Given the fact that all weather is local and the role that changing conditions can have on consumer behavior, cross-device analytics provider Drawbridge is working with WeatherAlpha to help brands craft messages tailored to current conditions.

WeatherAlpha’s WeatherEdge data intelligence technology has been integrated with third-party ad-tech and mar-tech platforms, including the Drawbridge Cross-Device Platform.

The move follows a broader recognition of the value of weather-related data. For example, earlier this year, IBM acquired of The Weather Company (the data/analytics side of The Weather Channel, which is now a completely unattached media entity with its cable TV and consumer-facing website and apps operating independently of each other). The Weather Company has since been integrated with IBM’s Watson cloud platform and is helping to power marketing efforts involving the Internet of Things.

Elsewhere, Unilever’s Dove brand used weather data from to automatically update its out-of-home  digital billboards in Times Square to reflect the weather condition for people passing by.

Dove ads in NYC's Times Square were triggered to the weather, such as this message telling passersby "its almost shower time" to promote the brand's body wash.
Dove ads in NYC’s Times Square were triggered to the weather, such as this message telling passersby “its almost shower time” to promote the brand’s body wash.

“Pairing local weather conditions with consumers’ needs results in more relevant messages and ultimately drives purchases, and we’re proud to make this data firehose available to other platforms, including Drawbridge,” said Carl Weber, WeatherAlpha’s director of Business Development. “Today’s digital marketers are already employing demographic, psychographic, dynamic, and geographic targeting. Environmental targeting, as we like to call it, is a natural next step to reaching consumers in the right time, place, and mindset.”

Up-To-Minute Marketing Forecast

The real-time component is obviously very important in weather targeting, notes Rahul Bafna, Drawbridge’s VP of Product Management and Partnerships.

“But often times, the window to capitalize on this data is very small, Bafna added. “Being proactive, or having some sort of advanced knowledge of these conditions, can be differentiating factor when executing on weather-related tactics.”

Proactive, Not Reactive

The combination of having advanced notice of weather conditions and the ability to activate on this data in real-time, is what makes the WeatherAlpha & Drawbridge partnership so impactful, Bafna says.  In particular, marrying the WeatherAlpha data set and Drawbridge’s location-based and real-time targeting capabilities is intended to provide “a holistic weather-targeting solution.” But more importantly, it’s the ability for Drawbridge’s clients to ably plan their media in advance of these “real-time” conditions is the key advantage for advertisers.

“This helps advertisers to properly prepare and capitalize on consumer behavior around various weather elements,” Bafna says. “For instance, if an advertiser is running a rain-triggered campaign in northwest Ohio, you may only have an hour or so to align with the conditions, but if you know three days prior that the forecast is calling for rain in that area, your targeting window just expanded from 45 minutes to, say, four hours, and that can make a significant difference in campaign performance.  It’s about being proactive rather reactive.”