Major international companies have entered the world of advertising to drive revenue for advertisers by leveraging their tech platforms and first-party data.
Does that seem like 90% of business for 2022?
Following on the heels of retail media success stories, Marriott, the world’s largest hotel group, launched a new advertising platform ‘Mariott Media Network.”. And this hotel juggernaut is more likely to succeed than not.
As Marriott put it,
“Marriott’s audience has intent, and travelers will be in the right mindset when receiving these offerings.”
Why Does It Matter?
Marriott Media Network is described as an “omnichannel cross-platform advertising solution for brand advertisers. Marriott can thus offer advertisers new ways to reach travelers – an audience often on the lookout for new experiences with discretionary funds available. An advertising network can also advertise products that travelers may be interested in besides future bookings. As part of this endeavor, Marriott has exclusively partnered with Yahoo.
First Party Data
Apple’s privacy effort has impacted travel marketing. App developers increasingly need users’ consent to track their online behavior. As consumers opt out in large numbers, brands, and ad sellers are increasingly looking to use “first-party data”. Data like customers’ profiles, search history, and reservations act as a first-party data source for advertisers. Marriott plans to tap into its treasure trove of first-party data
Marriott says it has 8,000 properties under 30 brands spanning 139 countries. Advertisers will have access to more than 164 million Marriott Bonvoy members and renowned loyalty programs. The program allows Marriott to know when its members are traveling, which means brands will likely be able to target travelers before their trip, and while they’re captive in Marriott’s quarters.
It is also planning to extend its reach to non-endemic advertiser categories, notably airline, ride-sharing, and restaurant bookings.
In the ad tech world, advertisers are willing to spend money but do not have sufficient and reliable inventory. Considering Marriott’s CRM data and large reach, advertisers may see this as a viable alternative to Google and Facebook.
Interesting Read: Unlock The CTV Opportunity: What The Future Looks Like
Marriott is being cautious about programmatic targeting and will not venture into audience network play. With leisure travel volumes returning to pre-pandemic levels, this is a good opportunity for those who want to target a specific segment of travelers.
The company serves ads for now across its owned channels, including display, mobile, video, email, and digital out-of-home (in-room TVs and digital screens in lobbies, gyms, and bars) once fully implemented.
It will show how a travel media network fits into a brand’s media strategy. For instance, an apparel company might identify customers traveling to a ski resort, while an entertainment company might advertise shows, events, or whatever fun things are available in a particular city.
In fact, even small (local) advertisers would get an opportunity to display their offerings. Marketers will be able to reach consumers who are looking for specific services, experiences, and entertainment options in the city or locale they are visiting.
CTV- a better option
CTV ad campaigns enjoy much higher engagement rates than traditional ads. It achieves high-performance results for brands – 94% viewer completion rate compared to just 74% and 69% on PC and mobile devices, respectively.
Advertisers now have a perfect platform to shine on the 42-inch TV in every Marriott room. There is no better way to link the TV screens in hotels with connected TV (CTV) than through programmatic advertising.
The streaming platforms Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and others are looking into ways of monetizing viewers with CTV inventory. And Mariott adding a CTV inventory to its offering opens up a whole new viewing context, during travel.
Interesting Read: Connected TV Explained: The Essential Glossary Of CTV
The Marriott Media Network uses Yahoo as an exclusive SSP. Yahoo’s supply side platform serves as a platform for advertisers to buy inventory. As a result, the Yahoo advertising team will manage demand generation and sales across Marriott paid media and the Marriott Media Network utilizing Yahoo’s demand-side platform. The Marriott supply can be measured and targeted holistically across all of Yahoo’s open web programmatic inventory.
Legislation like GDPR in the EU and CCPA in the US, privacy changes by Apple, and the forecast demise of the third-party cookie have severely hampered advertisers’ ability to target customers. Brands are seeking new avenues to reach consumers.
Marriott’s media network is a “demand and supply solution for the cookieless world,” -Iván Markman, Chief business officer at Yahoo.
The media network will not share customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) with the advertisers. It will leverage anonymized customer data that will help to curate the content on behalf of the advertiser to display relevant ads to travelers.
Yahoo, the ad tech partner, will match anonymized customer data with advertisers’ data. Advertisers will shop for ad inventory via Yahoo’s portal and sales team.
Untapped ad prospects
The addition of a new layer of revenue is an amazing opportunity for Mariott. Though it has had an advertising business for more than a decade this is its first programmatic offering which has immense potential for growth.
Assuming an average occupancy rate of 75% in 2021 and at least 5 ads shown per day at $40-$50 CPM adding additional revenue to its bottom line. The reported revenue is $13.86 billion in 2021. Also, the partnership with Yahoo means a low cost of ad sales.
Presently, the most lucrative and growing market for Mariott International is China. It has 448 hotels spanning 23 brands across more than 110 cities in Greater China. The country with the highest population is the most brand loyal to the hotels. The largest consumer economy has the elite and affluent travelers. The pandemic has prompted them to explore destinations closer to home. An opportunity for Mariott too good to be missed!
Through a partnership with Yahoo, Marriott is launching an advertising platform to better monetize its substantial customer base. It will support advertisers and publishers in unlocking the full value of their content, audiences, and marketing. Also, Mariott will not be hindered by varying regulations of any country, because it owns the first-party data (information on guests received from loyalty membership).
So next time, one can expect ads that might be potentially relevant on Marriott’s owned properties – website, app, or room TV screens as opposed to welcome messages. Marriott’s move is indicative of a larger trend within the travel industry. And why not? Brands can get around rising operating expenses and establish a new revenue stream with it. Till then Bon Voyage!
Interesting Read: 6 Data Privacy Trends To Look Out For In 2022!
- Neha Mehta
- Neha started her journey as a financial professional but soon realized her passion for writing and is now living her dreams as a content writer. Her goal is to enlighten the audience on various topics through her writing and in-depth research. She is geeky and friendly. When not busy writing, she is spending time with her little one or travelling.
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