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Want a New Data Point? Try the Weather!

As marketers scramble to increase the depth of their knowledge about every aspect of their customers’ habits, preferences, and patterns, there may be a simple data point that is getting overlooked—the weather. Weather has a direct effect on the sales of 30% of all products and services and is the second biggest influence on consumer behavior. Are your customers taking advantage?

By Heidi Tolliver-Walker
Published: October 18, 2018

As marketers scramble to learn more about their customers and increase the depth of their knowledge about every aspect of their customers’ habits, preferences, and patterns, there may be a simple data point that is getting overlooked—the weather. In fact, according to WeatherAds, weather has a direct effect on the sales of 30% of all products and services and is the second biggest influence on consumer behavior. Are your customers taking advantage of these opportunities?

Catastrophic weather such as impending storms, hurricanes, and earthquakes can spur consumers to make purchases outside their normal purchase patterns. Think generators, gas cans, storm shutters, first aid items, and emergency food.

Normal weather can spur purchases, as well. Think purchases of seasonal apparel and footwear, heating and cooling, storm preparation, and so on.

Unusual weather can be a marketer’s dream, spurring a wide variety of unplanned purchases and longer selling seasons, as well. Better surfing conditions or warmer than usual winters can benefit last-minute vacations and travel, for example. Cooler temperatures at the end of the summer can drive earlier than expected back-to-school purchases.

Even the smallest changes in “normal” conditions can affect sales. According to Weather Trends 360, a simple one-degree increase in temperature results in the following changes in consumer sales:

  • +2% in soft drinks
  • +24% in air conditioners
  • +11% in sun care products
  • +4% in infant apparel
  • +13% in hedge trimmers

When the temperature is one degree cooler, Weather Trends 360 finds the following changes:

  • +2% increase in soup
  • +15% in portable heaters
  • +25% in mousetraps
  • +2.5% in softline goods (such as footwear)
  • +5000 units of lip care

Weather can change quickly, so if your customers sell products impacted by the thermostat, are you encouraging them to invest in weather marketing? Do you have templates ready to launch campaigns when opportunities arise? If your customers are doing digital marketing, you can help them use real-time weather data to trigger ads and personalize marketing messages based on their audience’s local weather immediately, as well.

Weather doesn’t wait. Why should your customers?

Heidi Tolliver-Walker Heidi is an industry analyst specializing in digital, one-to-one, personalized URL, and Web-to-print applications. Her Marketer’s Primer Series, availalbe through Digital Printing Reports, includes “Digital Printing: Transforming Business and Marketing Models,” 1:1 (Personalized) Printing: Boosting Profits Through Relevance,” “Personalized URLs: Beyond the Hype,” and “Web-to-Print: Transforming Document Management and Marketing.”

 

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