Sometimes you need to validate functionality on your website that’s dependent on specific Audience Manager segments. For instance, you might want to show users in Segment A (let’s say, customers who have already bought Product X) a view of your homepage that promotes Product Y.
Ideally you can validate this functionality before you launch in production. But how can you do this if your segment doesn’t yet exist in Audience Manager, or if the purchase history data isn’t yet integrated into Audience Manager?
Or maybe you just need a way to validate your Audience Manager setup in a testing or production environment, but without launching fully to customers.
If your web analytics data is integrated into Audience Manager, here’s an easy way to fully validate segment-dependent functionality using a URL parameter:
1. Create a trait based on the URL’s campaign tracking code for when the tracking code or campaign variable equals “aam_segment_validation”.
So if you’re an Adobe Analytics user and your SiteCatalyst data is going into Audience Manager, your trait would look like this:
2. Create a segment in Audience Manager, or update an existing one, so that it includes your “Validation” trait.
If you need to test a specific segment, then use that one. If you need any segment ID, or a new one, then create a new segment. Once this segment is created, add it to a destination as usual (or leave the destination in place if it’s an existing segment). Then give it some time to percolate.
3. To test, open your browser (make sure you’re starting a new session) and paste in a URL for your site with a campaign parameter set to “aam_segment_validation”. Below URL uses the campaign parameter “cmp” and sets the tracking code to “aam_segment_validation”.
You can use either a production or testing environment for this, as long as Audience Manager is implemented on it. Once you land on the page, data will be collected by Audience Manager and it will assign you to the segment that includes the “Validation” trait.
When you return to the site on the same browser (making sure you don’t clear your cookies in the meantime) Audience Manager will deliver the desired segment ID to your browser so that you can view the site as if you were a user who fell into that segment (you’ll want to inspect the browser cookies to make sure the correct cookie and segment ID are in place).