The Weather and Big Data Equals Big Business.

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The weather has a significant influence on almost one-third of the world’s buying everyday. “The old paradigm of business and weather was cope and avoid,” says The Weather Channel’s vice president for weather analytics. “With [big data] technology, the paradigm is now anticipate and exploit.”

The Weather Channel (TWC) is an American basic channel and satellite television company, owned by a consortium made up of Blackstone Group, Bain Capital, and NBCUniversal located in Atlanta, Georgia.

The channel has broadcast weather forecasts and weather-related news and analysis, along with documentaries and entertainment programming related to weather since 1982.

TWC provides numerous customized forecasts for online users through its website, weather.com, including home and garden, and event planning forecasts. Third-party web analytics providers Alexa and SimilarWeb rated the site as the 146th and 244th most visited website in the world respectively, as of July 2015. SimilarWeb rated the site as the most visited weather website globally, attracting more than 126 million visitors per month.

That massive web traffic is exactly how The Weather Channel has turned ‘Big Data’ into a completely new business.

TWC is before all a technology platform operator, which developed an extremely high-volume data platform, collecting and analyzing data from 3 billion weather forecast reference points, more than 40 million smartphones and 50,000 airplane flights per days, and serves 65 billion unique access to weather data each day.

TWC collects terabytes of data everyday and uses it not only to predict the weather in millions of locations, but also to predict what consumers in those locations will buy.

In a very savvy move TWC married more than 75 years’ worth of weather data with aggregated consumer purchasing data. For example, air-conditioners sales increases during hot weather, but folks in Atlanta suffer three days longer than people in Chicago before running out to buy one. Such analysis has created a whole new business for TWC – ‘Selling ads based on big data analytics’.

For example, P&G Pantene and Puffs brands buy ads based on TWC’s weather and consumption analytics. A women checking The Weather Channel app in a humid locale receives an ad for Pantene Pro-V Smooth, a product formulated to tame frizzy hair.

Checking the app again on low humidity day or drier area results in seeing an ad for a volumizing product instead. Similarly, a consumer looking at a high pollen forecast receives an ad for Puffs facial tissues, with the message, “A face in need deserves Puffs indeed.”

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Currently, TWC is generating half of the company’s ad revenue to the business using web analytics.

Big data and web analytics helped TWC maintain an extensive online presence at weather.com and through a set of mobile applications for smartphones and tablet computers. These services are now administered by The Weather Channel’s former parent company, The Weather Company, which was sold to IBM in 2016. The Weather Channel continues to license its brand assets and weather data from IBM.

TWC’s case is the epitome of how effective use of big data and web analytics can lead to marketing opportunities. It also demonstrates how today’s big companies can advance through ‘Digital Marketing’ which can also help them to diversify and strengthening their business portfolios.

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Getting an ‘Eagle Eye’ Film Experience Via Mobile Marketing.

In “Eagle Eye,” the Dreamworks/Paramount Pictures thriller set for release this weekend, the lead characters are driven to extreme acts by a mysterious woman who contacts them via their mobile phones.
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So what better way to promote the movie than through a mobile-marketing campaign?

The effort, created by Millennial Media for Paramount, follows the movie’s plot, without giving too much away, and drives consumers to opt in for voice, text and mobile-web messages similar to what “Eagle Eye” protagonists Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) and Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) experience.

Eric Eller, senior VP-marketing at Millennial, said his definition of a great mobile campaign is one that creates compelling content that is easy to share with others and links to the consumer mobile experience. Thanks to the content of the movie, the last parameter was a given.

“In this case it was easier than usual, and it’s even more interesting because we could bring into play all the ways people use mobile phones — calling, text and mobile web,” he said.

All will be revealed…The first message the user receives is a call, voiced by the same mysterious woman in the movie, warning that “you’ve been activated” and that the line is no longer secure. Other warnings and hints come via text messages, interactive voice response and SMS. The upshot of all this builds to hype the movie, when “all will be revealed on Sept. 26.”
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There was also a sweepstakes for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card from Circuit City for those who opt in.

Millennial placed mobile banner ads across its network at a wide variety of websites, including the homepages for Major League Baseball, CBS News, TV Guide and Weatherbug, to drive consumers to opt into the campaign. Consumers can join by inputting their phone numbers right into a box on the banner.

“This groundbreaking campaign is an excellent example of how advertisers can creatively use today’s mobile technologies to connect their content to consumers,” said Michael Rosenberg, manager of national advertising at Paramount, in a release. “We are delivering a highly distinctive theatrical marketing vehicle which brings the ‘Eagle Eye’ film experience to its consumers in a new and exciting way.”

This mobile campaign marked the seventh time Paramount tapped Millennial for theatrical or home-entertainment releases. It is also the latest in a series of aggressive marketing pushes for the anticipated blockbuster that includes not only outdoor, radio, print and TV, but also digital marketing, including well-received alternate-reality game “Eagle Eye Freefall.”