Looking Ahead to Atlanta: Curt Hecht on Weather’s Local Roots
There is nothing more local than the weather. Curt Hecht puts this simple idea to work every day at the Weather Company, where he serves as global chief revenue officer. The Weather Company, which was acquired in 2008 by NBC Universal for $3.5 billion, operates two powerful brands — weather.com online and The Weather Channel on cable.
One of the innovations Hecht has led since joining the Weather Company in 2012 is using Big Data to develop insights that map consumer behavior (and thus product demand) to local weather conditions.
Take beer, for example. During the polar vortex, Weather studied beer sales before winter storms to explore a new marketing approach for beer other than the stereotypical sunshine and swimsuits genre. It’s a classic national to local approach. How do local weather conditions drive behavior and how should marketers exploit these local nuances?
“When we activate, we activate on a local level,” Hecht said. Weather has looked a other scenarios beyond calibrating beer sales during snow storms.
“We have looked at air conditioner sales in terms of how long does it take in Chicago vs. Atlanta for people to go out and actually buy the air conditioner,” Hecht said. Understanding which combination of temperature and humidity in a given market sends consumers stampeding to the appliance store could be an incredibly powerful insight for marketers.
Hecht joined The Weather Company after 24 years at Publicis Group. He followed Publicis colleague David Kenny, who become Weather’s new CEO. Hecht held a number of key positions during his long career at Publicis, including chief digital officer of Starcom Mediavest Group, and CEO of Vivaki Nerve Center, a unit of Publicis that served as the agency’s technology hub.
Hecht is the Day 2 Keynote speaker at BIA/Kelsey’s upcoming “Leading in Local: The National Impact” conference May 7-9 in Atlanta.
Launch this video for more of Hecht’s views on national to local plus a preview of his address at the Atlanta event.