The Missing Link Found – in the Adobe Marketing Cloud ID Service

Lima Consulting Group

Digital marketers report that they have tremendous difficulty in measuring the results of their marketing efforts. Analytics solutions and attribution analysis tools powered by data scientists are investments that sophisticated enterprises are making to try and gain consumer insights and actionable intelligence. And what makes this effort even more difficult is the connection between devices.

Cross-channel attribution, as it is commonly referred to, was generally seen as an initiative for organizations that had marketing budgets that would justify the several hundred thousands of dollars needed to integrate and cross-tabulate predictive models that used fuzzy logic across a centralized data management platform or central data warehouse. Now the costs to gain these insights is accessible to organizations with smaller marketing budgets.

Meet the Adobe Marketing Cloud Identifier (MCID).

If you’re using Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Media Optimizer and/or Adobe Audience Manager, now you can track users across web, tablet and mobile devices by just turning on the feature and ensuring that you have the updated library files and installations of each product.

The Marketing Cloud ID service enables the common identification framework for the Marketing Cloud Core Services, solutions, and customer attributes and audiences in the People core service. It works by assigning a unique, persistent ID to a site visitor. When your organization implements the ID service, this ID lets you identify the same site visitor.


Also, the ID service can replace the different solution-specific IDs (e.g., Analytics AID). And, through the Customer IDs and Authentication States functionality, the ID service lets you pass in your own customer IDs to the Marketing Cloud.

Keep in mind, however, that the ID service only works with the solutions you’re already subscribed to.

The ID service is an integral component of many current and future Marketing Cloud features, enhancements, and services.

If you have not implemented the ID service, now is the time to start considering a migration strategy. For more information about the importance and role of the ID Service, take a look at Brent Dykes’ blog entry on the Marketing Cloud ID.

As you can see from the graphic below, it’s possible to connect audiences referred from Facebook, in a geo = Salt Lake City using a mobile device. Going forward, you will be able to begin connecting that same user when they come back to your domain on a laptop or different device.


Historically, we use Adobe Analytics in an effort to identify successful customer visits by tracking conversions (events), traffic (props), and specific data elements that your organization wanted to track (eVars).

A good implementation of Adobe Analytics, or any analytics tool for that matter, will help you identify your Key Performance Indicators and offer you the ability to filter by segment, business unit, or other organizing principle important to your business. From there you can sort your findings and start conducting the business analysis that leads to marketing actions.

What are the benefits?

“Who are your visitors?, What do they do? What is common about those who converted, bought or registered? When we merge IVR, CRM or ERP data with digital analytics data, we are really well positioned to help answer the question about the impact of marketing and the impact of digital on the business. Organizations that have made the investment in a solid data layer and digital analytics implementation are well positioned to personalize and segment. Those customer journeys outperform those that don’t on every KPI.

In many cases, it’s possible to stitch together these users without having them authenticate. Through the use of a first party cookie, which the MCID uses by default, organizations can stitch together profiles while accelerating page load times.

Over the past few releases since late 2015, Adobe Analytics created the Customer Attributes feature.  If you’re not taking advantage of this feature, it can have a big impact on connecting your first party data with your digital analytics data. By bringing in information about your customer, such as their state, whether they purchased in the past 30 days, whether they are subscribed in your rewards loyalty program, or their Lifetime value, you can begin to conduct filters and segments that will allow you to gain consumer insights and begin the process of optimizing customer journeys based on these criteria.


Understanding your customer, your customer segments, factors that trigger visits, and additional factors that are driving their behavior with your brand should serve as key inputs into your future marketing efforts.

Leverage the Marketing Cloud Identifier (MCID) within the Adobe Marketing Cloud?

The Adobe Marketing Cloud ID service opens up new opportunities by giving you a unified view through all platform solutions (visitor ID) leveraging across all solutions in the Marketing Cloud. Your visitors and their data are no longer isolated to just Adobe Analytics, or Target, or Audience Manager – you have the ability to optimize your Marketing Cloud efforts through the ID that shares visitors and their data through the cloud.   For example, if you have identified a highly successful segment in Adobe Analytics, you are able to share it with Adobe Experience Manager to present an experience more suited for that audience.

This is a win for all marketers using multiple products within the Adobe Marketing Cloud; where migrating to the ID service has the potential to increase the value of your Adobe Marketing Cloud and more importantly, optimize the customer experience through personalization.   The ability to optimize marketing objectives based on the identification of successful patterns on another marketing cloud product will yield better outcomes, and accelerate Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and Return on Marketing Technology (RoMT). The missing link to leveraging and increasing the value of your Adobe Marketing Cloud is now ready for your organization to adopt.

If you happen to be an analytics customer only, then the Marketing Cloud ID, then you’re in a good place to begin the journey. The Marketing Cloud ID is an integral component of many current and future Marketing Cloud features, enhancements, and services, so consider updating the DLL files and follow the best practices by deploying through the Adobe Tag Management System (called Activation now, formerly called Dynamic Tag Manager (DTM)). As you identify other Marketing Cloud products that could help leverage your digital marketing efforts, you’ll want to make it a high priority item to migrate to the Marketing Cloud ID service. Your new marketing cloud product will be able to connect a unique visitor ID and segment information from analytics to ramp up the benefits and outcomes of your marketing efforts.

If you want to take advantage of the power of the MCID within your organization, feel free to contact us to learn how to get started.

For Technical Resources: Specific Tasks to deploy the MCID

For Adobe Marketing Cloud Developers and Architects here are some extra details to get your migration started:

How to deploy using DTM (“Activate”)

If your organization is using Dynamic Tag Management (DTM) or now “Activate”, Adobe makes the implementation and management of the Adobe Marketing Cloud ID service easy:

  • Enable the Adobe Marketing Cloud for your organization
  • Have either Adobe Analytics Standard or Premium
  • Adopt Regional Data Collection (RDC) method
  • Use appMeasurement for JS: version 1.3 or later
  • Add and configure the Marketing Cloud ID tool with your organization ID, analytics tracking server (secure and non-secure) and Marketing Cloud server.


  1. Deployment Guidelines
  2. Implement the Marketing Cloud ID Service with DTM
  3. Marketing Cloud ID Service Settings for DTM
  4. Test and Verify the Marketing Cloud ID Service

Check your DTM settings:

Test and Verify with DTM you’ve done it right:

For more information on the Marketing Cloud ID service and how it can help your organization leverage the Adobe Marketing Cloud, contact us here.

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