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Posts Tagged ‘casino marketing

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Sure, it’s easy enough to think of a great promotion or special event idea. I’m sure there are people out there who would have attended a Royal Wedding party, but if it is not profitable or even potentially profitable, then you have a problem. Here are a few tips to use when planning a successful event:

1. Set Goals: Your goals could range from how many people you want to get through the door, how many new customers you’d like to attract or how much incremental business you will obtain by holding the event or promotion. The idea is to set goals. There is no way to evaluate your performance if you don’t have anything to measure the outcome against. It’s important to set goals related to customer experience and financial outcome and then of course you have to evaluate the event when it’s over.

2. Play Well With Others: While I’m sure you have amazing ideas, it’s important to include others in the planning process. Try asking the people who actually run the promotion or work on the casino floor if they see any potential problems with the promotion or if they can see any way to make it better. At the end of the day, the final decisions lay with management, but seeking out other opinions can never hurt.

3. Diversify but Don’t Stack: Not everyone will always like the same things. Not only is it important to always have something going on, but you need to attempt to attract the most guests that you possibly can. Sometimes there is a need to stack multiple events during the same time period, but keep in mind that stacking events drives down profitability and may end up costing more in the long run. Before stacking events, try and weed out the events that will drive the least amount of business and re-evaluate how you can tweek existing events to attract more business.

4. Measure and Evaluate. This goes back to point #1. Set goals and make sure to measure and evaluate those goals at the conclusion of the promotion. Use the results towards the future planning of events and how the success can be improved next time.

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5. Be Patient. Results will not happen overnight. In fact, changes implemented today might not yield results for days, months or even years in advance. The idea is to stick to the plan and use the tips mentioned here to plan into the future.

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This post is officially the last one that I am posting as a requirement of my Personal Branding class with Dr. Bret Simmons. But fear not fellow readers! I fully intend on continuing on this blogging journey! So, here it goes…

Get ready for yet another great example of rewards done right! I stumbled upon a social media promotion run by the Palms Resort in Las Vegas that I think is a great direction to go in terms of casino marketing. I have talked a bit about Caesars Entertainment and how they are rewarding guests for spending money outside of gambling. This Palms promotion is very similar. Guests who sign up on their website earn rewards for retweeting deals that are posted on the Palms twitter account. You earn 10 points for each offer you tweet and 250 points for each offer that one of your friends/followers purchase. You can use your points towards the following:

This is a fantastic way to drive new traffic without having to directly attract gamblers. There are so many people on Facebook and Twitter these days, and by offering them rewards to tweet your offers and encourage their friends to purchase your offers, you are in the process of creating brand evangelists…almost for FREE! We love free!

So, I decided I better sign up for this promotion since I’m raving so much about it. Then I can report back to you and let you know if it’s all it cracks up to be! The first step is to tweet the offer of the day. Today there are two opportunities to tweet. The first is:

PalmsLasVegas

Come join our Social Rewards Loyalty Program! Earn points towards free rooms, drinks, dinners, more while in #Vegas http://bit.ly/fukEv9

What are some other ways you can attract new business without attracting gamblers? Do you think this is a good way to increase business?

There is a “tweet” button that makes it easy to use. You get 10 points just for tweeting. Check!

The next opportunity is:

Be a playboy! Rates @ Palms Las Vegas starting @ $99, access to club, $25 match play & Comedy tickets! #vegas

Once again, an easy to use “tweet” button and 10 more points. Check!

You can also post on Facebook and encourage your friends to buy the deals you share. That would be 250 points! Double check! Then I can take all my points, just for being a brand evangelist for Palms, and get free stuff. And I never even have to spend a dollar at the Palms, but you can bet when I redeem for my free hotel room, I will be spending those dollars at the Palms.

So, what do you think about this promotion?

I think I’ll take a short break from talking about all this Internet Poker mumbo jumbo and go off topic for a minute. Social Media strategies are becoming very important for casinos. The population is becoming more and more technologically savvy and they are going to the Internet to find information and deals. Based on an article that cites a study from retrevo.com, 56% of social media users check Facebook once a day, and 12% check Facebook once every couple of hours. That is a huge pool of traffic that the casino companies should definitely be dipping into. Below are 5 tips for a successful social media strategy by Frank Marquardt:

1. Know Your Voice: Your brand needs to be consistent. The readers should have a sense that they are reading your post even before noticing your name or logo. For example, the kind of Twitter posts you’d see from Hard Rock Las Vegas versus The Mirage Las Vegas to be very different. The audiences are different and therefore the voice should be different. Hard Rock’s tweets are mostly in response to people who post a question or comment about them, while the Mirage does much more marketing through their Twitter account. Posting offers is a great way to attract customers!

2. Time Your Content: People respond to content that is timed well. Your organization should have a calendar and a schedule for when your posts are going out. You do not want to overwhelm your audience with too much content. The content you do put out there should be well thought out and timed appropriately. In the example of Hard Rock and The Mirage above, if Hard Rock did release an offer, it would probably get swallowed up by all the “We miss you too” type comments. It’s nice to let your audience know you’re listening when they talk to you, but knowing the limits is also important.

3. Know Your Audience: This is a very important point, as not all customers are created equally. In the case of a casino, there are probably multiple business units within the property: gaming, restaurants, nightclubs, etc… You can bet your customers are coming for one or all of these outlets, and therefore it is important to talk to all of your customers. Take Wynn Las Vegas for example:

These are two separate posts directed at two obviously separate audiences, but Wynn knows how to target both customers by posting information that they know their audience would be interested in.

4. Solve Problems:Social media is a great place to solve problems for your customers. Many times, social media would be the first place a customer would go to either complain or rave about a previous experience. Check out the tweets from Caesars LV which I think are a great example of how to solve problems using social media:

They do such a good job of responding and directing their customers on how to proceed with their question or problem. One of them even goes so far as to confirm a reservation through Twitter! I think Caesars does a great job in this aspect.

5. Be True: Finally, be true. False information is so transparent. Your customers know when you’re lying or posting false information and they don’t appreciate it. Being true to your customers and your brand will only make your customers want to recommend you in the future, and hey, they may even become a brand evangelist!

What social media strategies do you think work best?

I read a great post about ‘haters’ and how you should treat them in your business world. A ‘hater‘ as defined by the Urban Dictionary as:

“A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. Instead of giving acknowledgment in courtesy, a hater often pursues his/her point by exposing a flaw in the target subject. Hating, the result of being a hater, is not exactly jealousy. The hater doesn’t really want to be the person he or she hates, rather the hater wants to knock someone else down a notch.”

As related to the casino world, haters can be found everywhere. Haters are disgruntled players, usually the ones who are not worth the money you spend marketing to them. Nothing is ever good enough, and they thrive on ruining an employee or fellow human’s day. So, how do you spot a hater and deal with them?

Haters are incoherent.

Haters by design generally resort to petty name calling and put-downs to get their point across. Most of the time a hater is not dissatisfied with your company or product, they are just interested in putting someone down to lift themselves up. For example, a player might come into your Players Club with all kinds of ridiculous complaints about how the people “running this joint are a bunch of idiots” because “I play here all the time and I just lost $2,000 and I never get any free offers.” Bingo, there it is. In reality, they probably just lost about $10, in about one minute, and they need to take it out on someone.

Haters don’t listen to reason.

Often, employees are ready to reason with a disgruntled customer. If the complaints come in on the message boards via Twitter or Facebook, someone is usually there to try and resolve the complaint. It is easy to spot the haters in this arena, as they are usually the ones name calling and bantering on about the facts of life, aka, if you don’t play, you don’t get free stuff. Haters are the ones that you can never appease. They are never happy when you go out of your way to try and make the situation right, they just want to yell at someone.

Haters don’t sign their name.

Finally, haters don’t usually like to claim their behavior. This applies mostly to the arena of social media and message boards. They are usually the ones who don’t sign their name or include their email address with the complaint. They don’t actually want to be linked to this kind of behavior, and that is why these usually come in anonymously. Responses should only be given if you can trace the complaint back to a real person with real contact information and the comment doesn’t have “hater” characteristics. Be careful though, there is a fine line between a true complaint and a hater, and if you don’t respond to a genuine complaint that can be resolved, you might end up losing a valuable customer and potentially a future brand evangelist.

I just recently learned what a brand evangelist is. It’s basically a brand ambassador – a customer who is devoted to the brand and its survival.

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These people are essential to your business, because they promote it and are a form of free advertising for you. So, how do you create brand evangelists? First of all, customer service is key. In a lecture presentation by Kade Dworkin the other night, I heard a story about how a brand evangelist was created through the use of Twitter. A customer tweeted to a Las Vegas casino Twitter account and asked if a certain local sporting event would be broadcast in the sports book. The person who was monitoring the Twitter account called the sports book, asked if the game was being shown, and when they found out it was, they requested a table be reserved for the guest who was inquiring about the game. The sports book was happy to oblige. The Twitter account responded to the customer that the game was being shown and a table was on reserve, just give your name. Voila! A brand evangelist is created. The customer then responded to the Twitter account with many thanks then tweeted to all of his followers how great the service was. You can bet that in the future, this customer will spread the word about the amazing service at this organization and will convert other people into loyal customers.

One of the biggest goals to set when trying to create brand evangelists is to get people to share what you have to say, and in turn you have to say interesting things. In social media, you can create brand evangelists by posting special offers to your followers or fans or holding contests to get your customers involved with the brand. It is also important to deliver on your promises and therefore build trust with your customers. The more they trust you, the more likely they will become brand evangelists, which is the ultimate goal. You will not turn all customers into brand evangelists, however, the few that you do create will last a lifetime and will be more valuable than you could possibly measure.

What are some ways you think you can create a brand evangelist for your company?

One of the cornerstones of casino marketing, as well as marketing in other industries, is brand recognition. Your brand is your identity as a company. Take for example the following:

Which soda would you choose?

VS.

If I’m venturing a guess, I would think at least 9/10 people, if not more would identify more with the lower image (Coca-Cola) rather than the upper image (generic grocery brand). Some people might prefer the generic cola simply because they prefer the taste, but if you put these two photos in front of a person from any country on Earth, they could most likely identify the bottom photo as Coca-Cola. The point is, Coca-Cola has spent a lot of time and money developing their brand as recognizable and reliable.

The same is true for casinos. Note the following brands:

VS.

Most could clearly recognize the Wynn brand as a pinnacle of quality and luxury in Las Vegas, while the Hilton brand can be associated with hotels and/or casinos. Steve Wynn has spent many years building his brand in Las Vegas, and it paid off when he expanded his brand into Macau, China. There were only a few casino licenses handed out in this lucrative gaming region, and Steve Wynn won one of the licenses. Even today in Macau, the Wynn resort is one of the most popular due to the brand recognition worldwide.

When building your brand recognition, there are a few important guidelines to follow. The first is brand promise vs. brand performance. The promise must meet performance. If you preach excellence, and then do not deliver, your brand will not be strong. If you walked into the Wynn Las Vegas, you’d expect the sights, sounds and experience to match your vision of what you thought you would see. If you walked into your room in the Wynn Las Vegas and the paint was visually unappealing, the food was less than delicious, and it smelled like a cheap Motel 6, then I think Wynn must not have delivered performance that matched the promise he made to consumers when marketing his brand. Another thing to keep in mind is tangible vs. intangible assets. It is far more difficult to imitate intangible assets, and therefore, these are the assets that must be marketed more heavily when building a strong brand. Coca-Cola is a master when it comes to marketing intangible assets. During Christmas-time, Coca-Cola launches a campaign each year that focuses on Santa and polar bears and penguins. Most are very cute and have a retro-feel, and they focus more on snow and the holidays and polar bears sharing Coke with the penguins or Santa. I ask you, what does this have to do with Cola? Does this make the consumer know how the Cola will taste? No. Instead, they are marketing a feeling. The feeling a consumer will get when they drink a Coca-Cola. This is the object of brand recognition marketing.

Image Credit – IGA Cola

Image Credit – Coca-Cola

Image Credit – Hilton

Image Credit – Wynn


About Me

This blog is devoted to the gaming industry news and information - keeping you up to date on the happenings in the gaming world. My personal expertise lies in event planning and entertainment in casinos.

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