Digital Marketing & eCommerce Innovation Blog

Digital Marketing & eCommerce Innovation Blog

Come Rain or Shine: How brands can easily unlock value by syncing with the Weather

It’s part of our British identity and talking about it is our national pastime. The weather affects our moods, inspires our wants, and drives our needs. Friend or foe, its the second most influential consumer stimulus after the economy, according to the BRC.

Weather is (almost) king

So, if weather is so important, are brands giving it the recognition it deserves?

Seasonal strategy variations aside, it’s hard for brands to anticipate the weather; even forecasters get it wrong! Imagine experiencing a heavy downpour in your city and your favourite brand marketing picnic food? Or a surprisingly warm and sunny spell when you’re being served ads for winter sweaters? These poorly-timed ads are doomed to fail because they are quite simply, irrelevant. All brands want to market to consumers in the perfect context; sending the right message at the right time remains the holy grail.

This summer’s heatwave was filled with examples of searching for warm-weather items, like this great BBQ example below.

Imagine if brands could sync their advertising to the forecast or to the weather in real-time, serving the right ad or changing bids at the moments when it really mattered?

Data holds the key to getting the weather advantage

We like to let the data talk, helping our clients make their advertising work harder for them by selecting the most relevant Weather signals for their strategy.

For example, a restaurant chain wanted to harness weather to drive sales because data showed that appetite for their takeout menu increased when the weather was hotter. The client created Facebook ads promoting the takeout menu, and we programmed these to launch when the temperature exceeded 20C. When the temperature dropped below 20C, these ads automatically switched back to the eat-in ads. Adding geotargeting to the campaign across seven urban areas, allowed the brand to align their messaging to the weather, helping to generate a 30% increase in Facebook Relevance Score and an 18% decrease in CPC.

As our already unpredictable weather system becomes more uncertain, relevant advertising becomes essential.

Imagine a DIY chain looking to stay top of mind once the rain sets in and the BBQs and inflatable pool sales have ceased. The brand could hedge against poor cold-weather sales by promoting online sales of cosy soft furnishings to connect with their audiences at relevant moments. Or a Fast Fashion clothing brand, where speed and flexibility are everything, could change ad copy to reflect the weather. They could promote warm-weather clothing pre and during a heatwave, and loungewear as the weather closes in. By being able to join the weather conversation on Social Media, simply showing the right ad at the right time, can be a powerful way for brands to stay relevant.

There is huge upside, not least because the alternative, not taking weather into account, means less relevant messaging, missed sales opportunities, and wasted marketing spend.

Come rain or shine, brands have a real opportunity to squeeze greater value from their marketing spend.

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