CASE STUDY: The Met Office (UK)
For the Met Office UK, the digital transformation has had to span the entire organization impacting everything from research to content marketing and internal culture. One of the biggest challenges for the Met Office has been differentiating itself in a competitive market. New technology in the form of apps and IoT has resulted in weather data becoming much more accessible. It was clear that The Met Office UK needed to find a point of differentiation through digital transformation. As they put it, to find the ‘what, the why, the where, the when’ of the data.
The strategy was to bring the weather content to life. Not just temperatures but information that helps decision making and event planning for example. Drawing on the huge knowledge of expert scientists working within the organisation, the Met Office has separated itself by creating and distributing this kind of content. Through this relevancy it has been able to build on its social strategy, growing to a combined audience of around 1.75 million by mid 2017. This strategy has included contextual content, video, , infographics, blogs, interactive tools such as a rain fall map and pollen push notifications. This has then been targeted to audience demographics. A smart and broad content strategy.
Alongside this the company has worked on improving it’s collaboration and culture to move marketing and the business experts (scientists for this organization) close together to help bring data stories to life. For example, if the core digital team is able to determine that a specific area of content works well on social – let’s say satellite imagery, for instance – it is able to feed this back to the satellite team to help them better understand the type of information they should be sharing.
The organisation also works with business partners including a number of companies in the retail space, with this market particularly interested in how weather data can be used to better understand and optimise product sales. One example is an affiliate network that worked with the Met Office to optimize product feeds, enabling them to recognise what products to promote and when, in accordance with the weather.
The Met Office UK have also been involved in voice technology – weather being the second-most popular search activity enabled through voice devices. The Met Office’s Informatics Lab designed an Amazon Alexa Skill which helps users to make decisions by talking to the device. Instead of merely responding to a request for the weather, the technology also recommends recreational activity based on the forecast, including contextual detail.
This strategy has delivered superb results. The culture of the business has changed, the data is more freely available across the organization, people are working closer together, their content is growing across multiple channels and The Met Office UK has managed to stay highly relevant when, without this transformative work, they could have quickly become irrelevant.
Innovating and working together within an organization, not in silos, optimizes your opportunity to deliver interesting content across multiple channels. Through different distribution plans you can maximize your reach and through constant innovation and culture change you can transform a business from being in a high-risk scenario to leading the field in a relatively short space of time. This is the power of effective digital transformation.