What is Weather Based Marketing?
Has it happened to you when your friend came up with an idea of doing something exciting, but you turned him down. Has the same thing happened while the weather was gloomy outside? If yes, that’s weather influencing your mood, and thus the activity you would do or wouldn’t.
Weather influences our mood, eating habits, choice of clothes, going out or staying inside and more so to our disbelief our purchase decisions. It affects how we feel, our mood and to an extent our intent to make a purchase.
You might be thinking that it is so obvious. You see umbrellas, rain suits, being marketed during the rainy season, winter wear during colder times, and summer clothing exclusively available during summers. These products have seasonal demands and so the lifespan of their marketing campaigns.
However, weather based marketing brings the intelligence of triggering marketing campaigns based on a change in weather conditions in a particular geo-location.
It involves studying weather driven product sales trends based on historical data from POS, online sales, factoring for variables such as seasonal changes, location.
Take for instance in Scotland, a temperature of 20° C will prompt BBQ sales to triple, whilst in London, the temperature has to be exactly 24° C or 75° F to induce the same result. Making it necessary to segment weather data by location.
Understanding weather as a factor influencing consumer behaviour is the first step towards designing weather based marketing campaigns. In fact, our previous post talked about use-cases for push notifications, weather-based targeting was one of them.
Data from the study conducted by Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services substantiates the correlation of Weather influencing willingness to pay.
Unlike the old days marketing nowadays is not about broadcasting messages. It has evolved to become more personalised, contextual, relevant, tailored to customer needs.
Three in every four of online customers (74%) gets frustrated with websites showing them irrelevant content (ads, promotions, offers, etc.). Making the case for the need to staying relevant to customers all the more important.
After all, who likes to see swimwear ads if the weather is chilling outside?
Consider these marketing campaigns that used Weather data to influence customers with their contextual message.
In a first of its kind advert by HUL displayed on Times Square, New York City weather sensors were used to contextually change the ad content. Technology, weather data, creativity came together to make this brilliantly executed responsive ad.
In a promotional email inducing customers to buy rainwear, Timberland used three-day weather forecast to drive customers into making a purchase.
Studying historical swimwear sales vis-a-vis weather, Bravissimo unravelled a correlation between spikes in swimwear sales and sun shining bright (irrespective of outdoor temperature). They ran PPC campaign for three months in specific locations across the UK.
As a result, PPC driven revenue for Swimwear category increased by 600% during their 3-month campaign. [If you don’t know yet, you should learn more about Weather PPC based Google scripts]
Sears is into automotive battery business. And Sears knew that batteries that are five years old or more stop functioning in sub-zero temperatures of three consecutive days or more. Studying historical data, got them to run a campaign like this:
I am going to leave you thinking of the many possible ways weather data could be used in effective marketing. Take a look at a few industry specific use-cases that can be easily implemented by using data from Weather API.
Food Delivery Apps:
Using location-specific weather forecast, they can run campaigns to drive usage at times when it is expected to rain.
Pro Tip– You can make use of 5-day weather forecast to plan out triggers to your marketing campaigns.
There are ~43,000 zip codes in the United States, weather across this vast area is bound to vary. A contextually relevant marketing email taking weather into account is far more effective than a common generic message for the country as a whole. Take, for example, this email marketing campaign triggered when a hurricane warning is issued for a particular geography.
Weather heavily influences the sale of cosmetic products. Using UV index data from Weather API, contextually relevant campaigns like the below one gives good results:
Pro tip– You can easily access UV Index data for any location on earth to go about setting off your campaigns.
In the travel industry, there’s an increasing need to differentiate your offering from the competition. Take, for example, the below use-case where a travel company uses weather forecast to let customers know of a possible thunderstorm at the place they are due to visit.
Pro Tip– You can make use of 16-day weather forecast to plan out triggers to your marketing campaigns.
Be it selling anti-rust coating packages just before the onset of rains or warning car owners of the expected snow covers. Automobile, car servicing apps can do a lot of these small things to gain the attention of their customers. Like this:
Car Rental Apps:
Make rentals more personal. Add a humanising touch to your brand by showing that you care about your customer.
Present them with personalised and targeted tips according to their chosen route of travel.
There could be numerous other uses of weather forecast data that can refine marketing, advertising and make them more effective. Brands have been using it for years now to project product demand, market them better, and even to distribute goods across geography. Duracell used weather forecast to stock up batteries in areas forecasted to receive hurricane; the weather channel places specific ads on its website, app depending on the weather. The list goes on.
Have you come across anything lately, that you think was triggered using weather data? Share your experience in the comments section below.
And, did you like this blog post? If not, is the weather by any chance overcast today? 😉