Last year at The Adobe Summit, Adobe announced a whole new suite of clouds. At one point, I felt I was at The Weather Channel Convention but fortunately everyone in the room knew that this was about digital marketing and not global warming. The infamous “Marketing Cloud” got a rebrand and now is part of a larger cloud called “Experience Cloud”.
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The Experience Cloud is the mother of all with three sub-clouds:
End of the day, this was a rebranding effort and had no impact on how these products integrated or operated. It just made it easier to comprehend the use cases that they can drive. That being said, the amazing features that we preached about in the Marketing Cloud prior to Summit 2017 are the same ones that continue to exist within the Experience Cloud. In this post, I will go over my top 5 features that I recommend to all my clients.
Just to be clear, you do not need to have every tool in the Adobe Stack to benefit from these 5 features. For every feature below, I will highlight the tools that it impacts within the stack so you assess how crucial this is in your current setup. Let’s get started:
What it impacts: The Visitor ID Service impacts Adobe Analytics, Audience Manager, Target, Campaign and AMO (DSP, Search and DCO).
Value: The value in Universal ID is that it enables Analytics for Target (A4T), server side integrations between the tools and video heartbeats. Another valuable impact is that it assigns first party cookies for browsers that do not support 3rd party cookies such as Safari.
What it is not: As much as people would like to believe that the Visitor ID Service solves the cross-device issue and allows them to stitch visitors across different browsers, it is not. It only benefits the Adobe tools to work properly together.
What it is: When it comes to server side integrations, there are few that Adobe offers across its solutions and are not necessarily out of box functionalities but instead require provisioning and code updates. The main ones that you should consider are:
What it impacts: Server Side Integrations impact Adobe Analytics, Audience Manager and Target.
Value: Let’s zoom in on the main server side integrations mentioned above:
What it is not: These integrations are not all in real time. It is important to understand the SLA for this data to be sent from one tool to another and how this might affect your business case. For instance, the segment sharing from Analytics to AAM is a server to server batch process. It can take from 36 to 72 hours for these segments to be realized across all the AAM edges.
What it is: Dynamic Tag Manager, soon to be rebranded as Adobe Launch, is Adobe’s Tag Manager.
What it impacts: Through DTM you can enable Tags for Visitor API, Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Media Optimizer and AEM ContextHub.
Value: It is free of charge for Adobe clients and is built for Adobe products. From my experience, it is the best Tag Manager for Adobe tools. It also supports other tools such as Nielsen and Google as well as 3rd party marketing tags. Adobe Launch, in beta now and slated to be released in the next few months, has a great list of new features such as extensions, open API and workflows.
What it is: Adobe Device Co-op is a device graph based on participating customers sharing their device link information with Adobe. The Co-op processes the data to form device clusters. These clusters represent a group of devices used by an unknown person. It is free to join and access the identity graph which is only accessible to Adobe clients.
What it impacts: It impacts Adobe Analytics, Target, Audience Manger and Media Optimizer.
Value: Today there are many identity and device graphs out there and Adobe’s is not any different except that it is large and deterministic. The main value is in cross-device stitching that allows the following: better understanding of customer behavior, content personalization, ad spend control and cross device retargeting.
What it is not: The Co-op doesn’t give participants access to all the data in the device graph. The Co-op is designed to protect the big brands from giving in too much data and allowing other smaller brands to take advantage of it. It is setup to make sure you get out of it what you put into it.
What it is: It always surprised me to hear clients’ interpretations of A4T. A4T is not a targeting tool, instead it is the reporting mechanisms for A/B testing and personalization campaigns triggered via Adobe Target. Prior to A4T, Analytics and Target had separate reporting for onsite campaigns which was troublesome since the numbers never matched. A4T solved this issue by unifying the reporting into a single platform which is Analytics.
What it impacts: A4T impacts Target directly but also depends on Analytics.
Value: Analytics for Target has one goal: consistent and reliable reporting for Target campaigns. In addition to that and since reporting is in Analytics, analysts have access to all analytics metrics that are available in the tool and not necessarily Adobe Target specific.
What it is not: It is not perfect and it might cause an inflation in visit numbers. The product teams at Adobe tackled these issues and resolved most of them with Visitor API upgrades, version 2.0+, but nevertheless you might run into the orphan hits phenomena based on the site performance and connection speeds.
The Experience Cloud has a long list of features that goes beyond what we discussed in this post. The five discussed above are my personal favorites and should be no brainer, otherwise you are missing out.