Lots of marketing technology providers promise that their products and systems will help casino operators in a myriad of ways—improving everything from player procurement and retention to digital promotion and campaign management. But how many actually live up to the hype?

Recognizing marketing technology innovations that provide promised benefits in real-world applications is the goal of Casino Journal’s inaugural GameChangers Marketing Awards. These awards recognize innovative marketing-oriented products and services and the positive impact they have had on a specific gaming property or operator. Industry vendors were invited to submit nominations for their latest casino/gaming marketing products and services in a case study-format that showcased the positive economic/operational impact the nominated item has had on a specific gaming property or gaming operator. Eight products were put forward and a synopsis of the entries is provided below.

In a new twist for Casino Journal, we are asking our audience—the attendees at the upcoming Casino Marketing & Technology Conference (CMTC) and the readers of Casino Journal—to determine which of the entries best met the criteria for this contest and deserve recognition. Attendees at CMTC, which is taking place July 18-20 at Bally’s Las Vegas (visit www.casinomarketingconf.com for more details), can cast ballots on the showfloor with the top three vote getters receiving platinum, gold and silver awards at the event. In addition, Casino Journal readers and website visitors will be invited to vote for entries online. The top three vote getters will be recognized with platinum, gold and silver awards readership awards. Readers wishing to vote may do so at www.casinojournal.com/marketinggamechangers.

The winners of both the CMTC and readership awards will be highlighted in the September issue of Casino Journal.

Now without further ado, here are the descriptions of the Marketing GameChangers 2017 contestants, written by participants, excerpted and listed alphabetically by product. To peruse the entry in its entirety, visit www.casinojournal.com/marketinggamechangers.


Actual vs Theoretical Bonusing (AvT)

Actual vs Theoretical Bonusing (AvT)

Provider: Aristocrat Technologies

Operator: Sycuan Casino, El Cajon, Calif.

Actual versus Theoretical Bonusing (AvT) is an innovative product that allows the operator to reward patrons for losing through Aristocrat Technologies’ mobile app, PlayerMax.

AvT allows an operator to award slot players who lose more money in a given day than what they should have lost theoretically. This highly customizable solution gives the operator the flexibility to customize the AvT Bonus to their business by configuring the following criteria: minimum daily theoretical loss, minimum player actual loss, maximum player award per period, reward type, free slot play in dollars or by percentage and maximum reward value.

Sycuan Casino installed AvT in January 2017, and the property uses it as intended—to trigger a reward to players when their actual loss is greater than the daily theoretical loss in slot play. This is delivered via an in-app notification through Aristocrat’s PlayerMax mobile application. By utilizing AvT, Sycuan can deliver awards to its most loyal customers to keep them returning to the property.


FULLREACH

FULLREACH

Provider: Engaged Nation

Operator: The Meadows Casino Racetrack Hotel, Washington. Pa.

The digital marketing and communications landscape is a rapidly evolving, complex topography that is challenging for many casinos to negotiate. With options ranging from social networking and gaming to digital billboards, deciding what methods, messaging and delivery systems are the most effective for driving property revenue can be confusing—and potentially expensive and ineffective.

That’s why Engaged Nation developed REACH—a suite of high-impact, holistic digital gamification engagement solutions that generate significant, measurable results. Designed by a casino operator for casino operators, REACH provides a customized, perpetual engagement experience that educates, entertains and motivates consumers and drives profitable, incremental business.

The REACH suite of digital marketing products engages, educates and entertains customers by utilizing incentivization and behavioral modification psychology. Incorporated into three, integrated digital communications products, these psychological underpinnings enable consumers to actively engage with our clients’ marketing messages by participating in games and activities. The entire system is designed to operate within a business’ existing website; this keeps digital traffic within the business’ primary online communication vehicle and helps customers engage directly with their brand. Engaged Nation strategically analyzes the client’s digital communications program and designs products to enhance its existing strategies. Customers learn about the casino, its amenities, services and promotions in a highly-targeted environment by participating in activities. Their participation is then “rewarded” with incentives that are in line with the customers’ spend/value at the property and drive them to the property location, where the process is then repeated in reverse utilizing kiosk functionality. This creates an ongoing cycle of online-to-on-property interaction that generates revenue, increases loyalty and elicits other consumer behaviors targeted to provide measurable results for key performance indicators.

The Meadows Casino utilized the entire Engaged Nation product suite over the past year, achieving startling results. The property utilized a combination of strategically timed and customized programs, including OUTREACH (for the occasional revenue boost), a six-week CAMPAIGNREACH program that featured a first-of-its-kind, online-to-on-floor promotional program that culminated with a live property event, and the FULLREACH continuous engagement system. By utilizing gamified marketing products that were integrated into the property website, e-mail, social media and property collateral, these systems created a holistic experience that engaged, entertained and educated customers, increased brand loyalty and drove significant, measurable traffic and revenue.

By integrating FULLREACH into their existing websites and mobile apps, Meadows Casino customers experienced an unmatched, interactive experience that converted digital traffic into revenue-generating property visits on a perpetual basis. Some of the topline results the FULLREACH system directly generated were:

• Over 60,000 property visits;

• Incremental visits increased by 34.8 percent;

• Net Theo increased by 38.3 percent; and

• Net ROI of 1225 percent.


Oasis Loyalty

Oasis Loyalty

Company: Aristocrat Technologies

Operator: Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Oasis Loyalty is a systems solution that allows enterprises or single sites to issue one card for a universal database. This eliminates the need for individual databases at each property.

The system includes promotion and marketing tools that allows operators to contact their patrons through the web, SMS and e-mail with marketing and promotions. This expands the enterprise to patron touch points beyond brick and mortar and encompasses both gaming and non-gaming revenue streams. To this effort, the single database also collects patron spend in retail outlets as well as the casino floor. The administrator tools are accessible through web UI and mobile platforms.

Oasis Loyalty captures gaming and non-gaming spend at an enterprise level for a holistic view of patron spend and to deliver targeted and meaningful marketing and promotion offers via direct mail, web, e-mail or SMS.

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma was managing loyalty clubs for 21 properties and travel plazas at the property level. This limited its visibility to patron loyalty across the enterprise and limited the ability to reward patrons that frequented more than one of the properties. Oasis Loyalty, installed in September 2016, allowed Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to offer their patrons one card to use across all their properties. The company has changed its processes to view the patron spend at a regional level rather than at the property level. This now enables it to conduct regional marketing promotions to leverage its complete offerings in the region to minimize revenue loss to competing entertainment options.

Oasis Loyalty not only assists in keeping patron spend within the enterprise, but also increases efficiencies through a centralized database. One card equals one database, eliminating the need to manage multiple property players’ club databases.


PlayerMax

PlayerMax

Provider: Aristocrat Technologies

Operator: Sycuan Casino, El Cajon, Calif.

PlayerMax is a native mobile application that allows players to access their players club account information as well as the property’s popular offerings, making it a simple and clear method for the operator to communicate current offers across gaming and non-gaming operations.

PlayerMax is Aristocrat’s mobile app product for operators to utilize in marketing directly through in-app messaging and mobile notifications. The native gamification engine in the app allows the operator to create their own achievement badges as a way to incentivize patronage to different areas of the business and rewarding the player for their loyalty to their enterprise. Geo-fencing and micro-location services allow operators to send targeted messages based on the patron’s location.

While the mobile industry standards show that 25 percent of mobile apps are only used once and 58 percent of app users abandon the app within 30 days, Sycuan Casino’s app users have doubled the amount they’ve accessed the app to 17.52 average sessions per user per month from 2015 thru 2016, when PlayerMax was installed.

Sycuan Casino is achieving these results by fully leveraging the app’s potential of adding value to its patrons through regular app-only promotions and giveaways. Sycuan Casino ran eight exclusive in-app giveaways in 2016 helped lower its liability by offering promotion items inventory without incurring additional expenses. The My Offers section of the app is updated twice a month, keeping the app content personalized and fresh to maintain users’ interest. This resulted in over 600,000 total views of this section in the app in 2016. This section of the app became the go to source for all its offers and gifts much like non-mobile users would depend on on-property kiosks.


Power Loyalty

Power Loyalty

Provider: Scientific Games

Operator: Sun International

Power Loyalty, the latest player rewards application from Bally Systems, extends the reach of a players club program beyond the casino operation, expanding brand exposure and increasing player loyalty, making a casino more competitive in the marketplace.

Through the use of advanced cloud-based technology, Power Loyalty allows players to earn and redeem their loyalty points at retail and F&B locations regardless of the location (within and outside of the property), giving players the freedom to use their loyalty points where and how they want, increasing point redemption and reducing quarterly/yearly point liability. With Power Loyalty, casinos and retailers can target advertising and promotions based on past redemption data, as well as gather more player-behavior data as more marketing channels are introduced.

Power Loyalty also gives retailers the ability to easily process loyalty points/comps, giving them new lines of currency, which ultimately leads to increased sales. Through a combination of a secure point-of-sale application that runs on a tablet device and an administrative web application that runs on a PC, Power Loyalty makes the transaction as easy as possible for the retailer, the player and the casino enterprise. It is not necessary for Power Loyalty to interface with the POS system. A simple Power Loyalty POS tender key can be added to the retailer’s current POS system, making it easy to account for the transactions through a “custom tender” key configuration (helpful for cross referencing transactions between the two systems). This allows retailers to access the system with minimal training and equipment.

Sun International installed Power Loyalty in October 2016, and in 83 days Sun International MVG members were reaping the benefits of the flexibility and ease of use provided by the system. As well, from a financial standpoint, the property realized that customers were redeeming points at a fast clip, thereby reducing liability and increasing play to recharge their wallets.

An astounding $4.3 million in Leisure Points were redeemed across 132 sites in 83 days. The top five redemption locations (accounting for 22 percent of total redemptions):

• Sun Smoke Lounge;

• Chico’s;

• Sun Lounge (smoking and non-smoking);

• Walk up Bar 3; and

• Walk up Bar 7.

Month over month, the redemptions through Power Loyalty increased, especially in the months of November to December, with January already outpacing the month of November, which was the first full month of the Power Loyalty deployment.


SSNAP Casino

SSNAP Casino

Provider: Social Media Gateways

Operator: Prairie Band Casino & Resort, Mayetta, Kan.

SSNAPP is the first platform that provides social intelligence, engagement automation, gamification and predictive intelligence for optimizing customer engagement in a single solution. The platform has grown beyond hospitality and gaming to work with some of the biggest brands, Fortune 100 companies and firms as an omni-channel marketing and communications solution.

Balancing the strategy to grow online communities in addition to the effort it takes to continually show ROI for social media efforts is a challenge for many brands. The Prairie Band team was seeking for better solutions to improve customer engagement and conversions from its social media and online community. With limited data available about the guests and their network of friends, the brand needed a way to have continual engaging content and activities that could be managed easily across all social media channels.

Prairie Band Casino team spent a lot of time to create engaging social media campaigns in addition to the operational and marketing costs. Also, because of the lack of a social engagement and loyalty system, Prairie Band would yield only an average of 2.5 percent conversion rates from the normal ad spend.

SSNAPP has enabled Prairie Band Casino & Resort to have a central social media engagement and loyalty solution to keep the guests constantly promoting the brand and allowing their networks of friends to organically engage. The platform gives the property the ability to automate incentives and activities based on the guest’s engagement in real-time.

SSNAPP, installed in 2015, provided the property with a social media engagement and loyalty platform that increased social media and online conversion rates, increased social media engagement through campaign automation and drove more businesses from its online community, saving the team a lot of time on campaign management tools. Since implementing SSNAPP, the property has consistently had activities for the online community. Campaigns have shown results including:

• Over 200 percent amplification rate as a result from guests referring friends;

• Engagement network reached over 1.4 million people;

• A 10 percent conversion rate (5x the industry standard) on direct mail to social campaigns;

• An additional 30 percent conversion rate of customers the brand could not reach from its social media audience; and

• Reduced the work load of creating engaging campaigns by more than 50 percent saving the brand money.

In addition, the brand is constantly getting millions of organic impressions from guests sharing the brand with their friends on social media. The brand transforms customers from social audiences and views their network of friends/connections while understanding what their interests are in real-time.


TournEvent 4.3

TournEvent 4.3

Provider: Everi

Operator: Cache Creek Casino Resort, Brooks, Calif.

TournEvent continues to revolutionize slot tournaments for both slot operators and players with the release of TournEvent 4.3. At the simple click of a mouse, operators have the ability to seamlessly switch from in-revenue gaming to out-of-revenue tournaments within seconds. TournEvent 4.3 increases operator efficiency, while eliminating operator headaches, with the updated features in scoring, reporting and round management. For players, new TournEvent game titles brings a fresh new look to a slot tournament that already promises an adrenaline-fueled adventure.

TournEvent 4.3 re-energizes the casino floor with interactive and dynamic gameplay, and the ability for operators to customize the type of tournament (individual or team), advancement type (session winners or cumulative scoring), number of rounds, tournament prizes and so much more. This ensures maximum flexibility and creative ease when setting up and promoting one-of-a-kind tournament experiences.

Easily accessible player data allows for tournament promotions tailor-made to specific player demographics. The Money Man 2.0 system upgrade—boasting updated graphics and audio-visual effects—new out-of-revenue game titles, themed bonus targets, and real-time LED leaderboards revolutionizes slot gaming and notably increases foot traffic.

Casinos operating TournEvent machines can also participate in a nationwide promotional campaign called TournEvent of Champions, which concludes with the Million Dollar Event in Las Vegas.

The Cache Creek Casino Resort has had TournEvent since 2011 and is home to the largest installation of the product with 60 units. At Cache Creek, TournEvent 4.3 automates the tournament function, eliminating the need for manual scorekeeping and the errors that can occur with a manual system. Operators have the ability to seamlessly switch from in-revenue gaming to out-of-revenue tournaments within seconds via wireless capabilities. This system provides casinos the ability to conduct promotions any day of the week with a single operator. Casinos have reported higher floor activity and increased food and beverage sales during tournaments.

TournEvent 4.3 expands on the previous versions of TournEvent used at Cache Creek through the addition of Cumulative Solo Scoring, Same Round Buy Back, Session Player Assignment Reporting, Previous Round Revert and Session End Prompt. The Cumulative Solo Scoring is a feature for operators that want to allow their players more play time each round. This scoring method allows for players to play in multiple sessions in a round, add up their scores and advance the top scores to the next round. The Same Round Buy Back options allows players to be entered multiple times in a round, replacing their score. The Previous Round Revert is a new feature allowing operators to accommodate players who missed their turn without disrupting game play. The Session Player Assignment Reporting allows operators to export PDF reports between rounds in order to capture player session assignment for the proceeding round. The days of manually blocking players into session are gone… the report can be effectively used to communicate to the players exactly which session they will play in the upcoming round.


Zero Rings

Zero Rings

Provider: Wilkin Marketing

Operator: Casino Del Sol, Tucson, Ariz.

Wilkin Marketing has developed proprietary technology called Zero Rings. This platform is utilized by the gaming community in multiple ways for the casino as well as for hotels and resorts.

Zero Rings allows for casinos to have their VIP host staff, PR staff or executive leadership team record custom and personal voicemail messages to be dropped directly to a player’s cell phones. Casinos can drop hundreds, even thousands, of voicemails in an instant, inviting players to call for more information or to book upcoming events. The system sends a signal in lieu of a phone call to the player’s cell phone, it is non-intrusive, and the players enjoy getting a personal message with an exciting offer from their favorite casino or celebrity.

Whether the message is about an upcoming casino event, concert, fight night, hotel stay offer or anything the casino wants to get immediate attention to, this is an incredibly efficient and personal way to connect with large groups of players and/or specific database segments. Additionally, thank you notes via Zero Rings to guests of the resort or attendees of VIP events are a great way to utilize the tool. Also, the response to the casino from the players who receive the Zero Rings message will come to a casino specified phone number, so each host can easily track the successes and measure the ROI.

Casino Del Sol utilized Zero Rings this year for several events and has been able to invite guests to reply and book seats at a slot tournament in April, as well as reserve spots for a special Mother’s Day event, and also offer their guests to receive free and/or discount tickets to their Oscar De La Hoya/Golden Boy Fight Night in May. All of the events were big successes due to their use of the Zero Rings tool. Specifically, the Fight Night event, which was televised live on ESPN, included a unique twist. Casino Del Sol asked Oscar De La Hoya to personally record a voicemail to be sent to their targeted players. The players received a really cool voicemail direct from Oscar within 48 hours leading up to the big night, inviting them to call in to receive their tickets. The casino was able to book 104 additional guests to the event, specifically from the utilization of the tool and realized an ROI greater than 20 percent.

Casino Del Sol has plans to utilize Zero Rings in many ways, including an upcoming Alice Cooper concert and other venues.