Weather FX To Support 3 Million Data Points For Ad Targeting

Weather FX will make available more than 3 million data points related to weather during the second quarter of 2014, through an on-demand application programming interface.

The data will support audience models for a variety of retailers and businesses -- mostly for mobile device users, per Vikram Somaya, GM of Weather FX, a division of the Weather Channel, who spoke at MediaPost's Search Insider Summit. It will enable Weather FX to provide data on weather patterns for specific geographic locations.

"People expect us to know more ... and tell them how to behave in times when they're not sure what to do," he said, explaining that it would include advice on good days and bad days to purchase specific products, such as a ham or an umbrella.

Weather data emphasizes the importance of content for search marketing campaigns by tapping sentiment to understand the essence of how people feel during sunshine, clouds or rain.

Dynamic creative content also becomes a bigger part of the search campaign. It creates demand. An insurance company working with weather data created between 1,400 and 2,000 creative pieces for one campaign to support messages that ran prior to the extreme weather conditions and after. While the ads that ran prior addressed safety issues, those that ran after explained how the company stood as a trusted partner to help consumers get through the rough times.

Marketers should consider the impact of data on purchases: types of clothes needed, food to eat, and travel arrangements given weather conditions.  Each reflects specific market segments and locations.

Most of the data will come from a recent acquisition: Weather Underground. The company "convinced nearly 14,000 weather wonks to buy weather stations, connect them to the Internet and send us the data every 1.5 second for free," Somaya said. "Talk about hyper-local and how that plays into [ad targeting]."

Weather FX provides data to airlines, car companies, mobile apps and various countries. 

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