woman holding umbrella

Weather: a marketer’s friend

Us Brits have a reputation for being a bit obsessed with the weather. And with good reason. According to YouGov, 41% of people check the weather forecast on their phones every day. That’s more than those who use their phones each day to visit social networks. 38% of us list weather as an interest, compared with only 33% who list sport.

We even have special, unwritten rules for talking about the weather that are baffling to foreigners. Weather is our go-to conversation starter or silence filler.

Why do we think about weather so much? Well, for one thing we get quite a lot of it. Rain and wind one day. Bright sunshine the next. None of these stable conditions that you find elsewhere.

More importantly for us marketers, we discuss the weather because it has a real impact on emotions and what is important to us.

And, because the weather changes a lot, how we feel and behave can be quite different from one day to the next. This in turn affects what we spend our money on, and how willing we are to spend it.

So, how does weather affect spending?

Firstly, for most of us, sunshine makes us happier. 89% of us agree that good weather improves our mood. Feeling happy make us more optimistic about life, and when we feel optimistic, we spend more money in general.

You won’t be surprised that ice cream sales go up when it’s sunny. But it’s not just sales of evidently weather-related products that are affected by nice weather.

It’s been shown that there’s a better chance of converting a house viewing to a sale when it happens on a sunny day. Studies even show that people exposed to artificial sunlight are more likely to spend money on things not directly related to weather like tea or a newspaper subscription.

So, if you’re a brand selling big ticket items, a sunny day could be a good time to boost your ad spend.

The other key reason that weather affects buying behaviour is because our priorities for today are so strongly shaped by our context.

When it rains we stay inside and order more takeaways. Even if it’s technically summer and the forecast is for sun next week, if it’s pouring down we won’t be thinking about buying summer clothes, painting the garden fence or going for a bike ride. So, advertising for these products will be less effective. We might however be thinking about escaping to somewhere with guaranteed sun. So, advertising holiday packages will have more impact.

By reflecting people’s context you can increase advertising recall by as much as 39%* meaning more bang for your marketing buck. Weather is a part of our context that changes regularly with predictable results. If you’re not making use of its potential, why not?

 *Neurosense UK June 2020*

About the author:

Ed Steele is a Senior Strategist at CreativeRace. Alongside developing client strategy, his broad experience across 13+ years in marketing includes brand management, retail marketing and insight & effectiveness roles. Ed has worked on brands including Asda, Co op, Greggs, Anchor and Cravendale.