John is a Manager of Client Services at StackAdapt and is always looking for ways to give his clients a creative edge in a competitive digital landscape. Weather targeting is one strategy he believes advertisers can leverage to build personalized and unique experiences.
Weather targeting is an advertising strategy that enables marketers to align their campaigns with fluctuations in weather. It’s a key marketing strategy because studies show that weather has a direct influence on consumer behaviour and intent.
The weather has obvious impacts on the seasonality of some products. For example, brands are more likely to sell patio furniture during the summer months than they are in the winter. But there are less obvious influences that weather has, too. According to the British Retail Consortium, weather is the single largest factor in driving “the emotional state” of a buyer.
One study found that when the weather is gloomy or it’s raining, home goods, furniture and clothing retailers experience up to a 12% increase in online traffic. Another study found that consumers that are exposed to more sunlight are willing to pay more for some products.
Clearly, weather has an impact on consumer behaviour. Leveraging weather targeting can help marketers create more relevant campaigns that reach consumers in the right moments. Read on to learn what weather targeting is, how weather affects consumer mood and purchasing habits, the benefits of weather targeting, and more.
What is Weather Targeting
With weather targeting, brands and agencies can tailor their creatives based on the weather conditions in specified locations. Campaigns can be automated to optimize based on local temperatures or weather conditions, making it possible to engage consumers during key weather changes with ads that drive action.
Weather data providers like OpenWeather offer updated datasets to demand-side platforms (DSP), which are then used for targeting purposes in a campaign. With the right DSP you can choose weather conditions, temperature ranges as well as blend weather targeting with other tactics such as day of the week, time, device, segments and more for endless targeting possibilities.
How Weather Affects Purchasing Habits
The 7-day weather forecast was introduced in the early 2000s. Knowing what weather to expect a full week in advance made planning outdoor activities as well as travel much simpler, and also resulted in shifts in consumer purchasing habits. For example, knowing that good weather is ahead could influence the purchase of beachwear, outdoor activities, sporting goods and travel-related products and services.
Weather predictions also affect consumer packaged goods (CPG)—specifically grocery. Many grocery stores and large box stores use weather to predict what they should stock the most of. For example, if the weather is forecasted to be sunny and warm, they may stock more foods that are barbecued, like hamburgers.
How Weather Affects Consumer Mood
The correlations between products that are in demand during specific types of weather are pretty obvious, but weather has subconscious effects on consumers, too. According to a study performed by Persinger and Levesque, 40% of a consumer’s mood evaluation was accounted for by a combination of weather events.
A consumer is more likely to purchase or consider purchasing an item when they are exposed to sunlight for a prolonged time. And, consumers are far more likely to shop in stores when the weather is nice and they feel motivated to go outside. Understanding how weather affects shoppers’ moods can help brands and agencies leverage weather trends strategically in their marketing plan.
The Benefits of Weather Targeting
Weather targeting enables marketers to reach consumers in the right moments through relevant messaging, improved campaign effectiveness, and weather-driven demand.
Enables More Relevant Messaging
Weather targeting isn’t only about tying a particular product to the weather. You can also leverage weather data to understand your consumer’s psyche at any given moment in time. Understanding your customer’s mindframe will enable you to tailor marketing messages accordingly, resulting in a much more potent campaign strategy.
Improves Campaign Effectiveness
Weather targeting can help you deliver more relevant messaging, which will improve campaign effectiveness and return on investment (ROI). This is because a message that delivers timely and relevant information, in a tone that resonates with the consumer’s mood, will lead to improved purchase intent.
Leverages Weather-Driven Demand
For many verticals, weather-driven demand is a big opportunity to boost brand awareness and sales. Industries like apparel, food and drink, home and garden, sports, auto, travel and tourism can use weather insights to create marketing strategies that align with consumer behaviour and intent.
An Example of Weather Targeting
The auto industry is influenced heavily by weather conditions. When temperatures fall, consumers begin thinking about purchasing winter tires to keep safe on the road. After a snowstorm, even more consumers might be in the frame of mind to consider purchasing a safer vehicle, for example, a vehicle that has all-wheel drive. In fact, brands in the US have reported a lift in sales for all-wheel drive vehicles after particularly bad winters.
Car dealerships and manufacturers can leverage weather targeting to reach receptive audiences at the right moment. Begin by mapping historical weather data against sales metrics to uncover the trends. Then, leverage that historical data to predict when the demand for all-wheel drive or winter tires will peak. By setting parameters that run an all-wheel drive campaign during or following the worst winter weather, marketers can capture the interest of a consumer when car safety in winter conditions is top of mind.
Tips for Building a Weather Strategy
Ready to leverage weather targeting? These tips will help you get started.
- Leverage seasonal forecasts to help plan your weather strategy. Looking at historical weather data as well as forecasts can help you identify when weather will impact your campaigns, and when you can shift messaging to align with the weather. Once you have a grasp on what weather to expect during your campaign flight, you can ensure the product placement, messaging and targeting strategy matches accordingly.
- Consider the effect weather has on a regional and national level. The weather patterns in Dallas, Texas differ a lot from those in Buffalo, New York, and so should your messaging. It’s important to hone in on as focused a region as possible since weather can vary, even within a state.
- Take note of regional perceptions of weather. People living in different climates will have different perceptions of weather. For example, when it drops to the 50s in Florida, locals may feel chilly enough to buy a jacket. Whereas in more northern states, that weather could be considered balmy enough for a spring barbecue.
Add Weather Targeting to Your Digital Strategy
There’s a reason that weather is talked about so often in elevators—it’s an important factor in our daily lives! Because weather will dictate what and when we do things, it has an influence on consumer mood as well as purchasing decisions. Adding weather targeting to your digital strategy will enable you to create more relevant campaigns that reach your target audience in optimal moments.
Want to learn more or add weather targeting to your media strategy? Reach out to your StackAdapt Representative.