As weather tracking and forecasting technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, many companies are tapping into the data and using it creatively. The weather forecasting and services market is projected to grow to $2.7 billion by 2023, according to Allied Market Research, compared to its position at $1.2 billion in 2016. The biggest driver for this spike in demand is short-range forecasting, and that makes sense when you examine its many industry-wide applications. Here are three ways meteorological data is already driving business efficiencies.
In this era, we’re used to being targeted by advertisers based upon a number of personal details – from income level to job title to past purchases and much more – so it may be unsurprising to learn that weather in your location (past, present, or future) can also influence the ads you see. The use case is crystal clear for many conducive products; consider how auto companies can highlight different features in different climates, running AC-focused ads in hot weather, or ads focused on handling capabilities in snowy weather. The possibilities for weather-based ad-targeting go far beyond the basics, given that there are many consistent consumer behaviors prompted solely by environmental factors. For example, research found that social users are more engaged on rainy weekends, with post interaction increasing by 90% on average, making it prime time for publishers looking to drive content consumption. Of course, that’s only if they can move as quickly as the storm, leveraging weather-based data to dictate launch scheduling or media buys. It’s not always easy to set such parameters though, as AdAge points out: “a suntan lotion brand may want to target consumers in Minneapolis on a sunny day in January with 50-degree temperatures, but not when similar conditions are reached in Miami, as those consumers may be shopping for cold remedies.” Ubik Group has built a weather-based ad targeting solution that addresses these challenges and aims to improve upon the existing methodologies.
Tapping into weather information for advertising can certainly help generate revenue, but such data is also being used to reduce operating expenses – by as much as 15%, on average. Turning a normal building into an energy-smart building is increasingly achievable for businesses thanks to the accessibility of meteorological data and the IoT (Internet of Things). By creating digital connectivity between current conditions indoors and outdoors, buildings can automatically dim the lights when it’s sunny out, adjust room temperature based upon the forecast, respond quickly to changes in occupancy, start generators automatically after an outage, and much more. While this might sound like the office of the future, you may already be working in an energy-smart building – or find yourself working in one soon. According to smart building research firm Memoori, by 2020, there will be three times as many IoT devices installed in commercial office buildings than there were in 2017, totaling an estimated 3.3 billion devices.
If you’re picturing a weatherproof shipping process in which schedules run based upon real-time rain forecasts, push that picture even further into the future. While self-driving cars were subject to less regulatory scrutiny and rolled out more quickly, the first autonomous ships are soon to follow. Norwegian joint venture Massterly, for example, plans to launch their first crewless, autonomous vessel (the Yara Birkelandfor) for short-sea cargo transport voyages as early as 2020. On top of reduced shipping costs, crewless fleets like this one boast accident-free operations, better fuel efficiency, and even less traffic on the road; a single autonomous ship like Massterly’s replaces the equivalent of 40,000 trucks yearly. One of the key features, though, is the vessel’s ability to monitor sea conditions at all times and even circumvent severe weather to deliver goods safely, an appealing prospect for both suppliers and buyers. Remarkably, this is all made possible with the same short-range forecasting and weather-based data that might cause you to see an ad for raincoats in the middle of a storm.