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Advanced Audience Targeting - beta

Advanced Audience Targeting lets you expand your audience targeting capability in Optimizely Feature Experimentation.



Advanced Audience Targeting is currently in beta. Apply on the Optimizely beta signup page or contact your Customer Success Manager.

Optimizely Data Platform (ODP) is a tool that helps you understand your customers' behaviors in real-time, which can lead to highly personalized, multichannel campaigns using AI-powered predictive analysis.



It is important to understand how Optimizely Data Platform (ODP) handles user data and how real-time segments work before implementing Advanced Audience Targeting in Optimizely Feature Experimentation.

Refer to the ODP support documentation and developer documentation to learn more.

By using ODP's real-time segments in Optimizely Feature Experimentation, you can create detailed audiences to target specific users in your flag rules without slowing down your application or increasing the size of the SDK's datafile.

With Advanced Audience Targeting, you can segment your audience based on their behaviors, interactions, and preferences to improve your experimentation efforts, and you can even enable anonymous targeting using a client-side SDK.

By using ODP's real-time segments in Optimizely Feature Experimentation, you can create detailed audiences to target specific users in your flag rules without slowing down your application or increasing the size of the SDK's datafile.

Additionally, by implementing Advanced Audience Targeting with a client-side SDK, you enable anonymous targeting. See VUIDs and anonymous targeting for more.

Implement the Advanced Audience Targeting integration

To implement ODP audience targeting in your Optimizely Feature Experimentation project, you must first complete the following:

  1. Enable the integration in the UI.
  2. Create a new audience in the UI using Optimizely Data Platform audience targeting employing custom or pre-built segments as the audience condition.
  3. Update your application code to target the new audience and query the ODP servers.


To use the Advanced Audience Targeting integration, you must:

  • Have a license for both Optimizely Feature Experimentation and ODP.
  • Understand how to use both products.
  • Have real-time segments set up in ODP pre-built or custom.



Only the segments in Customers > Real-Time Segments page in ODP are available for use Advanced Audience Targeting.

real time segments

Step 1. Enable Optimizely Data Platform Audience Targeting in Optimizely Feature Experimentation

  1. In the Optimizely application, select the Optimizely Feature Experimentation project for which you would like to enable the integration.
  2. Go to Settings > Integrations > Optimizely Data Platform Audience Targeting.
  3. Toggle the integration status to On.
  4. Click You can find your API key in ODP to navigate to the APIs page in ODP.
  5. Copy the value in the KEY fields on both the Public and Private tabs on the APIs page in ODP.
  6. Navigate back to your Optimizely Feature Experimentation project settings and paste these values into the corresponding fields (ODP Public Key (required) and ODP Private Key (required)).
  7. Select your region from the ODP Host (required) drop-down list.
  8. Click Save.
enable the odp audience targeting integration

Step 2. Create an Optimizely Feature Experimentation audience using ODP's real-time segments



You can create and add an audience using the audience builder (described in this document) or directly in your flag's rule. After creating your audience, you can re-use it in other flags.

To create a Feature Experimentation audience using ODP's real-time segments:

  1. Navigate to Audiences > Create New Audience....
Create New Audience
  1. Fill in the Name (required) and Description (optional) fields.
  2. In the audience condition section, expand Optimizely Data Platform Audience Targeting.
Optimiely Data Platform Audience Targeting



If you do not see Optimizely Data Platform Audience Targeting as an option, verify that the ODP integration was set up and enabled. See Enable Optimizely Data Platform Audience Targeting.

  1. Drag and drop either Custom Segments or Pre-built SegmentsΒ to the Audience Conditions section.

  2. Configure the audience as desired (the real-time segments from ODP display in the Select an audience drop-down list).

create new audience
  1. Once you have configured the audience, click Save Audience.

This creates a new audience you can use to target specific users in your experiments and targeted deliveries.

Step 3. Integrate Advanced Audience Targeting in your code

Once you have created an audience using Optimizely Data Platform Audience Targeting and attached that audience to a flag, the Optimizely Feature Experimentation SDK adds a new section in your datafile namedintegrations. This lets your application query ODP for audience conditions and send event data to the ODP server.

To integrate ODP Audience Targeting in your code, refer to the following:

ODP limitations and accuracy

Any customer data platform (CDP) has some latency from when it receives data until it can stitch together or create a new profile for the customer. During this latency period, you may receive out-of-date or stale information about your customers if you query your CDP.

Optimizely Data Platform has the shortest time to accurate results among competing CDPs. ODP usually takes less than 30 seconds, and for 99.999% of the cases, the process takes less than 90 seconds. Many other CDPs take hours or even days to merge data.

It is important to acknowledge this gap in accuracy and account for potentially inaccurate data. If you need your user segments to be 100% accurate 100% of the time, we encourage you to manually create your audiences in Optimizely Feature Experimentation and target users through custom user attributes (see Target audiences).

An example for when ODP audience targeting would not be the right use case is when you want to show a purchase confirmation page right after a customer has bought an item. Because it will take at least 30 seconds for the customer to be added to a has_made_purchase audience segment, you cannot use that segment to decide whether to show the confirmation page. Instead, you should use a custom user attribute that can be updated through your local code and queried immediately.

The following table shows different times during the ODP customer profile lifecycle and whether the information coming from ODP will be accurate:

PMNE = Profile may not exist

N/A = Profile not available as identify call has not happened yet

(Click image to enlarge)

PMNE = Profile may not exist

N/A = Profile not available as identify call has not happened yet

(Click image to enlarge)

VUIDs and client-side IDs

ODP uses various identifiers unique to a specific customer to track that customer's data. One of these identifiers is called a VUID and is an identifier tied to a specific device.

When you initialize the Optimizely Feature Experimentation client-side SDK (Android, JavaScript (browser), or Swift), if a VUID does not exist or the SDK cannot find it, the SDK automatically generates one. This VUID is stored in persistent storage and re-used and shared across all SDK instances within the device. Additionally, the SDK sends the default app and user tracking data to ODP on VUID creation.

You can use this VUID with the userID you are already providing to Feature Experimentation to merge customer profiles. For more information, refer to Overview of customer identity and resolution in ODP for information on how to use VUIDs to target audiences or make decisions.

VUIDs and anonymous targeting

Anonymous audience targeting refers to a method of targeting users who have not provided personally identifiable information (PII), such as their name or email address, but whose behavior or interactions on a website or app can be tracked and analyzed. With anonymous targeting, you can still deliver personalized content or experiences to these users based on their behavior and preferences without knowing their identity.

In Feature Experimentation, you can conduct anonymous targeting through a VUID, which allows ODP to recognize and track the user's data across different sessions or devices without revealing their identity. You can use ODP's customer analytics tools to analyze the data and identify patterns and trends that can inform your targeting strategy. Using Feature Experimentation, you can run tailored experiments on these users without storing or collecting PII.

By using anonymous targeting using a VUID in Optimizely's Data Platform and Feature Experimentation, you can create a personalized, data-driven approach to targeting your audience while protecting their privacy. This approach can help you improve engagement, conversions, and overall user satisfaction.