AOL’s ad-tech division, AOL Platforms, is testing out a new strategy: using weather reports for individual zip codes to track how climate impacts advertising results. The
new initiative by AOL’s Convertro division aims to show marketers how changes in weather can impact purchasing decisions on tablets, smartphones, and desktop computers.
For the past two years, advertisers have used weather data–particularly free data sets like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) massive open-access cache–to target digital ads to customers. But this is one of the first attempts by a major advertiser to create weather-based analytics: According to AOL, the new project mashes up anonymous user-level geographic data with time attributes, as well as daily and historical weather data from the NOAA.
Convertro general manager Amy Mitchell told Fast Company that the company’s product is more granular than what other advertising analytics services offer. She also noted that weather-based tracking was especially helpful for companies that provide delivery services or support outdoor events–offerings that are strongly impacted by the weather. The data that AOL collects can generate models that help those companies decide whether or not to send ads to a specific user, at a specific time, on a specific device.
Convertro’s clients currently include AOL’s soon-to-be parent company Verizon, the NFL, GrubHub Seamless, QVC, Intuit, and Vitamin Shoppe.