Real-Time Behavioral Tracking – Time for a Change?

Digital marketing has changed beyond recognition in the last ten years. The days of cold-calling and surveys to harvest data are long behind us, as real-time digital behavior tracking has made the life of data analysts much easier.


The online world has developed massively in a short period of time, and its influence over consumers has grown in tandem. As people spend more time online, they are inadvertently funnelling more of their valuable personal data into the electronic realm, which is used to created profiles of their behavior and interests.


When did the building of online profiles begin?


The main shift in the paradigm is generally attributed to the 2012 election. Prior to this, insights into the population’s values and beliefs were reaped from sentiment analysis, which was taken from social media in the forms of hashtags, trending topics, followers, and popular shared topics. This allowed companies to gather data into what topics people were most interested in, what was most important to them, and what instigated the most discussion; however, this data was purely quantitative, in that it only provided basic statistics and numbers, rather than qualitative data, which goes much deeper.


How do present-day data analytics differ?


Today, data analytics is much simpler and data more available. People leave traces of their behaviors wherever they go and leave valuable information around for companies to use as personalization tools and improving customer’s experience. By accepting various cookies across the web, users allow companies to use their data in order to provide a better experience.


How does behavioral tracking work?


Behavioral tracking has several aims: to understand the intent of the user; understand the context of the user’s visit to a site; use their situational data (IP address, location etc.) to further personalize their experience; monitor other channels that they have visited; and, finally, combine with real-time behavior. “Various traces we leave online are all gathered and analysed in a way that essentially allows companies to have valuable information.” says Megan Wilsons, a tech blogger Write My X and OriginWritings.


What happens to the data and how can users control it?


While data is being collected from various sources and comprising the Big Data companies use for marketing purposes and personalization, it still remains somewhat safe.

Companies are largely not interested in the specific details of user profiles but rather different user personas and improving seamlesness of the user experience across the devices and funnels. They are interested in various demographics and Behavioral statistics as a way to improve their presence and thus increase sales.


The world of online behavioral tracking is certainly a lucrative one. In the last few years, it has proven how social media and targeted advertising can increase sales, widen exposure, and even influence elections. However, some people have certain concerns about sensitive data and where it goes. This is all controlled by the current legislation GDPR. Your Data is safe while serving companies as main information on improving customer’s experience.


Adelina Benson is an email marketer and writer at AcademicBrits. She develops marketing

strategies, edits and proofreads company emails. In her free time, she loves exploring new ways to connect with people and share knowledge both in the real world and online!


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