Weather Sync Advertising: Somewhere OVO the Rainbow

Merkle | Periscopix run OVO Energy’s paid social activity through 4C, our API Partner. Defining someone who is looking to switch energy providers, and finding a cost-effective way to target them, isn’t the easiest of challenges so we set about finding innovative ways of capturing potential new customers through Facebook.

We already had a range of successful targeting methods which generated successful switches for OVO’s pay-as-you-go energy offering, however we wanted to find ways of being more innovative with both our targeting options and creative offerings, in a way that would improve conversion rate and reduce cost-per-switch.

With Spring around the corner, we knew we were fast approaching the inevitable change of seasonality where less people are focused on the cold weather, and therefore less likely to switch energy providers. 

This is where 4C’s weather sync offering came into play; this is a feature which allows you to trigger specific ads based on the weather.

Objectives

  • Devise creative and innovative ways to reach OVOs target audience in a more cost-effective approach, either through expanded targeting or savvy creative execution.
  • Deliver switches at a cost-per-switch at least 20% lower than BAU activity.

Strategy

With British weather being so unpredictable we wanted to give ourselves ample opportunity to deliver success with this campaign, so we ran two sets of creatives:

Of the tariffs they offer, OVO's pay-as-you-go tariff was better aligned with weather targeting because of the fluidity of both concepts and therefore the likeliness of a more engaged audience.

We took a selection of our best performing prospecting and remarketing ad sets from BAU activity and created a separate Weather Campaign which was specifically set to only triggers ads when the weather in the targeted user area was raining or below 8°C.

Over time we adjusted our budgets assigned to different ad sets depending on performance, pushing more into remarketing and lookalike targeting where we saw strong and cost effective performance. We also monitored whether ‘cold’ or ‘rain’ triggers and ads were more effective at driving switches and, upon seeing that temperature was our clear winner, we shifted the remainder of our budget through these ads to capitalise on their success.

Results

  •  The total campaign delivered switches for a CPA 43% lower.
  • Certain prospecting audiences (Customer Lookalikes & Renter Affinities) delivered more switches for a CPA 60% lower than BAU activity.
  • Conversion rate for the Weather Sync Campaign was 327% higher than BAU.

Quote from the client

“We were really pleased with the results of Merkle | Periscopix weather triggered campaign. It was an innovative and well executed use of 4C's targeting, which offers a lot of potential for future activity. Hopefully we'll get a particularly cold and wet winter next year, so the team can work their magic again!”

Peter Lawrence, Senior Online Marketing Manager, OVO Energy