While The Weather Company VP Denise Chudy and Wanderful Media CEO Ben Smith work in different verticals (weather and retail), they shared a common mobile message at BIA/Kelsey’s Leading in Local conference: that the experiences are inherently local, with users expecting that local experience to also serve up personalization and hyper-relevance. To deliver on this value proposition, data (and lots of it) is mandatory.
For TWC, that entails zip-code level data across 40,000 zip codes that creates greater location targeting accuracy. This also highlights primary retail areas for advertisers to isolate and enables TWC to “model hyperlocal behavior (sales/activity data) to weather patterns.”
The net effect is an understanding of the market-specific weather triggers that incent someone to engage in an activity or make a purchase. For instance, Chicagoans are more inclined to shop for tires when there is an increase in snow and wind. Sounds obvious, but TWC can model out the specific percentage lift in purchase intent.
The next step in TWC’s local migration is supplementing its mid-market sales team with local market-level sales partners (the Hartford Courant is an early example).
Smith’s vision for migrating retail print circulars to digital and creating a smarter shopping experience starts with a deeper understanding of “casual discovery shopping” (historically the print FSI model), then creating platform-specific experiences to match. iPad is a powerful play for Wanderful, with tablet users spending up to 15 times more time per session than PC users. “We want you to start in the stream of content and don’t stop streaming.” The more time on site, the more data Wanderful can collect, which leads to a more robust and personalized content experience.
In mobile, the experience is fundamentally different in order to leverage the platform’s distinct capabilities and use cases. It’s more about atomized content delivered when, where and how the user prefers as they’re making a buying decision. To help accomplish this, Wanderful is building out “point apps to solve a specific problem under a common brand.”