In a talk this afternoon at BIA/Kelsey’s National conference, Ryan Davis, who runs the local business for the Weather Channel, described the Weather Channel as a collection of local sites with really scalable content. Davis talked about Weather’s partnerships with local television stations to maximize the national to local opportunity inherent to weather-related content.
“Why are we partnering with local television? We want to grow it together,” Davis said. “Weather is worth telling stories about.”
Davis says the two side have complementary roles. He describes the local TV partners being the feet on the street (covering people in the store buying food before the big storm hits). While the Weather Channel provides the expert in the studio explaining the science behind the storm that’s coming.
Brand. Local meteorologists. Our blue box (WDC brand)
Each side bring an audience and each side has a brand presence — the well known and trusted local meteorologist and the Weather Channel’s iconic blue box. There tends to be very little audience overlap since as Davis says, people go to one place to check their weather. “Pull the two together and can reach just about everybody.”
What national products is Weather building?
“The Weather channel now forecasting what you will buy. Online shopping happens when people don’t want to go outside. When this happens requires local context. In Chicago that is when it’s too cold. In Dallas is when it is too hot. In Seattle it’s when it is too wet.
Davis said consumers are happy to share their location, either where they are or where they will be with the Weather channel. Ability to target at right time based on weather and right place, where they are or where they live.
A common problem for national publishers is howto connect national to local, according to Davis. How to get to individual franchisee or dealers? One approach Weather has taken is to build a standard ad for the brand and ask the brand for access to their co-op database. Weather then approaches the local franchisee or dealer with an offer — “Would you like to use your $10,000 in co-op money to buy this pre-approved ad?”
Making this sale requires local knowledge, Davis said. He cited the example of a car dealer in Philadelphia that wanted a search area that covered 20 miles to the west of its location and 0 miles to east. “National can’t know that. Only local feet on the street can know that.”