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How does the weather affect marketing?

Experts predict the hottest summer on record in 2014 - what does that mean for your marketing? Can you use the weather to improve sales and drive traffic to your website? Experts say, indeed you can! And not only that, the results of weather marketing are trackable and measurable.Brands are using weather data to target appropriate ads with some impressive results.

Experts predict the hottest summer on record in 2014 – what does that mean for your marketing? Can you use the weather to improve sales and drive traffic to your website? Experts say, indeed you can! And not only that, the results of weather marketing are trackable and measurable.Brands are using weather data to target appropriate ads with some impressive results.

Fashion marketing

Last year, French fashion retailer La Redoute devised a weather forecast billboard displaying real-time weather alongside appropriate clothing. A simple but very effective campaign, which increased online traffic by over a third and sales by 17 per cent!

Telecommunications marketing

Nokia launched temperature-sensitive outdoor advertising to promote its sensitive touchscreens. The ads use thermo-reactive ink to inform consumers that Nokia phones can be used when wearing gloves. Riccardo Webb, Nokia’s social media experience manager, said: “Marketing shouldn’t bore people so using anything in your surroundings, including the weather, is extremely effective at hammering your messages home.”

Soft drinks marketing

Costa partnered with The Weather Channel to promote its summer drinks range, analysing activity online when the temperature hit 22 degrees Celsius. This was another big hit with a click-through rate of 0.15 per cent on the homepage, 0.52 per cent on an iPad, 2.72 per cent on a mobile banner and 0.47 per cent for a display ad.

Behaviour, tone and willingness

“The weather can set consumers’ emotional tone,” was the advice from Anthony Mullen, senior analyst at Forrester, serving marketing leadership professionals. A study from the Journal of Retailing & Consumer Services in the US demonstrated that sunlight has a significant effect on consumers’ willingness to pay. The study showed that, on a sunny days, consumers would pay on average $1.26 more for a soft drink.

Weather analytical tools

More and more tools are becoming available that link weather forecasting and companies’ own data. Plenty of brands from all sectors are taking advantage of weather marketing:

Skymosity’s weather analytics help marketers track business activity through various weather conditions, measuring purchase behaviour and top selling products, and any decline in sales due to fluctuating climates. Marketers can set up automated email triggers to go out for a subscriber’s local immediate or forecasted weather condition or temperature range.

WeatherFIT is a PPC tool developed for Bravissimo enabling the retailer to promote its swimwear range online at appropriate times. The tool allows users to target PPC ads based on current or forecast weather. The data can then be compared to historical sales and weather data for a specific UK city to establish any correlations.

During the three-month campaign, sales revenues for Bravissimo’s swimwear range increased by nearly 600 per cent! This has led to other leading brands adopting the tool, such as Carling.

Advice from the experts

Tom Jenen, head of marketplace engagement development at Google, said: “People want an immersive experience [in advertising]’so you must make sure you are creating an experience they can really get into and something that speaks to them.”

Top three tips for weather marketing

  1. Both Makewell and Webster advised that, the more contextual weather information marketers put in their ad units, the better the results.
  2. Research your business’ sensitivity to weather according to Forrester’s Mullen.
  3. Populate your footfall and POS data and advertising with a large library of weather. Look at how temperature will affect sales – it can be gold dust in terms of insight.

Some brands have realised the importance of real-time weather data to their marketing campaigns and are reaping the benefits. But other industries are missing a trick so our advice is simple – jump on the bandwagon and take real advantage of marketing the weather this summer.


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