Slot managers and marketing executives seek common ground
Effective communication between departments is essential to the smooth and profitable operation of a casino. You, as a slot professional, must be able to successfully communicate your needs to the marketing department and believe in their ability to make your vision a reality.
Your role as a slot professional is defined by the tasks you must accomplish to enable the casino to operate profitably. While you have the ability to maximize performance on the floor by rotating games, titles and hold percentages, the most effective way to market these changes to your customers is probably beyond your comfort level or expertise.
While I understand that dealing with other departments, especially marketing, can be trying at times, it is not because they don’t wish to do the best job possible, but because they do not have the knowledge or expertise you possess. If you don’t like your results, change your approach! Take the time and effort to educate them regarding what you designed and why. Outline your expectations for the project and the overall results you expect this project to create.
Too often we let frustration get the best of us and decide to market the project on our own; most often this decision ends disastrously. While we clearly understand what we want to achieve, many of us are simply not marketing personalities. What we feel is most important to a project may have no benefit in the eyes of the customers we are attempting to attract. Slot personnel can often get bogged down in the details, because details are what we do best.
If you need to establish additional power and data run for a bank on the floor, do you do it yourself? You almost certainly have the maintenance department or a subcontractor take care of this so you can keep the project on track and moving forward. What about making the determination to remove a customer from the floor for a security related violation? Although you may be capable, you do not have the time, formal training or certifications to accomplish these tasks. Just because you possess the technical ability to perform a task doesn’t mean you should.
No one person has a skill set varied enough to perform each and every job required in a complex casino environment. Each department is diverse and requires a unique skill and personality set to optimize its performance. Understanding your own department’s values and how they relate to the overall property is as important as any aspect of your job. Equally important is your ability to recognize your own limitations and locate resources that can best optimize your efforts.
In my career I have been a part of the creation of some extraordinary casino projects and products only to see their existence go almost entirely unrecognized by the customers we were attempting to attract. These occupational tragedies were due in large part to poor communication between the developer and the marketing team, or the undue influence of an individual who truly did not understand, nor have the desire to understand, the nuances of the project.
The slot professional must use all the tools at his/her disposal to ensure a successful product launch. Unanticipated consequences have the ability to destroy the excitement surrounding a new innovation before it has a chance to grow legs, intrigue players and, most importantly, increase revenues. By correctly using all available assets, the slot director can stand back and use his focus and abilities to critically view the project and minimize as many variables as possible. In order to have this capability you must trust in the abilities of those around you to ensure you are not a hindrance to your own success.