Can a Weather Report Help an Advertising Campaign?

In the best of all worlds, advertising would be delivered when and where a person most needed it. When the TV was on the fritz, for example, ads would appear on a mobile phone promoting a new model that’s on sale. Or when you ran out of yogurt, you’d suddenly see an ad on TV for a new flavor of your favorite brand. These days those thoughts don’t seem so fanciful.

It is possible to sync your pay-per-click campaign with the weather, opening up a lot of opportunities for creative companies to hone in on their targets at the most relevant time. Imagine, for example, that you sell umbrellas. What’s the best time to connect people to your ad? When it’s raining, of course, and they’re getting soaked because they don’t have an umbrella on hand. Read on to find out how to use this helpful technique with your own campaigns.

Using Google Itself

Google offers a script using Google Spreadsheets to allow ad buyers to specify a location — say New York City — and a weather condition such as sunny. You can also specify by temperature, precipitation and wind. For example, you might put in a temperature range of 85 to 100 degrees or wind of above 20 miles per hour. The ad runs only if the specific conditions are met.

Say you’re selling those aforementioned umbrellas. If it is a rainy day in New York City, then your ad will pop up under that condition. But once the skies clear, the ad clears out as well. Be sure when you run a campaign this way that you fill out all of the weather variables, otherwise you may find that you’re not running the ad exactly when you wish.

Find the Right App

There are other apps and approaches that you can use to integrate the weather with your campaign. One that allows you to target by what the weather is in a particular location (as opposed to simply a climate zone) is weatherFIT. This app is cloud-based, making it very convenient for business owners. Campaigns can be adjusted to fit any weather conditions, from rain to snow to stifling heat waves.

You can also use AdWords Scripts by going to a site like Free Adwords Scripts. This allows you to generate your own scripts for whatever parameters you decide to include for your weather-based campaign. This requires a bit more expertise than simply plugging your desires into an app, so be forewarned.

Great Benefits

The benefits of tying your campaign to the weather are many. First, you will likely see an increase in ad sales, because you are reaching your potential customers at the most relevant time. A case study of one weatherFIT user selling swimwear found that sales increased by nearly 600 percent when weather-based advertising was implemented. Ad conversion rates also doubled.

Syncing your ads to the weather can also have another effect. Customers are impressed with businesses that are technologically savvy. If they note that you are posting ads based on the weather outside, they will appreciate your effort to reach them at the most relevant, least annoying time.

That can be a valuable thing for a company. People tend to invest in brands they believe in and are awed by. Anytime technology can work in your favor to give the impression that you are a smartly run, savvy operation it will pay off with more customers. And if you’re offering them an umbrella in their time of need, they’re also likely to mention that happy “coincidence” to their friends, spreading your business’s word virally.

GUEST AUTHOR Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for WebpageFX and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land. Her work has been published by the Association for Business Communication, Yahoo! Small Business, and Spin Sucks. 

Thunderstorm image courtesy of Shutterstock

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