Meet MeSo People Spotlight: Launching Vrbo Advertising with Robert

2020 is the 20th year of Expedia Group Media Solutions connecting advertisers with travel audiences across the globe. To mark the occasion, we’re highlighting the most important part of our business: our people. In this blog series, we will be spotlighting the people who power our business so you can get to know the faces behind Media Solutions, or “MeSo”—as we refer to ourselves internally. Our team of digital marketing and travel industry experts spans the globe, from the company headquarters in Seattle to offices in Dubai, London, Tokyo, Toronto, and beyond.

In this post, we’re featuring Senior Manager of Product Marketing, Robert Fan, who has been with Media Solutions for more than five years. He originally joined the partner facing team of the business, and boomeranged back in 2016 to help lead product marketing initiatives. Most recently, he helped launch Vrbo’s integration into the Media Solutions brand portfolio, which provides our advertising partners an entirely new opportunity to connect with a distinct and valuable group of family and friend travel shoppers. Robert has been named both “MeSo Employee of the Year” and “Global Marketer of the Year” twice (most recently this year) by his Media Solutions peers and leaders.

Why did you join MeSo?

My work experience has been in digital advertising and, of course like everyone at Expedia Group, I love travel. The combination of my experience, interests, and my personal passions led me to work at, and return to, MeSo.

Could you describe the MeSo culture? What do you consider some of the most unique aspects?

MeSo has a really unique culture — even within Expedia Group. We’re known to be passionate about our work and embody the “one team” mindset. I’ve seen so many good things come from great collaboration on this team. One example: we recently welcomed Vrbo into our portfolio of brands for media. It was a fun, collaborative effort to launch this unique brand. Vrbo stands apart from the rest because of its vacation rentals offering. During the launch process I got to educate, train, and help our partner facing teams understand the value Vrbo provides for our advertisers.

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When travel returns, where do you want to go?

India, Southern Islands of Thailand, Australia, New Zealand to name a few! I am often inspired by the campaigns that our partners run with us, so I am always considering new, exciting places that I hadn’t previously thought of. Like so many people, I am very eager to get back to travel.

MeSo conducts a large amount of research and shares these insights with a variety of audiences. How does the data and research inform what you do?

Travel is complex; digital advertising is even more complex! When you put those together, one can easily get lost. It can be hard to know what to do to make a difference whether you’re a marketer or a revenue manager. Whether you’re connecting with audiences on Vrbo or any of the Expedia Group brands, the research and data that we share with advertisers helps them understand travel shopper behavior and help them reach and convert those travel shoppers.

For example, last year we put out a new study on Generation Alpha, exploring how the world’s youngest generation is already impacting family travel trends. As someone with experience in this⁠—I have a one-year-old son⁠—I can attest to how our family has shifted our travel behavior. So, if families with young kids is an audience that a travel advertiser wants to engage, we can look at our data and help them understand where those travel shoppers can be reached and what sort of messaging will catch their attention.

This ties directly into Vrbo—the home rental platform where we recently added advertising. Vrbo is used by a lot of families and groups of friends; in fact, families and groups of friends comprise 67 percent of the Vrbo audience. Our data shows us that Vrbo travelers stay three times longer and spend five times more than other travelers across Expedia Group Brands. These data points, along with other trends, are very important for advertisers to know because it informs how they will reach and engage those audiences.

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What is one aspect about our platform or business that drives you?

As travel/media experts and employees of EG, we are all passionate about travel and the role it serves in the world—it allows for human interaction, sharing of ideas, and can push us outside of our comfort zone. My personal passion for travel translates directly into our business; we help our customers and advertisers hit goals and reach the right travel shoppers, yes, but ultimately we are helping those travelers get out and see the world. That makes me happy and keeps me passionate and motivated to do good work.

Want to learn more about the MeSo culture and the individuals who comprise our teams? We’ll continue to feature employees and offer a glimpse inside their roles regularly on our blog. Subscribe to our blog to get reminders in your inbox when we post new insights, research, product features, and employee spotlights.