If I had a choice, I’d live in eternal November

By IBM Watson Advertising

Contributing author: Phil Kinzler, Product Marketing Lead

As always, August was the worst month of the year. It was hot, sticky, long and dull. Here in the south, elementary school starts in August, making late-summer vacations a distant fantasy. 

But there’s no need to abandon hope. We’re through August and now standing at the gateway to the most wonderful time of year – fall.

Like most people, the change in weather during this time of year significantly impacts my mindset, what I wear, what I do and what I buy. If marketers can predict these changes in consumer emotions, motivations and actions with reliable weather data, we can also plan for them, applying that insight to better communicate with our audiences.

IBM Watson Advertising Weather Targeting helps brands achieve these goals by combining weather’s ability to impact emotion and action with IBM’s knowledge in modeling and training AI algorithms. The solution uses triggers that automatically launch targeted activations when specific weather conditions are present based on the predicted consumer response in that geography. This helps our clients deliver more effective digital campaigns while minimizing wasted ad spend by accurately and efficiently reaching users with relevant messages when and where it matters most.

For example, I personally belong to several consumer categories that are affected by the change in the season:

As a family man, I love the fall for activities like apple picking and our school’s annual festival. I anticipate putting out scarecrows, pumpkins, bats, spiders, and ghosts to make our house both seasonal and spooky. This year, my scarecrows were on duty before Labor Day.

Triggers:

  • Seasonal First – Fall
  • Cool and Breezy
  • Hot Beverage Sales

As a runner, I love the return of cool, dry mornings – knocking out a few miles before sunrise, when you can finally see your breath, need a long-sleeved t-shirt, and notice that your pace increases as the temperature drops. And each year I watch the forecast to anticipate how to dress, prepare, eat, hydrate and even understand how my performance might be impacted.

Triggers:

  • Outdoor Activities
  • Sneaker Sales
  • Athletic Apparel Sales

As a sports fan and baseball coach, there’s no better time than fall. Baseball is in the home stretch and football is kicking off. Fall is also another Little League Baseball season. The weather is typically drier than the spring season, which means more time on the field for running, hitting, and throwing.

Triggers:

  • Sporting Goods Sales
  • Sports Drink Sales
  • Healthy Bars and Snacks

As a holiday enthusiast, I get my fix in the fall. Halloween can be as fun for adults as for kids, traipsing around in a costume, sneaking candy while the little ghosts and goblins aren’t looking. Thanksgiving is a welcome excuse to overindulge in the best possible way – surrounded by good food, family and friends.

Triggers:

  • Candy Sales
  • Chocolate Sales
  • Baking Mix Sales
  • Beer / Wine Sales

But this year, everything will be different. We’re not playing Little League. College sports are up in the air and pro sports are restricting fan attendance. Events and festivals have been postponed or canceled. Traveling to see family and friends is a risk. Everyone will be watching COVID-19 case numbers and following flu and allergy conditions as they try to better understand their own symptoms. 

Triggers:

  • COVID-19 Increasing / Decreasing
  • Predictive Health - Allergies
  • Predictive Health - Flu

Regardless, people will continue finding ways to enjoy the cooler weather and celebrate the holidays that come along with it. Because so much historical data is unusable right now due to the unique circumstances of 2020, employing responsive and dynamic triggers that are based on weather and targeted by specific geography may be the most effective way to reach your audience with messages that resonate.

To learn how IBM Watson Advertising Weather Targeting can help you deliver the right activations in the moments that matter, contact us today.

IBM Watson Advertising Weather Targeting can help you deliver the right activations in the moments that matter.