Nielsen teams with IBM on weather targeting data tool

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Nielsen has added a weather-targeting tool to its Nielsen Connect Partner Network platform that will help retailers and manufacturers make the connection between weather and product sales.

The Nielsen Connect Partner Network is a large open ecosystem of solution providers for retailers and manufacturers that will now include IBM Watson and the IBM Watson Advertising Weather Targeting suite to aggregate and analyze large and complex data sets like weather and product sales to create more effective and efficient targeting opportunities while addressing new privacy standards. As part of their collaboration, IBM and Nielsen, through its global consumer business, will work together to combine the power of weather insights from The Weather Company with Nielsen's Retail Measurement Services data to generate future reports for marketers.

The weather suite can be actionable at scale without the use of third-party cookies or identifiers, Nielsen said. "As we prepare for a future without third-party identifiers, it's critical that the industry put consumers at the center and rely on advanced technologies like artificial intelligence to help make sense of massive amounts of structured and unstructured data with a privacy-first mandate," said Bob Lord, senior vice president of cognitive applications, blockchain and ecosystems, IBM. "IBM and Nielsen have long been guided by the trust we build between clients and customers. We open up our technologies to make the ecosystem work for consumers and now more than ever, we must come together to help brands effectively leverage the medium while doing right by their audiences."

The Watson weather tool leans on artificial intelligence to analyze more than 500 advertising triggers with up to six variables per trigger across 42,000 zip codes every hour, increasing the amount of actionable insights the company generates for brands. With this collaboration, IBM Watson Advertising will introduce a new suite of triggers and insight reports that will harness Nielsen's RMS data and weather from IBM's The Weather Company to provide brands with actionable advertising solutions that do not rely on personally identifiable information, third-party cookies or identifiers.

The solution aims to help brands:

  • Anticipate and activate digital campaigns based on weather's influence on consumer behavior and emotion according to zip code;
  • Improve effectiveness by automatically serving meaningful, relevant ads to consumers; and 
  • Reduce media waste by triggering messages only when and where consumers might appreciate the brand message and find it to be relevant.

The targeting solution will be available across programmatic, display, social, search, video, email and digital out-of-home advertising.

The Weather Targeting data tool is part of a suite of AI-driven targeting solutions. Most recently, IBM Watson Advertising used the technology to assist with the COVID-19 pandemic by enabling brands to run relevant and locally sensitive digital ads based on fluctuating infection rates. This effort was done in combination with The Weather Channel's COVID-19 tracker that was distributed across properties to provide Americans with general public health and safety information in the face of the global pandemic.