Expert Interview Series: How Weather Affects Consumer Purchase Behavior

Andrew Christison, the Director of Business Development at Skymosity Weather Targeting, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share his insight on Marketing Automation. The series, hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Clark Buckner, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.

Christison joined Buckner to discuss Marketing Automation trends and how weather influences consumer purchase behavior.

Here are a few of the highlights from the conversation:

TechnologyAdvice: What types of clients do you work with at Skymosity? How do you implement weather data into their marketing automation strategies?

Andrew: At Skymosity, we completely focus on refining technology that allows marketers to maximize the power of the weather’s influence on their business. We do weather-based email trigger automation so that marketers can create content that is relevant to their customers. They can get to their consumers at the time that can make the biggest impact,when weather is influencing  their business.

At any given point in time throughout the United States, weather conditions can be completely different and influence consumer purchase behavior in different ways. Not necessarily just at the state level or at the city level, but going down all the way to the over 42,000 zip codes that are here in the United States. We’re getting extremely granular in tracking conditions.

Some of the use cases we see the most are apparent when, for instance, an outdoor retailer is able to deploy emails to subscribers that are currently being influenced by an ice storm or severe cold weather, and properly merchandise those emails accordingly. Simultaneously, they may have an email that’s going to different regions for the FL, CA, TX, AZ areas where the items that they’re merchandising otherwise may not be as relevant. So down to the zip code level, when it’s 70-85 degrees today some places and when in other places it’s less than zero degrees, making sure that you’re showing the right content to those folks to get the highest conversions that are available.

Insurance is another business that is influenced by the weather in countless ways. CoreLogic recently ran a survey where they found out 6.5 million homes are at potential risk of hurricane damage and they totaled the value of those homes to be $1.5 trillion. Being able to target subscribers during emergency alerts or different localized weather conditions can really help companies get relevant information out there and help their policyholders in the most beneficial way.

TA: That is significant. These are just small adjustments in the copy of an email or setting a different time of day using data from the weather. This is such a different way to actually get through to someone at the time that matters most to them. And it’s driving real results, real bottom line change. How do you work with email providers since you are email service provider (ESP) agnostic? What does this mean?

Andrew : We are entirely ESP agnostic, meaning, that our platform adds extra functionality to the standard set of email marketing features so that it works with most ESPs email marketers might be sending their messaging  through. We integrate at the application program interface (API) level, which means the consumer can set up their email just like they typically would through whatever program they are using. Then, through our system they can choose the weather condition, maybe add some geotargeting, time and date deployment, campaign frequency, etc., and that message will be sent out whenever the weather criteria is met.

So really, there’s no huge change to the process except the initial time it takes to set up the automation criteria in our system.

TA: What do you think is going be the future of what makes the best marketing automation solutions?

Andrew: Marketing automation is absolutely necessary at this point in time and it’s only going to get more and more necessary as time goes on. As a sponsor at MarketingSherpa’s 2015 Email Summit in Las Vegas, we found a lot of people are discussing:

A) How do we implement Marketing Automation? How do we invest in it? What are we looking to get as a return for that?

B) What is available? How do we personalize in our marketing? How are we sending relevant messages to every single person that we are interacting with in order to get the highest open rate, highest conversion rate, highest revenue per delivered email?

These are all crucial questions, and I think effective marketing automation software is a way  to address them successfully. As we continue in time, two years down the line, everybody is going to be using weather, and as much personalized messaging as experts can possibly anticipate. It’s really a high time for marketing automation and an exciting time for email marketing. We’re just thrilled to be in the space and thrilled to be a part of how  people can take advantage of this technology.

Listen to the entire show above in order to hear our full conversation, or download the show to listen later. You can subscribe to the TA Expert Interview Series via Soundcloud, in order to get alerts about new episodes. You can also subscribe to just the Marketing Automation category.

This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice. Interview conducted by Clark Buckner.

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Posted in Skymosity Team, Weather Marketing, Weather-Based Email Triggers