Audience Discovery FAQ

Audience Creation

When are new audiences created for an account?

Audience Discovery creates new audiences within the first few days of each calendar month every month. If the prerequisites for generating audiences aren't met at that time, then Audience Discovery automatically retries daily. If the account doesn't meet the prerequisites each day for an entire calendar month, then Audience Discovery skips that month and moves to the new month for that account.

Can Audience Discovery generate audiences for prior months?

No, it presently cannot generate audiences for prior calendar months in an automated way.

Are audiences for a month updated once that month is over?

Audience Discovery doesn't update audiences for a calendar month once that month is over. For example, the October 2024 audiences aren't updated in November 2024.

Why does an account not have updated audiences?

Check the following matters in the order given.

  1. Is your site's Monetate integration sending product ID (PID) on product detail pages? You can use Monetate Inspector to check that the addProductDetails method is passing PID values from this page type.
  2. Have you uploaded at least one product catalog dataset for the site? Check the All Datasets list page in the Monetate platform for an entry tagged Product Catalog.
  3. Does the account have an assigned default catalog? Check the CONNECTED DOMAINS column of the Product Datasets list page in the Monetate platform.
  4. Do the PIDs sent from the site's product detail pages match the item_group_id values in the default product catalog? If not, then either you should update the product catalog dataset so that the item_group_id values match the PIDs sent from the site, or you may have the wrong product catalog dataset assigned as the default catalog.
  5. Does each row in the default product catalog have not only a value for the item_group_id attribute but also a value for the product_type attribute? If you need to update one or more rows in the product catalog dataset, you can perform a partial update using the Upload Data wizard in the Monetate platform, sending the file via SFTP, or by using the Data API.

If you must take any of these corrective measures, then you must wait at least 48 hours for Audience Discovery to create audiences.

Why hasn't an account's Audience Discovery been updating monthly?

Audience Discovery has a maximum allowed model size that's influenced both by the number of sessions on your site and the number of distinct product types in the default product catalog. If the number of distinct product_type values is causing the machine-learning model to become too large, then the Audience Discovery tool may not return any data for that month and any subsequent months. To fix this situation, you could reduce the number of unique, comma-separated product_type values in the default product catalog by making them values for other attributes in the product catalog.

If Audience Discovery still isn't updating after you've made the suggested changes, then submit a support ticket using the Monetate Technical Support portal (

Can I change the number of audiences created for a month in an account?

No. The current limit is eight audiences generated for a calendar month.

Are audiences between months linked?

The audiences between each month aren't explicitly linked to each other between months. That said, if the product category–viewing behavior is highly similar between months, then the audiences will be similar.

Product Views, Product Types in Audience Discovery

Which product views does Audience Discovery use to create audiences?

Audience Discovery randomly selects which Monetate sessions' product views to use, and then it evenly selects sessions across the entire calendar month so that the subset of product views represent the whole month of data. For example, if your site's traffic behavior changes halfway through the month, then Audience Discovery uses just as many sessions at the end of the month as it did at the beginning so that the resulting audiences take into account the sessions at the end of the month as well.

Are product views included from sessions marked as stealth?

Audience Discovery excludes product views from sessions from any IP address in Stealth Mode.

Which product types are used to create the audiences?

The views of a product ID (PID) in a session are tied to the values of the product_type attributes in the default product catalog, where the viewed PID equals the value of a item_group_id attribute in the catalog. If a PID is viewed more than once in a session, those additional views add counts for the product_type that match that PID via item_group_id.

Audience Discovery applies the following processing on those rows to get to the resulting product_type to count for that PID. For every item_group_id entry in the default product catalog, Audience Discovery retrieves the product_type values across all the catalog rows with that item_group_id value, which means potentially multiple rows with different id values but the same item_group_id value. It then removes duplicates regardless of letter case (for example, Coat, COAT, and coat are considered all the same value), and then finally splits out the parts of a product type hierarchy into their own product type.

For example, these two rows in a product catalog have the same item_group_id value.

112112-sJacket,Clothing,Clearance > Summer > Sale

They result in the following data for that item_group_id.

112apparel,clearance,clearance > summer,clearance > summer > sale,clothing,jacket,jean

Audience Discovery determined that Jacket and JACKET are the same value, removes one of the duplicate values, and yields jacket.

The splitting of the product type hierarchy Clearance > Summer > Sale results in three entries:

  • clearance
  • clearance > summer
  • clearance > summer > sale

This data doesn't alter the default product catalog. It's only used for discovering audiences.

Analytics Shown on the Audience Discovery Page

Why are there fewer total sessions than occurred for the month?

Audience Discovery currently excludes any session from the analytics if any of the following are true:

  • The session's country or region can't be determined from GeoIP data about the customer's IP address
  • The session's device type or operating system can't be determined from Monetate's data from DeviceAtlas about the customer's user agent
  • The session is marked as stealth
  • The customer viewed no products during the session

Why don't I see a map in the Traffic By Location panel on the Audience Details page for an account?

Currently, the Audience Details page only shows a US map for US accounts.


Can a customer be part of one audience and then change to a different audience during a session?

Yes. For example, if a customer views a product that has product_type values that have a very low weight to Audience 1 and then views multiple products that have product_type values that combined add more weight to Audience 5, then that customer moves into Audience 5 on the track request, where the weight becomes higher for Audience 5. This behavior differs from keeping a variant in an A/B test sticky within a session. It's similar to other Behavior targets that change within a session, such as Amount in cart.

Can a customer be excluded from an audience?

Yes, a customer can fail to be part of an audience in any of these scenarios:

  • The customer hasn't viewed any products in their current session.
  • The customer has viewed products, but none of the PIDs match any item_group_id values in the account's default product catalog.
  • The customer has viewed products and the PIDs have matching item_group_id values in the account's default product catalog, but one or more of the rows for the matching item_group_id values lack product_type values.
  • The customer has viewed products with product_type values associated, but those values aren't present in the default product catalog during the month when the audience being targeted was produced, or there were no product views in that month that were linked to those product_type values.

If a customer isn't part of an audience initially, then they move into an audience when they view products that have product_type values that have weights for audiences.

Which product views are used for targeting an audience?

The product views in the customer's current session with a maximum of 100 PIDs in the session are used to determine the audience for the relevant trackData request.

Which product types are used to identify Web experience targets when the experience is configured with an Audience Discovery WHO target?

The product types that Audience Discovery used to create a WHO target discovered audience are the same ones the experience then uses to determine which audience to place a customer in.