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Partnership Built on Trust and Innovation

A Q&A with Beth Gross, director of business development & channel partnership at Yahoo and a speaker at the upcoming Retail Media Summit.
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On June 30 at the Path to Purchase Institute’s Retail Media Summit, Yahoo’s Beth Gross will lead a breakout group discussion alongside Marriott International’s Elizabeth Donovan. The pair will dive into their companies’ exclusive collaboration — the Marriott Media Network. 

We recently sat down with Gross to discuss the power of innovation and customer centricity as it relates to media networks. For a full description of their Retail Media Summit session and to see the full agenda, visit the event website.

P2PIQ: Can you account for the rise in private media networks, and tell us why they need to be embraced?

Gross: Private media networks (PMN) have risen because brands want to supplement their core business with ancillary revenue streams by leveraging valuable first-party purchase data unique to their site and consumer base. This will become even more important as we move into a cookie-less world and businesses look for ways to maintain scale and still reach customers. In fact, a survey we conducted showed that about 50% of advertisers plan to use retail media networks (RMN) as the industry moves away from third-party cookies. And CPG brands rank RMNs No. 1 for ROI.

With private media networks, businesses reach the right audience, and more importantly, consumers have a truly customized, relevant ad experience. The best part? Consumer privacy is respected.

P2PIQ: Why are innovation and customer centricity central to these media networks’ success?

Gross: Media networks enable advertisers to reach online and in-store audiences with proprietary shopper, user and member partner data — all in privacy-centric ways. Privacy and data protection are at the core of PMN networks, allowing advertisers to leverage this data while respecting consumer privacy. Innovation powers the network.

P2PIQ: How can (or does) personalized content enhance the consumer’s journey?

Gross: Study after study shows that personalized content leads directly to increased engagement, which translates into meeting advertiser KPIs. Personalized content boils down to two key elements: relevance and utility. When an advertiser can target content that is either interesting or useful to a consumer — added with the timing and context that a PMN can provide (such as an ad on a mobile device during a lunch break or via DOOH after work), it improves the consumer path to purchase.

P2PIQ: How does the Marriott Media Network, for example, offer growth opportunities for stakeholders?

Gross: For Marriott International travelers in the U.S. and Canada, including the 164 million members in Marriott Bonvoy, it's all about relevance in products and services throughout their journey to purchase — including planning a trip, searching a destination pre-arrival, and exploring activities and shopping opportunities during their stay.

We know that Marriott’s audience has strong purchase intent, so travelers are in the right mindset when receiving these ads. Whether this is the vacation they’ve been saving up for or their first real trip since the pandemic began, the Marriott Media Network offers brands unique access to an audience that is ready to spend — which is the best opportunity for advertisers. And with Marriott’s plans to expand access to the Marriott Media Network around the globe, there’s even more opportunity for advertisers to make meaningful connections with people exploring and spending money worldwide. 

P2PIQ: Explain how and why partnerships and collaboration must be built on trust and innovation.

Gross: Great partnerships must be built on shared values, especially in the PMN space. For our PMN partners, we know their companies’ primary focus is delivering the best shopping or travel experience possible for their members. Yahoo, at its heart, is a consumer-facing company. Yahoo has, on average, roughly 902 million unique viewers globally per month. [Source: Comscore Custom Reporting, Multi-Platform, Yahoo (and Microsoft Partnership) Avg. January 2022 to March 2022, Global]

Yes, we run a robust and growing ad tech business. But we have a proven record of performance balancing consumer experience, monetization and innovation. And we are continually developing new ad formats and channels. This unique combination of shared values, consumer focus and technological innovation, is why PMNs trust us.

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