In the casino and hospitality industry, one of the areas that marketers struggle with most is determining how effective their advertising is and whether or not they’re overspending. In fact, this is a common problem that marketers in every industry face. John Wanamaker, founder of Wanamaker’s department store chain, summed this up nicely in his famous quote:
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” – John Wanamaker
Casino advertising, just like all marketing efforts, is extremely reliant on data. After all, if you don’t know what you’re measuring, how can you determine if your marketing really works? This is especially true in today’s digital world where more and more marketing channels pop up every day. The good news for marketers is that it’s also easier than ever to determine how effective your advertising truly is. Here are a few tips you can take advantage of to ensure your casino advertising produces the results you expect:
Use your data
No matter if you’re a massive Las Vegas casino or a small hotel, making effective use of your customer database and the data found in your reports and analytics is one of the most important things you can do. Your data gives you a window into the minds of your players and their behavior such as what games they like to play, how long they play them and at what pace. This data can then be used to advertise to your guests in a unique and personalized way that can help ensure they stay at your casino a bit longer or even visit more in the future.
In addition, with each piece of data you collect, your marketing gets increasingly smarter until you know exactly what you need to do to get someone through the door and how much you can spend on the player while still remaining profitable.
Understand your audience
In addition to understanding your guests and players through data, some things can be accomplished by simply knowing who your target audience is. For example, what is your target audience’s preferred method of communication? What types of games or promotions would they like to see more of? Surveying your audience is an easy, do-it-yourself method to quickly gain some insights that you can use to make your advertising more effective.
This tip should be a no-brainer, but it’s often overlooked. Set goals that have measurable results, such as new players, card signups, number of visits to your establishment, revenue etc. By setting measurable goals, you will better understand which advertising methods worked, which ones didn’t, and more importantly, why you received the results you did. Once you have this data, you can tweak and adjust your strategy until you meet the goal.
In today’s digital age, where the gaming markets are becoming more and more challenging, it’s more important than ever to use every resource available in order to make the most informed advertising decisions you can.Read More »
In 2016 there are numerous ways you can use social media to improve your casino marketing or casino player development campaign. In fact, it’s a wise idea for every casino to consider the wonderful opportunities that are within reach due to social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and LinkedIn just to name a few.
The reality is that casinos now, for the very first time in history, have the opportunity to utilize the power of the internet to reach more players and communicate with them in an effective way. New opportunities such as blogging, social networking, video marketing and SMS marketing have provided casinos with limitless opportunities to prospect new guests and improve brand loyalty of their current players. When applied to casino marketing, proper use of social media can make your campaign more effective than ever.
When beginning to apply social media to a marketing campaign, most casinos tend to focus their marketing efforts on either communicating more effectively with their current players or seeking to recruit new players to the establishment. If you were focusing on recruiting new players, for example, you could offer an incentive for VIP guests to introduce other potential guests to your casino through Facebook or another social platform.
Any casino or hospitality business who wants to have a much more extensive, far reaching impact on their target market should focus a considerable amount of their casino marketing and player development efforts into the social media realm. By establishing a presence on the many different social media platforms that are now available your promotions can be disseminated quickly and efficiently to thousands of people simultaneously.
All in all, social media is a win-win scenario for both the casino and the casino guest. Social media networks have made it easier than ever to reach your guests quickly and on a regular basis. This excellent opportunity should be capitalized on by any casino who is looking to continue to grow the relationships they have with their guests. If you’re ready to get started on your social media marketing campaign, contact Profit Builder HD today.Read More »
Marketing has always been one of the biggest assets for businesses to reach potential customers. However, it’s often one of the biggest liabilities for a business. If you’re in the casino or hospitality industry, the return that an investment like traditional marketing brings is extremely important. In fact, it often decides whether your business turns a profit or straddles a thin of bankruptcy or closing entirely. In industries that rely on marketing efforts to attract new and repeat business, digital marketing has become a huge asset. In this article, we’ll discuss four advantages of digital marketing in the casino and hospitality industry.
Digital marketing stands out as an inexpensive alternative to traditional marketing. This makes it a highly preferred choice for businesses who need to ensure they meet or exceed their ROI.
Digital marketing has a much larger reach at a lower price when compared to traditional marketing. It’s also much more effective at reaching customers during critical times when their spending is most important.
Digital marketing practices offer highly measurable results compared to traditional marketing due to its highly controlled nature. Analytics provide a basic measure for any marketing efforts, such as the number of people reached, the amount of sales made, etc. This enables you to fine-tune your marketing strategies in a faster and more focused manner.
Compared to traditional methods, digital marketing requires less manpower and often less work overall. This means you can save on costs and have even more chance to meet or exceed your ROI.
As you can see, digital marketing is a much more efficient and cost-effective practice when compared to traditional marketing techniques. With the world quickly becoming more digitized every day, digital marketing is coming to the forefront of marketing practice. If you’re ready to take your marketing efforts into the digital world, contact Profit Builder HD today and get started.
Direct marketing has become increasingly popular in the casino and hospitality industries. Direct marketing is essentially an alternative to traditional advertising strategies. Many casinos and hotels that use traditional marketing techniques pay for mass exposure. This is usually in the form of radio and television commercials, print and internet advertising. However, they are appealing to the masses and hoping enough potential guests see their advertisements.
Direct marketing operates in a very different way than traditional mass marketing techniques. Direct marketing will target specific people and their specific wants and needs instead of hoping that the right demographic of players and guests are exposed to your campaign. For example, if a Profit Builder HD direct marketing campaign represents a new casino in Las Vegas, we would first determine who is most likely to visit and then target those specific individuals.
One of the most popular direct marketing techniques is direct mail marketing. This technique uses the same strategies as direct marketing but reaches potential guests through traditional mail and email. This could include sending special offers and rewards to the right players, at an appropriate level and at just the right time.
As you can see, direct marketing is a powerful way to communicate with your guests and entice them to visit your establishment. Direct marketing may sound simple, but there are art and science to a successful campaign.
Profit Builder HD is a leading provider of data-driven direct marketing solutions and analytics to better your company, casino or hotel. If you’re ready to get started with your direct marketing campaign, contact Profit Builder HD today.Read More »
In the casino and hospitality world, there is a lot of buzz about taking advantage of digital marketing. So, what exactly is digital marketing and how can you use it to grow your player base and increase revenue?
Digital marketing is advertising and promotion of your brand through digital media channels. These channels include websites, social media, mobile phones. It also includes some traditionally non-digital media such as billboards and transit signs. Essentially, any marketing media delivered through electronic means is digital marketing.
This leaves only a couple other forms of marketing outside the digital marketing umbrella. These include print advertising and direct mail marketing. However, even these more traditional methods are starting to connect to their digital counterparts. Marketing techniques like QR codes and text message codes are helping traditional methods make their connection to the digital world.
You may be wondering what that advantages and benefits of digital marketing are. In the casino and hospitality industry, engaging customers through social media and email marketing are low-cost alternatives to more traditional methods. These digital channels are available to you no matter the size of your establishment. They can even help even the playing field for smaller casinos and hotels who have just opened or are seeking new business.
In the mind of your players and customers, the fast pace of modern life makes digital marketing a must. The truth is traditional marketing methods just don’t work as well as they did in the past. Players will often overlook print advertising and mail offers. Now, they will whip out their mobile phones or head to their computers to find what they’re looking for.
If your gaming establishment has the means, it’s wise to invest in the services of a digital marketing agency like Profit Builder HD. Not only can we help engage your current player and customer base, but we will help attract new players and increase your revenue.
Yet, digital marketing is not the only service we offer. Profit Builder HD is a full-service digital marketing agency offering direct mail and promotional services tailored to the needs of the casino and hospitality industry. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.Read More »
If you haven’t heard yet and you’re in or affiliated with the gaming industry in some way, G2E, or the Global Gaming Expo is the annual international gaming trade show and conference to attend. They are “by the industry and for the industry” and this year is being hosted at the Las Vegas Sands Convention Center. The event is organized by the American Gaming Association and Reed Exhibitions and was started in 2001, defining itself as the premier trade show for the gaming-entertainment industry.
When you attend this casino marketing and gaming convention on September 28 through October 1, you can expect to see a full array of gaming products and services along with informative sessions by some of the industry’s top leaders. Some of the sessions and exhibits will address:
Casino Management Products and Services
Coin and Note Counting/Handling
Class II Gaming
Electronic Payment Process
Food and Beverage
High Roller Premiums
Information Systems/Information Technology
Player Tracking Systems
Security and Surveillance
Table Games and Accessories
Video Gaming and VLTS
In order to attend, you must register by September 27 as early bird tickets have all been sold out. You will be able to see our very own Trevor Taylor discuss direct marketing and cross-channel relationships, depending on which pass you purchase. Passes begin at $299 and can go all the way up to $2499. There are three easy ways to register for the event or you can wait until you’re on-site. If you want to learn more about gaming operations management, mobile marketing and EBITDA scores, then you’ll definitely want to attend the convention. If you’re having difficulty with registering, don’t hesitate to contact us today!Read More »
Many of us may not have heard of the term or acronym EBITDA, but already know what it is. It’s a profitability measurement/equation that is imperative to not just casino marketing, but to all types of marketing and business operations as well. Before delving in further, it’s probably best to get the precise definition of the term. EBITDA refers to “earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization” and is the most common method of measuring cash flow. At this year’s G2E, Profit Builder HD’s Trevor Taylor will be addressing EBITDA scores and how they are important to direct marketing initiatives.
‘EBITDA can be calculated “top down” by adding back DDA or depreciation and amortization deducted as sales costs to operating income before interest and taxes. EBITDA can also be calculated “bottom up” by adding interest and DDA back to pretax income.’ For example, if you’re a casino host and your income statement lists a pretax income of $4 million, a DDA of $15 million and an interest expense of $1 million, then your EBITDA is $20 million.
EBITDA is essentially your casino’s revenue minus your expenses (excluding taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization) or your net income with interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization added back to it. It’s a powerful tool for most industries as it eliminates the effects of financing and accounting decisions.
Your EBITDA score is an essential point of measurement for investors or for anyone looking to manage your business’s operations. A common misconception is that EBITDA represents cash earnings or cash flow, but it is a better metric for evaluating profitability. To learn more about EBITDA scores and how they are related to direct marketing initiatives, register for Trevor Taylor’s seminar at the Global Gaming Expo.Read More »
So, if you’re just trying to migrate your direct mail marketing to email or if you’re attempting to simply migrate email marketing to text then good luck!
You’re doing it WRONG.
I realize that it may have taken you a while and likely a significant amount of your marketing budget to become a critic. Or, for some of you, your view may just be irreversible at this point. Well, one thing I’ve learned in my twenty years of managing people in the gaming & hospitality industry is that changing people’s minds is a slow process. It is about showing results not about talking about results. At Profit Builder, that’s what we do.
Now… if you’re attempting to connect your email service provider and text message service provider to your CRM system in real time, there’s hope for you.
Others’ data suggests and Profit Builder HD’s internal data verifies that behaviorally based automated digital messages work. They drive visitation frequency, they can drive time on the device, and they do drive loyalty, which allows your organization to retain more of your known base. Thus, your brand is enhanced.
SMS works while guests are on property or as an immediate bounce back.
SMS and EMAIL work for ad-hoc campaigns in real time.
All guest service based industries are very dynamic and are evolving much more quickly than say even five years ago.
Something that didn’t work six months ago may be working very well now.
We all already know about the consumer’s shift from desktop to mobile.
According to comScore, over the past four years, smartphone usage grew four times and tablet usage is up 17 times. Combined, these platforms now account for 60% of all digital time.
If you or those that have financial performance responsibilities for your gaming asset still believe that email doesn’t work, they’re wrong; your processes are archaic or your messaging is antiquated. Your digital strategy is simply not complete.
In recent years, leaders in our industry said that the older generations could not deal with new technology. This is just not true. We’re all aware of the largest growing demographic segment on Facebook.
The bottom line is if you deliver a good digital experience, anyone of any age, gender or ethnicity WILL use it.
If you aren’t focusing on the digital experience or if you are simply trying to reach as many guests as possible through an email, you have a poor digital strategy.
Let’s start with the “silo thinking” of the statement I hear so often, “Email just doesn’t work.” When I hear this from marketing directors, I realize that their philosophy and strategy development is taking place in a vacuum.
Recently, Raving published the results of a study from a casino that asked its guests what was the ONE best way to communicate with them. The results are illustrated here.
50% of those asked preferred direct mail and about 38% email.
For men, the split was nearly equal 47% to 45%.
Women preferred direct mail to email 52% to 34%.
Yet, at age 45, 42% of both women and men prefer direct mail…
And 42% prefer email – an EQUAL split of men and women. As age increases, the preference for email decreases, correct? Yes. But, we already know this.
But… this is just ONE medium: email.
Again, if your sole objective is to simply migrate guests from direct mail to email in order to reduce touch costs as direct mail marketing can cost twenty-five times more than email marketing, your philosophy is wrong and your strategy is outdated.
Multi-channel messaging develops a relationship between your brand and your guests. Do you only send your mom a mother’s day card via mail? Or, do you also send her an occasional email. Do you text her pictures relevant to her to make her day? How disappointed would mom be if you only sent her an email once a year?
Certain guests will prefer direct mail, certain guests will prefer email and certain guests will prefer SMS. Your FOCUS as a marketing executive should be to discover which guests will want a personalized email based on a behavior they exhibited during their last visit to your hotel, resort and/or casino. And, your focus should be on which guests want a personalized behavior driven SMS message while on the property. But, many of you already know this, too. Why isn’t our gaming and hospitality industries doing this then?
The art of “going digital” is not a one-and-done process where the casino resort gathers thousands of email addresses and phone numbers and sends the same offer to thousands of phones. Think about that. I said thousands of phones. If you’re not personalizing your messaging then that’s essentially what you’re doing. Our casinos operations management team can help change that.
We’ve realized from the egocentric perspective that our handheld device is, in fact, an extension of our identity. It is an intimate relationship when someone is communicating with you on your phone. So, why do we continue to send generic messages to phones? Where is the personalized messaging? Every single mobile interaction is a chance for your brand to send a very targeted offer at a precise time to encourage a very specific behavior.
Yester year’s tech talk was all about U-ex or the user’s experience.
User experience was a concept where someone would create a mobile app that an end user will click on and complete in three easy steps.
Over the last ten years, it was an important step in the evolution of where we are today as tech companies, designed software, websites and apps with one major focus in mind. What will make this easy? Easy, so that consumers use it, like it and want to return to it?
Today’s marketing executive must focus on the individual human’s experience.
National casino marketing builds the brand, and operations must deliver on the brand. But, what does that mean to casino operators and hotel resort marketers specifically?
Well, know this: It is now a consumer experience-world based on each individual human’s experience. Everything is being personalized now. Your guests, as consumers, EXPECT it! Let’s look at advertising for instance. Advertising is now trigger based.
Re-targeting advertising or re-targeting marketing…
Let’s assume for a moment that you visit a casino resort’s website. That website then drops a cookie. From there, anywhere from that point forward, because the cookie and the website now know where you’re searching or visiting online, it will auto-populate ad space with a video or banner ad for their resort.
We as consumers say to ourselves, “Well, I was ‘just’ on their website, look at this great offer right here.” They wanted it, the resort knew it and then the end user purchases it. It’s individualized personal relevant messaging “in” the moment the individual wanted it.
I’ve been working with a local digital media firm named Raster. They specialize in web and app development right here in Las Vegas. Raster’s approach is of the unique mindset that end users are human. They, therefore, have coined a new phrase, which we believe in at Profit Builder HD because we’ve had success with our clients using their philosophy.
The new era is to develop towards the individual human experience… or Hum-ex.
The difference? With user experience, you are designing the technology around the user so that it is easier and safer for them to use. You’re making it more intuitive for them. HUM-EX takes a giant leap forward and personalizes and caters to the human holding the phone. So, you’re no longer sending generic messages to thousands of phones. You are now focused on sending personalized messages to thousands of your guests.
How is this accomplished? Data.
Data isn’t numbers; it’s people
While answering questions and measuring things is certainly part of the job, we at Profit Builder HD look at data in a more human light. It’s the voice of your customers. A datum can be an action or event or a decision made by a human. Recreate the sequence of events leading up to that decision.
Your guests are telling you what they want.
This sort of feedback can be a goldmine for determining price points, promotions, game mixes, hotel yield and structural developments.
We at PB HD translate your voice into a language more suitable for decision-making. Then, we assist you in development and deployment of personalized offers, at the right time, that are meaningful to the guests and based on their personal preferences and their personal data.
If your digital messaging is not Hum-ex centered, you’re doing it wrong. This is the main reason why I hear so many marketing executives and directors claim that digital marketing doesn’t work.
We have found that personalized, trigger-based text messaging works while the guest is on-site. It makes perfect sense. The message is relative to them, meaningful to them in the moment, and therefore, forges a stronger bond between the human and the brand.
According to Oracle’s The CMO’s Guide to Mobile Marketing:
“Nearly 90% of SMS messages are opened and read within the first 90 seconds of receipt.” If you add pictures or relevant videos, you have developed a more meaningful message.
As to what’s holding CMOs back, one concern identified is that “managing the SMS channel is technically and legally complex.”
98% of people will open an SMS sent to their phone versus 27% of people who will open an email sent to a mobile device. That makes SMS five-times more effective than email, making SMS a huge opportunity for marketers.
The solution is simply to get permission from customers to opt-in for SMS messages.
In our experience, emails don’t work as well while guests are on property. Guests don’t typically monitor their email while on the property and you don’t want them to.
When you send a text, it vibrates and it is quickly digestible. You are seamlessly integrating into their behavior flow. You’re also reducing the cognitive load on your guests. You’re now beginning to practice the very basics of Hum-ex. And, your message arrives in approximately seven seconds.
Plus, you can initiate two-way messaging whereby you can have guests respond to quick questions, sweepstakes drawings or even take a poll.
According to Harvard Business Review in an article titled “Psychology The Science of Sensory Marketing,” Dr. Aradhna Krishna, who is considered the foremost expert in the field and also directs the Sensory Marketing Laboratory at the University of Michigan, states:
“In the recent past, communications with customers were essentially monologues – companies just talked at consumers. Then they evolved to dialogues, with consumers providing feedback. Now they’re becoming multidimensional conversations with products and services finding their own voices and consumers responding viscerally and subconsciously to them.”
She goes on to say:
“Every consumer company should be thinking about design in a holistic way, using the senses to help create and intensify a brand that consumers will cherish and remember.”
The only way to deliver a true Hum-ex focused strategy is to have an email service provider and a text message service provider attached to your database in real-time. Then and only then are messages relevant to your guests and based on them individually and meaningful to them at that moment.
By now, your organization should, through your CRM system, know something about your guests. Start with personalized emails with offers relative to the human receiving them. It should be relevant to something they’ve done inside your property recently and, therefore, meaningful to them as your human guest. You’ll convert more interactions this way.
Yes, email marketing is NOT working. Because you’re not doing it right. This is the way it is being done effectively TODAY.
People are human. The technology exists and leaders are using it to speak to their guests in a personalized, meaningful, relevant manner. The days of batch and blast are gone and so are all those subscribers because of that tactic.
What’s holding most marketing executives back lies in the fact that they’re faced with the challenge of using all this data effectively.
The solution comes in the form of using a sophisticated Database Management Platform to analyze geolocation, purchase and intent data from their mobile consumers. When you combine findings with data from online and offline actions, you’re able to dramatically improve the impact of cross-channel campaigns.
I saw a funny post on LinkedIn last week. Someone wrote, “I wonder how many times I’ll hear the word millennial next week at the Casino Marketing & Technology Conference.”
Get out of this mindset. They’re not millennials or generation X’ers. Viewing them like that is putting people in buckets. They’re not buckets of people. Don’t make the mistake… If you do, you’re not doing it right. Our Nevada casino marketing team believes strongly in avoiding pre-categorization.
THE FOCUS TODAY SHOULD BE ON EACH INDIVIDUAL’S DATA.
Using their individual data makes the digital communication memorable.
In Experience Economy, written by B. Joseph Pine II and James Gilmore, creating a lasting memorable experience is equal to guest loyalty and retention.
“Customizing a service is a sure route to staging a positive experience, customizing a good or product automatically turns it into a service.”
In an industry of product equality, the only thing that separates us apart from our competition is our service and the guest experiences. To enter into the Experience Economy, an organization must first customize its goods and services. Well, that’s a tall order for our structural amenities. It’s nearly impossible to adapt our hotel rooms to each individual human, nor our eateries or parking garages. But, what we can do is customize our digital messages by using each guest’s individual data.
Every marketing action contributes to the total guest experience being staged.
The sum of all the guest experiences is your brand.
50.4% – of companies were unable to identify their most loyal customers.
62% – of consumers don’t believe that the brands they’re most loyal to are giving them what they want.
Think about that for a second.
The sum of experiences is critical to your brand’s survival and will determine whether you flourish or struggle to compete in your competitive set.
What we practice and preach at Profit Builder HD and also what Dr. Hilgeman recommends is that if you do not have a process in place to update your guest engagement strategies you’re out of sync with your guests.
Focus groups should be a normal occurrence. You can learn each time you conduct one. They’re not difficult, and they’re enlightening.
So again, if your digital strategy is not working… You’re not doing it right.
Look internally, look at your processes, evaluate the manner in which you capture guest preferences, update them regularly and design a meaningful, timely, personalized digital strategy.
Let me leave you with this…
Your personalized, behavior driven, meaningful cross-channel digital strategy is NOT an initiative that simply needs more money thrown at it. It is an initiative, however, based on your culture and one that does require your brand’s focus. The casino gaming and hospitality industries rely heavily on our guests. They are humans, too. Have a conversation with them and create a memorable experience for them.
Next time I see you, I hope you’re getting the results you need! Call us today for a free consultation.
Permission to cite Deb Hilgeman’s Market Research granted via telephonic conversation with Amy Hergenrother on 7-8-15.Read More »
If you haven’t heard yet, the G2E or Global Gaming Expo will be this September 29 – October 1 at the Las Vegas Sands convention center and will feature a myriad of gaming experts, including CEO of Caesars Entertainment, Mark Frissora. But, who else will be speaking there? Profit Builder HD’s very own Trevor Taylor! With this Profit Builder HD team member, you’ll learn many details on the latest updates, changes in direct marketing and how the technique can better your bottom line.
Profit Builder HD’s managing partner Trevor Taylor will be speaking on September 29, at 10:30 a.m. in the Bellini 2001 meeting space. If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so here. G2E is bound to be full of useful information for all and not just those confined within casino walls. More often than not, casino management goes hand-in-hand with hospitality and food and beverage.
Integration of both resort and casino experiences is crucial in this day and age. Very rarely will you find a casino that is not somehow affiliated with a hotel or other hospitality venues, particularly in the hospitality industry of Las Vegas, Nevada. This is where G2E introduces the first-ever, end-to-end casino resort property event. Integrated Resort Experience connects leading-edge technology, products and services with casino properties to entice more visitors to stay longer and spend more money.
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Profit Builder HD will present their resource of knowledge for hospitality gaming operations and direct marketing initiatives at the Global Gaming Expo. Don’t forget to register for Trevor’s seminar. For help with maximizing your gaming company’s profit, visit us online today.