Is monetizing hotel guest and loyal member data a good thing or a bad thing?

Marriott recently launched the hospitality industry’s first global omnichannel media network, the Marriott Media Network, which will allow advertisers to broadcast “curated experiences” to millions of Marriott loyalty members.

There are more than 164 million members in Marriott Bonvoy, the company’s traveler loyalty program, and Marriott plans to leverage this strong audience to fuel the media offering.

Marriott’s Media Network will first launch in the United States and Canada, before expanding globally.

For brand advertisers, the Marriott Media Network will offer a combination of large-scale and personalized media reaching in-demand, high-intent traveler audiences. The multimedia offering will provide the opportunity to reach specific customer segments with targeted content across Marriott-owned channels, including display, mobile, video, email, and screens and TVs in the rooms.

The Marriott Media Network uses a unified ad stack technology platform developed specifically for Marriott by Yahoo, and will be supported by Yahoo’s global ad sales team and Yahoo’s demand-side platform to lead the generation demand and sales worldwide.

The question is whether such monetization of customer and loyal member data is good or bad for the industry and will other hotel chains follow suit?

Max Starkov

Max Starkov

Assistant Professor NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality and Hospitality & Online Travel Tech Consultant

Fabien Bartnick

Binou Mathews

Peter O'Connor

Peter O’Connor

Professor of Strategy at the University of South Australia Business School

While they may generate short-term revenue, Marriott’s move to monetize their customer data will likely come back to haunt them over time. Consumers today have become very protective of where and how their personal data is used, and the growing awareness that their data is being used to target them with third-party advertisements will likely erode trust in the Marriott brand in the longer term. And without trust, what are we left with?

Linchi Kwok

Linchi Kwok

Professor at Collins College of Hospitality Management

Erik Munoz

Erik Munoz

Commercial Director (CCO) at

Digital Marketing in Hospitality

Kasandra J. Stone