Your Users Are Complex. Engaging with Them Doesn’t Have to Be.

Introducing Airship’s JSON Attributes

Whether it’s buying a new piece of clothing from your favorite brand, ordering your favorite food or planning your dream vacation, we all want to get what we want when we want it — and brands live and die by how well they deliver on those expectations. They must know enough about their customers to deliver what customers need and only what they need. “Knowing enough” requires capturing, storing and accessing often very complex data. For most brands, that‘s a struggle.

The Problem of Complex Data

Brands need to better ensure they’re collecting the right customer information and storing it correctly. The required information is often a complex data set, such as all items currently in the customer’s cart or all the upcoming flights they’ve booked. With all the different touchpoints a brand has with customers  — messaging engagement data, web and app usage data, social media cues and qualitative feedback like surveys, reviews and customer service interactions — it can be challenging to identify and organize all that data into a usable customer profile.  

Historically, brands have devised clever but unwieldy ways to house complex data sets in various tables or user properties with complex naming conventions. These practices often led to issues with updating and parsing multiple tables or challenging lookup processes to pull the correct information together. The result: frequently delayed outbound campaigns, forced limitations in the scope of marketing efforts, frustration with tools, and, ultimately, a less-than-ideal customer experience.

JSON Attributes Redefines Complex Data Storage and Access

JSON Attributes is the latest addition to the robust set of segmentation and personalization tools Airship provides today. With JSON Attributes, you can now store complex detailed information without having to use outdated and slow table lookup methods or be limited by the number of data points you can identify. JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a semi-structured data format, so it doesn’t have a rigid structure like tabular formats. It’s flexible in size and structure, which gives it advantages over tabular data like CSVs. However, it’s still easily readable and usable due to its use of key/value pairs, such as Name:Sam or Date:2024-03-26

To understand this better, let’s look at a simple table that tracks events.

TimestampEvent NameProperty

This table works well as long as the data we’re storing is always in this format and has only one property. The moment we need to track additional properties, the number of columns will need to expand to store that data. Additionally, some events may not have some of the properties, so you’ll end up with blank or null values in the table. Also, if you need to track a new property, the entire table must be modified to incorporate it. 

With Airship’s JSON Attributes, you can store data using a flexible and easy-to-understand structure with as many or few properties as needed — for example, a user’s entire shopping cart with details for each item in the cart:

Or each of the products that they’ve subscribed to with current offers available:

Or all of the itinerary data for travel they’ve booked with details for each flight:

Using data stored within JSON Attributes, you can use Airship’s advanced segmentation tools to segment users and then easily use the same data to personalize your messaging to each user. JSON Attributes joins the already robust set of tools Airship provides and can be used in conjunction with Tags, Events, Preferences and others to create a complete, real-time user profile: 

Using JSON Attributes, you can deliver the experience your customers want when they want it — and do so with ease. Airship includes JSON Attributes as part of the AXP platform unlike other vendors that charge data points, including invisible-to-you array updates. More of the right data is key to delivering better customer experiences and accelerating your activation, engagement and monetization strategies. We’re thrilled to introduce JSON Attribute capabilities and look forward to seeing how you employ them to solve your most complex use cases. Check out our documentation:

For help with your personalization and zero-party data strategies, or to learn about Airship’s preference center capabilities, please reach out to your Airship Account Manager. We also have Strategic Services available to help guide you in developing better mobile app experiences for your customers and your brand.

Written on Apple Vision Pro