Using UTM Campaign Parameters In Adobe Analytics

By Adam Greco posted 05-24-2016 11:48 AM


 The following is a blog post that proved to be very popular for folks using Adobe Analytics and Google advertising. Re-posting here in case DAA members are interested...


One of the primary use cases for digital analytics tools like Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics (GA) is the ability to track external campaign referrals and see their impact on KPI’s. Way back in 2008 (yes, 8 years ago!), I blogged about how to track campaigns in Adobe Analytics (then called Omniture SiteCatalyst). Since then, a lot has changed in the online marketing landscape. With many digital marketers being exposed to Google Analytics, the way campaign tracking is done in GA has almost become the industry de facto standard. The most popular GA method uses a set of UTM parameters to identify the campaign source, medium, term, content and campaign (though there is a “utm_id” option similar to how Adobe does it). These parameters are normally passed in the URL and parsed by GA to populate the appropriate analytics reports. But as Adobe Analytics users know, Adobe uses one variable (s.campaigns) to track external campaigns. So what if you are running both Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics or you simply want to use the Google standard since that is what your advertising agencies are using? In this post, I will show how you can make the UTM campaign code tracking standard work in Adobe Analytics so your campaign data matches what is in GA.


Most Adobe Analytics clients are using something akin to in their URL’s and having the GetQueryParameter JavaScript Plug-in pass the value after “cid=” to the s.campaigns variable. But in reality, you can pass any values you want to s.campaigns and the plug-in can be configured to look for any query string parameter. Therefore, if you want to use the UTM campaign parameters, you can adjust the plug-in to concatenate the values into one string with a separator and pass it to the s.campaigns variable. For example, if you view the URL below, you will see that I have used four out of the five UTM parameters in the URL:

From here, the plug-in does the concatenation and as you can see in the JavaScript Debugger, here is what is passed to the s.campaigns variable in Adobe Analytics:

If you want more details on the technical implementation of this, you can check out this article on the Adobe forum.


Once you have completed the above technical implementation and have campaign data populating into Adobe Analytics, here is what it might look like in the campaigns report: