With the economy first and foremost on everyone’s mind, we surveyed casino marketers across the United States to better understand how the current economic situation is impacting their marketing efforts. More than 160 casino executives responded, and clearly the economy is having a strong impact on activities.
Current Economic Conditions Are Driving Operators to Significantly Change How They Market Their FacilitiesWe asked casino executives to respond to the following statement: “Current economic conditions are driving us to significantly change how we market our facility”.
Figure 1 shows that more than three-quarters of casino executives agree that their marketing activities are changing significantly to reflect the current economic situation.
This suggests that operators are feeling the pinch and that many are refocusing their efforts in these challenging times.
A Heightened Focus on Core Marketing ActivitiesWe asked casino operators to tell us about 10 common marketing activities and the relative focus they placed on them in 2008 and how that has changed for 2009.
Figure 2 shows that retaining existing customers, acquiring new customers and spending on reward activity are receiving much more focus in 2009 compared to 2008. Contrast this with a much lesser focus on retail revenue, new communication technologies and spa/health-related activities.
This finding may not be surprising to some, as customer acquisition and retention is the name of the game in marketing. When asked about marketing in 2008, these same activities were also at the top of the list in terms of the most focus. However, what is interesting is the common, renewed strength of the focus on these core activities. Those activities that received a lot of focus in 2008 are receiving much more focus in 2009. Those activities that received less focus in 2008 are receiving even less focus in 2009.
One could argue that focusing even more on “what we have done in the past” makes sense if it has delivered return on investment. However, in the interests of differentiating oneself where many are focusing on the same goals, if everybody is employing the same marketing activities in the same way, customers may see little actual variation and therefore may be less influenced by any one marketing strategy.
For more information on this study, or other market research needs, please contact: John E. Thomas, Executive Director, Gaming Insights Group, Clear Seas Research at firstname.lastname@example.org, 248.786.1659 or visit www.clearseasresearch.com.