INNOVATIVE CASINO MARKETING
WHAT IS CASINO MARKETING?
Casino Marketing is not about having the perfect logo, being generous, offering substantial comps, or even live entertainment invites.
All marketing is much more straightforward.
I agree that tools like direct mail, electronic bonuses, promotions, and concert/dining comps are all very important tactics that you should be leveraging.
I’m 82% certain that isn’t casino marketing though.
You are at that point merely implementing a strategy. Am I 99.5% crazy? Maybe, but I’ll elaborate before admitting to it.
Strategy and execution are extremely important in every project. Again, those two elements are not casino marketing though.
Casino marketing is all about telling a story that matters, to somebody who cares. You could say casino marketing is also controlling the outcome. In recent studies, casino marketing drove approximately $79.10 billion U.S. dollars in taxable gaming revenue. In 2018, over 52% or $41.28 billion of the total $79 billion in revenue came from commercial gaming facilities.
While another significant portion of about 42.7% or $33.8 billion was directly attributed to tribal casinos. Another 5% or so, was tied to online or iGaming revenue. Of course, we know not all of that revenue was a product of perfect marketing or high-quality storytelling. I mean, even a broken clock is right twice a day, right? Regardless, marketing isn’t only about driving results or how you execute a plan. It’s more about sharing the reason you started the journey or created the plan in the first place.
Tell your story effectively, and you will gain a lifetime customer.
When it comes to casinos (especially tribal casinos), you get to be very creative with how you tell your marketing story. Before you tell that story, you might want to think of a plan that includes how you want to approach your potential target psychologically. After all, you are dealing with other human beings’ feelings and perceptions, so it’s important to be tactful and intentional the entire time. In casino marketing, one wrong move or message could have costly repercussions.
3 CLEVER CASINO MARKETING TIPS
- Build/Know Your Brand First
- Begin With The End In Mind
- Be Honest & Consistent
Every great story starts out with a familiar introduction. “Once upon a time”. The intro is the most important because it explains the purpose and it provides direction. Direction creates trust and provokes an instinctual reaction to believe and be inspired by a hopeful happy outcome. There’s an old saying I like to reference when building any marketing plan. “You will never know where you are going if you cannot explain where you have been”.
5 MUST-HAVE MARKETING MEDIUMS
Printed ads and coupons appeal to the senses and help bridge generational gaps. Their tangible appeal speaks to the “time-poor” and compels eventual action. And studies show people are more likely to buy an item they’ve leisurely experienced in print.
Radio advertising is experienced in several different formats. A brand can tell their story with a sponsorship ad, a jingle ad, through host endorsements, or via testimonial. A combination of these formats will increase brand awareness through continuity and increase memorability throughout a larger audience. Radio offers flexibility and can be used to reinforce your current visual ad campaigns.
Digital marketing is any form of marketing products or services that involves electronic devices. Digital marketing takes place on a variety of platforms including search platforms, email,
Social media and more. Marketing through digital means allows you to integrate campaigns across different devices in unique and memorable situations.
Social media has completely altered the way the Casinos market to their target audience. Casinos now possess the ability to accumulate even more data than ever before. The key to a successful social media marketing campaign is simple.
Publish stories, content, and ads about products that matter, to people who care.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is all about increasing the volume and value amount of traffic visiting your site. Often this occurs through an organic search engine. Casino marketers target keywords and phrases in their region to capture interest, impressions, and conversions.
4 PRODUCTS CASINO MARKETERS LOVE
- Gaming Products – Electronic and Physical
- Entertainment (Live Casino Concerts & Private Events)
- Food and Beverage
2 WINNING CASINO MARKETING STRATEGIES
My favorite two strategies in casino marketing are also probably the most common. Of course, there are many other strategies, but I personally think it always comes back to these two.
Brand marketing is every marketing director’s best friend and worst enemy. What does that mean? It means that the money you spend on brand marketing is something that isn’t easy (if at all) quantifiable. With brand marketing, sometimes you feel almost as if you are throwing money into a deep abyss. A good example of brand marketing is the insurance commercial you heard on the radio recently. Nobody will ever be able to directly quantify the commercials paid air time to an actual purchase of insurance, therefore brand marketing cannot be measured like traditional direct marketing.
Many casino entertainment buyers love brand marketing because it gives them an out. If the concert doesn’t sell well, it is easy to group that expense into the necessary brand marketing category.
Direct marketing to me means that you can directly attribute the value or expense of an impression or offer redemption. That means when you redeem a pizza coupon or free play offer at the casino, the owner or tribe knows how much it costs to capture your interest.
They also know the profit margin, or what they stand to make if you redeem an offer.
Another good example of direct marketing would be a monthly mailer. Casino monthly mailers are chalked full of direct marketing offers.
These offers generally include discounts for food, hotel/spa packages, and BOGO concert tickets.
Here is a visual example of what direct marketing looks like.
BIG DATA -THE #1 NON-PHYSICAL CASINO MARKETING TOOL
Ok, if you didn’t already think I was crazy, you’re going to now. Here goes. I believe Big data is only used in three different ways. Data is analyzed, stored, and sometimes shared. In many cases, all three at once. Additionally, data doesn’t just appear and it is only useful after you accumulate it. Did you know that over 3 years ago the value of data passed the value of crude oil?
Regardless, merely possessing data doesn’t make it valuable. It never has. In fact, data has always existed. And if you think about it, everything we do, buy, and think since the beginning of time could be analyzed. Data only increased in value after technology allowed us to store and analyze it more efficiently. What’s my point? My point is, owning data (big data specifically) alone is useless. Understanding how to segment and analyze data is more valuable because you gain crucial insight that helps you understand your potential client or casino patron.
2 BEHAVIORAL DATA CATEGORIES
Demographics are large collections of information that offers a broad insight into the characteristics of a group or larger population.
Basically, demographics refer to micro/macro socio-economic information expressed statistically.
Basic demographics include metrics that measure useful information like employment, education, income, marriage rates, geographical location, birth/death rates, and much more.
This insight is useful for predicting trends and marketing more effectively.
Psychographics is the study of consumer psychological behavior.
The best way to remember how they work is to remember the AIO’s acronym. This stands for activities, interests, and opinions.
The psy in psychographics refers to some of the psychological factors that are measured summarizing surveys, questionnaires, and social media analytics.
In short, all data obtained from psychographics measure intangible cognitive action that drives consumer behavior.
The difference between the two is simple.
Demographics usually summarize proximity and basic identity information like age and current place of residence.
Psychographics measure intellectual information that defines personal preferences to intangible beliefs or habits.
Remember, digital ad blindness is a risk in any setting, especially since the average person sees up to 5,000 ads a day.
To avoid being unseen, make your content unique and relevant, then present it in a way that answers questions that need to be answered
Following an old-school marketing lifecycle alone won’t cut it anymore. It’s essential to utilize a variety of methods and mediums to achieve your marketing goals.
CRAZY UNIQUE CASINO MARKETING IDEAS
I love crazy casino marketing ideas! Why is that you might ask? Well, I think it’s because every time I pull another crazy idea off, I get to recreate the same delightful experience at another venue, casino, or location of choice.
Let’s face it, we live in the era of social engagement, albeit digital. In other words, people are dying to be a part of something that matters, so they have a cool story to share/tell on their profile. Be honest with yourself and admit that whoever has the coolest picture on FB for the day, wins. Additionally, people are 74% more likely to purchase a product, visit a destination, or redeem an offer from a company they have already visited on social media.
Remember, the more unique or compelling an immersive experience is, the deeper the memory will be ingrained in an individual’s brain.
Sometimes a casino can experience promotional or live entertainment fatigue. You can avoid promotional saturation, and lower the risk of live entertainment being played out by creating unique immersive experiences to supplement your overall entertainment program.
These special events can be sold to the public, offered to casino employees, or used as VIP events. An immersive experience is an excellent way to capture/analyze interest, decrease the time between visits, increase retention, and drive social engagement. Not to mention, all that will likely lead to more coin in, longer time on device, and higher guest satisfaction.
Here are two of my personal favorite examples of new immersive events that are being utilized in casino marketing across Indian Country.
THE SELFIE STATION
A selfie station is a fairly new form of immersive photography. Casino marketers use brilliantly colorful and exaggerated props or furniture to create a unique pose-worthy photo op.
We know the power of a high-quality selfie. The perfect selfie will land you a date, a new job, bragging rights and so much more.
I personally am not the biggest fan of selfies, however. I mean, I already know what I look like. You can call me weird, old, or both. I won’t argue much. And to be 100% clear, I am not at all against people who do enjoy taking selfies. I just know I’ll pull a shoulder muscle or something in pursuit of the perfect angle and I cannot afford the time off caused by recovery. Personal preference aside, I thoroughly enjoy creating selfie experiences and watching others enjoy them as well.
This selfie station was $12,000 – $15,000 all in. It will likely be used one time, given its specific characteristics, but the casino promotion and exposure attached surely covered the expense.