In beauty retail, standing out means more than just offering the best products; it involves creating an experience that resonates with consumers and advertisers alike.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Alyson Soderberg, Sr. Director at UB Media, the advertising arm of Ulta Beauty, shared her insights into what she sees as the advantages of the beauty category.

For her, the trick to retail media is sparking joy to drive sales for brand partners.

Building Unique Brand Relationships

Ulta Beauty, with its 43 million rewards members, provides a platform for brands to engage with consumers.

“We have a really unique ability to reach our guests,” Soderberg says, emphasizing the importance of leveraging first-party data across various platforms. She highlights the “really beautiful relationship” between Ulta Beauty merchants and brand partners as a distinctive feature, one that fosters a collaborative environment where media, merchandising, and marketing teams come together.

Soderberg believes that this synergy is “unique to Ulta Beauty,” and something that may not be found with other retailers. This collaborative spirit not only drives sales but also enables brands to have a seat at the table.

Soderberg outlines a range of opportunities from onsite advertising on desktop, mobile, and app to offsite programmatic advertising, sponsored search, Google Shopping, and social platforms like Meta, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, and YouTube.

“We’re constantly evolving and innovating,” Soderberg adds, teasing upcoming launches like CTV and digital in-store opportunities. She stresses the importance of being “additive to the guest experience and not disrupt their journey,” especially in-store, signaling a thoughtful approach to consumer engagement.

Closing the Loop with Measurement

But Soderberg also cares about measurement, stating that they can track if a consumer views an ad and then makes a purchase.

This year, Ulta Beauty rolled out Omni Brand-level measurement with Meta, proud of being one of the first to do so. Soderberg expresses eagerness to extend this capability to other social platforms and even introduce a self-serve dashboard for measurement.

“We hope all of these things combined bring value to our brands and make them want to continue to invest in UB Media,” she asserts, outlining a future-focused vision for brand partnerships.

Speaking on the role of technology partners, Soderberg views them as an “extension of our team.”

“Having partners that we work with to be able to identify those guests and then tie back the sale and the measurement to that guest for our brand is, I would say the most important piece of any retail media network, including UB Media,” Soderberg emphasizes.

You’re watching “Retail Media: Let’s Talk Shop,” a Beet.TV Leadership Series at Shoptalk 2024, presented by Epsilon. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.