Monday, July 1, 2019

Pitfalls of using Adobe target as CMS

adobe target as CMS

As I encountered and heard many times from different adobe solution partners,

We are getting a bit of pressure from the business to use Target as a CMS to deploy new features to 100% of the traffic. Some requests are especially complex in terms of development effort. The reason for this is the IT department isn't as quick as us Target Team is in developing, and naturally, it requires a big investment from the business.

 I would like to discuss a few pitfalls of using Adobe Target as CMS.

As AT uses javascript to deliver content on site. Firing too many JS snippets on your site is not ideal, it has some limitations and if it's exceeding it may make your page heavy and increase in load time.

Delivering heavy content with third party tool would never be a good idea.

It's very unsafe if you have changed many content-elements which are managed through Adobe Target on site and forget about them. maintaining everything through target may seem easier. and the main concern about performance perspective, Target is not as fast as CMS would be.

Take the following example. We want to modify content on URL to change the header from saying Hi to saying Hello.


Edit site code and make changes.


The right way to make changes.


You need to wait for the right people to make changes.


Create a new XT test and make the changes live for all users.


Fast way to make changes.


  • Probably against your internal security rules. 
  • Puts the undue burden on the Adobe Target platform and it not being used to serve legitimate targeting content.
  • Data is being collected in reporting for no real reason and adds overhead to your website load time as you are now involving a third party in the content delivery side.
  • Requires that the activity continues to run forever.
  • If anybody ever de-activates the activity or if anything happens on Target site your changes are no longer there. So many disadvantages.

Some more additional points that you should aware of if you are using AT as CMS.

  1. If something is live to 100% of traffic and we run more activities on that page/funnel, the 100% activity has to be replicated on any new activity, increasing implementation effort, the possibility of human error and data cross-pollination
  2. The practice of using Target to deliver projects quickly as a CMS is not recommended by Adobe
  3. Due to the current implementation of Adobe Tag Manager, the content might not be delivered as seamlessly as it would if it was hardcoded on the website (eg. Users might see a slight flicker)
  4. Some browsers are not supported by the platform and are regularly excluded from activities (eg IE)
  5. Often not possible to deliver dynamic content or communicate with API unless IT Team release a change
  6. Not scalable; not possible to replicate across different domains or pages with a different structure
  7. Not possible to make any changes to a Target experience once it’s gone live unless prepared to deactivate it

Have a good Day!

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