Why Programmatic Advertising is Crucial for Reaching the Right Audience – The Story of the Weather Channel

How much does the weather affect you? Does your mood change if the sun’s out? Would you change your plans if it started raining?

In her talk at TFM&A on 26 February, Lindsay Wiles, Strategic Sales Director at The Weather Channel told the audience that weather is a statement that demonstrates very clear intent.

“Weather defines our moods, plans, what we wear, what we do, what we buy, when we buy it, where we go and where we don’t,” she said.

Using the idea of weather as something we experience, rather than just something we check, she told the audience that weather transcends demographics, “It doesn’t matter if I’m Jackie, 25-44, like Marie Claire, shop at Hobbs and browse Caribbean websites; if it’s hot and humid I will get thirsty and I will buy water.”

Programmatics takes an audience-first approach, which in turn leads to better planning and smoother spending patterns. Using Heinz as an example, Lindsay explained that they had a campaign linked to a weather page and every time the temperature dropped below three degrees, an advert for soup would accompany the show.

Likewise, Pantene used humidity indicators to know when they should advertise hair products, and travel companies can use the weather to know when to put up adverts for sunny, beach holidays.

By using weather information it can possible to get a clearer idea of the intent of your customer base. Bob Ivins, chief data officer in Mindshare, has written that weather can affect many brands in different ways. For example, bad weather means people won’t take test drives, buy movie tickets or even necessarily leave the house, but they will stock up on firewood, bottled water and get videos on demand.

He argues that the only thing you can be sure about is that the weather will continue to be prevalent and unpredictable, and advises that companies should look at how business has been affected in the past and then be prepared to adjust media investments accordingly.

Lindsay finished by saying that programmatic advertising is growing and is definitely here to stay. By customer profiling and studying browsing behaviour you can guarantee you will be reaching better audiences more effectively. No matter how relevant your customer is, if you’re not talking to them at the right time, then the product won’t benefit them or you.

More info about TFM&A.