Do you ever notice how the weather impacts your energy level and plans for the day? Changes in weather alter consumer behavior because it changes what people think about and how they feel. If you aren’t taking advantage of weather-based advertising, then you are missing out!
Rather than focus on holiday advertising (which is often overdone), you can create seasonal campaigns and have some campaigns on standby for weather-specific runs. Also, understanding the impact of weather helps you take into account when your audience is most likely to be browsing online.
How Does Weather Affect Consumer Behavior?
Here are five basic ways weather impacts consumer behavior.
People are willing to pay more for what they need right away. Have you ever noticed that umbrellas are placed front and center of the store at full price when it’s raining out? Snow shovels and sidewalk salt line the front of the store as soon as forecasts for snow are announced. You can increase your prices or offer faster shipping for a price increase if your items are weather-dependent.
The funny thing is that the sun increases how much people are willing to pay for different things. During a nice day, research shows people were willing to pay 56% more for their gym membership. And people were willing to pay more for comfort items (like alcohol, coffee and tobacco) when it was cloudy or overcast.
Similar to the immediate need for an item, the demand impacts consumer behavior as well. Everyone knows that certain items are popular during certain seasons and demand is higher. When you have in-season items, you can raise the price because of the increased demand.
When bad weather traps someone inside, they are more likely to be shopping and scrolling on their phone. Not only are we trapped inside with inclement weather, but many people get in the mood to do something for themselves or solve a personal pain with a solution of some kind. One study of US department stores found that weather variables accounted for up to 42% of sales variations.
When you target people based on the weather they are experiencing, they are more likely to consider how your product applies to their current situation. On the flip side, you can market for the weather they are missing during the more intense seasons—like catching their attention with a beach vacation ad during the dead middle of winter. Pantene worked with the Weather Channel to target customers with their anti-frizz campaign on humid days and saw a sales increase of 24%.
If you target specific weather patterns, you can catch the attention of your local audience more effectively. Discussing local topics, like the upcoming windstorm, will help give your company context within the area.
Examples of Weather-Based Campaigns
So, what can you do with your own business? Every company will have a different path to success depending on its goals, target audience, location and brand. Here are just a few ideas of what kind of weather-based campaigns you could create.
Target Seasonal Changes
Sure, eggnog is popular starting in the fall, but did you know carbonated drink prices increased in the U.K. by 22% when temperatures hit 65 degrees? In the U.S., just a one-degree temperature drop can trigger sales of lip balm, oatmeal and soup. Target the likelihood of these changes by promoting items that aren’t often aligned with weather-based sales.
For example, are SAAS customers more likely to sign up when they are looking for a win on a chilly day or while they are on a sunshine high? Customers are likely to have behavior patterns even when the product isn’t directly tied to the event.
Target the segment of your audience that hasn’t been very active with your brand by sending out a rainy day prompt during a time they are likely checking their email. Try to provoke a response by noting their inactivity and offering to remove them from your list. It’s a good idea to thin out your email lists with people who don’t really want to hear from you. So, use this time to either reconnect with your lapsed members or politely usher them out. For inactive members who don’t bother to open the email—well, you have your answer.
Ideally, you want people to stay on board. However, at the end of the day, you want a strong and vibrant list, not a long one.
Local Weather Forecasts
Target your local weatherman’s audience and run short-lived campaigns based on the 3-day forecast! In these campaigns, feel free to talk about your local area to further drive home that you are marketing to your neighbors and not internet strangers.
Target Similar Products
Is someone searching for umbrellas? Offer rain-related products or campaigns. If someone is looking for a swimsuit, luggage or sunscreen lotion might be a smart cross-sell product. Rather than base your campaigns solely on the forecast, try basing it off the consumer behavior to target weather they may be planning to encounter (like a trip to a different climate).
Using Weather-Specific Ad Platforms
There are services out there that use real-time weather data to place your ads where they will best target consumers experiencing that weather. You can target consumers anywhere using these targeted ad services. This makes it possible to create weather-based campaigns that reach outside your local area.
Special Deals that Align with the Weather
Get people engaged in your campaigns by promising a special deal if the weather reaches a certain high or low temperature for the day. Or, offer a special rainy day bundle that is only available if your local office experiences rain. Starting a campaign like this can increase the buzz around your brand.
Create Campaigns that Work
Are you looking for an advertising partner that will help you increase sales? Vinci Digital can help. We are based in the Monterey and Carmel, CA area, but we help clients all over the US strengthen their branding and digital marketing strategies. Talk to us today about what our team can do for you.