AI/Watson

Rain or shine, clients harness the weather with Watson

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Never say never is good advice. Years ago, I never could have imagined sitting in a waiting room with a virtual golf driving range. Or helping a retailer “own the weather” across their business with the Alps as a backdrop to our discussion. Or talking about growing grapes and almonds with a farmer in a field in California. But, I have now done all of those things in my work as an IBMer. All of these wonderful experiences have occurred because weather is universal and I am one of the lucky IBMers that gets to demonstrate the value weather insights can bring to our clients. Weather has a huge impact on businesses and entire industries; we just have to harness it.

Retail: Shopping to fit the seasons

Are shoppers reaching for that hot, new item in the store or staying home due to a blizzard and going online for their retail experience? Weather can directly affect retail sales, store traffic and inventory. Advertising, especially in support of seasonal products, is a clear use case, but the insight is so much more pervasive. By tapping into weather insights and patterns, retailers can now also be proactive about inventory optimization, pricing, cross-channel promotion and staffing.

For example, The North Face, a global, leading outdoor adventure retailer used WeatherFX to optimize marketing during the holiday season. As a result, during the seasonal test period, the client saw increased engagements with online consumers and sold 1,300 high-performance jackets. Learn more about how weather insights drove online engagement and sales. When you are given the ability to understand something and measure it, it can be managed.

Interested in learning more? Get more examples of how weather insights can impact retail sales by watching this video.

Media and Entertainment: Entertaining consumers to fit the weather

What’s on the agenda for today? Fun in the sun, or relaxing indoors with some warm soup and a Netflix marathon? The weather, including seasonality, can help us predict what forms of entertainment, media and even foods that consumers are eager to enjoy. We recognize that advertisers operate in a cross-channel consumer-driven media landscape that forces them to constantly adapt. As a result, IBM is helping clients redefine audience measurement and segmentation. We’re then helping them connect the loop to the holy grail of attribution. We’re helping our clients understand who someone is, what motivates them, when to engage with them and what content will drive them to be most responsive.

We’re also working with clients to leverage insights around how the weather impacts event planning, including musical festivals and sports matches. Together, we can use predictive insights to assess things like expected attendance; optimal concession stand inventory; and safety risks before, during, and after the event. We can even help optimize ticket sales, enabling clients to fill seats and maximize revenue potential.

Winning with weather insights

Here I’ve touched on a handful of client use cases across just two industries, but weather is truly the most pervasive force in doing business. The Weather Company, now combined with the power of Watson and IBM, provides businesses the ability to change the way they operate and completely transform industries.

So, if you’re looking to do load forecasting on energy grids, predict equipment failure for oil and gas operations, plan tactics for government and military operations, identify optimal growth conditions for peak crop yield, optimize a CPG supply chain, plan seasonal inventory for retail, or optimize advertising spend, the IBM Global Business Services team is here to help!

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How could your business harness the weather? Learn more about IBM weather capabilities.

 

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IBM Worldwide Advanced Analytics Center of Competency Managing Strategy Consultant and Data Scientist

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