Earlier this month J.W. “Bill” Marriott Jr. ‘officially’ retired from Marriott International as executive chairman marking the end of an era. The 90-year-old Marriott—who became president of the company in 1964, CEO in 1972 and held the position all the way until 2012—handed the chairmanship to his son David Marriott.
The new era was stamped with today’s announcement that the mega-brand company was rolling out Marriott Media Network through a partnership with Yahoo. The omnichannel cross-platform advertising solution is designed for brand advertisers to deliver curated experiences and offerings to guests throughout their travel journey.
Remember when Marriott was just a hotel company? Well they have fully evolved into a global travel company, and there is a big distinction in that. For example, Marriott in 2019 entered the home sharing rental space with the launch of Home & Villas by Marriott. The company has also significantly moved the needle with its Bonvoy Rewards program turning it into a powerful, well-known consumer brand and a platform for growth for the entire company.
The Marriott Media Network initially will offer brand advertisers exposure to travelers in the U.S. and Canada, ultimately expanding to travelers globally, including all of the more than 164 million members in Marriott Bonvoy, according to the company. The network is expected to feature premium inventory spanning its owned channels including display, mobile, video, email and digital out-of-home (in-room television and digital screens) when fully deployed.
The company further claims that for brand advertisers, the network will offer an unprecedented combination of scale and personalized media to an audience of in-demand, high-intent travelers. The Marriott Media Network is designed to provide travelers with relevant products and services during their travel journey, including throughout their path of purchase, pre-arrival and during their stay.
“We are thrilled to launch the Marriott Media Network, which will enable advertisers to create curated content that aligns with the 30 brands in our portfolio,” said Chris Norton, SVP of Marketing Channels & Optimization, Marriott International. “The Marriott Media Network will foster connections through our owned channels with guests, creating a broader and more rewarding travel experience.”
“We are excited to work with Marriott International in driving meaningful growth via industry innovation,” said Iván Markman, Chief Business Officer, Yahoo. “As media networks become increasingly important, we are well-positioned to collaborate with Marriott to power the hospitality industry’s first media network with an end-to-end demand and supply solution for the cookieless world.”
The simpler days of being a hotel company that started with an A&W soda shoppe are a thing of the past to be sure. While Bill Marriott Jr. most certainly was aware of the ongoing discussions with Yahoo and was never shy about moving the company forward, I can’t help but think that the timing of his retirement was just as it should have been.