets, or other HTML elements (such as links) that appear on the page to help drive the visitor toward the result you desire. Target combines locations, offers, and experiences to determine which content displays on your site during a specific test.

An experience can also be a different page design. For example, one experience might have one set of links across the top of the page, where another experience has different links or the same links arranged in a different order. You might want to test whether one image provides more lift than another, or whether an ad is more likely to be clicked near the top of your page or in a different location.

Target optimizes experiences for each of your visitors across your digital touchpoints and to test different experiences to determine which will be most successful. By carefully planned targeting of experiences, you can make sure that your site visitors see the most relevant offers in the right locations on your page, improving your chances of a successful visit.

Offers section_973D4CC4CEB44711BBB9A21BF74B89E9

An offer is the content displayed on your webpages during campaigns or activities.

When you test your webpages, you measure the success of each experience with different offers in your locations.

An offer can contain different types of content, including:

  • Image
  • Text
  • HTML
  • Link
  • Button

For example, a webpage might display either of two offers, depending on whether the visitor has been to your site before.

An experience determines which content displays when particular conditions are met.

Audiences section_3F32DA46BDF947878DD79DBB97040D01

Optimize your targeted content to activity entrants who meet specific criteria.

Audiences define the target for your activity and are used anywhere where targeting is available.

Target audiences are a defined set of visitor criteria. Offers can be targeted to specific audiences (or segments). Only visitors who belong to that audience see the experience that is targeted to them.

For example, you might target an activity to an audience made up of visitors who use a particular browser or operating system.

Or, your activity might be targeted at visitors from one geographical region, or people who access your page from a certain search engine.

Audiences can be saved for reuse in multiple activities, or they can be created for a specific activity.

Audience Type
Reusable audiences
Reusable audiences can be selected for any activity. Changing one of these audiences changes it for all activities that use it.
Custom segments
Custom segments (also known as campaign-specific segments) are specific to a campaign in Target Classic. They are created as a part of the campaign and cannot be reused in other campaigns.
Shared audiences
Audiences can be shared across Adobe Experience Cloud solutions. See Audiences for examples.

For information about how the visitor profile tracks information about visitors to your site, see Visitor Profiles.

Training videos:

The following videos contain more information about the concepts discussed in this article.

Activity Types (9:03) Overview badge

This video explains the activity types available in Target Standard/Premium.

  • Describe the types of activities included in Adobe Target
  • Select the appropriate activity type to achieve your goals
  • Describe the three-step guided workflow that applies to all activity types

Using Audiences in Adobe Target (6:21) Overview badge

This video explains how to use audiences in Target Standard/Premium.

  • Explain the term “Audience”
  • Explain the two ways audiences are used for optimization
  • Find audiences in the Audiences list
  • Target an activity to an audience
  • Use audiences for passive reporting in an activity