Tracking User Actions with Audience Targeting

In Audience Targeting, a campaign defines a set of content targeted to specific user segments during a time period. Reports allow campaign administrators to learn how users behave in the context of a campaign by monitoring their interaction over different elements of the site. Out of the box, Liferay provides several metrics based on entity types that you can track, such as content, forms, links, pages, etc. For example, if you want track how many users watch a YouTube video that is published on your site, you might create a custom report with the YouTube Videos metric.

Audience Targeting ships with many metrics, but it’s also extensible. This means that if the default metrics available do not fulfill your needs, you can create one yourself.

First you need to define some criteria about your metric:

  • Entity to Track
  • Tracking Mechanism
  • Tracking Events
  • Differentiation Method

Creating a metric involves targeting what you want to track in a report. Suppose you’re the owner of a hardware store and you want to send emails to your customers with the store’s weekly newsletter. You send the email every week, but you’re in the dark about how many customers actually open and read the newsletter. For this example, your entity to track is the newsletter.

To track how many customers view the newsletter, you must create a tracking mechanism. You can provide a custom tracking mechanism (e.g., a servlet) or you can use the ones provided by Audience Targeting. For a newsletter, you could use a transparent image as the tracking mechanism, which would have the View tracking event capability. Whenever the image is viewed, the Audience Targeting app computes and stores the information.

Finally, you must assign the metric to an entity. For a newsletter, you could provide a Newsletter ID field that the user could fill in to differentiate newsletters, if there’s more than one.

To learn more about how metrics are used in the Audience Targeting application, visit the Defining Metrics section.

For this tutorial, you’ll create a newsletter that can track who views it. To do this you will,

  1. Create a module with the necessary Content Targeting API dependencies.

  2. Define the metric’s View/Save lifecycle.

  3. Implement a tracking mechanism and differentiation method.

  4. Define the UI.

Figure 1: The sample Newsletter metric requires the newsletter name, ID, and event type.

Figure 1: The sample Newsletter metric requires the newsletter name, ID, and event type.

Now that you have an idea of how to plan your new metric, you’ll begin creating one next!

Creating Projects with Blade CLI

Defining a Metric’s View/Save Lifecycle

Defining the Metric’s UI

« Defining the Rule's UICreating a Metric »
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