Three Creative Ways to Upload Data into the Adobe Experience Cloud

Published on January 4, 2018 - by jerry helou under analytics

If you ask any marketer about their lowest hanging fruit, I guarantee that the majority would say to combine their online and offline data to have a 360-degree view of their customers. I know what you are thinking: “Jerry! this is so 2011. Everyone is already doing that.” My answer would be that everyone is doing some version of stitching online and offline but how many are doing this right? Not many. Frankly, I do not think this is entirely your fault. There is an outpour of ways to do this that ends up complicating this matter and sometimes discouraging us from doing it right. This is the same confusion a 3-year-old kid would have when walking into a store with $20 bill to buy a single candy bar versus walking in with $3. I guarantee you that you will have a more enjoyable experience if you had less options to choose from. In the candy store scenario, a limited budget will limit your options which will make the choosing process faster and less stressful. If you have a kid or niece/nephew, experiment with this theory and let me know how it goes.

Back to Marketing, Adobe Experience Cloud offers many ways for you to stitch your online and offline data. In this post, we will concentrate on leveraging Adobe’s Cloud to stitch and host this data. In future posts, we will discuss how you can pull the data out of Adobe and combine it with offline data in your own on-premise or cloud solutions. Assuming that you have access to the Adobe Experience Cloud with the proper provisioning in place, we will highlight my top three methods to uploading offline data into Adobe.

1. File Upload via Adobe Audience Manager (AAM)

Audience Manager, AAM, is Adobe’s Data Management Platform (DMP). One of the selling points for a DMP is that it allows you to bring in 1st, 2nd and 3rd party data sources together under one roof. Some of this data, mainly the 1st party data, will be ingested in real time via AAM Tag or pixel. For other sources, data is onboarded to AAM via a file upload which can happen in one of two ways:

  • File On-boarding via Natural Match: This requires identifying a customer ID that exists online and offline. This ID will be the common key that will stitch the onboarded offline data with the ingested online data in the DMP. Most commonly, the customer ID is the login ID (or hashed version of it) that consumers use to access the client’s website and mobile app. This ID will need to be synced with the AAM cookie, AAM UUID, that is set in the browser. That being said, follow these 4 steps if you plan to use natural match:
    1. Setup ID Sync on website and mobile app to sync customer ID with AAM UUID
    2. Identify the attributes, file format and frequency of file uploads
    3. Create Onboarded Traits in AAM
    4. Upload the file to s3 or ftp location provided by Adobe Customer Care
  • File On-boarding via Match Providers: In the cases where Natural Match is not an option or not enough, leveraging a Match Provider such as Liveramp or Neustar is your best bet. These match providers leverage their ID Match Tables to strip the personal identifiable information (PII) from your data and instead link it to Adobe’s AAM UUID and then upload it directly to AAM. The match provider will be the middle man between you and Adobe.

2. Customer Attributes via Core Services

Core services is the glue that brings the tools within the Adobe Experience Cloud together. In other words, it enables functionalities for these tools to work together. One of these functionalities is allowing you to onboard data via Customer Attributes where this data will be linked to a customer profile. To enable this, make sure you do the following:

  • Provision the account for Audiences and Customer Attributes. In some cases, this is an additional provisioning step that Client Care can help you with. Run a quick check to see if you have access to it in your instance by clicking on Profile & Audiences within the Experience Cloud and check whether Customer Attributes shows up as an option.
    adobe marketing cloud audience library
  • Define the Customer Attribute Data Source. Follow the steps outline here to set this up.
  • Enable Declared ID. Similar to how AAM natural match works, an ID needs to be defined to sync with Adobe’s Marketing Cloud ID and be used to onboard the data.
  • Upload Data. Customer Attributes allow you to upload data via quick drag and drop option or via FTP where it can be automated and uploaded frequently.

3. Data Insertion API via Adobe Analytics

When it comes to uploading data via Adobe Analytics, two methods come to mind:

These two options are widely used to augment or organize existing data in Adobe Analytics. They are very powerful when it comes to reporting, analysis and segmentation. One less common method that tends to be helpful in situations where clients don’t want to use Adobe’s tagging code or need to push this data to server side is Data Insertion API. We see this method used heavily in mobile devices and TV boxes that cannot run JavaScript code. This doesn’t require any authentication. It supports HTTP POST and GET methods for submitting the data and only requires the report suite ID to where this data will be pushed. Full details on how to implement this can be accessed on Adobe’s Developer Site.

In this post, we covered my top three creative ways to upload data into Adobe’s Experience Cloud but by no means these are the only options. Each option has it is pros and cons when it comes to timing, availability, backfill and volume. Keep in mind the use cases that this data will drive when uploaded into the platform. Will it only to be used in the DMP? Or will it be used for email and onsite personalization? The possibilities are many and hence why we recommend adopting a holistic multi-solution mindset when approaching this feature.

Jerry Helou, Ph.D.

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Jerry Helou, Ph.D.

Jerry Helou leads the Digital Experience Architecture practice at Softcrylic. He helps our clients accomplish advanced digital experiences and strategic business goals by implementing and leveraging multi-solution architecture.

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