February 10, 2014
It’s hard to turn on national news lately and not learn some new, dramatic winter weather-related terminology. With debilitating ice storms and power outages in the Mid-Atlantic, sub-zero temperatures in the Midwest and record snowfall in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve picked up a few new vocabulary words—Polar Vortex, Bombogenesis, Pineapple Express.
These words, though, mean more than your customers being cold, frustrated and covered in snow (or ice); they mean you have a super relevant hook to start conversations with your customers.
Studies have shown that geotargeting your marketing by weather variables can be a highly effective tactic. But many marketers aren’t using those tactics to their fullest capabilities.
So, what can you do?
Here are a few tips on how to integrate weather into your marketing, broken down by industry.
In the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and this winter, it’s been all about the polar vortex. Weekly snowfall and frigid temperatures have become the norm, leaving those living in the areas to think about how they can beat winter.
If you sell apparel, run a geotargeted multi-channel campaign focused on cold-weather gear. If you sell automotive accessories, do the same for snow chains, windshield wiper fluid and jumper cables.
In each case, you’re creating better experiences for your customers by making it easier for them to find the products they’re looking for. Implicit in that, of course, is the message that you understand their needs and respond to their situations in real time.
Travel & Hospitality
The Midwest is used to its harsh winters, but -32 degrees in Chicago is extreme even for them.
If you’re in the travel industry, think twice before hitting send on your batch-and-blast email to promote your seven-day Alaskan cruise. Instead, segment your list by geography, keeping in mind that those dealing with the most frigid temperatures right now are those most likely to be searching for a tropical vacation.
Winter might make spring and summer seem far away, but the reality is that those warmer months will be here sooner than realized.
If you have a customer-friendly savings calculator, like Capital One 360 offers, use display advertising to target specific sets of customers based on their browsing history (maybe it’s the aforementioned tropical vacation that they’ll need help saving for) or use real-time email messaging to promote a vacation savings calculator, trading out the hero image based on location and weather.
And, keep in mind, geo-targeted campaigns don’t necessarily need to be limited to just messaging those trudging through snow banks and sliding across the ice. Consider an irony approach for those in warm, sunny environments.
Retailers can mock the winter weather for those in, say, Miami, by pairing cheeky Polar Vortex messaging with swimwear discounts, while travel and hospitality could focus their deals for those customers on packages that actually send the customer to a colder location.
Whichever route you chose, remember to optimize your landing pages so that traffic coming from email, social, search or display ads, carries the same message and complimentary imagery.
Winter landscape image courtesy of Shutterstock.