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HomeNewsLocal AdvertisingRandi Stipes, of the Weather Company, on using weather as a marketing...

Randi Stipes, of the Weather Company, on using weather as a marketing tool

Randi Stipes is CMO at the Weather Company, a weather forecasting and information technology company that is perhaps best known for its ownership of weather.com and The Weather Channel. I am grateful to her for making time for a virtual interview in which we discuss the potential of leveraging weather data in marketing campaigns.

Randi speaks about her career pivot from broadcast journalist to roles in digital transformation, and we then delve into the many ways that weather influences consumer behavior. As she observes, “weather is the original influencer — as great as Taylor Swift is these days, weather was there first. Think about your own routine. Think about how much weather impacts your decisions, from the minute you wake up to the minute you go to bed: what to wear, what to eat, how you feel, what you plan, where you travel…”

Randi and I chat about how the Weather Company leverages 40 years of historical weather data to help marketers deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right people, through the delivery of hyperlocal ads encouraging behavior based on the current weather’s impact in that specific area.

As she notes, marketing using weather data isn’t just effective — it’s privacy safe, an especially important consideration for marketers today as tracking cookies become deprecated and marketers are under scrutiny over their handling of sensitive PII data: “We’ve been prepared for the cookie to go away for a long time. We’re happy that the industry is catching up. And we feel like we can help in three ways: First, as a highly effective contextual targeting signal with a proven impact on consumer behavior, on our emotions, and therefore, what we buy. Second, when we think about weather not only is as a consumer experience, but as a data signal, it’s not targeting specific audiences based on identifiers or PII. Rather, what we’re doing is we’re looking at the weather conditions that someone’s experiencing at that exact moment. That’s not PII. And thirdly, the fact is that our industry right now needs enduring solutions. We don’t need a quick and dirty cookie replacement. We need something that is going to endure.”

Randi provides two case studies – from CereVe – L’Oreal Group and Toyota – illustrating how the Weather Company has helped major brands market more effectively and reach what I call “the holy grail of marketing” — the ability to reach the right person with the right message at the right time in the right environment to deliver the right outcome.  (BTW, I am writing a book with this same title; you can learn more about it at holygrailofmarketing.org).

Randi is bullish on the future. She points out that The Weather Company, which is currently decoupling from IBM and will soon be a standalone company again, is well-prepared for rapid growth as more marketers turn to using weather data in their future campaigns. As she notes, “when we think about weather, the beauty of it — in addition to being privacy friendly — is that it’s future-proofed, it’s scalable… the marketer can go ahead and leverage it across owned and operated properties. But we’re also making weather available across DSPs, and SSPs, and search and social and CTV and Mar-tech, with some great partners. So it’s really a solution that can scale, and therefore, becomes a really viable and critical solution for the next era in digital marketing.”

Greg Licciardi
Greg Licciardi
Greg Licciardi is VP of Partnerships at Worth Media Group along with being a Professor of Marketing in the evening at Fordham and Seton Hall universities. He is currently working on a book entitled "Achieving the Holy Grail of Marketing."
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