Casino marketing department plays a very important role in any casino. Although all casino services are equally important to ensure guest satisfaction, the knowledge and experience of the casino marketing department is essential to maximize the profits. Almost every single function in a casino today is either driven by or influenced by casino marketing in one way or another.
Unfortunately, many casinos are not paying enough attention to their marketing “homework” and make decisions that are just short term solutions to increase attendance and turnover. Free play offers or all-expense-paid trips, for example, will most definitely increase patronage and drops but the decisions about who should qualify for such offers must be made with many variables in mind.
Push and Pull Casino Marketing Strategies
Push and pull marketing complement one another. Casinos need a mix of push and pull marketing for a truly comprehensive marketing strategy.
Push casino marketing:
- Direct marketing:
- Call centre calls to players in the database.
- Marketing department’s communication with VIP players.
- Marketing department’s calls to high income segment business people.
- Marketing via Junket representatives.
- Advertising (if permitted).
Pull casino marketing:
- Exceptional service and product offer to motivate repeat visits to the casino:
- Revenue earned with the help of Push marketing efforts can be multiplied by providing good service and offering the right game mix. If a casino is organizing some exclusive (and expensive for the casino) event it can bring in many first time players and repeat players generating nice revenues. It is important that the service quality is not suffering during such large events. Overspending by arranging higher quality food than usual and hiring more part time personnel is advisable as well. Unfortunately, some casinos struggle with the service quality during such events, mainly because of the lack of adequate staffing.
- Player loyalty programs:
- Player loyalty programs must be designed in a way they appeal not only to local players but also to out of town visitors.
- Social media management:
- Up to date product and promotion information must be communicated to social media followers.
- Information displays and promotional coupons for hotel guests:
- Hotel lobby, rooms, and common areas can be used to directly or indirectly attract potential players to the casino with video feeds, displays, audio broadcasts, leaflets/brochures or special offer coupons. MICE tourism is an excellent lead generator because often the participants of these events represent the high income segment.
Success in the casino business depends on the development of excellent long-term relationships with key players and junket representatives. The Pareto principle can be applied to the casino industry as well – the majority of the casino’s business comes from a minority of its players. These are called key players (in some cases VIP players) but generally mean players with the highest long term value to the casino.
The following casino marketing strategies must be recognized when keeping in mind key players:
- Prevent erosion of key players – in some cases the implementation of casino marketing strategies generates many new players but some key players stop coming to the casino. Dedicated hosts or representatives can be assigned to a handful of key players to provide personalized services.
- Grow the business from key players – Most of the VIP players visit other casino properties as well. By personalizing key players’ experiences a casino can gain a larger share of their value.
- Develop selected marginal players – some players are either one-timers (visited the casino property only once) or walk-in players (visit the casino for a short time while staying and playing in another casino property). Selected marginal players can become key players if given sufficient time and a high level of service.
- Eliminate selected marginal players from the all-expense-paid players database. Unfortunately, some player visits result in net theoretical losses for a casino. These negative-yield guests should be identified and eliminated from the list whenever possible. A professional marketing team has the responsibility to remove these players from its list and refrain from future sales calls or promotions directed to them.
- Retain some marginal players but lower the value of the offer – over time some players either do not visit the casino as often as before or place smaller bets and thus their value for the casino is decreasing. Those players are not eliminated from the lists but are lower on the casino marketing department’s list of priorities.
The casino marketing strategies mentioned above can be implemented in most of the casinos. There would be slight changes depending on the type of the casino and the geographical location but the most important goal for any casino should be building and keeping relationships with the players.
In surveys conducted in casinos employees play a large role in whether the players intend to return. No matter how much is invested in the physical environment, the human environment has to be friendly and caring for the players to visit the casino again.