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Prepare for the Journey

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe how to connect Advertising Studio to external ad accounts.
  • Explain how to create and populate an advertising audience.

Implement the Ad Campaign

A super-motivated Leung plans to implement NTO’s campaign using Email Studio, Advertising Studio, and Journey Builder. But she’s uncertain about where to start. Chinua is here to help. 

He maps out the high-level implementation tasks in the order he and Leung complete them.

  1. Advertising Studio: Connect Advertising Studio to NTO’s Facebook ad account.
  2. Email Studio: Create a data extension for the hiking shoe email.
  3. Advertising Studio: Create the Facebook audiences.
  4. Email Studio: Create the hiking shoe promotional email.
  5. Journey Builder: Implement the customer journey.
  6. Advertising Studio: Implement Facebook lookalikes.


For the sake of time and space, we don’t explain every step in detail. If you’d like more information, explore the resources at the end of each unit.

Connect to External Ad Accounts

The NTO campaign includes Facebook advertising that targets unengaged email subscribers and cross-sells to customers who make a purchase. For this to work, Advertising Studio must connect and securely send target audience data to Facebook. NTO has a Facebook ad account, but Advertising Studio isn’t aware of it. 

To connect Advertising Studio to NTO’s Facebook ad account, Chinua must provide the account credentials of an NTO Facebook ad account authorized user. He prefers to use his Facebook ad account, which is tied to his Get Cloudy email address: But he’s run into a snag. His account isn’t authorized to access NTO’s Facebook ad account. 

He explains the problem to the NTO admin who’s responsible for its Facebook ad account administration. The admin promptly sets up Chinua as an authorized user of NTO’s Facebook ad account. The admin specifies the email address tied to Chinua’s Facebook ad account,, and gives him Page Advertiser permissions. 

Now Chinua can configure the connection. From the Advertising Studio dropdown menu, he selects Advertising Audiences

The Advertising Studio dropdown navigation menu with the Advertising Audiences menu item circled in red.

On the audiences page, he selects the Administration tab (1). Only users with Advertising Studio Admin privileges see this tab.

The Advertising Audiences administration page with the Administration tab and Facebook icon circled in red.

On the administration page, he clicks the Facebook icon (2). He’s prompted to enter ad account login credentials and other configuration details. He uses the login credentials for the account that NTO’s admin authorized, Now Advertising Studio can securely send contact data to the Facebook Ads network. Advertising Studio supports several other networks, including Google and LinkedIn, and also supports ad exchanges. To target audiences on ad exchanges, Chinua can send audiences to a demand-side platform (DSP) or data management platform (DMP)—typically using an onboarding partner. This type of third-party onboarding is only largely available in the United States.

Chinua points out, “Contact data flow is unidirectional, from Marketing Cloud to ad networks. External ad networks don’t send ad performance data back to Marketing Cloud. Performance data is typically available directly from the ad network.”

Create Advertising Audiences

Leung’s design has two initial audiences, one for email and one to seed the Facebook lookalikes search. Chinua creates those now.

Create the Email Audience

NTO has a master subscriber list that contains all of its contacts. It’s stored in the NTO_All_Subscribers data extension. Leung’s email audience contains a subset of the contacts in the master list. At this point, Leung is a bit confused about the difference between advertising audiences and data extensions. Chinua explains: “Broadly speaking, ‘advertising audience’ is a generic term for a group of consumers who are part of the same target market. In Advertising Studio, the term also refers to a group of contacts associated with an advertising channel, such as Facebook and Google.”

He continues, “Marketing Cloud stores advertising audience info, such as email addresses, in database tables known as data extensions. You can use a data extension to store sendable subscriber data and also relational data, such as purchases, inventory, and rewards program data. In NTO’s campaign, we create a data extension for the email audience that contains a subset of the contacts in NTO_All_Subscribers. For Facebook, we create an advertising audience and populate it with contact info from an existing ‘top purchasers’ data extension.”

They get to work on the email data extension. Chinua launches Email Studio, then selects Data Extensions from the Subscribers submenu.

The Subscribers submenu in Email Studio with the Data Extensions submenu item circled in red.

He clicks the Create button on the data extensions page. A Create Data Extension form pops up. To populate the data extension with relevant contacts from NTO’s master subscriber list, he can either run an SQL query or use data filters. A data filter can be used to segment a data extension. For example, use a data filter to extract all the subscribers in a data extension who purchased boots or who live in Japan. This is exactly what he needs, so he selects Filtered Data Extension and clicks OK

The Create Data Extension form with the Filtered Data Extension option circled in red.

He’s prompted to select a source data extension. He clicks through the folders (1) to locate and select NTO_All_Subscribers (2) and clicks OK (3).

The Select a Source screen with the NTO folder circled in red, followed by the NTO_All_Subscribers data extension circled in red, and the OK button circled in red.

On the next form, he sets up filter criteria: customers who purchased hiking shoes more than 6 months ago. He saves the filter criteria, names the data extension hiking_shoes_email_audience_DE, and saves it. Email Studio builds the audience and displays a summary page. We now have a populated data extension for our email audience to use when we implement the customer journey in Journey Builder.

For more details about creating email data extensions and importing data into extensions, complete the Email Creation and Sending Trailhead module.

Create the Facebook Lookalikes Seed Audience

Next, Chinua sets up the Facebook lookalike seed audience in Advertising Studio. From the app dropdown menu, he selects Advertising Audiences

The Marketing Studio primary navigation bar with the Advertising Studio submenu item, Advertising Audiences, circled in red.

On the Advertising Audiences page, he clicks the Create Audience button. The Create New Audience form appears. 

The Advertising Studio Create New Audience form with the Facebook Terms of Service link circled in red.

He names the audience Facebook_lookalike_source_audience, enters a description, and sets the ad network Destination to Facebook. For Ad Account, he selects CToure, the username for his Facebook ad account.

Because this is the first time he’s using his Facebook ad account in Advertising Studio, he’s prompted to accept Facebook’s terms of service. He clicks the Facebook Terms of Service link. The Facebook terms page opens in new browser window. 

The Facebook Terms of Service page with the Accept button circled in red.

He clicks Accept and a success message appears.

The Facebook Terms of Service page with a message indicating the terms have been accepted.

Back on the Create New Audience form, he clicks Configure and the data source configuration page appears. He tells Leung, “We now have our Facebook audience, but it’s empty. We must populate it with top purchaser info.” 

He has a few data source types to choose from: a list or data extension that was created in another Marketing Cloud app, an existing Contacts list, or a custom contacts list that he can create. He explains to Leung, “There’s an existing data extension that’s perfect for this scenario, NTO_Top_Purchasers. It contains email addresses, purchase info, and demographic info—everything Facebook needs to search for lookalikes.” 

The Advertising Audience data source configuration page in Advertising Studio with List or Data Extension and NTO_Top_Purchasers circled in red.]

To view the existing data extensions, he chooses List or Data Extension (1). From the list of existing data extensions, he locates the NTO_Top_Purchasers (2), and clicks Select. Next, he maps source attributes to Facebook identifiers.

The Advertising Audience Email Address attribute maps to the Facebook Email identifier. The Unique Identifiers confirmation is circled in red.

He saves that audience info and is prompted to choose a refresh option. Chinua chooses daily refresh (1), and clicks Activate (2). When the campaign executes, the new audience is dynamically populated with Facebook users who are similar to NTO’s top purchasers.

The Advertising Studio audience refresh form with the Schedule refreshes radio button and the Activate button both circled in red.

Chinua set up this channel-specific audience for Facebook. By selecting a different value for Destination, he can create audiences for other ad platforms, such as Google AdWords and LinkedIn.

The Create New Audience form with the destination dropdown menu circled in red.

Create the Promotional Email

It’s time for some creative work. Leung gets in the driver’s seat and launches Email Studio. She’s ready to jump in and create the hiking shoes promotional email. 

The Marketing Cloud primary navigation with the Email Studio icon circled in red.



You can also create emails in Journey Builder. 

As she steps through the creation tasks, she’s prompted to select a subscriber list. She chooses the data extension Chinua created for the email target audience, hiking_shoes_email_audience_DE, and saves the email. It’s ready to go out to the contacts identified in the data extension.