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The Weather Company Brings On Ad Vet Jordan Bitterman As CMO

As marketers look to the ways meteorological data mixes with IoT and voice-activated search, Bitterman will be expected to deepen connections with ad agencies and brands.

Jordan Bitterman, the former ad agency executive who helped develop the idea of the annual advertising showcase called the Newfronts, will now be tasked with overseeing all marketing for The Weather Company as its CMO.

In particular, Bitterman will focus on continuing programs that highlight the combinations of technology, location data, and advertising that serve as the foundation for the Watson IoT Cloud platform, building on the $3 billion commitment IBM made in March 2015 to invest in the Internet of Things.

That initiative followed IBM’s October 2015 purchase of The Weather Company, which split the data side of that property from the flagship cable and online media brand, The Weather Channel. Both entities now operate separately, though support between the two TWCs still remains in place.

One of the primary aspects that IBM and The Weather Company have embarked include a “hyperlocal weather forecast,” which provides a 0.2-mile to 1.2-mile view of meteorological conditions that gives enterprise clients short-term customized weather forecasts. That service, known as Deep Thunder, has been a key part of Watson’s IoT Cloud platform.

It’s the natural — or perhaps, obvious — intersection of location data and weather data that makes The Weather Company’s resources so right for marketers, particularly at this moment, Bitterman told GeoMarketing.

“As marketing continues its path down the road to one-to-one communications, brands need solutions to reach people in the moments that matter most,” Bitterman says. “With Weather’s 50 million monthly unique users in mobile alone, we have incredible scale. From tall mountain, we can drill deeper into both location and weather circumstances. In my most recent role on the agency side, I was hard pressed to find a client with an initiative that wouldn’t benefit from those two layers. Autos, travel, financial services, insurance and CPG are all highly affected by the weather and we have ad products to drive their marketing effectiveness.”

In June, just as interactive analyst Mary Meeker heralded the greater importance of voice-activated interactive advertising in her annual state of the internet report, The Weather Company began rolling out “voice-recognition advertising,” something that has become a central aspect of Google’s and Apple’s respective marketing tools for developers.

The first brands to try out The Weather Company’s speech-based interactive ads include Campbell Soup Company, Unilever and GSK Consumer Healthcare. Bitterman is expected to help expand those kinds offerings and to other brands.

“Our recent acquisition by IBM provides us with a whole suite of data and analytics services that bring our offering to another level,” Bitterman notes. “This company is now so much more than simply ‘the weather.’ We’re also a predictive company, a precision ​location ​company and an analytics company. My near term goal will be to help communicate that story to all of our audiences: consumers, advertisers and our enterprise customers.”

Specifically, Bitterman will oversee and connect all of The Weather Company’s marketing teams, including business solutions marketing, ad sales marketing and consumer marketing, as well as corporate communications. Bitterman will report to Cameron Clayton, CEO and general manager, The Weather Company, and will be based in Weather’s NY office.

“Jordan is ideally suited to support the vision we’re working towards at Weather,” Clayton said in a statement. “He’s a disruptor and an innovative thinker, able to see things before many others do.”

Prior to this hire, Bitterman previously served as chief strategy officer at WPP Group’s Mindshare, where he developed The Loop, the company’s real-time marketing “war room.” As a rep for the The Weather Company noted, Bitterman was “one of the first to recognize the immense value of The Weather Company’s weather and location data and predictive insights, and as such invited Weather to be one of Mindshare’s initial partners in The Loop.”

Before Mindshare, Bitterman spent eight years at Digitas as SVP, media, social, mobile & content for all of North America. Previously, he held media and marketing roles at Madison Avenue brands such as Foote Cone & Belding and Ammirati Puris Lintas, as well as early interactive ad agency Modem Media, pre-Google search engine AltaVista.