The Weather Co.’s recently appointed chief revenue officer, Carrie Seifer, will oversee more than media sales in her new role.
Responsible for B2B and B2C sales efforts across The Weather Co.’s properties, Seifer will tap Weather’s robust location and weather data sets to help clients streamline business processes like supply chain logistics. Parent company IBM’s cognitive computing technology, Watson, will help.
“As brands look at digital transformation, they're not putting media in a bucket by itself anymore,” Seifer said. “They’re looking at everything from media to supply chain management and all the ways they can use data and technology to get a shorter and more frictionless path to purchase.”
Seifer, who previously was Mediavest’s president of digital, data and technology, will apply her skills and relationships to both monetizing Weather’s owned-and-operated (O&O) media properties and forming long-term data relationships with clients.
She spoke with AdExchanger.
AdExchanger: Why The Weather Co.?
CARRIE SEIFER: I liked Weather’s offer around scale. Everyone checks their weather multiple times a day. There’s a ton of inventory and it's campaign safe, which matters a lot right now. That inventory also gets you clean, useful data.
When you layer in Watson’s cognitive technology, you can talk to a client about solutions for media and way beyond.
How will Watson play into your sales efforts?
It starts with targeting and goes through creative and analytics. We use Watson not just to target but to make iterations of the creative. You might be able to target in 4,000 different ways, but it becomes expensive to make creative for 4,000 different people.
We’re talking to companies on packaging up Watson APIs in different ways. Inside media, you can use it for better reach frequency curves throughout a campaign.
How will you split your sales efforts across media and data?
It’s more of a consultative sell. I begin with the end in mind. What do they need to take away friction from a consumer buying their product? Then we can go back with a media, data or Watson/AI solution. You’ll see us doing a lot more packaging of our special sauce.
There’s a lot of debate around being a walled garden versus being open. Being open is the key to success if you want your clients' money. We are building products that support a much more open environment in a way that provides campaign safety.
How are you more open and how do you keep that inventory brand safe?
We send our data via an API to clients’ data management platforms. We contribute as a partner, versus saying, “If you would like this data, you can only use it on our O&O site.” I spent the last two years consulting inside [Mediavest] on data, technology and the digital marketplace, and I know that’s what clients want.
We’re part of IBM, which is an extremely big and privacy-compliant company. They review and approve anything we do from a data perspective.
The Weather Co. recently shifted to vertical sales units. How will your team structure look?
Clients expect you to understand their business, their competitors’ businesses, the entire industry and how it ticks thoroughly. If you’re solving for issues beyond media like supply chain management, you better know how the transportation industry works. It also helps us map a little bit better to IBM’s business.
How will you bring The Weather Co.’s B2B and B2C sales efforts closer?
They are organically starting to talk more. The opportunity to talk to a client about both helps solve issues beyond marketing. We need to be able to bring the CMO, CIO and CEO products that don’t just solve in a silo but across the customer journey. You’ve got to have solutions for media and beyond if you want to have a seat at that table.
How will your agency background help you in your new role?
I had a great experience with a lot of smart people. When you get into sales, those relationships matter. I have a bird’s-eye view of the industry that will serve me well in this role. At Mediavest, the data and analytics people were my partners in crime.
Edited for clarity and length.