Quick Overview of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Audience Builder

The Audience Builder in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a way to create specific groups of people to send emails to, as well as further split that group up into smaller more targeted groups for different email content.

There is an official overview on the ExactTarget help pages (Public), as well as an online course with video walkthroughs in the course catalog of the 3sixty website (private). The videos, although professionally created, are a bit hard to follow owing to the user interface having been recently revamped. There is also a ‘certification’ exam, which is rather easy if you had been paying attention through the course. I can see the exam being useful if you need to verify if someone actually knows how Audience Builder hangs together.

The first question would be where to find it? It does have to be enabled by ExactTarget, and if it has then you should see it under Data & Analytics (and if you can’t then you need to contact ExactTarget).

Where is audience builder

Before diving in, it is probably helpful to get familiar with some of the terms that are used in Audience Builder, such as Universe, Population and Contact. I made a quick cheat sheet to help remember, although if your attributes and dimensions are already set up then you just have to use them rather than know how to define them.

AB Attributes and Dimensions

Once you have that, then you must understand how Segments work on your resultant Audience. You should note how Priority between segments work, as well as Waterfall suppression of which Audience members enter which segment. This will help avoid unexpected questions about why certain members were not included in an intended email mailing.

AB Segments

If you’re now comfortable with that, it is worth to just look at the Audience Builder screen to get an idea how it works. The Overview screen just shows a long list of all currently defined Audiences:

Audience Builder Overview

If you go ahead and click any of these, then the Summary tab has everything that you would expect, which is a high level breakdown of your Audience, including how much of the Population your Audience is using and what is its current Segmentation:

Adience Builder Summary

The Filter tab is also straightforward. It defines the rule or rules that make up your Audience before segmenting. In this case all males between certain ages:

Audience Builder Filter Definition

The Segment screen allows you to further split up your Audience. You don’t need to actually define any Segments, however you can edit or add new Segments here if you wish. You can check the impact (in terms of Audience numbers) of any change here. Again, Waterfall Suppression comes in effect here, with priority to the lowest numbered Segments in the list.

Audience Builder Segments

Finally when you are ready, you can Preview or Publish your Audience on the Publish tab:

Audience Builder Publish

Once your Audience is published, then you are ready to start defining emails to send to them, as well as particular variations on each segment.

There is a good deal more detail if you drill down into each screen, however I feel that the online course will do it more justice. If you have access to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud then you should be able to see all the details in the associated 3sixty course.

Adobe Experience Manager 6.0 Install

I’m taking a look at the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), and the install was a little tricky.

First of all I got a Java Server Page crash screen when I ran the first time on both my Windows and Mac laptops. Some Googling revealed that you needed the JDK 1.7, not the latest 1.8.  (I’m pretty sure at university over 10 years ago the idea was to have multiple run time versions?)

When it got running… well performance was underwhelming on a relatively new MacBoon Pro Retina with i5 cpu. Running on a Lenovo i7 workstation was more acceptable. I think if I am to get serious with this then Cloud hosting is almost certainly the way to go (just like with Sitecore).

Then after registering and starting it required login details not provided in the introduction email (Just ‘admin’ and ‘admin’).

Musings of a reluctant Apple fanboy

I was at the Melbourne Salesforce.com World Tour event today, and it was great timing to announce the Salesforce app was the first to be available on the new Apple Watch. I’m not convinced that CFO’s will walk about with yearly financial target graphs on their wrists and much less recharge it every day, but it is a nice proof of concept about how pervasive devices have become in our lives.

More concerning to me was the new revision of the MacBook Pro Retina. Has my old MacBook become obsolete? Well luckily not really. Functionally it is all the same, including for the most part the retina display (the number one reason for my purchase). All other specs are nice, and the machine becoming less heavy nicer still, but I don’t think I would have used it very differently over the next 18 months.

The loss of the Thunderbolt port it probably my biggest takeaway. I certainly won’t waste money on buying Thunderbolt accessories, since they will likely be useless after my old MacBook is retired.

Probably the only function I can think of that would have obsoleted my MacBook would have been a touchscreen. I don’t need a touchscreen but I can see the utility that my Windows peers are getting out of it. I’d be surprised if the next MacBook in 2017 doesn’t have this!

Losing a Fitbit device in Australia

I found a Fitbit One on the street the other day. A quick check on online forums suggested that Fitbit will get Fedex to pick it up and return to the original owner.

They fail to mention that this does not apply to Australia (or presumably many other places).

So Fitbit support sent an email saying that because it is Australia that they would take care of the customer separately and that I can keep the Fitbit! I really hope the owner contacts the support so that they can get a replacement.

I guess Fitbit have to be careful not to put strangers into contact with each other, however seems a shame. I’m sure the owner lives close by to me and I just wanted to get it back to them.

Microsoft Surface 2 Table Spotting

The Microsoft Surface 2 Table (Not the same as their new successful laptop) never really took off, however I did build some demos for it and it is still great for multi user scenarios. My son found one in the Australian Museum in Sydney.

IMG_0536

Microsoft Apps on Samsung Galaxy S6

I’ve owned a few Samsung Galaxy devices (SII, SIII and Tab 2) and I found the quality of the pre-installed Samsung software pretty low. It always seemed strange that Samsung would invest in near perfect hardware design and then followup with only half-hearted software support.

It will be great to see the official Microsoft mobile apps pre-installed instead, which would reduce TCO an an enterprise wanting to enable their mobile workers on this platform:

http://www.sammobile.com/2015/02/12/exclusive-galaxy-s6-software-will-bring-some-amazing-changes/

SFDC File Connect and Microsoft OneDrive for Business

This is great news for Office 365 customers! Salesforce.com’s File Connect will integrate with Microsoft OneDrive for Business from February 2015:

http://www.salesforce.com/company/news-press/press-releases/2014/12/141217.jsp

According to the press release, all file permissions on OneDrive will be enforced as well as being fully accessible from mobile devices.

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