Adobe CQ 5.5 - new Client Context

20 April 2012
CQ 5.5 logo
Adobe CQ5 gives you some interesting and powerful mechanisms for analysing traffic on your websites and gaining key insights on how it is being used by visitors. Gathering knowledge about your customers is crucial for successful marketing campaigns and serving accurately targeted content. To perform such tasks, Adobe since CQ version 5.3 has in place for you, a segmentation mechanism. If you've been wondering how to set up segments on your CQ 5.5 instance, then here's the official documentation from Adobe on how to set up segments on CQ5.

Basically, for targeting purposes, i.e. displaying content suited best for current visitor, CQ makes use of the segments that you've defined. "Segments" on CQ are specific conditions which are resolved based on user properties stored in the Client Context (previously known as the Clickstream Cloud). Adobe introduced the Clickstream Cloud feature in CQ 5.3 and has really enhanced it in CQ 5.5. With this post, I’ll  briefly describe the exciting new and innovative features of the latest incarnation of Client Context and where apt, compare it with its predecessor.

Completely redesigned UI

The most obvious and easily spotted innovation in new Client Context is the completely redesigned UI. It is certainly nicer and provides more information to the authors. Adobe has also made it easier to change the current user’s properties for testing purposes, by simply clicking the property which needs to be changed. And the best bit is that the subsequent results and changes in resolved segments are visible right away.

New Client Context UI

Old Clickstream Cloud UI

Design page for Client Context

In my opinion, the most significant change however, is the new shiny design page for Client Context. It allows authors to completely customize and tailor Client Context for their needs. Using the design page, authors can add, remove and modify parts of Client Context to contain whatever they want. Changing Client Context is as simple as dragging components around and setting their properties. Authors can choose from a set of predefined components (e.g. Activity Stream, Geolocation, Tag Cloud).

It’s also quite easy to deal with more sophisticated customizations. By using custom stores (e.g. Generic Store, JSONP Store) it’s possible to use various data sources to fill user’s data which can be used later in segments. Compared to the clickstream cloud which involved extending Javascript and custom code to do this, the Client context is much more user friendly and elegant.

Google Maps geolocation

New out-of-the-box geolocation based on Google Maps is quite a useful feature. It enables authors to create segments based on geographical location, therefore serving more accurate content and marketing campaigns. No additional implementation is needed. Sweet! Geolocation store screenshot Example geolocation segment

Social graph

Social graph is a new type of store which lists the user’s friends and followers. It allows authors to create segments based on friends’ and followers’ properties, eg. name, surname, age. Social graph store screenshot Example social graph segment

Activity stream

Activity stream is connected with the SiteCatalyst integration with CQ. It provides authors with information about user’s multiple online activities tracked using Adobe SiteCatalyst. With such data, authors can create very accurate and detailed segments.

In general, updates to the Client Context are very useful and should ease development of new features connected with targeting and segmentation. The tool itself is much more pleasant to use and provides a lot of features, which previously needed loads of custom code and hacking. I can’t wait for a chance to play with CQ 5.5 segmentation a little bit more on our future projects.