Sir Kensington's Fabanaise marketing campaign
May 31st, 2024 | 9 min read
  • Measuring Success

Behavior Tracking Technology: For Online & In-Person Events

You likely know about how many people visit your website, which pages get the most views, and what volume of business you do through the site. You might have surveyed your customers to find out whether they find your website useful, whether they have any problems with your product or service, and what they like about your brand.

But do you have a sense of how users explore your website — how they find your site, which page they land on first, where they go from there, how long they’re staying on certain pages, or whether they’re reaching specific content? Do you know whether customers are answering your surveys completely and accurately, or just answering the questions to get it over with?

Pageviews can tell you only so much. And consumers have long been known to be lousy at describing their own behavior, much less explaining it.

To truly understand what content resonates with your audience, personalize content for your brand’s customers, assess the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, and maximize return on investment (ROI) for your marketing efforts, you need objective data on how customers interact with your brand online. The way to obtain that data is behavior tracking.

What Is Behavior Tracking?

In marketing, “behavior tracking” is a broad term that describes using technology to monitor and analyze consumer actions in real time. Consumer behavior can be tracked online, such as when a user visits your website or interacts with your social media channels, or in-person, such as when a customer visits your physical location.

This analysis allows you and your marketing team to gain valuable insights into consumer preferences and campaign effectiveness. Behavior tracking gives your brand “the power to decipher patterns, preferences, and pain points in their customers’ actions,” says a recent blog post on

There are many benefits to behavior tracking:

  • Increased engagement: By understanding what resonates with consumers, marketers can create more compelling campaigns that produce better results.
  • Identifying problems: By studying consumers’ behavior closely, you may be able to identify trouble spots — broken links, confusing navigation, unappealing content — in your website or campaign that create disconnect between your brand and its target audience.
  • Personalized marketing: Real-time data allows you to tailor content and offers to individual consumers for a more relevant experience.
  • Improved ROI: By optimizing campaigns based on data, your brand can maximize return on investment for marketing efforts by revealing what works and what doesn’t.


How Is Behavior Tracked?

Digital Behavior

Think of behavior tracking as eavesdropping on your audience members’ digital actions to understand their browsing habits and preferences and tailor marketing messages to them.

Imagine a user clicks on a social media ad that’s part of a brand’s campaign. The social media platform tracking logs the user’s interaction with the ad. Clicking the ad redirects the user to a landing page built on the brand’s website specifically for this campaign (for example, a product launch, a seasonal event, or special sale). The landing page has cookies or tracking pixels that record the user’s arrival and any actions the user takes such as clicks or form submissions. Web analytics captures this data in real time.

All this data streams into a real-time analytics platform. Machine learning algorithms analyze the data, identifying the user’s source (in this instance, a social media ad), their behavior on the landing page, and other relevant details.

Marketers can then use these insights to personalize the user’s experience on the fly. For instance, they might show the user different content based on their initial clicks or offer them a targeted discount based on their browsing history. They can also use these insights to make longer-term changes to the way the brand’s website functions, what features it offers, or the design. These insights can also inform future email campaigns to better direct consumers toward content that’s shown by the data to be successful.

What Data Is Collected, and What Tools Are Used?

Various technologies can be used to gather website clickstream data (pages visited, time spent), app interactions, social media engagement (likes, shares), and even physical location data (through GPS) for brick-and-mortar campaigns.

Cookies and pixels, tiny snippets of code placed on websites or emails, allow marketers to track user activity such as clicks, pageviews, and browsing history.

Web analytics tools like Google Analytics capture a flood of comprehensive website data, ranging from geographic and some demographic information to what devices and operating systems your customers are using to how long they’re spending on your site before leaving. This information can help your web team optimize your website as well as reveal ways to personalize the website experience by helping you understand who your customers are.

If your brand has an app, you can employ app analytics tools to track user actions within the app, recording button presses, feature usage, and in-app purchases.

Google Tag Manager lets you apply UTM “tags” to individual links and  buttons in your emails to consumers, allowing you to see specifically which links your customers clicked and how well they converted. This can help you assess the effectiveness of your emails, obviously, but also your site’s layout and features, and thus make better choices as to design and navigation.

Social media management and analytics platforms like Hootsuite, Sprout, and Buffer provide insights into user engagement with campaign content, including likes, shares, comments, and click-through rates on embedded links. While much of this information is available within the social media apps themselves, these platforms put it all in one place, making it easy to analyze.

Data Analysis

Once the data is collected, it must be synthesized into reports you can use in decision making. Sophisticated software analyzes this data stream in real-time, identifying patterns and trends in consumer behavior. Marketers can see which aspects of the campaign resonate with consumers and which ones fall flat.

Analytics and optimization platforms like HotJar, Crazy Egg, and Lucky Orange help brands visualize patterns of consumer behavior on their websites by creating heatmaps, scrollmaps, and other reports. They can also record users’ interactions with a site — without revealing users’ identities — so marketers can watch actual customers’ clicks, scrolls, and browsing as they move across the website.

Armed with these insights, marketers can adapt the website or marketing campaign on the fly. They can personalize content based on user behavior, adjust ad targeting, or even launch entirely new campaign elements based on real-time data.

In-Person Behavior

Brands use a surprising number of methods to track customers in physical spaces, as they move through physical stores, pop-ups, and even activations and expos. “Beyond people counting, tracking people include quantifying behaviors by motion (location and time), activities (such as gaze tilting and eye-tracking), and attributes (such as facial demographics),” according to an article on

Ten years ago, customer-tracking technology used customers’ smartphones and a brand’s own apps to offer deals and show retailers what was happening in their stores. That technology is still in use, but there are many other options today:

Registration forms: Event registration forms typically collect attendee data like name, email address, company, and job title. Combined with data from other tracking technologies, this allows brands to identify potential customers and segment their audience for targeted marketing.

The economist marketing campaign


Physical tracking: Stores, pop-ups, and activations can use basic sensors to count people entering and exiting the store or booth and to track traffic flow in different areas of the store or space. The same technologies can show how many are  interacting with different displays or demos.

Badge scanning: Events such as conferences and trade shows often use badges with QR codes or RFID chips. Scanning these badges can track arrivals, departures, and even attendees’ movement within the event space.

Interactive kiosks and apps: Brands can set up interactive kiosks or event-specific apps that attendees use to access information, participate in polls, or enter contests. This provides valuable data on attendee interests and engagement.

WiFi and beacons: Smartphones with Bluetooth or WiFi enabled can be tracked by using WiFi or beacons, which are small transmitters that send signals to phones to pinpoint location. Cameras: Security cameras can be used with software that tracks movement as customers explore the space or browse the store. The same camera technology that monitors customers at self-checkouts can be used to monitor how attendees are interacting with your booth — what they’re picking up for a closer look, what makes them laugh or frown, and which display they move on to next. This can help a brand understand not only how consumers are responding to the products in-person but also how well the booth or pop-up is laid out and whether they’re discovering the displays your brand wants them to.

Privacy Concerns

Because it collects detailed data on consumers’ online activities, behavior tracking raises privacy concerns. Transparency and clear communication about data collection practices are crucial. Notifying users that your brand’s site uses cookies is one example of how this transparency has become commonplace online.

Offline privacy is a growing concern for consumers too, and some of the in-person tracking methods are more controversial than others. As noted in 2013, “There’s a fine line between tracking the behaviors of customers in your brick-and-mortar store and spying on them.” This holds true 10 years later, with the twist that today’s consumers are even more knowledgeable about the extent and means of tracking.

Brands should be transparent about how they track customers and get consent when necessary. And the use of that data should be used to provide value to consumers, such as personalized content or special offers. And while customers appreciate — and brands profit from — some degree of personalization, excessive personalization can feel intrusive to consumers. A balance needs to be struck between relevance and respecting user privacy.

According to a KPMG study, 40% of consumers don’t trust that their data is used ethically. This highlights the importance of transparency but also using the data collected through behavior tracking ethically and responsibly, with clear guidelines in place to prevent misuse. “Companies should be clear about how customer behavior data will be used for marketing purposes before asking them to provide personal information,” notes a blog post on One recommendation is to use third-party services such as Google Analytics, which have a proven track record of complying with industry standards and best practices for the collection and handling of consumer data.

Overall, behavior tracking in marketing is a powerful tool that can improve campaign effectiveness, provide valuable customer insights, and create opportunities for personalization and greater connection between consumers and your brand.


Promobile Marketing is a dynamic experiential marketing agency based in New York City. For over a decade, Promobile Marketing has collaborated with a range of brands—from budding startups to major CPG brands—on immersive marketing campaigns. Get in touch to discuss your next project.