From water cooler small talk to heated debates on climate change, the phenomenon of weather has fully saturated our lives in recent years. And with good reason.
Extreme weather events are becoming commonplace, increasingly impacting our lives: our commutes, our vacations, choices on where to live and our health. Weather remains a proven and privacy-friendly predictor of consumer intent and behavior — it accounts for nearly half a trillion dollars in economic impact in the U.S. alone each year. But just as it is becoming increasingly challenging for brands to effectively target and engage their audiences due to privacy regulations, weather itself has become harder to predict, making it difficult to leverage for advertising products and services to consumers.
For all the reasons noted above, MediaMath is excited to announce the next phase of our longstanding partnership with IBM: the integration of IBM Watson Advertising Weather Targeting into our DSP, which will empower brands to future-proof their strategies with addressable, performant solutions for the open Internet that do not rely on traditional identifiers.
IBM Watson Advertising Weather Targeting uses AI to recognize what the weather “feels like” and how consumers in a specific location are likely to react. It then aggregates and analyzes increasingly large and complex data sets to enable more effective, efficient targeting opportunities using only a contextual ZIP Code that is passed to an ad server or platform.
Third-party cookie data is not required. Weather Targeting only serves relevant ads to consumers based on the projected impact of upcoming weather conditions in a defined area, helping marketers increase the precision and effectiveness of their campaigns, reduce wasted ad spend and meet new privacy standards.
More than 300 triggers proven to perform
IBM Watson Advertising Weather Targeting turns the relationship between weather, location and complex data sets like health conditions, product sales and consumer activity into actionable, proven solutions. Here is how this can break down across categories:
- Relative conditions can account for how weather in its various forms is felt differently across regions. For instance, 50 degrees might feel cold in Miami, but not Chicago.
- Product triggers can reflect the optimal weather conditions that drive demand. For instance, a huge snowstorm might drive consumers to stock up on essentials like toilet paper.
- Pharma triggers include Symptom, Prescription, OTC and Predictive Health and can be based on published medical research, IMS data and sales data for conditions such as allergies or asthma.
- Activity triggers reflect the mix of weather conditions that are likely to drive certain behaviors and experiences, such as hiking outdoors or a game night in the living room.
- Watson Health anonymized data can enhance the precision of IBM’s triggers, helping to reach the consumers most likely to be experiencing symptoms.
- COVID-19 infection rates are gathered from public sources, aggregated and analyzed using Watson AI to serve messaging tied to increasing or decreasing cases based on local conditions, driving the relevant consumer actions.
Working together to make advertising better
Back in 2017, MediaMath Founder and CEO Joe Zawadzki and IBM Chief Digital Officer Bob Lord stood on stage at DMEXCO and painted a picture of the future of marketing that paved the way for our accountable, addressable and aligned SOURCE ecosystem launched in October of 2019. The vision they laid out would solve many long-standing challenges that have prevented marketers from unlocking the full potential of brand engagement, and help them deliver advertising with transparency and trust. Just two years later, IBM as a client was our first advertiser to run a campaign in SOURCE, seeing outstanding results including 60% of the ad dollar making it to the publisher and viewability increasing by 40%. A little over a year ago, we integrated IBM’s upgraded suite of AI advertising tools — including IBM Watson Advertising Accelerator and IBM Watson Advertising Predictive Audiences — into our DSP.
We are thrilled for this next phase of our continually evolving partnership that we know will help more brands and their agencies deliver the right ads to the right consumers with relevance and respect.