Using the weather to trigger personalised creative for B&Q

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Challenge

B&Q, the UK’s largest home improvement and garden centre retailer, has often cited weather as a key factor in its business performance. To gain greater insight into the effect of seasonality and weather shifts on consumer buying behaviour, B&Q reviewed and analysed its rich customer data from the past calendar year.

B&Q found alongside the expected seasonal changes in consumer buying behaviour extreme weather, defined as strong winds, snow and extreme cold, had a real impact. Armed with this information B&Q was faced with the challenge of identifying a way to engage with its audience during incidents of extreme weather to increase brand awareness and sales.

This meant B&Q had to change its approach to marketing to engage with users during extreme weather.

Solution

B&Q wanted to use programmatic advertising to increase brand awareness and sales of its key products and to bolster in-store footfall in various extreme weather conditions. The brand partnered with Infectious Media, the programmatic advertising specialist, due to its reputation for innovation and strategic capability.

B&Q wanted to deliver relevant creative messages in real time that would be helpful to customers whilst highlighting relevant B&Q products and services. Infectious Media was briefed to target users at different stages in the extreme weather cycle to provide guidance in preparing for the forecast conditions. The scale and sophistication of this campaign could only be achieved programmatically and if successful would be a world’s first.

For the campaign Infectious Media integrated a suitable real-time weather feed into its programmatic platform to make past, current and forecast UK weather actionable. By combining this rich data with its geo-targeting capabilities, Infectious Media could automate the delivery of regional extreme weather messages at scale and in real-time.

Once set up, Infectious Media was able to put in place triggers that launched the campaign when specific criteria were met. For example, if snow was forecast in Hertfordshire in four days, Infectious Media’s platform would automatically serve a real-time snow forecast creative in that region. When it began snowing, the platform would change to an ‘it is snowing’ message.

B&Q were provided with full campaign transparency by Infectious Media via custom dashboards that showed real-time campaign performance by region, creative, time of day, day of week and domain.

 

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Results

This was the world’s first programmatic campaign to automate the delivery of regional weather messages at scale and in real-time. Although it was not possible to track in-store footfall, this pilot campaign delivered a positive return-on-investment and was deemed a great success by B&Q.

Following the success of this initial test, B&Q has quickly expanded the scope of the campaigns to realise programmatic advertising’s promise of creative innovation and enhanced targeting through always-on advertising.

“Our programmatic weather activity has delivered a fundamental shift in our business; not just in terms of media efficiency and relevance but also by helping to change internal perceptions. Weather is a hot topic at B&Q and the programmatic activity has allowed us to demonstrate how data can be used to really advance our marketing efforts”. Vicky Garfitt, Digital Marketing Manager, B&Q