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I viewed a very interesting Dreamforce video from Pato Sapir on custom Journey Builder activities. I went through his tutorial and was able to replicate his results. Link to the video.

In his video, he created a custom Journey Builder activity that reached out to Heroku which then reached out to the Lob API that generated and sent postcards.

I was able to modify the code to hit another API and return data. I was able to see the data in the Heroku logs, but what I'd really like to be able to do is use that data in Marketing Cloud, specifically as dynamic content in an email. Generally, this is how I imagine the workflow to go:

  1. Subscriber enters the journey (probably through an automation, possibly a Salesforce data entry event).
  2. Subscriber hits the custom activity.
  3. Custom activity hit Heroku with information about the subscriber
  4. Heroku sends a request to a third-party API and gets a response with additional data about the subscriber that is not currently in Marketing Cloud.
  5. That additional information is sent back to Marketing Cloud and useable in an email activity in the next step.

It's certainly possible to directly hit the API from an email using SSJS. What is desirable about the custom JB activity is that we can make it a little bit more configurable and pass that configuration info to the API. This will make it a little bit more marketer friendly and hopefully require less code changes.

Is it possible to take that data from the third-party API and use it in Marketing Cloud without hitting the MC APIs using a custom activity?

  • Just for clarification, you mean have the custom activity not only send data to the 3rd party api, but also return it to the Journey? – Doug Mar 17 '18 at 13:30

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