Is Eye Tracking Changing Marketing As We know It?

As a marketer, you've probably come across words like conversion, conversion rates, cost-per-who-knows-what, KPI's, metric and analytics. To me, it seems like we, marketers, have grown to deal with more numbers than the CFO's.  

By having to deal with so many numbers, we also have to deal with a lot of testing, naturally. We have to be able to show why we do the things we do. And sometimes this means that we have to rely on our gut feeling. Other times, we can rely on prior data sets to make a decision.

If only we could remove some of the guesswork - especially on the digital side...

Well, the time has come. In the past few years, we have been able to adopt many new technologies that help us optimize conversion, among other things. Some of these technologies include heat maps and mouse trackers.

Now, it's eye-tracking's turn to disrupt the marketing field.  

Understand user behavior and then hack it

One of the hottest words in marketing is "hacking". And in the right context, it opens a whole new world of opportunities.

For example, hacking can mean understanding that beautiful design is not always optimal - then doing something about it. Sometimes your reader just needs a simple and clear clue on what to do. A simple landing page with an effective copy and a simple CTA-button (Call To Action) might do the trick. Sometimes, you need an elaborate design to convey your message to your customers.

I believe that the key to a successful design is to understand what your customers pay attention to. By understanding their unconscious behavior, you can make better decisions. Sometimes that understanding is really just a gut feeling. But backing up your gut feeling with hard data is never a bad idea.

So, what about that hack? This is where eye-tracking comes into play. Once you understand which elements on the page are capturing the user’s interests, you can then choose to show more of those elements. Same with images. By understanding human behavior, we can choose photos that guide the eye towards the CTA, for example.

I believe that today's design is not only colors, shapes, and pretty pictures. I think today's design is all about understanding basic psychology, numbers and analytics, as well as, conversion techniques.

We now understand that design plays a bigger role than ever before. But the design we should demand is based on data!  


Here's a concrete example from Joe Leech and CXPartners. This image shows how they used eye tracking on Bristol Airport’s website. What happened was that the less information they had above the fold, the more likely it was for people to scroll down.

Interesting results, don't you think?

Eye tracking 3


The way I see it, eye-tracking is the future because it makes marketing more accurate. And that accuracy doesn't cost a fortune anymore, nor huge amounts of time. In fact, eye-tracking is cheap and almost real time.

No more guesswork, no more countless lost deals, and no more sleepless nights.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you heard of eye-tracking before? Let me know where. If you found this article helpful, make sure to share it!