Make it Rain! Turning Weather Events in to Profitable Marketing Opportunities

With windstorms and springtime snow affecting most of the Maryland area, many residents are experiencing disruptions in their daily schedules. While this can be frustrating, it presents a unique opportunity for businesses— weather based marketing. This strategy utilizes real time weather data to trigger ads and personalize marketing messages based on your audience’s local weather. And with dangerous weather keeping most locals indoors, you have the perfect captive audience for your messages.

Here are some ways to reach your audience during disruptive weather:



Responsive mobile messaging: When your target audience is cooped up at home, be sure to reach them on their cell phone. Use audience segmentation to push your messages out to individuals in a certain (affected) area.

Latte, anyone? Dunkin Donuts is a prime example of snow day outreach. They sent out a push notification to New York residents during a recent snow storm specifically targeted to Dunkin Donuts Perks loyalty program members. They even took it a step further by offering a discount to entice recipients to open the app and make a purchase. Snowstorm + captive audience + loyalty program members + discount = extremely high ROI for Dunkin Donuts.

Email marketing: Many residents can be found working from home during weather related events, and most will be on their laptop. Reach these individuals with an email campaign. Be sure to use a timely subject line alluding to the weather. Remember, the more relevant and specific you can be with an ad message, the better.


Snuggle up with a good audiobook. Audible used impending snow forecasts to create this email. Their subject line, “Audible Snow Advisory:100% Chance of Hearing a Great Book” draws the reader in while offering a bit of humor. The clever, interactive “quiz” format increases the effectiveness of the message.


Outdoor advertising: It’s not just storms that present a marketing opportunity. Sometimes, even subtle weather changes or slight temperature fluctuations affect the items people purchase and the way they consume these products. By utilizing Digital Out of Home, or DOOH, billboards and other digital outdoor advertising, companies can ensure their message is delivered during optimal weather conditions.

A “Stella” performance: By mapping historical weather data against sales metrics for Cidre, Stella Artois discovered that a 2 degree temperature rise above the monthly norm triggered a sales rise. Stella ran a campaign on DOOH billboards with messaging that was activated only when these weather conditions were met. The results? Stella Cidre reported 65.6% increase in YOY sales during the period they ran this weather-responsive campaign.

Don’t let lack of preparation be the rain on your parade! Put “Snow Day” plans in place at your business so you are ready to unleash weather related messages at a moment’s notice. And remember— get creative! Pair your communication with a promotion or deal to entice the consumer.

Visit our Deep Ads Thoughts blog to learn more about current advertising, marketing and public relations tips and trends. Plus, check out our Push n’ Pull blog for all things in the world of digital and social media.

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