In Advertising, Blog Articles

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Weather is King

There’s no doubt about it: everyone thinks about the weather. We may not be sitting on our front porches in rocking chairs discussing it, but our daily lives are still dictated by the weather. Deciding to take a trip to the beach, or sit at home binge watching Reality TV instead usually begins with a quick check of a weather app.

Weather-based websites alone receive from ten and thirty million unique visitors a month. Of course, visitors don’t remain at these sites for long – they’re just looking for the forecast. But they do provide a great deal of information about themselves in their short visits, including their IP addresses, keywords, date/time, language, and zip codes.

All of the major weather sites like World Weather Online, AccuWeather, and Weather.com make their visitor data available to advertisers for highly customizable ads. The success of this shared data is evidenced by recent partnerships such as Twitter and The Weather Network to sync their “promoted tweets” with the current weather of a specific region. For example, the news of an upcoming snowstorm in Chicago might trigger ads for Michelin’s latest snow tires to twitter users in the Windy City.

This fairly new method of hyper-local targeting has incredible potential in converting new customers – but how can mobile marketers take the greatest advantage of these weather-based factors?

Targeting Based on Forecasts

Weather-relevant mobile ads can benefit both marketers and consumers in many ways. For starters, stores in cities with sunny weather forecasts might direct customers to their storefront, while those in the middle of snow season could be enticed to stay indoors for “website-only” deals.

Retailers could use the weather forecasts to decide what products to advertise. Relevant sales on raincoats and umbrellas as it’s raining, or on sunscreen and cold beer on a hot day will be well received by consumers viewing those ads on their mobile phones.

Companies that work in an industry that is influenced by the weather could incorporate consumer tips into their advertising. By offering suggestions for what to do in whatever sort of climate, these businesses can suggest activities for their customers according to the weather (e.g. patio dining in mild weather, or what to do in severe conditions in stormy locations). This cultivates brand loyalty through helpful tips and useful deals for consumers, as well as incentivized sales for businesses.

Weather Optimized Selling

Many businesses sales fluctuate during changes in weather patterns. With this foreknowledge, companies can prepare for a spike in orders, or a lack of customers, and adjust their overhead accordingly. For example, if a restaurant is expecting a slow period due to bad weather, new advertising strategies may be employed to bring in more paying customers such as “rainy day” discounts targeted to mobile users near their location.

In planning ahead, companies can reduce ad-spending waste with advertising campaigns that are relevant to the weather in their city.

Trigger Your Ads

By automating the ad delivery process, relevant and impactful ads can be triggered by temperature range, weather conditions and DMA or specific location. Consumers can receive a mobile ad when the temperature drops to a certain degree within a targeted area. For example, a beer company might want to message consumers in certain cities where they are not as well known by offering mobile discounts on days when its over 80 degrees. This allows marketers to “set and forget” their ads, allowing their campaigns to launch only at the most appropriate times for their target audience.

All in all, the combination of weather data and mobile marketing can enable highly targeted, hyper-local and hyper-personal branding for advertisers. In an age where people check their mobile phones for the latest weather forecast daily, marketers cannot afford to miss the opportunity to carefully target new consumers based on that same data. In turn, consumers will appreciate the valuable offers related to the weather they are experiencing in real-time.

For more information about our weather-targeting capabilities, please visit Phunware Advertising or contact marketing@phunware.com.

Vincent Montero
Vincent is former employee at Phunware, and a mobile marketing industry expert. Follow him on Twitter at @Evinced1.
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