Harmelin Media On Running Weather Adaptive Search Campaigns With WeatherAds
As a growing SAAS business, we have a lot of love for our clients. We also spend a large chunk of our time speaking with them. By connecting with our users on a regular basis, we can ensure that they are getting maximum value out of WeatherAds, whilst their feedback helps us to continue to improve our product.
In the coming months we’ll be running a series of posts based around some of the most interesting and insightful conversations we’ve had with our users. They’ll feature interviews, industry insights, use cases, advice, best practices and testimonials from our client base. After all, who’s better qualified to talk about weather-based marketing than, well… marketers.
One of our users is Tim O’Malley who is the Associate Media Director, Search Operations at Harmelin Media. Harmelin Media is a results focused full service advertising agency that manages campaigns for a wide range of businesses. Several of Harmelin’s clients are weather sensitive brands who were excited about the opportunity to introduce real-time weather triggers into their digital campaigns, in order to contextualize their ads and gain an edge over their competition in paid search.
One of Harmelin’s clients is Pylon, a leading automotive parts manufacturer. Tim and his team used WeatherAds to run weather adaptive search campaigns for Pylon, automating bid increases during periods of ‘profitable’ weather and reducing bids when the weather was less conducive to clicks and conversions. You can read the full case study here.
Our CEO, John, caught up with Tim to chat about his experience of using WeatherAds and the results he and his team saw from weather targeting their campaigns. Here’s the full interview...
John (WeatherAds): How did you first come across WeatherAds?
Tim (Harmelin): I run search operations for Harmelin. We were looking at various systems to weather target Pay-Per-Click campaigns. We had actually worked with another vendor in the past, one of the elements they mentioned was weather, but they were really expensive. They were more targeted towards TV moments, and we were looking at an option that would be more cost effective and one that would make sense for those of our clients that didn’t necessarily have any competitive TV elements that they were dealing with. We then reached out to you to begin our working relationship.
John: Was that driven by the client or by you as an agency?
Tim: It was driven by us as an agency but we knew that it was something that was important based on our knowledge of the client’s products.
John: Did you look at any other solutions besides WeatherAds that might have fitted your requirements?
Tim: We looked at one or two others but we felt like yours was the simplest. We are really into self-serve for the most part, and we like to have a really communicative contact and a good level of support to go along with that. Once we started our conversation with WeatherAds and began working with our customer success contact in getting everything set up, I felt like it was a good relationship and it would work well, so that’s why we chose you. It’s been a good overall experience with your technology, we’ve been happy with the solution so far.
John: So what benefits have come from using WeatherAds and how have you been able to measure them?
Tim: When we first started we’d been running our campaign for a month prior without any weather targeting. As soon as we switched the weather targeting on we saw an immediate improvement in terms of our cost per conversion in the month following and it has continued to improve downward since then. In the last 6 months of continually running the weather targeting effectively halved the cost per conversion.
We also use Kenshoo automated optimization as well as manual optimization from our team. Kenshoo makes bid changes based on the data and algorithms on their system to hit certain CPA goals that we’ve set up, but they don’t do anything around weather or geo, and what WeatherAds does at the geo level that helps whip up the bids based on what we’ve seen in the past and what Kenshoo predicts for the future.
John: And moving forward you’re looking to use WeatherAds for some of your other clients as well?
Tim: Yes, we’re using it for a couple of clients who have indoor visitor attractions. They are local businesses who are very heavily impacted by weather. Their attendance really increases when it’s raining because people want to have an activity for their children to bring them to, so we wanted to leverage those insights using rain based triggers for our campaign.
John: So back to Pylon, were you already working with Pylon before you decided to integrate our weather targeting solution into their campaign?
Tim: For a little while, when we were originally setting up their campaign you were part of our initial consideration but it took some time to get all the paperwork sorted. We were live with the Pylon campaign for about a month prior to launching with the WeatherAds weather targeting. There were some delays with client negotiations, but after approval we went live pretty quickly with WeatherAds thereafter.
John: Any feedback from Pylon in relation to your gains on cost per conversion?
Tim: They’ve been really happy with the campaign. They have certain stores that they work with, and those stores have seen year over year increases in their sales during various weeks while our search campaign was live. They’ve seen real-world results from the campaign.
John: Is the entire campaign budget being assigned to weather targeted campaigns?
Tim: For paid search we run on Bing as well as AdWords, but WeatherAds doesn’t currently integrate with Bing. It’s just a fraction of our budget compared to AdWords though.
John: Have you considered broadening your use of WeatherAds to include weather automation for your Facebook initiatives?
Tim: We’ve spoken to our social team about it but these specific campaigns are shorter term, unlike the ‘always on’ search campaigns that we’re running - they’re more for supporting sales to drive users across sites. They are aware of the potential but they aren’t ready to explore it just yet.
John: Have you explored weather targeting for programmatic at all?
Tim: We have had some discussions relating to using weather for our programmatic campaigns. If you develop any programmatic integrations or innovations please let us know so we can revisit this.
Since this interview we have integrated WeatherAds with DoubleClick Bid Manager to enable programmatic weather targeting through our platform. A Microsoft Ads/ Bing connector is also in the pipeline.