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Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor Heat… The Weather Co Puts Its Data To Use For Marketers

If you’re a PR who’s ever planned an event, you know how important the weather is. If your event is outdoors, you’re burning candles and tossing fairy dust over your shoulder in the hopes that a little magic will keep the rain away. But even if your event is indoors, you want the stars to align to create optimal conditions for getting a happy, receptive audience to your venue.

But the weather isn’t just for events specialists. Plenty of PR, marketing, and sales programs depend on the good graces of the weather gods. The Weather Channel Co — or Weather Co. as it’s known now – is banking on that.

The Weather Co. has decades of weather information at its fingertips and they’ve decided to use this as a business opportunity, specifically for marketing folks who would like to tie the weather to programs that reach prospective customers. For instance, for one of its new Argan oil hair products, “Pantene decided to buy humidity,” The Wall Street Journal says.

“If a woman checks the weather in a hot and humid location, it’s a great moment to introduce her to the new Pantene Smooth,” a P&G marketing director Kevin Crociata says. The article quotes a shocked and pleased customer who saw the Pantene ad next to her weather forecast on the Weather.com page. Imagine that… someone who’s happy to see an ad!

Besides the marketing opportunities that open up when you incorporate the weather into a program, this Weather Co. story is interesting because of how nimble the company has to be. Basically, the business’ biggest asset is all of the weather data it has. That data has to reach into all geographic corners. Mobile becomes an issue.

“Depending on the city you are in or the microclimate you live in, your relationship with products is different,” said Vikram Somaya, who heads the company’s WeatherFX division.

Thinking in those terms — the relationship between the customer and the product and how it can differ from person to person — is important for most every branding effort, particularly in this era of extreme personalization. The Weather Co manipulates its data so effectively, it becomes valuable to both the marketer and the customer. That’s a pretty good trick.

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