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05/20/2022

Ulta Beauty opens rewards members to targeted ads

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Ulta Beauty is launching a retail media network (Photo: Business Wire)

The nation’s largest beauty retailer is launching a new retail media network.

Known as UB Media, the network is designed to offer Ulta’s brand partners addressable advertising leveraging its Ultamate Rewards loyalty members. UB Media builds upon the company’s existing Digital Marketing Partner Program, with the goal of creating more iterative opportunities for brand partners to reach its customers with targeted promotions.

At launch, the network offers advertising access via offsite display, videos, social and influencer media, and onsite sponsored products. Onsite display inventory on Ulta Beauty-owned properties is one of several new offerings activated in 2022.

The retailer intends to supplement this suite of ad formats with additional formats in the future. Additionally, brand partners using UB Media will have access to closed-loop campaign-level reporting, including audience and creative insights.

Major retailers launch proprietary advertising networks
Ulta Beauty is the latest in a growing number of retailers across a wide variety of verticals that are rolling out their own in-house targeted advertising networks. In March 2022, Nordstrom took its in-house media company, known as the Nordstrom Media Network, from pilot into full rollout

In January 2022, Best Buy Ads, its new in-house media company designed to help its suppliers provide shoppers with targeted, timed promotional messages based on its customer relationships and insights. According to Best Buy, it interacts with its customers 3 billion times a year in-store and online.

Walmart recently rolled out a demand-side platform for suppliers and their media and ad agencies in time for the 2021 holiday season. Initially announced during the introduction of the Walmart Connect media platform in January 2021, the Walmart demand-side platform (DSP) is a collaborative effort with independent demand-side platform The Trade Desk.

Meanwhile, Target launched its Roundel ad network in 2019 as a tool for CPG brands to create personalized digital ad campaigns aimed at Target customers. Roundel helps advertisers connect directly with Target's customers through personalized, relevant marketing messages across Target's owned platforms and hundreds of select off-platform channels.

At least four other big-name national retailers have launched similar digital third-party ad networks in the past year: Family DollarWalgreensKroger, and CVS. In August 2021, Best Buy began enabling advertisers to use Criteo’s cross-retailer, self-service platform to reach BestBuy.com and BestBuy.ca shoppers in the U.S. and Canada.

“UB Media harnesses the power of our unmatched, first-party data from our 37 million loyal members to transform the way our brand partners can connect with beauty lovers,” said Brent Rosso, VP, UB Media. “No one knows the beauty industry and its audience like Ulta Beauty. Our new offering reinforces our ability to engage guests where, when, and how they want to connect, with hyper-focused advertising efforts in a dynamic ecosystem and further elevates our position as brand partner of choice.”

For more information on the Ulta Beauty network, visit ulta.com/ubmedia.

Ulta Beauty operates more than 1,300 retail stores across all 50 U.S. states and also distributes its products through its website.