Don’t wait to winterize your advertising strategy

On television and video“is a column exploring the opportunities and challenges of advanced television and video.

Today’s column is by Tom Donoghue, vice president of CTV and OTT at The truth on the ground.

As we all prepare to enjoy fall traditions like watching the leaves change color, visiting a pumpkin patch with the kids, and enjoying too many pumpkin spice lattes, the experts at the Marketers should also think about the impact of weather conditions on the performance of their advertising.

In fact, the winter storm that swept through much of the United States in early February, which took forced Walmart to close up to 500 stores across the South and Midwest, is a stark reminder to all marketers that they must have a winter-proof advertising strategy in place this holiday season.

Having the ability to take a break or even activate in certain weather conditions will be critical to success, as brands also face changing consumer behaviors amid the ongoing pandemic and the COVID-19 delta variant.

Here are three things marketers can do to “winterize” their advertising strategy when the weather starts to change.

Follow your audience inside

Fluctuating weather conditions can turn even the most hardy outdoor shoppers into online seekers first. Cold, rainy, or snowy conditions tend to keep most of us indoors where we, in turn, increase our screen time.

This means that if you want to reach your audience in the fall and winter, you’ll have to look for them indoors where they’re likely to consume on-demand content on connected TVs, tablets, desktops, and mobile devices.

Shifting a portion of your linear TV budget to geo-contextual CTV advertising will result in better targeting, fewer wasted impressions, and a more measurable ROI.

Rain or sun

Whether your activity increases or decreases in inclement weather, it is essential to put in place weather triggers that optimize your ad serving when it is most likely to positively impact your bottom line.

For example, if you own a collision repair center, tailor your ad impressions before, during, and immediately after a snowstorm when vehicle owners are more likely to need your services. If you own a furniture store, consider putting your stormy weather campaign on hold when you know foot traffic is dropping. Save these impressions for a more enjoyable day when consumers are more likely to venture out.

Wasted impressions should be a thing of the past now, but marketers continue to run campaigns in weather conditions that just can’t produce the result they need. Marketers should focus their impressions on weather conditions that meet their business goals.

More snowbirds take flight this winter

While there has been a decline in north-south snowbird travel in 2020 due to the pandemic, 2021 has shown signs of a return to pre-pandemic travel volumes.

According to The Wall Street Journal, about 90% of the estimated one million snowbirds that travel from Canada each year say they will head to warmer regions, compared to 30% last year. This significant shift in travel to less warm climates creates expanded local opportunities for entertainment, dining and recreation categories.

But reaching this audience is not about making a one-time effort. It is important for marketers to stay in touch with snowbirds throughout the winter by using ads tailored to their behavior and visiting habits in their place of residence.

The strategies may vary, but the bottom line is simple: If you develop a strategy to winterize your advertising now, you’ll put your business in a position to be successful no matter what the weather is outside.

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