Mobile Marketer has re-launched! Click here to learn more!

AccuWeather's mobile ad requests jump 59pc during Superstorm Sandy

AccuWeather saw a 59 percent increase in mobile ad requests during the peak of Superstorm Sandy as marketers enlisted mobile to help them reach those affected with important information about where to find the products and services they needed.

With the growing penetration of smartphones, many users in areas affected by the recent Superstorm Sandy turned to weather-related mobile services such as those provided by AccuWeather when their power went out and to keep them up to date on the latest developments as they prepared for the storm. As a result, AccuWeather also saw a jump in mobile traffic, pointing to the crucial role that mobile plays for many users during weather events and other emergencies.

?Relevance is key in mobile advertising and sometimes relevant information can save lives,? said Trevor Healy, CEO of Amobee, Redwood City, CA.

?In situations like this, simple advertising is replaced with critical information about products and services for the people facing adversity, like the victims of Hurricane Sandy,? he said.

AccuWeather used Amobee?s ad serving platform to deliver crucial information in the most damaged geographic regions in real-time during Superstorm Sandy.

Go-to weather source
With mobile ads able to provide users with as critical information about products they needed to prepare and survive Superstorm Sandy, AccuWeather reports there was a 59 percent increase in total ad requests during the peak of the storm.

Among the advertisers was big box home improvement retailer Home Depot, which used AccuWeather?s contextual inventory to present information, products and services to users. Additionally, Dish Network is promoting satellite TV products to Sandy victims who are looking for an alternative to cable in the most affected areas.

The numbers show that consumers are increasingly turning to mobile for their information needs during emergencies.

During the October 2011 snow storm that knocked out power to many homes and businesses, AccuWeather?s mobile Web site and mobile apps logged 53.5 million total views on the day of the storm and 1.3 million unique visitors on the mobile Web site.

When another storm hit almost exactly a year later ? Superstorm Sandy ? AccuWeather saw even bigger numbers from mobile.

On Oct. 29, 2012, which is when Superstorm Sandy made landfall, AccuWeather?s mobile Web site and mobile app logged 62.4 million total page views and 4.9 million unique visitors.

Mobile a necessity
AccuWeather?s page-access statistics show that users turned especially to its up-to-date radar and its comprehensive hurricane section. Users also benefitted from the pushed severe weather alerts included in many of AccuWeather?s mobile apps.

Users also spent more time on AccuWeather?s mobile site during the storm and came back repeatedly.

Between Oct. 27 and 30, on the mobile Web, users averaged 1:52 minutes per visit vs. 1:40 for the previous four days and 61 percent of users visited more than once a day during that period.

?Sandy was an extraordinary event ? a hurricane embedded in a winter storm,? said Barry Lee Myers, CEO of AccuWeather, State College, PA. ?The wide-spread power outages demonstrated once again mobile is a necessity and not just a convenience when it comes to our mission of saving lives and protecting property.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York