Weather-based analysis and promotion optimisation
Weather conditions impact our habits, our reactions, our behaviour and our emotions. For these reasons, which result in a high promotional effectiveness potential, the weather is becoming a method of choice in marketing and communication strategies. The association of weather marketing and dynamic display therefore constitutes a major advantage in the rush for differentiation and, beyond the simple possibility of anticipating stock movements or predicting sales trends, contributes to economic outperformance. Apart from the purely logistical aspect, weather marketing in dynamic display can be used to contextualise sales pitches and to broadcast them at optimum times, i.e. when customers are most receptive to a specific type of message.
Dynamic display determined by the weather constitutes much more than simply anticipating seasonal-based sales. Campaigns adapted to weather forecasts can have a direct impact on communication performance, and therefore optimise the ROI of marketing actions. By contextualising messages sent, marketing teams can create compelling experience-inspired brand stories, promoting discussions and commitment.
By turning climate constraints into opportunities, digital technologies add the weather as an additional targeting criterion alongside widely used geographical, time, and socio-demographic conditions. Strategies and schedules defined based on climatic variations allow sales pitches to be better anticipated and, ultimately, widen their impact. Whilst this approach is global and universal, it will have an increased impact on seasonal and weather-sensitive products, i.e. products for which the sales volume varies according to changes in the weather.
Influencing sales using weather conditions
Using the meteorological context to plan content enables the right products to be promoted at the right time (i.e. when sales are already high), either because this is already known, or because this is identified through a sales analysis. Because a report of its sales shows that swimwear sells better on sunny days when temperatures exceed 24°C, a fashion brand may decide to frequently promote its swimwear when these weather conditions occur. As a result, the brand will scale back communications for its woolly hats, which naturally sell better during colder periods. By doing this, the brand profits from customers being conditioned by the climatic environment (i.e. sun and heat). In the same way, agricultural products can benefit greatly from this type of promotion that combines seasonality with weather conditions. For example, strawberries are much more tempting on a sunny day in July than on a rainy day in August! The impact of this accurate and adaptive promotion on sales is significant, as is the time saved due to the option of being able to anticipate this type of communication.
The theoretical model (graph) applied to the example above represents the volume of swimwear sales in normal periods (blue curve) and the volume of sales during weather-responsive campaigns (green curve)
The contextualised promotion (i.e. images adapted to temperatures) can increase the volume of sales when sales are at their peak (the top of the curve is higher), but also reduce the threshold temperature, i.e. the temperature at which a certain volume of sales is reached (shown on the graph in red). For example, in this case, sales are high up to 20°C (previously 24°C).
However, because each individual has their own temperature tolerance, not everyone will be sensitive to the same temperature threshold and it is unlikely that the brand would ever be able to identify a single value as the critical threshold (24°C above) between sales and non-sales (or high/low sales). Weather-responsive dynamic display can be used to alter the frequency of communication according to different temperature ranges and increase the scope of possibilities. Brands can therefore extend the target temperature ranges of their promotions, with diminishing frequencies. The temperature range offering optimum economic performance is therefore extended.
Discover the weather-sensitivity of products
Whilst the weather-sensitivity of some products is easy to determine (e.g. swimwear sells better in summer), this may not be true of other products. In this case, tests must be carried out to identify or refine the weather-sensitivity of these products. For example, a fashion brand can plan weather-sensitive campaigns that incorporate different promotional codes for each temperature range (e.g. 15 to 20°C, 21 to 25°C, 26 to 27°C). The analysis of the use of promotional codes can supplement the analysis of sales only (because promotional codes provide an indication at the time the decision is made, more than the purchase itself). Managing the weather-sensitivity of products enables marketing actions to be targeted, thus improving the effectiveness of campaigns whilst reducing planning time.
A number of players already apply the principles of weather marketing to dynamic display campaigns and have observed a 2-figure increase in their sales during target periods. Stella Cidre announced an 65.6% increase in sales during the test period and in relation to the previous year. (source: Nielsen Sales data 2013) La Redoute announced a 34% increase in their traffic and a 17% increase in their sales as a direct result of weather-responsive dynamic display campaigns.
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