Weather-Based Marketing: A Must for Aussie Marketers 

Ben Baker
By Ben Baker | 12 April 2023
Ben Baker; image supplied by Vistar Media.

Ben Baker, Managing Director, APAC at Vistar Media

Whether you’re chatting with the barista at your local cafe or making small talk with a coworker before a Zoom call, the weather is one of the most popular topics of conversation. And for good reason. 

Weather is one of the largest influences in our daily lives — it affects our mood, tells us how to dress, where to go, what to eat and even impacts our buying habits. That last point is especially true. Believe it or not, the weather is the second biggest factor that influences purchase decisions (right behind the state of the economy). We know that when it’s sunny and the UV levels are high, sunscreen and sunglass sales go up. This concept is well-documented across many geographic locations and industries.  

However, weather-related insights go far beyond these reactive observations. Looking at historical weather information, layered with elements like consumer movement patterns and buying behaviours, allows you to accurately predict where your audience will be and what they will buy in the future based on their local weather forecast — making weather a critical element of any advertising campaign.

How does weather-based marketing work?

Broadly speaking, weather-based marketing utilises data and analytics to deliver highly-relevant messages to consumers based on the weather conditions in their local area. The specific environmental conditions that influence consumer behaviour are known as “weather triggers.” A few triggers include: 

  • Air quality and pollen count
  • Precipitation
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Pest/insect seasons

When specific weather conditions are met within a geographic area, your programmatic ad platform can automatically prioritise weather-dependent ads over your generic messaging — allowing you to deliver contextually relevant ads that are more likely to resonate with your target audience.

Weather’s impact on DOOH ads & consumer behaviour

Because digital out-of-home (DOOH) ads are seen across screens in the physical world, local weather conditions can make or break your ad campaign (imagine launching a beautifully crafted campaign for a warm jacket on a 40°C degree day!). However, the opposite is also true. When conditions are right, weather-based targeting can drastically increase the effectiveness of your campaigns by placing engaging, contextually relevant ads in front of the right audience.

Programmatic DOOH platforms allow you to target your audiences with the right message when weather conditions are most likely to influence consumer behaviour by triggering creative messaging when it matters most. Through seamlessly activating creative messaging based on these triggers, it enables highly-targeted ads that drive consumer action based on the current weather’s impact on moods and behaviours in a specific area without any manual work. 

Building an influential weather-driven DOOH campaign

There are a handful of tactics brands can consider when building an effective weather-based campaign. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  1. Reflect the weather trigger in your creative 

A crucial pillar in building contextually relevant ads is a cohesive messaging strategy that directly addresses the needs and interests of your target audience. This means anticipating the weather conditions your audience will experience and matching the creative accordingly. 

For example, you’re an outdoor retailer and want to promote your newest line of pool/beach products (knowing the forecast is predicting days of hot weather). While your typical campaign may promote your business more broadly, consider highlighting equipment such as surfboards, floaties or even Esky’s in the days leading up to hot weather knowing consumers will be eager to enjoy outdoor activities.

  1. Pinpoint your locations

Whether outside conditions are “good”, “bad”, “surprising” or “normal” is largely subjective based on where consumers live. For instance, a 35°C summer day would mean very little in a place like Perth, while that same temperature in Hobart would likely drive more people outside and increase purchase intent for things like sunscreen or pool toys.

To keep your ads relevant make sure that your various weather triggers are relative to local perceptions of the weather. 

  1. Be both reactive and prepared

One of the biggest benefits of programmatic DOOH advertising is the ability to swap out messaging in real-time as local conditions change, especially knowing weather patterns can change quickly. Places like Melbourne can see a 20°C degree swing over a two or three-day period, for example. In cases like this, when the weather changes in a specific area, a programmatic DOOH platform can automatically display the appropriate ads — instead of sunglasses and sunscreen, your ads may now include hoodies and boots to reflect the weather your audience is currently experiencing. So if changes like this aren’t uncommon, be sure to have different creatives ready.

  1. Build campaigns around seasonal conditions

Even though Australia’s winter to summer temperatures don’t have the range of some places around the world, we still see increased foot traffic to brick-and-mortar locations during the warmer months. This is expected as people go outside when the weather is nice and stay home when it isn’t as favourable. As a result, the colder months see greater purchases of products like blankets, heaters or maybe even an Oodie.

Factors like air quality and pollen count for example, can impact spending, especially for pharmaceutical products. For an anti-allergy or hayfever product/brand, it would be wise to run your campaign during the allergy season and focus on activating your DOOH campaign on the days when the pollen count is high.

As a marketer, ensuring you keep an eye on purchasing patterns, based on seasonal or weather conditions, will enable you to understand what products consumers are likely to purchase which you can then leverage in your creative.

What does this mean for Aussie marketers? 

Programmatic digital out-of-home provides the phenomenal potential to activate strategic campaigns based on a moment's notice and in this case, due to the weather. Having a marketing strategy, based on weather conditions for your DOOH campaign, ensures that you are providing relevant messaging and products to your target audience, ultimately leading to greater sales and a stronger ROI.

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