by Paul Doocey
July 8, 2011
Forgive gaming operators if they are somewhat reticent to talk in detail about every aspect of their player loyalty programs. It is common knowledge that loyalty is something all gaming enterprises of any size around the world seek; after all, name any business that doesn’t desire its customers to come back to them and only them—it’s the very definition of retail success, especially in a competitive marketplace.
One thing all casino player loyalty programs have in common, however, is diversity, since there is really no one product that guarantees continuous return visitation from a customer. For some patrons, the players club card and all its perks is enough to insure repeat business. For others it may be a special jackpot, bonus or prize tied to game play. Some are captured simply through the timely offer of a free meal or show. Indeed, to cover all the bases, gaming properties need to be able to incentivize all level of customers at all touch points within a property and on a moment’s notice.
And this fact is not lost on gaming vendor community, which is constantly producing a stream of new and improved product designed to attract the customer and keep them coming back to the facility again and again. Here’s a recap of some of the companies and the player loyalty products that have recently caught the eyes of Casino Journal editors:
SCA GAMING'S POWER MILLIONS GAME SHOW AT PECHANGA RESORT & CASINO.
— SCA Gaming
SCA Gaming has carved a niche in the gaming space by providing mega-jackpot promotions to casino facilities around the world. The company’s latest product is the PrizePro Series, a full-service promotional platform that works through kiosks to deliver high-impact promotions that provide return-on-investment for casinos and unique entertainment experiences for players.
“The kiosk is a particularly effective way to deliver a promotional experience,” said Linda Gordon, director of marketing for SCA. “We can access and use the casino’s database to customize the promotion as they see fit, so players of one tier have a different play experience and reward structure than another.”
PrizePro comes in a wide variety of platforms including:
• PrizePro3.1 — A game platform that is made up of one 65-inch HD screen and three 46-inch LCD screens combine to display flash animated images that run concurrent and independent game cycles.
• PrizePro19 — Fully functional and displaying two 19-inch screens that can run independently, the PrizePro19 model is 6 feet high and is supported by a 3-foot base.
• PrizePro65 — In choosing PrizePro65, casinos get the benefit of a big impact game on a smaller footprint. SCA’s Fishin’ For A Fortune promotion made its debut on the PrizePro65, utilizing a customized game podium that included a roller ball mouse system to hook winning fish.
SCA also continues to offer big ticket promotion items such as the Power Millions game show it created for the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif. “Once a month the show would bring upwards of 12,000 people through the door,” Gordon said. “They did not get into the audience unless they has previously played and been rewarded at the casino.”
For more information on these products, visit www.scagaming.com.
— Rymax Marketing Services
Who doesn’t like receiving unique, hard-to-get items? The ability to provide a wide variety of quality brand name merchandise the any casino anywhere is the primary drawing card for Rymax Marketing Services, the largest national direct manufacturer’s representative in the incentive industry.
“Most casinos claim to have a comprehensive loyalty program and it’s usually a players club and card that give discounts within the property,” said Paul Gordon, director of sales for Rymax. “The problem is that there is so much competition now that a players club program is no longer a differentiating factor. Also, you want something that appeals to every market segment that walks through the door, and what appeals to a Gen Xer may not work for a Millennial. What we offer is a variety of high-brand equity and luxury products that can appeal to people of different ages and economic classes that can also give a casino a competitive edge.”
For example, Gordon claims Millennials are particularly brand- and technology-driven, and casinos have found success generating repeat business from them by offering opportunities to receive products such as Michel Kors accessories, Lady Gaga-licensed headphones and Blackberry Playbook Tablets. “These are all very hot products right now that can bring younger generations to the door,” Gordon said.
In addition to providing merchandise rewards for incentive programs, promotions and corporate gifts, Rymax also manages total incentive solutions aimed at increasing customer loyalty. For example, Rymax can create, plan, staff, promote and evaluate shopping sprees, pick-a-gift and other large customer-centric events.
For more information on these products, visit www.rymaxinc.com.
— Libra OnDemand
As a leading provider of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) hospitality solutions built using Cloud technologies, Libra OnDemand, through its Hospitality Management System, offers gaming properties a whole host of Web-based applications aimed at streamlining processes ranging from CRM and e-mail to sales and the concierge desk.
The company’s Loyalty & Rewards module gives an organization the capability to recognize frequent customers with their own innovative loyalty, frequent guest and membership rewards programs. Points can be awarded based on revenue, number of stays or room nights and redeemed for vouchers, gift certificates, upgrades or free stays. Loyalty program members can even view and manage their membership data on the hotel website, redeem reward points, purchase gift certificates and request room upgrades via the Libra Customer Portal. The application can be flexibly configured to help an organization define the program that works best for their brand and provides an edge over competition.
“What our Loyalty & Rewards suite does is collect information about a customer from several different venues within the resort such as the hotel, casino, food and beverage, spa, golf course and so on,” said Gregg Hopkins, president and CEO of Libra OnDemand. “It also collects information from PMS, CMS, POS and other systems. From that it extracts behavioral trends such as frequency of visit, the amount they spend and other factors. This system gives casinos a better understanding of who their most important companies and guests are. From that they can make informed marketing decisions on how they want to reward to that guest.”
For more information on this product, visit www.libraondemand.com.
At first glance, a ticket printer seems an unlikely product to be included in a discussion on cutting-edge player loyalty devices. But FutureLogic’s PromoNet Promotional Couponing System, in tandem with the companies GEN3 Evolution and GEN2 Universal printers, offers casinos the unique ability to create coupon campaigns for both carded and non-carded players to help boost club membership.
According to company literature, the PromoNet Couponing System allows casinos to automatically trigger a marketing campaign based on game play metrics, player tracking information, POS systems and redemption terminals. This gives casino marketers the ability to issue a coupon at the game or HBE (hospitality, beverage, entertainment) location to attract and retain customers. For players, this provides valued savings and incentives to enhance their casino/resort experience, thereby enhancing player loyalty.
“We believe that promotional couponing will provide the next big lift in gaming over the next several years, and we are working closely with our EGM and casino customers to facilitate that evolution,” said a FutureLogic spokesperson in a prepared statement. “This technology can be used by casinos to reward and retain players, and most importantly, to recruit patrons to join their loyalty programs – since players club members typically become the casino’s best customers. Promotional couponing can also be used for cross-venue marketing, linking reward programs across multiple leisure experiences, as well as casino floors.”
For more information on this product, visit www.futurelogic-inc.com.
— WMS Gaming
How to keep the customer’s mind on slot games once they leave the casino is the primary driver behind WMS Gaming’s Player’s Life Web Services. In a nutshell, Player’s Life lets casinos add an online dimension to the games on their floor, building player loyalty and boosting repeat visits. Players can access these added services at www.playerslife.com.
“We wanted to create a destination outside of the casino where players can go and talk about their favorite slot games and also play casual mini-games that once completed successfully unlock something back at the machine on the casino floor,” said Phil Gelber, senior vice president of product development at WMS. “What we have done is essentially create a round-trip, people play the game at the casino, go home, log on to Player’s Life, play the casual non-wagering games, complete the goals and then go back to the casino to unlock more content on the slot machine.”
Player’s Life, which initially debuted on WMS’s Lord of the Rings slots, is now being applied to new products such as The Price is Right Ultimate Show and Attack from Mars. Going forward, Player’s Life Web Service options will likely be attached to all new WMS games, according to Gelber.
For more information on these products, visit www.wms.com.
International Game Technology continues to work diligently on perfecting its sbX server-based gaming system technology. And as the system is perfected, new cutting-edge customer loyalty-inspired products come to the surface such as Intelligent Bonusing.
Traditionally, the awarding of bonuses has been done by a random number generator and determined mostly be luck. With the sbX system combined with advancements such as Service Window, IGT can now offer operators the ability to customize and add rules to their bonusing features, making them more valuable to customers at all levels.
“Traditional bonusing was exciting but not inspirational,” said Javier Saenz, executive director of systems products for IGT. “With Intelligent Bonusing, the operator has the ability to communicate with players in real-time, award them, give them incentives and create that inspirational loyalty marketing effect.”
Expect more such player loyalty advances from IGT going forward.
“The philosophy of our systems department is to transition from concentrating on the infrastructure and plumbing to finding ways to better manage content and otherwise improve the player experience,” said Richard Yim, vice president of systems products for IGT. “As we continue to look closer at how players interact with games, we expect to come up with more advanced, second-generation player loyalty capabilities.”
For more information on these products, visit www.igt.com.
is editor of Casino Journal magazine. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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