Aside from feeling lousy, the flu has a significant impact on consumer productivity. Research shows the flu is responsible for 32 million missed school days and 100 million missed work days each year. It even causes 5 million missed holiday celebrations.

While many theories exist to explain why the flu spreads during winter, all hypotheses agree that cold weather plays a critical role. In fact, a recent study points to the first cold snap of the year as the keystone flu trigger.

Knowing that consumers use weather information to manage treatment and prevention of medical conditions, including the flu, gives pharmaceutical marketers an advantage. Not only does the weather play a critical role in spreading the flu, but it can also play a role in promotional campaigns. For example, Walgreens experienced a 11.29% lift coordinating weather data and insights with flu messaging.

Messaging can span three areas:

  • Flu prevention in the form of vaccines
  • Flu treatment for fever, aches & discomfort
  • Stopping the spread of the flu once it’s hit a home or office including cleaning supplies and hand sanitizers

Marketers, like Walgreens, maximize conversion by timing promotions to align with cold weather spurts which likely spike flu incidents. In addition, they use location data to target consumers who are likely in need of a prescription.

Pack your tissues and your special messaging. This flu season promises to leave its mark!

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The Weather Company is ready to help.

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