It's interesting to reflect on how much weather impacts your day -- for most of us, it is one of the first things we look at in the morning. It used to be that every American had the TV tuned to the news or enjoyed the local paper with breakfast. Now, however, the weather forecast has teleported into the palm of your hand.

You may even check it several times a day:

What should I wear? How will it impact my commute? Will the kids practice be cancelled? Can I hang out on the deck and barbeque tonight? All these activities are impacted by the weather.

Have you ever thought about how the weather impacts your sales or your marketing activities?

The Weather Company, an IBM business worked with a leading ice cream company to increase sales 26% and reduce waste by 35% using weather intelligence. They were able to use data determine that there is a strong correlation with cold weather and increased ice cream sales: In addition to validating that warmer temperatures typically boost ice cream sales, we also found correlations with sales in colder weather, aligning with our weather and emotions research that shows that people seek our comfort food during colder weather.

Now, instead of limiting this to an in-store experience, let's transition to how this could also be used to support a multi-channel digital marketing effort. For our example, we will use a resort casino with a player card loyalty program.

We can explore some of the data the Player Cards capture, like visits, overnight stays, entertainment (concerts, shows, golf), preferred games, restaurants, name, home address, and age.

As a casino, we would have a lot of information available for us to use in marketing to our customers. Based on the distance of their home address from our resort, we would be able to predict whether they would be more likely to stay overnight or make it a day trip. We could send out promotions based on events our players have attended, or the activities they have completed online and in-person at our casino. Do they prefer high-end restaurants or the buffet? Are they a poker player or more of a slot machine aficionado? Do they come to the casino alone, or do they travel with a companion? We could go on and on...

So how could the weather possibly help us in this scenario? Let's look at some of the data that can be injected into a business intelligence solution for further customer analysis. Relevant weather data for customer home address and the resort location: temperature, precipitation, and cloud cover.

Now, we can define outcomes based on weather. Does the player come when it’s raining, sunny, or whenever? You can use the futurecast to send out marketing campaigns based on the individual customer's trends. If the weather is going to be nice this coming Friday and Saturday, we can send an email with a stay and play promotion to get on their radar for the weekend.

Finally, you can extend the personalized promotions to the web by using a tool like Sitecore to apply conditions that use weather to display relevant content based on the visitor's location or promote activities at the resort. A condition example might look something like: If Rain at home and sunny at the resort show sunny pool scene.

If you want to know more about how weather and other unexpected data sources could help you with your own marketing efforts, contact us today.