Taking a page from the Weather Company, which has been trying to convince brand advertisers that meteorology is about lifestyles, not umbrellas, Brand Networks is partnering with Planalytics to build out its "social marketing stack" around connecting local and national retailers with data about weather patterns and consumer behavior.
The deal comes a few weeks after Brand Networks, which has positioned itself as a hybrid social marketing software provider with "high-touch" managed services, raised $68 million to capitalize on its profile as a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer. In the meantime, Planalytics, has carved out a niche for itself as a source of "business weather intelligence," with a promise to help marketers better plan for rainy days and beyond.
"We have a handful of shared customers who expressed interest in connecting the dots between the weather intelligence they get from Planalytics and the real-time social publishing and ad optimization they get from Brand Networks," said Brand Networks CEO Jamie Tedford. "After conversations between our teams, we realized there was a market opportunity that the two of us were uniquely positioned to tackle together."
In addition to bringing it data on weather and consumers, Planalytics can connect Brand Networks with "hundreds of customers" in both retail and consumer packaged goods. These businesses go to Planalytics for services such as inventory management, staffing levels, and to a lesser degree, broad marketing programs.
In terms of what Brand Networks brings to the table, in addition to its own clients and Facebook presence, Tedford said that his company can make its partner's data more actionable for real-time marketing. Brand Networks will offer access to Planalytics' WeatherSmart tools as part of it's the company's existing "social stack."
That would seem to come as a challenge to The Weather Company, which in addition to its flagship cable TV network, The Weather Channel, has also been working to for the past year to build up its display and mobile ad services. Rather than take the stance as an alternative to the multimedia metrological giant, Tedford expressed hopes of partnering with it at some point.
"As consumers increasingly get their news from their own networks via social feeds on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., we feel it’s important to distribute personalized, weather-triggered content to them in this format," he said. "In the future, we see the Weather Channel as another potential distribution point for hyper-local weather intelligence, rather than a competitor."
Overall, Brand Networks is not so much interested in "conquering" weather-related advertising, as opposed to finding ever-more focused touchpoints around consumer data. It just so happens that weather happens to everyone and businesses have recognized that its influence is more than just mundane. In that sense, the deal with Planalytics is about creating more building blocks of connected data.
"Data feeds of events, local news, and inventory can also be used to personalize social publishing and advertising at scale," Tedford said. "Matching data feeds with distribution channels is at the foundation of all the buzz around 'programmatic ad buying' on platforms like television, online video, etc."