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Product Management

Building a Successful Monetization Strategy with Environmental Data

Picture of Daniel Leveson
By Daniel Leveson on November, 10 2021
Girl Using Hiking App

As increasing numbers of consumers seek personalized and health-centric tools to inform healthier lifestyles and daily decision-making, environmental data and insights create new opportunities for businesses to stand out while expanding traditional revenue streams. 

1. New Subscription Offerings Based on Environmental Insights

As reported by Forbes, 80% of consumers are more likely to make purchases from brands that provide personalized experiences. By injecting location-based and timely environmental insights into existing products and services (packages), brands can introduce new levels of personalization, accelerating existing revenue streams and creating new ones.

Example Subscription Model 

Basic Package Medium Package   Premium Package

No environmental

insights 

Enhance the environmental picture with real-time air quality alerts, pollen forecasts, and wildfire information. Provide actionable recommendations and personal exposure monitoring.

Build automation and remote management into connected products, powered by real-time and predicted environmental changes at the user’s location.

 


 Use Case in Action: Health, Allergy & Insurance Apps 

Personalized air quality and pollen information enable pharma brands and health insurers to develop individualized risk indexes for vulnerable patients (such as those with Asthma, COPD, or seasonal allergies) and deliver actionable recommendations based on dynamic changes in the individual’s environment. 

In the case of an allergy sufferer, an allergy app might offer high-level daily forecasts as part of their basic plan. A more premium user might receive warning alerts based on their actual and predicted exposure to pollen and poor air quality, and level of health risk.

Use Case in Action: Air Purifiers & Smart Home 

With a fragmented market projected to increase by $10.27 billion by 2025, air purifier brands can leverage personalized environmental insights to introduce new ‘air quality as a service’ offerings - making the transition from single purchase ‘device' to recurring ‘lifestyle' service.

Airthings, a global indoor air quality leader, has created a subscription-based cloud platform combining outdoor environmental data (pollen and air quality) with input from connected indoor devices to produce personalized air quality analytics and insights unique to an individual’s true building environment. 

By renting out devices at a yearly rate and offering periodical calibration services, Airthings has also turned single-purchase items into recurring annual revenue streams for their business.

Use Case in Action: Travel & Route Planning 

Sports and wellness businesses can offer subscription packages using environmental insights to deliver healthier travel options and rerouting suggestions, based on actual changes in a user’s environment (especially relevant in wildfire, pollen, or poor air quality zones).

 

Girl Using Hiking App

 

AllTrails, an outdoor activity app with a huge trail map database, leverages environmental data to provide paid pro memberships with enhanced features, contextualizing risk in the route planning stage by overlaying trail maps with color-coded air quality and pollen indexes.

2. Boost Repeat Purchase Behavior & Create Direct-to-Consumer Channels

Personalized environmental insights function to enable formerly one-time-transaction-led businesses to create multi-income sources by turning devices into more than ‘on/off' systems. This enables new recurring revenue models based on multi-tiered premium subscriptions.

Similar to coffee machine subscription service models, indoor air purifier brands can develop ‘maintenance’ packages that serve to monitor the true environmental exposure of their systems and offer cleaning or timely filter replacement service prompts; preemptive notifications to purchase new units, or even paid automatic resupply services.

 

Man ordering medicine

 

By regularly notifying patients when to take and restock medication or even by creating automatic resupply services, allergy treatment providers can also encourage patients  to adopt repeat purchasing behaviors and boost long-term loyalty to their brand in ways never before possible

Experts predict a multi-billion dollar opportunity has opened in the healthcare market from this type of direct-to-consumer approach.

3. Creating New Opportunities for Ad-Based Revenue (On Owned Digital Experiences)

Highly attractive and engaging heatmap visualizations of the environment can be integrated into digital platforms, enabling media and product brands to develop sticky online experiences that keep visitors coming back.

In the same way as ‘weather forecasts’, regularly updated air quality, fire, and pollen information persuade users to adopt daily check-in habits. This works wonders for user retention and brand-building, functioning also to dramatically boost ad-based revenue over time.

For online air quality and weather providers like WeatherBug, increased engagement and higher traffic create more opportunities to generate revenue through advertising in precisely this way.

Taisho Pharmaceutical, Japan’s leading provider of OTC medicine, similarly turned to personalized pollen insights to launch a new digital experience on their web platform,  providing seasonal allergy sufferers with current and forecast pollen conditions where ever they were.

4. Improve Upsell and Cross-sell Potential

Historical environmental insights give the ability to tailor offerings based on a person or location's specific exposure history: This can be used to signal the need for additional products and/or levels of protection.

Health and property insurance providers can better contextualize a person's risk, highlighting the need for protection packages in high-impact zones.

Individual exposure information also creates upsell opportunities for indoor air brands by providing tailored air treatment recommendations based on address. This applies to buildings as well as brands in the automotive sector, who now offer improved in-cabin protection and cleaner route planning features.

5. Contextually-Relevant Advertising Based on the Environment

Product brands can demonstrate product relevance during extreme weather or high pollution events. As consumers look for solutions while they're feeling a problem, this targeted approach cuts down wasted ad spend and boosts sales.

 

pollen 2 1

 

Popular tissue brand Kleenex, for example, knows it needs to flex its marketing arm before and during allergy seasons.

In another similar example, Neutrogena, a major global skincare company, managed to convert a 4-year decline in sales into 11% growth through a targeted advertising campaign leveraging environmental insights to demonstrate the impact of local air pollution to the most affected audiences at any given time.

Bottom Line: People Invest More in Personalized Experiences that Prioritize their Health & Wellbeing

Improved customer engagement can increase cross-sell revenue by 22% and up-sell revenue by 38%. As personal health and tailored product experiences become top priorities for buyers, product and innovation professionals should consider how their business could be using environmental insights to address these new consumer priorities and improve their bottom line.

If you’re interested in learning more about the psychology behind mission-driven and health-focused product design, I recommend this dedicated webinar on the subject, co-run with our friends at innovative air purification company, Onelife.

 

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