Poncho wants to make it rain at Duane Reade

Personalized weather provider Poncho has developed an innovative way to monetize its content through a shopper marketing initiative with the Duane Reade division of Walgreens.

In a pilot program with Duane Reade, users of the Poncho service who sign up to receive weather updates tailored to their preferences via text or email will also receive promotional incentives from Duane Reade. The program is targeted to New York metropolitan area consumers where Duane Reade’s more than 250 stores are concentrated.

Poncho’s tailored weather alerts include messages for sufferers of seasonal allergies with special notifications on days when the pollen count is particularly high. On these days, Poncho users will receive exclusive discounts that can be used for specified allergy relief products available in Duane Reade stores. The initiative aligns with the weeks during which allergy season has shown the sharpest spikes.

According to Duane Reade, the digital initiative bolsters the company’s established social media prowess powered by its Parallel Persuasion strategy – a marketing approach said to generate a return on investment through omni-channel engagement. It is an equation based on brand advocacy, brand voice, PR integration and conversation relevance, according to the company.

“At Duane Reade, we constantly strive to offer our customers what they need now, with one-stop-shop convenience and localized relevance to their everyday lives,” said Calvin Peters, PR and digital communications manager for Duane Reade. “Weather is a perfect example of something that impacts people’s daily decisions, which is why collaborating with a personalized tool like Poncho affords us another way to provide our customers with products and services that are intrinsic to their individual lifestyle.”

Poncho is a clever service that allows users to receive weather forecasts that are personalized based on responses to a lifestyle survey. For example, during the registration process Poncho asks people what time they wake up, how they commute to work and whether they have allergies. Upon sign up, Poncho users receive two weather updates every day, once in the morning when they wake up and once in the evening before they leave work. Confusing meteorologist terminology is delivered via an easy-to-understand message before users have to even ask for it, providing a service that is like being pals with your local weatherman, according to the company.

“Poncho’s ultimate goal is to continue being a trusted resource in helping our community of users plan their daily routines in the same way a weather forecaster would on their favorite news channel,” said Kuan Huang, founder of Poncho. “Partnering with Duane Reade allows us to provide a destination for relief to our users instead of simply notifying them that the day ahead will be a rough one. We’re looking forward to helping Duane Reade customers during this allergy season and welcoming more users to the Poncho community.” 

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