Audiences Overview

The Audiences Module allows you to define segments of your customer base you want to track using demographic and behavioral data. You can analyze changes to your audiences over time and use these audiences in campaign messaging. In addition, the module supports the export of audience data from the SessionM Platform to a client’s designated destination.

Audiences Dashboard

When you enter the Audiences Module, you can see a dashboard containing all the audience segments you have created to date and a status indicating their readiness for use in a campaign, along with some identification and measurement metrics.

The Audiences dashboard.

Fields that are shown on the Audiences dashboard include:

Audience Status – The current status of your audience, indicating whether it is “live” or “draft.” When you first define an audience, you create it in “draft” mode. Then you must activate it to process the audience and start collecting information on it. This column indicates whether or not you have taken the step to activate an audience. Learn more when creating an audience.

Audience Name – The designated name of your audience. The type of name used is up to you, so the platform can accommodate whatever naming convention you prefer.

Created By – The member of your organization that created your audience.

Created On – The date and time that the audience was created.

Last Processed On – The date that an active audience was last processed. This only applies to active audiences and not drafted audiences. Typically, processing occurs daily, around 12:00 AM, but processing times can vary.

Audience Size – The size of an active audience as of the last processed date. This only applies to active audiences and not drafted audiences. When clicking into the audience from the Audiences Dashboard, you can see information on how the size of the audience has changed over time.

Dashboard Controls

When viewing live and draft audiences, there are a number of controls that can be used to help locate and organize the results, including:

Audience Search – Search your list of audiences by keyword, matching text found in the “Audience Name” and “Created By” columns.

Audience Sorting – Sort your columns in alphabetical order, reverse alphabetical order or date (either descending or ascending).

Creating an Audience

From the Audiences dashboard click on the Create Audience button in the top right area of the page to define a new audience. Clicking this button brings you into the audience builder, where you can follow the steps below to define, save and activate your audience.

Define Audience Name

First, you must choose a name for your audience in the open textbox. This name is visible and searchable on the Audiences dashboard.

The first step to create an audience is to give it a name.

Select Audience Attributes

Define the audience by adding attributes from the Select Attributes dropdown.

Selecting audience attributes. 1) Select standard and advanced attribute types. 2) Once selected, an attribute can be refined. 3) You can choose to include or exclude your attribute

Choose an attribute, selecting a value from the possible refinements that appear once it is added to the list. Then choose whether to include this attribute definition in your audience or exclude it.

Standard Attribute Types – The available demographic attributes can include age, gender, home city, home state, etc.

Advanced Attribute Types – Along with standard demographic attributes, a number of advanced and custom attributes can be applied to better classify and refine your audience. Types include:

  • Appended Data – Custom profile attributes that can be ingested into the platform and appended to customer profiles. Once ingested, the attributes can be used to define an audience.
  • Tags – Tags can include various behaviors customers have taken such as making a purchase, visiting a store or participating in a marketing campaign. When these actions are recognized by the SessionM Platform, a tag is dropped onto the customer profile and can then be used to define an audience.
  • RFM Metrics (Recency, Frequency, Monetary Spend) – An audience can be defined using metrics based on purchase recency, purchase frequency and the monetary amount your customers have spent.

Save as Draft

Once you finish building an audience and click the Save button, your audience is saved as a draft. This step, which is prior to activating the audience, allows you to make adjustments if needed before an audience becomes active. Once active, an audience cannot be edited.

Tip

To edit an audience that is in draft mode, click on the audience name from the Audiences dashboard and make your adjustments.

Activate the Audience

An audience must be activated before you can tie it to scheduled messaging logic within a campaign and start collecting reporting metrics on the audience.

When you are ready, click the Activate button to set your audience to an active status.

Once you are ready to activate your audience, you click the Activate button in the top right area of the page. Doing so allows you to see the status of your audience change to “active” and see a read-only summary of the attributes that define your audience, along with a space where the Audience Size chart can display.

Note

Once an audience is activated it cannot be edited.

Working with Active Audiences

Once an audience is active, the SessionM Platform can monitor it and report any changes occurring since its inception. You can view a variety of reports for an active audience by clicking on it in the dashboard and accessing its associated tabs.

The Details and Composition tabs present graphical analysis on the audience, including size and “snapshot” representations of specific attributes. The Exports tab contains two sub-sections: one that displays all of the configurations that exist for the selected audience; and one that details the history of all export jobs run for the selected audience.

Note

The platform processes audience data nightly to update reporting within the module.

Details Tab: Audience Size Chart

The Details tab depicts the changes in an audience’s size over time. By default, the report presents a range of data points from the audience’s inception date through the date its data was last processed. However, you can use the tab’s date picker to customize the start and end dates, as long as they fall within the range.

You can view changes in your audience size since its inception.

The last data point on the chart matches the total audience size displayed in the Estimated Audience Size section of the page. For more information on this section or the targeting data below it, see Active Audience Attributes.

Composition Tab: Snapshot by Attribute

The Composition tab depicts a real-time snapshot of the audience’s composition based on a specified audience attribute.

View the audience composition based on a chosen attribute, such as age.

The Snapshot by Attribute report displays the size and composition of the audience based on the attribute you select from the View Attribute drop-down. In the report shown above, the composition of the audience “All Users” is expressed by age, with the 25-34 age group representing the bulk of the users, at 99.8%.

You can view an analysis of the audience in the table at the bottom of the tab or by hovering over one of the shaded vertical columns on the composition chart. Both depictions express the audience size as both a numerical value and as a percentage of the total number of customers.

Using the View Attribute drop-down, you can select which attribute data displays in the chart. Default attributes include:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Purchase Recency
  • Purchase Frequency
  • Monetary Spend (over customer lifetime)

Custom attributes can also be configured for the audience composition chart based on the needs of each individual client.

Active Audience Attributes

In the Details and Composition tabs, a number of metrics tracking audience composition are displayed on the right side of the window.

View the estimated audience size and targeting summary for an audience.

These metrics include:

Estimated Audience Size – The size of an active audience, as of the last processed date, and the percentage of your total base that the audience represents.

Targeting Summary – A list of the attributes that define the audience. This serves as a reminder of who constitutes the audience, a handy reference when examining the graphical reports shown on the Details and Composition tabs.

Exports Tab

The Exports tab supports the export of audience lists from the SessionM Platform to a client’s designated SFTP destination. Currently, the data being exported must be configured as a CSV file; however, future encoding formats are anticipated. An export of the CSV file can occur one time, or it can be scheduled. When performed, an export generates a list of users in a selected audience, along with select user attributes.

The Exports tab contains the Configuration and History sections:

Configuration – In this section, you can view whatever export configurations have been defined for the active audience. Each row corresponds to a specific configuration.

View the configuration details for each export job.

In addition to configuration details, each row of the table includes an Actions drop-down list, which allows you to edit, activate or pause a specific export configuration. For more information, see the Configuration tab.

History – In this section, you can see data for each export after it runs.

View the data that results for each export after having been run.

A single configuration viewable from the Configuration tab can have multiple rows in the History table – one for each occurrence of the export. For more information, see the History tab.

Manage Exports Overview

From the Audiences module, you can access the Manage Exports main page by clicking the Manage Exports link located near the top of the browser.

The Manage Exports page contains four tabs for creating and managing your audience data exports: Configuration, History, Destinations and Encryptions.

Configuration Tab

When you click Manage Exports, the default tab shown is the Configuration tab.

The Manage Exports page, showing the Configuration tab.

The primary purpose of this tab is to display all of the exports configured for the entire module.

Fields shown on the Configuration tab include:

Audience – Name designated for the audience. Click on an audience to open it and access its Details, Composition and Exports tab.

Name – Name specified for the export.

Type – Export delivery type. Indicates whether the audience is scheduled as a one-time or a recurring export.

Repeats – Frequency with which the file is exported once it is scheduled.

Ends – Final date an audience file will be exported if scheduled.

Format – Format of the data file being exported. Currently, only the CSV format is supported.

Destination – Location to which export delivers data file and makes it accessible to the user. Includes a specified host along with its corresponding path and port. Currently, only SFTP destinations are supported.

State – Current status of the export, including “Active,” “Paused” or “Canceled.” When defining an export initially, you can decide to toggle it on (“Active”) or keep it inactive (“Paused”) until you are ready to activate it.

Created By – Member of the organization that created the export.

Actions – Click Edit to open the export in edit mode. Or, choose to activate or pause an export without exiting the Manage Exports view.

Note

The options within the Actions drop-down reflect the platform user permission level and the current state of the export selected.

History Tab

The History tab is the second tab displayed on the Manage Exports page.

The Manage Exports page, showing the History tab.

The primary purpose of this tab is to show the history of all generated export jobs, along with basic attributes such as state and the date the export ran.

Fields shown on the History tab include:

State – Current status of the export. Indicates whether it is “Scheduled,” “Complete,” “In-Progress,” “Canceled” or “Failed.”

Date – Date and time the export request was made.

Audience – Designated name of the audience. Click on an audience to open it and access its Details, Composition and Exports tabs.

Name – Name specified for the export.

Type – Export delivery type. Indicates whether the audience is scheduled as a one-time or a recurring export.

Format – Format of the data file exported. Currently, only the CSV format is supported.

Destination – Location to which export delivered data file and made it accessible to the user. Includes a specified host along with its corresponding path and port. Currently, only SFTP destinations are supported.

Created By – Member of the organization that created the export.

Destinations Tab

The Destinations tab is the third tab displayed on the Manage Exports page.

The Manage Exports page, showing the Destinations tab.

The primary purposes of this tab are to display the SFTP destinations for audience data exports and to add a destination.

Fields shown on the Destination tab include:

Name – Name specified for the destination.

Host – Host name of the server.

Path – File path to where export data is sent to the SFTP directory.

Port – Port number for a connection; typically, this value is 22.

User Name – Name the user gives the SFTP destination.

Created By – Member of the organization that created the destination.

Actions – Provides the Edit option to open the destination in edit mode.

You can also add a destination from this interface by clicking Add Destination. For more information, see Add a Destination.

Encryptions Tab

The Encryptions tab is the fourth tab displayed on the Manage Exports page.

The Manage Exports page, showing the Encryptions tab.

The primary purposes of this tab are to display PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryptions available for audience data exports and to add an encryption.

Fields shown on the History tab include:

Name – Name specified for the encryption.

Type – Encryption type. Currently PGP is supported.

Created By – Member of the organization that created the encryption.

Actions – Click Edit to open the encryption in edit mode.

You can also add a PGP encryption from this interface by clicking Add Encryption. For more information, see Add an Encryption.

Building an Export

The Audience Module provides the tools required to define, save and activate an export of audience data. The work flow begins on the Audiences dashboard.

Identify the audience you want to export data for and then click its name, which is located in the Audience column. The audience you selected opens, with the Details tab displayed.

Begin building an export from the page that opens for the audience you selected on the Audience dashboard.

Once the audience is open, you can click the Export button to open the export builder and display the Setup tab.

Specify the basic characteristics for the export on the Setup tab of the export builder.

As shown in the image above, the export builder offers three tabs for defining your export: Setup, Attributes, and Notification. The typical work flow moves left to right, beginning with the Setup tab and concluding on the Notification tab. You can utilize the Next button to advance through all three tabs. As you proceed, bear in mind that required fields are outlined in red.

Begin building the export for the audience by setting up its basic characteristics, including its name, when it is scheduled to run and to what destination. This tab also allows you to activate the export.

The Setup tab includes the following sections:

Basic Details – Set the basic characteristics of your export.

  • Name – Name of the export. This is a required field.
  • File Name – Name of the file on the SFTP server containing the data to be exported. Field supports dynamic names with date/time conversions. This is a required field.
  • Export Active – Slider that activates your export: red to activate later or green to activate immediately. For more information on activating or pausing an export, see Activate or Pause an Export.

Delivery Schedule – Set the delivery schedule.

  • Delivery Date/Time – Field that allows you to schedule an export. Click on the field to open the picker, and then use its controls to select a date and time. This is a required field.
  • Repeat This Export – Checkbox for repeating a scheduled export. Selecting it opens additional fields for configuring how often the export will run.
  • Cancel Export – If the initial request for an export is unsuccessful, these fields specify how long attempts to run the job are permitted.

Destination Settings – Set the format, location and encryptions details.

  • Format – Format of the destination. Currently, CSV is supported.
  • Destination – Location to which the export delivers the data file and makes it accessible to the user. This is a required field. Currently, only SFTP destinations are supported. Available values for this field are configured on the Destinations tab of the Manage Exports page. For more information, see the Destinations Tab and Add a Destination sections.
  • Encryption – Optional field for choosing whether export is encrypted or not. You can select your configured PGP encryption from this dropdown or choose not to.

Once fields on the Setup tab are populated, click Next to advance to the Attributes tab.

Set up the CSV attributes for the export on the Attributes tab.

On the Attributes tab, you can set up the CSV settings. Use attributes in the Attribute List to add columns such as “First Name” and “Last Name.” Control the behavior of the CSV file by specifying line feeds, delimiter characters, and header rows. Additionally, you can add custom handlebars to access any appended data or complex types. (For more information on custom handlebars, consult with your Customer Success representative.)

The Attributes tab includes the following sections:

Configuration Settings – Set details related to the file format for the export

  • Configuration Include Header Row – Checkbox that allows you to use attribute labels.
  • Record Delimiter – Dropdown for indicating that each record will be its own line in the CSV file.
  • Field Delimiter – Dropdown for indicating that fields with multiple values will use items such as commas or tabs to separate them.

Attributes List – Choose the attributes of the customer record you want to add to the export file. You must add at least one attribute.

Once fields on the Attributes tab are populated, click Next to advance to the Notification tab.

Stipulate email recipients for notifications pertaining to the export on the Notification tab.

Finally, on the Notification tab, you can add email addresses for people who should receive a notification – with status – when each export completes. Notifications can include information on completed or failed jobs. Adding email recipients is optional.

Email Recipients – Include the email addresses for anyone you want to receive notifications. Separate emails with a comma.

Once the Notification tab has been configured, you can click the Save button to save the changes you made across all of the tabs in the export builder and be returned to the Audience dashboard.

Tip

Within the Manage Exports section you can click on the History tab to see the export’s state. For example, “Scheduled,” “In Progress,” or “Success.”

Maintaining Exports

The Managing Exports page is designed to support several different tasks necessary to the configuration and maintenance of audience exports.

Add a Destination

Destinations are critical to the work flow for exporting audience data. They specify locations to which audience data files can be delivered.

On the Audience dashboard, click the Manage Exports link to open its corresponding page. Then click the Destinations tab, which displays the existing SFTP Destinations as well as the Add Destination link. Click it to open the Destination form.

The form to create a new destination.

Enter or select destination data for the fields on the Settings tab. As you proceed, bear in mind that all of the fields on this tab are required.

Name – Name specified for the destination.

Type – Destination type. Currently, only “SFTP” is available.

Host – Host name of the server.

Port – Port number for a connection; typically, this value is 22.

Path – File path to where export data is directed in the SFTP directory.

User Name – Name the user gives the SFTP destination.

Private Key/Password – Private key or password required to deliver exported content to the SFTP destination.

Once the Settings tab has been configured, you can click Save. The new destination now appears on the Destinations tab.

Add an Encryption

Encryptions ensure security for the audience data exports you are building. While they are not required to perform an export, utilizing them is highly recommended.

On the Audience dashboard, click the Manage Exports link to open its corresponding page. Then click the Encryptions tab. Doing so opens a page that contains all of the encryptions that can be applied to an export, as well as the Add Encryption link. Click it to open the Encryptions form.

The form to create a new encryption.

Enter or select data for the fields on the Settings tab. Encryptions are optional for an export. However, if you are creating one, all of the fields on this tab are required.

Name – Name specified for the encryption.

Type – Encryption type. Currently, PGP is supported.

Keys – PGP key(s) to use for encryption. More than one key can be added. For example, a key for a specific cloud implementation and a key for each user of the cloud.

Once the Settings tab has been configured, you can click Save. The new encryption now appears on the Encryptions tab.

Edit Configurations, Destinations and Encryptions

From the Manage Exports main page, you can edit export configurations, destinations, and encryptions. Select the tab that corresponds with the item you want to edit: Configuration, Destinations or Encryptions. Then, on the appropriate tab, simply click the Actions button in the table row that contains the configuration, destination or encryption you want to edit.

Configuration tab, with the Actions button enabled for one of the export configurations.

Once you click the Edit option, the associated export opens in edit mode. Make the appropriate modifications and then click the Save button for destinations and encryptions.

If you are saving edits to a configuration, however, use the the Next and Back buttons to navigate between the Configuration tab’s Setup, Attributes and Notification sections. When your edits are complete, click the Save button on the Notification tab.

Note that the Edit option is the only option available when clicking the Actions button for a specific destination or encryption.

Activate or Pause an Export

The Manage Exports main page provides two ways to activate or pause an export:

  • From the Configurations tab on the Manage Exports main page, click the Actions button in the table row that contains the export you want to activate or pause.

    Configuration tab, with the Actions button enabled for one of the export configurations.

    Note that clicking Activate toggles the export’s state to “Active”; while clicking Pause toggles the exports state to “Paused”.

  • From the Setup tab on the Export main page, click the Export Active slider.

    Export Active slider on the Export main page.

    Note that clicking the slider from red to green activates the export; while clicking it from green to red pauses it.