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Marriott network avails first-party data

Marriott is the first hospitality brand to develop a media network to help brands tap its first-party data and gain access to captive audiences in the travel market.

3 min read

Brands & Campaigns

A Marriott hotel


First-party data has become a valuable asset in the digital marketing ecosystem as third-party browser cookies lose favor and data privacy laws evolve. Case in point: the new Marriott Media Network, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the hospitality industry. It gives Marriott a way to leverage its reach and offer brands access to captive audiences in the travel market.

The network powered by Yahoo is described by Marriott as “an omnichannel cross-platform advertising solution for brand advertisers” and initially offers marketers access to travelers across the US and Canada.  It will eventually grow to encompass the brand’s global travel community, including the 164 million members of its Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program.

“It is exciting to see Marriott venture into what we call ‘commerce media’ and I anticipate that more hospitality brands will follow suit,” Brian Gleason, global chief revenue officer at Criteo, told SmartBrief. 

Opportunities for marketers

“Brand advertisers across industries such as travel, retail, auto and entertainment will be able to help travelers with relevant and customized content, ultimately improving their overall travel experience,” a Marriott spokesperson told SmartBrief. 

Marketers will be able to buy premium inventory across display, email, video, mobile and digital out-of-home. This means brands can use the hotelier’s anonymized data to bring relevant messaging and offers to targeted audiences via channels such as Marriott’s digital properties or eventually via TV screens in hotel rooms. 

Chris Norton, senior vice president of marketing channels and optimization at Marriott International, told the Wall Street Journal that advertising opportunities could include travel products, transportation, entertainment or luxury goods. Norton also noted that the “real differentiator” between this first travel media network and those of retail companies, is that Marriott knows when its members are traveling, offering advertisers an audience brimming with intent to buy. 

The commerce media trend

Walmart, Kroger, Kohl’s, Target and Home Depot are just some of those retailers that have monetized customer data by selling ads to brands. EMarketer predicts retail media ad growth of 31.4% this year to hit 41.37 billion in spend.

The launch of Marriott Media Network expands this trend from retail into the realm of travel and offers more commerce media opportunities for marketers. It’s a top business objective for 82% of marketers, according to a recent survey by Criteo and Forrester. 

“Given the explosive growth of media networks, the travel industry is ripe to benefit from this movement,” Gleason noted.

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