24 Mar Weather-Based Marketing
Checking the weather forecast is one of the first things many people do when they wake up in the morning. We plan our days around the weather; our vacations around the weather. So why wouldn’t we consider weather-based marketing planning?
Most companies take a seasonal approach to marketing products and services. But, seasons are not the same as weather. With the advancement of accurate, longer-term weather forecasting technology, the opportunity to create more frequent “spontaneous” or “flash” campaigns has increased dramatically.
Weather-based Marketing – It’s a Thing
An example of one industry using weather as a marketing opportunity is golf. There are a number of courses in our area that will allow you to play 18 holes for the price of what the temperature is that day. For those of us who live in the upper Midwest, paying $40 to play in 40-degree temperatures is a deal too sweet to pass up. It’s not particularly scientific, but the sliding scale of the desire to play and temperature is a pretty reliable correlation.
Automating Weather Event Triggers
You may ask yourself how much time and effort all of this going to take? The answer is…not as much as you think. Let me give you an example:
You run an HVAC company. Customers need routine maintenance on their furnace and AC. It’s easy to put it off until a weather event make turning on the heat mandatory. Oops, it’s not working. Now you need emergency service (like everyone else who procrastinated this honey-do item.)
Now, what if you had a marketing objective to reach out to customers as a result of a weather event? To get ahead of competitors, you set up a digital marketing campaign to reach customers and prospects the first day temperatures drop below a certain threshold. There are automated systems that allow you to do this. A personal favorite is If This Then That (IFTTT). Once the temperature drops below 40 degrees, a Facebook post and eBlast launches to all followers and subscribers. You don’t miss these opportunities because your campaign automatically triggers your marketing effort at the most optimal time. It doesn’t have to be just temperature. It could be rainfall, a snow storm, air quality, even hurricane conditions.
Supply Chain Forecasting
Take another step back. With the sophistication of meteorologic forecasting comes the ability to more accurately predict weather far out into the future. As a business owner, when you know something is coming, you can prepare for it, including stocking and staffing accordingly.
Let’s say you’re alerted that a storm is coming far enough in advance to stock your store with just the right stuff. Imagine customers needing batteries, bottled water, plywood and any number of essentials. Your shelves are chock full of what they need, while your competitor’s shelves are bare. Where do you think those customers will shop the next time around?
With some faith in technology and planning, you can freeze out the competition without constant monitoring. Weather-based marketing – it’s a thing.
To learn more, contact our resident meteorologist/marketing guru Matt Main at firstname.lastname@example.org.