Southern States is a garden and farm implement company with retail locations across the southern United States. One of its main lines of business is supplying home heating and farm fuels, including propane for residential use. According to Reportlinker.com. while millions of homes may use propane for some of their energy requirements, about five million household use propane as their main heating source, including 20% of all mobile homes. Because propane is a commodity, the market is a competitive one, and the price of propane can fluctuate throughout the year by region or more usually in reaction to the weather, e.g., prices are generally higher during the winter. Seeking to take advantage of this change in demand, Marketing Mojo ran a test for Southern States to see if temperature could be tied to digital advertising bidding to make it more efficient and/or to increase actual home propane leads and purchases.
Marketing Mojo identified one test location and created a custom Google Ad script that checked for local temperatures available to the public on openweathermap.org. Temperatures were then used to automatically change bids on the campaign’s Google Ads. On colder days, when propane demand went up along with price, the script would also increase the bids. This Google Ads bid modifier would also lower bids as temperature rose and demand – and potential conversions – reduced.
Over a 30-day period, we compared two Google Ads campaigns – one using the temperature bid modifier and the other keeping bids steady. The results were astounding in the favor of the bid-modifier campaign:
- 37% cost decrease
- 39% increase in click-through rate
- 62% increase in conversion rate
- At the same time decreasing cost-per-conversion by 33%
The temperature bid modifier test exhibits how public data, such as weather and temperature data, can be used to maximize visibility, clicks and conversions during peak times.