Every department in the casino has a role to play, and each is important for different reasons. Our guests would not stay with us long if we didn’t employ janitorial services and our restaurants would not sell much without the cooking staff. Likewise, the casino marketing department is vital to the success of the casino. Consider the breadth of responsibility held within the casino marketing mix: promotions, advertising, player evaluations, player clubs, host staff, comps, ratings and slot marketing – and this is just to name a few.
While it would be exaggeration to suggest that players would stop coming to the casino if these disappeared, we would miss out on exponentially increasing revenue opportunities should we choose to not take advantage of all that the casino marketing department can offer.
Few events breed excitement in the lives of our casino guests as much as the promotions we offer in the casino. They keep the information on the refrigerator and mark the date on their calendar. They look forward to each event and breathe in the excitement the promotion promises to bring. Obviously, the primary purpose for such events is the revenue that is generated from the increase in play. However, it is also arguable that the heightened level of anticipation creates a loyalty within the guest that lends itself to repeated revenues in the future as well. The marketing department is critical in the evaluation and implementation of these promotions.
The marketing staff is first responsible for the evaluation of past promotions to determine what combination of events and offers will be most effective on which days of the week in order to ensure the utter-most profitability. Obviously, these rules will vary by location and casino and only a strategic analysis of past promotions, regardless of outcome, will provide the data needed to make informed and logical decisions. For example, an evaluation of your past slot tournaments may reveal that Tuesdays are more profitable than Thursdays. As a result, it could be a costly mistake to make any assumptions regarding the feasibility and profitability of these events. Instead, a thorough analysis conducted by the marketing department will ensure the optimal success of all future promotional campaigns.
After the profitability evaluation comes the preparation. In order for each event to be successful, the marketing department must wear a variety of hats to maximize the event. They are the masters of communication that ensure that all departments are working in synchronization in preparation for, and during, the event. Additionally, it is their organizational skills and attention to detail in the preparation that will ensure that guests are well received and enjoy the event to it fullest.
And let us not forget the event itself. This is when the host staff truly live up to their title, welcoming the guests into the event and ensuring that everyone is having a great time. This is your party and your patrons are exactly that, guests in your house.
It’s not a stretch to consider that none of the above would be possible without informing guests of the promotion and regardless of which method, or methods, you choose, the only way to do that is advertising. Whether you use mail, phone, email or even personal conversations, advertising is how you keep in communication with your guests. Remember that flyer on the refrigerator? It had to be conceived, designed, created, printed, addressed and mailed. It’s a lot of details just to remind your guest of an event, but with today’s pace of life, it is a critical reminder that might mean the difference between their attendance or absence.
Advertising can also be used for non-promotion communications that generate income for your casino: room offers, food specials, casino news and entertainment are all ways to keep in touch with your client base and provide that little extra reminder to bring them back into the casino. Leverage the marketing department to be continually aware of each opportunity for communication that solidifies your relationship with your guests.
Player evaluation is a critical component to ensuring casino ROI through strategic analysis of player expenditure and this evaluation is best executed by the host staff in your marketing department. They have the visibility to the guest’s play and as a result have the ability to determine the player’s status and, as you know, this status is critical for multiple reasons. To correspond to the earlier discussion on promotions, understanding a player’s status will ensure that we are inviting guests to events that correspond to their level of play. It would not be lucrative to invite a guest that barely meets the requirements of your lowest tier of play to the same New Year’s Gala as your VIP guests.
On a related note, status is also important to understanding the limits through which comping keeps the casino profitable. Well-trained marketing hosts know the casino’s comping policies are able to make decisions about which comps will ultimately generate more revenue for the casino through continued, or increased, play. Of course, comping exists at every level of play, but comping incorrectly, whether over or under, will ultimately cost the casino money. Over-comping a penny slots player decreases the casino’s profits just like under-comping a high-limit player might mean losing those revenues to another casino. The marketing department, and most notably the host staff, understands this balance and will be the casino’s advocates for comping in a manner that is beneficial to the business.
While we’re on the topic, a discussion about the importance of the marketing department would not be complete without including the casino host staff. They are the ambassadors of your casino and your VIPs’ primary point of contact. As such, they are indispensable to your overall marketing plan. Not only that, but when aggressively and appropriately trained, they can be instrumental in maximizing casino profits and increasing revenue generation.
All told, the casino marketing department is the hub of your casino operations. They create, analyze and drive revenue into the casino and as a result, the department must be a well-oiled machine in order to stay on top of the ever-changing casino business. With the proper organization, direction, structure and training, they are unequivocally your greatest asset. Their analysis ensures the strategic marketing that drives patrons into the casino. Their passion drives aggressive player card sign-ups to increase your patron database. Their organization and attention to detail creates exciting events that are well-attended and anticipated. Their hospitality is the personal touch that keeps patrons coming back to your property instead of to your competition.