Audience Library or Real-Time Audiences

The Profiles & Audiences core service has two main components: Customer Attributes (the “profiles” part) and the Audience Library (the “audiences” part). Today I am going to focus on the latter, which is also called Real-Time Audiences. As its name implies, it allows you to create audiences, for which visitors qualify in real time.

What is the Audience Library?

If you are reading this post, you are familiar with the concept of audiences or segments. Today’s marketing relies on creating groups of people with common interests and send them appropriate messages. Besides, it has become more and more important to know as soon as possible when someone should belong to a segment. Hence, a real-time audience is an group of visitors, who have exhibited some common behavioural traits, and it is needed to know when a particular visitor is part of this audience immediately.

However, this feature has certain limitations, which you need to be aware of:

  • It usually requires an Adobe Analytics implementation. The reason is that the audiences will use Analytics dimensions and metrics only. As I explained in the previous paragraph, behavioural data is the base of real-time audiences. The only case when you will not need it is when there are existing segments that you want to combine.
  • Only Adobe Experience Cloud solutions can use it. Currently, only Adobe Target and Adobe Campaign (Standard and v6) are supported.

Do I really need it?

The first question you need to ask yourself is whether you need this feature. It only makes sense to use it under some use cases. Here you have some quick tips to help you decide:

  • Do you already have an AAM license? If the answer is “yes”, stop reading this post. The Audience Library is a subset of AAM. You can do everything you need in AAM and much, much more.
  • Do you use Adobe Target and its segmentation capabilities enough for you? If so, obviously, you do not need any other tool to create audiences.
  • Are Adobe Analytics shared segments enough for your use cases? Analytics segments are more powerful than real-time audiences, except for their 24h delay.

If you replied “no” to all questions, then creating audiences via the Audience Library might be for you. Otherwise, I would not recommend you use this tool to create audiences.

Creating Real-Time Audiences

The first step is to get the Audience Library provisioned.

When you receive confirmation of the provisioning, log in to the Adobe Experience Cloud interface and go to Profiles and Audiences:

audience library menu

In order to create a new one, click on the “+ New” button and follow the wizard:

new real time audience

In this example, I am creating an audience for visitors who have logged in (eVar2 == “authenticated”) in the report suite “AEM 16 EMEA”. You will also see a graph with an estimate of the audience size. I recommend to use a naming convention, for example, prepending “RTA” in the name.

And this is it. You can start creating campaigns or activities based on these audiences. In Adobe Target you will see this new audience immediately available:

real time audience target

However, it will take a few hours until it starts collecting some data.

The case of Adobe Campaign is more complex and requires a separate post.

9 thoughts on “Audience Library or Real-Time Audiences”

  1. Hi Pedro – Did you end up writing another post regarding your last sentence around Adobe Campaign being more complex? I would love to hear your thoughts, as I haven’t been able to find much information on the topic. Thanks!

    • Hi Steven – Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I have not yet written an article regarding segment sharing with Campaign. It is in my TODO list though 🙂 Stay tuned!

  2. Hello Pedro
    So the comment “Once a visitor qualifies for the audience shared from Analytics, there is a 24 – 48 hour delay before that information is actionable in Target, Adobe Campaign, and Campaign”.

    Does that still hold today with Analytics, Launch, Target and Audience Library?
    Will the Experience Cloud Platform make a difference?
    What about profile scripts that could ‘mimick’ the audience and make these real time?

    • Hi George,
      Audiences created in Adobe Analytics are batch processed and the process is run only daily. So, yes, it still takes 24-48h. However, if you create the audience directly in the Audience Library or in Audience Manager, then it is real-time. Target also has its own segmentation capabilities, which are also real-time, as are its profile scripts. You can continue to use them, but remember that they will be confined to Target only. Launch here is only the tag container.
      The Adobe Experience Platform will change all of this. It is meant to be real-time. However, I would not count on it yet. It will take months before it is widely available.

  3. Thank you Pedro for your reply. The ‘real-time’ aspect is interesting as it seem something ‘needs to be turned on’ from Adobe’s end to make this work. i.e. Target-Analytics-Audience Manager all firing and real time audiences coming through. Is it usual that this area takes a bit more work than expected?

    • Hi George,
      To get the Audience Library you need to speak with your Adobe CSM to provision it, but it is a simple process and has no extra cost. Audience Manager should be configured by your implementation consultant. Although you could use both, if you have Audience Manager, it usually makes little to no sense to use the Audience Library. In any case, Analytics segments will always be batch.
      Hope this helps!

  4. Hi Pedro,

    As you wrote, if AAM is available to me, I understand Audiences (by People) are useless. Am I right?

    Besides, is there a way to create Audiences that are both:
    1. real time (to do nex hit targeting activities), and
    2. based on Visits instead of Visitors?

    Thanks in advance,

    • Hi Francesco,

      You are very right. If you have AAM, the Audience Library in the People core service will not add anything new. There may be some edge cases, like if you have users who are not allowed to use AAM but the need to generate segments or uses who would get overwhelmed by AAM.

      Regarding your second question, there is no way to generate a visit-based segment. AAM has no concept of visits. Also, it would be somewhat complex to generate it, as it requires timers (30 minutes of inactivity).


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