Use big data to initiate timely hotel marketing campaigns based on weather, airline and web-shopping data.

Are you familiar with “weather targeting”? Weather targeting or weather-driven advertising is the concept of targeting prospective customers based on local weather (past, current, or future). Basically showing ads or promotions relating to the viewer’s weather.

And there are companies specialising in weather targeting. Skymosity for example, enables you to create automated triggered email campaigns based on weather conditions, temperature fluctuation, and emergency alerts.

Here is how a fashion retailer used it to maximum impact.

Why is this a growing area of interest for hotels?

As access to data becomes more ubiquitous, it presents marketers with an opportunity to tap into customer buying psychology in a more pertinent way.

You could show an advert for a tropical holiday when it’s most relevant to prospective guests for example, when it’s unseasonably cold and wet, triggering a higher chance of booking.

One pioneering example included US economy hotel chain Red Roof Inn who, during the record-setting winter of 2013/2014, realised the huge value of having a number of hotels close to major airports at a time when flight cancellation rate was around 3%. More here…

Weather Unlocked has a product that triggers ads and modifies bids based on weather to generate more clicks and more sales. They also have a complete guide here.

Another company Planalytics allows businesses to more effectively plan future demand, allocate resources, and improve operational effectiveness.

In the UK, supermarket chain Sainsbury’s conducts strategic weather forecast meetings every day, which lets them plan at least 8 to 10 days ahead. They know the first signs of frost kick up demand for bird seed, milk, and cauliflower… used for soup. Source

Leaving the weather aside, what about airline and web shopping data?

Sojern, one of the leading companies in the travel analytics space does the following:

  • when a traveller books a flight to a destination, that information is available to Sojern
  • when the same traveller visits a travel website, Sojern is able to identify traveller and show an ad for your hotel at that destination
  • Because of the high relevance and timing, traveller visits hotel website to book

A related concept is to apply “trending content” campaigns. This allows marketers to target prospects based on real-time events that matter to them.