Tutorial: Behavior Listening

Behavior listening allows you to store information about known and anonymous user behaviors in profile properties.

Examples of preconfigured profile properties that use behavior listening are the dynamic duos:

  1. "Current Referrer Hostname" alongside "Referrer Hostnames", and
  2. "Current utm Campaign" alongside "utm Campaign"

The properties labeled "Current" only contain the most recent value. The others contain each and every occurrence of those values associated with visitors' profiles. Similarly, you'll be able to overwrite stored profile property values, keeping a reference to only the most recent behavior, or append to the profile property, ultimately creating a list of related behaviors for each user exhibiting that behavior. Example values for the referrer hostname example above might be: 

Current Referrer Hostname: "google.com"

Referrer Hostnames: "google.com","m.facebook.com","t.co","blogs.yourdomain.com"


Let's create a couple behavior listeners really fast, shall we? One will track the sections of our site that the visitor has touched, and the other will track Adobe Analytics' s_campaign values passed in the query string parameter: s_campaign...

Hold up! Before we can fully create the listener, we need a place to store the information in user profiles. This won't take long! Follow these steps, or skip down to the screenshots below to match your configurations up with ours.

  • Head to the Profiles > Profile Properties tab and click "Add Profile Property" to begin.

  • Enter a unique identifier (ID) for your profile property. Think of this as a short name -- but remember that only alphanumeric characters, underscores, and hyphens are allowed. We're creating two properties -- we'll go with "site_sections" and "s_campaigns" here.

  • For the name field, you have more freedom to include spaces and other characters. This is the name that will be displayed for the profile property throughout BlueConic.

  • Enter a description that includes supporting information that allows other BlueConic users to understand why the profile property exists.

  • Leave the category as "Context"

  • Check the box next to "Segment Filter", and change the filter type to "Text"

  • Add some labels for the property, if applicable. Or skip this for now -- you can always modify this setting later.

In the end, you should have two profile properties configured... here are screen shots of what we ended up with:


Hooray! We're off to the races -- another 90 seconds or so and we'll start tracking some great data for segmentation.

  • Once the property is saved, click over to the Listeners tab and then click “Add Listener” under Behavior Listening to configure the behavior listener. Don’t see Behavior Listening? Just click “Add Listener” on the left side and select the behavior listener from the next menu.

  • Enter a name for the listener, e.g. “Behavior listening”

  • Enter a description for the listener to let other BlueConic users know how data is being captured here.

  • Select the applicable channel(s) for the “Where” option.

  • Enter a label if you wish, or leave this entry blank for now.

  • Under "Rules", select "URL" and click "Add Rule". Then, select "Content" and click "Add Rule" again. You will notice several options, some of which must be set.
  • We're not going to change the first configurable option, "Add", to "Set". Doing so would overwrite our profile properties, instead of adding values to a long list. By using the default of "Add" here, BlueConic will keep storing each and every behavioral value, allowing you to make use of that data in various ways later.

  • For the URL rule, click "define value(s)" and select "Value from Query String Parameter". Enter s_campaign, or a campaign parameter you use in tracking URLs. 

  • Click "select profile property" and choose the property we created earlier to store s_campaigns in.

  • Click "define word(s)" and enter s_campaign in the field.

  • Move on to the next rule, and click "define value(s)" for this content rule. There are all sorts of ways to capture sections viewed. Frequently used methods include capturing directly from the URL, or from some location on the page, such as a crumbtrail. We have a crumbtrail, let's use that! We select "Value from page" and again, we can enter a CSS selector directly or use the visual picker to find it in browser mode.

  • Click "select profile property" and select the site sections property we created earlier.

  • Save your listener, and start segmenting based on your live traffic as soon as it's been enabled!

For future consideration:

  1. Messaging/offers based on sections/features used (e.g. notifying of site/app updates). For offers, perhaps an interest ranking listener will work better as we'll understand which sections/features are most important to each user.

  2. Are there tracking URLs in place for email and social media? A significant portion of clickthroughs may be missed without tracking URLs in place. BlueConic can listen to tracking parameters from any other platform (see the above s_campaign example), but not if the parameters are not being used consistently! These can be a huge advantage in extending the messaging and targeting that drove known and anonymous users to the site.

Behavior listening, interest ranking, and scoring... just a few other listener types we've created real-world scenario tutorials for in "Quick Wins".