Weather-Based Campaign Management

Weather-Based Campaign Management
in: Digital Marketing

Weather-Based Campaign Management – What is it and who should be using it? – Most advertisers and marketing executives aren’t aware that Google offers the opportunity for them to align their Paid Search efforts with the current weather conditions. The AdWords functionality is referred to as Weather-Based Campaign Management. If you’re thinking, “Oh, that’s kind of cool, but I am not exactly sure how I would use it,” your company probably isn’t the right match for this type of campaign.

However, there are a lot of businesses that sell services or products in which demand changes with the weather. For example, if you operate a drive-in or outdoor movie theater, you’re much more likely to experience a greater demand on days with clear weather. Knowing this, it only makes sense to target users more aggressively when their demand for your products or services is highest. And, what about clothing companies? There’s not doubt that they are greatly influenced by seasonality changes. It would be extremely useful to promote an ad that features a pair of shorts to someone that’s shopping from sunny Florida on a 80 degree day, while displaying a raincoat to someone that’s located in Maine where it happens to be 60 degrees and rainy.

The ultimate question is, “Does the weather affect the demand for your product or services?” If you own an accounting firm, the answer is most likely no, and you won’t incur any cost or time benefits from bidding by weather. If you answered yes, I would highly recommend that you consider utilizing this campaign function.

How It Works

Weather-based campaign management utilizes a script that reads weather, campaign, and location information that is housed on a spreadsheet you create and store on Google Drive. If you are unfamiliar with Google Drive, don’t worry. Google allows you to set permission rules on your spreadsheet to ensure that it is only accessible to the people you want it to be.

This information is combined with the OpenWeatherMap API, which calls the current weather conditions for each of your campaign’s targeted locations. If the weather conditions for a particular location match a particular set of rules, such as hot and sunny, Google automatically applies the corresponding bid multiplier to the campaign. Here’s an example of how the script will read the spreadsheet: If the weather in St. Louis is Sunny, the temperature is between 65 and 80 degrees, and there has been no precipitation in the last three hours, apply a bid modifier to bid more or less aggressively, depending upon your needs.

The Benefits of this Approach

Utilizing this kind of campaign structure has two main benefits: cost and time. While the initial setup of the spreadsheet does require some thought and analysis on how your business needs to advertise during specific weather conditions, after the initial set up, Google automatically adjusts bids based on the current weather conditions. Automating this process significantly reduces wasteful ad spend during hours that don’t meet optimal condition and in some cases, eliminates, the need for manual bid adjustment.

Naturally, businesses want to serve their ads to qualified consumers when their demand is likely to be highest for its services or products, weather-based campaign management is just one of many strategic opportunities that businesses can take to distribute their ads in the most efficient manner.

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