What is an audience?
When we talk about audiences in Tealium, we’re not talking about a theatre full of people watching the same movie. We actually mean more like “target audience”. According to Wikipedia “A target audience is the intended audience or readership of a publication, advertisement, or other message catered specifically to said intended audience.” So - at its core, when we refer to an Audience in Tealium, it is a group of individuals to which we want to send a specific message.
Yes, ok, but what *is* an audience, technically?
Technically, inside the system an audience is like a super-powered, actionable rule. It’s a set of criteria that, when people match that criteria we can trigger something to happen.
Let’s say we wanted to set up a “Super fan” audience, for people who love to visit your website. We could set the audience criteria to be “Lifetime visit count is greater than or equal to 20” - meaning that it’s checking to see when people have visited the website more than 20 times.
Now, all audiences are evaluated on every event to see if the individual’s data now matches the criteria for each audience. Imagine I’ve discovered your awesome website and I just keep coming back. I arrive on the site for my 20th visit, and the page view event gets sent through to the server-side systems.
As the event attributes from the page view event get processed, the “Lifetime visit count” in my visitor profile gets incremented by one, and so ticks over from 19 to 20.
After the processing of all of the event attributes from my arrival on the site, the visit and visitor attributes are enriched with any new relevant data, and then all of the audiences are evaluated to see which of their criteria my updated profile now matches.
Because my lifetime visit count is now ‘greater than or equal to 20’ I have joined the audience for the first time. I’m now a “Super Fan”.
(All that said, best practice would actually be to set a badge called Super Fan, and then set the audience criteria to “Badge ‘Super Fan’ is assigned.)
Ok, great, I understand that.. How do we use it?
Easy - use Audience connectors.
Just some of the connectors available.
Audience connectors are the route out from CDH to other third party systems.
When I joined that “Super Fan'' audience it could be set to trigger an audience connector to send selected bits of data to Google or Facebook, or update Salesforce, or to an email vendor, or any one of a myriad of our other 3rd party pre-built connectors. Alternatively you can build your own webhook connector to connect to another system to do pretty much anything you need. From sending an SMS, updating a EPOS database system or making a bell ring in your sales office* Simply put - joining an audience can trigger a connector action, from which you can talk to the world.
You can also trigger a connector action when someone is in an audience at the start of a new visit, or when they leave an audience, or, crucially, if they’re in an audience at the end of a visit. Using a combination of Joined Audience and Left Audience triggers, you can effectively synchronise audiences between AudienceStream and their equivalent audience in Facebook or similar.
Wait - “End of visit ?!” They’ve gone by then, surely?
Well, yes, they’ve left the website, or at the very least they’ve been completely inactive for 30 minutes (this can be changed, by the way) Perhaps they’re asleep or eating pizza - the point is when they left, we have a complete view of what they did during their visit, or possibly more importantly what they didn’t do. This is especially useful for Abandoned Basket or Abandoned Process scenarios, which I will go into further detail in a future blog post. Basically though, if they added to a basket in their visit but by the end of the visit they haven’t completed the purchase - we can re-target them using a connector action to an email vendor to say “Hey, you forgot to buy stuff! Please come back!!” If it’s a non-retail site, perhaps it could be starting the process to sign up for a test-drive of a car, or beginning to go down the route of signing up for a webinar but never actually pressing that final commit button - whatever the process, if they don’t finish it by the end of the visit, we can add them to that audience. Also just being able to update 3rd party systems at the end of a visit is super useful, even if it’s just to update “Favourite category over last 30 days” in your CRM system.
An audience is like a special set of rules to determine that someone has met a certain set of criteria, and then the process of joining or leaving that audience can be used to trigger an action, and send data out to the world to make all kinds of things happen.
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