Beyond Paid Media: Weather Co. Rolls Out Journey FX Data Offering With A Boost From IBM

domvenutoThe Weather Co. is no novice at linking weather patterns to consumer actions like in-store purchases, but IBM is giving it some more juice.

The Weather Co. rolled out a tool called Journey FX on Thursday. The platform aims to help marketers move beyond one-off media buys to target more predictively against weather attributes and support its customers' larger marketing goals.

For instance, someone may go to the gym or the office on a regular basis, but when it’s raining they may alter their pattern and visit a coffee shop instead.

“If we know that’s about to happen and we see those patterns, we can obviously be more predictive and get into, ‘What’s the best time to market to that consumer to influence a purchase decision the rest of the time?’” said Domenic Venuto, GM of the consumer division for The Weather Co.

Journey FX can provide the link between weather and other “passion points” or attributes, for instance, by identifying which teams clock the highest percentage of local fans during away games – an opportunity for travel marketers advertising during a football game, for example.

The ultimate goal is to drive business-level insights that go well beyond the existing Weather FX solution, which uses weather and location data primarily to support paid media activity to date. 

“The conversations we have with marketers now aren’t just about weather targeting,” Venuto said. “We’ve become much more consultative in the last six months since bringing the full force of IBM cognitive into media/marketing plans, but also building more of a logistics solution to solve business problems.”

Journey FX is available initially as a managed service. Weather Co. is simultaneously building out a non panel-based attribution tool to help marketers gauge in-store conversions based on digital ad exposures and vice versa.

To support its go-to-market, IBM Watson is on the hunt for agency and consultant partners to help push its AI-infused ad products.

For instance, GroupM’s MEC and Mindshare were early beta testers for the consumer-facing Watson Ads, while IBM and Havas partnered up on a division dedicated to AI activations called Havas Cognitive.

“I think [Weather] is another entry point [to the marketing office] for IBM,” Venuto said. “Then we extend across all other touch points, be it commerce or logistics. I’m excited we’re building solutions for the CMO.”

 

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