Omni-channel marketing strategy for casinos
Casino marketing departments need to look beyond direct mail and consider a coordinated omni-channel marketing strategy
Farewell to the years where casino marketers and operators relied solely on direct mail as their primary channel for acquisition and retention of players and resort guests.
Today more and more executives are discovering how deploying an integrated marketing automation platform can allow for the coordination and development of e-mail, SMS, targeted social media marketing and personal URLs alongside their direct mail. Such as system also helps properties reduce direct mail printing and postage costs and deliver timely complimentary marketing messages, boosting direct marketing response and measurability.
In fact, a recent Gartner Survey revealed that 98 percent of CMOs say that online and offline marketing are merging, and a savvy marketer knows that you can’t rely on a single channel to market offerings; casinos and other businesses need to deliver the right message, at the right time, on the right channel.
What drives these direct marketing messages is the data and it is unfortunate that numerous casino properties still have several disparate customer databases making it difficult to create fine-grained segmentations of players/guests. When merged, all of the information from player tracking databases, kiosk systems, casino reservations and point of sales systems can be accessed by marketing departments to create complete player profiles that can be leveraged to send out personalized offers on a timely basis; in addition to giving the property seamless data access and the ability to support automated marketing efforts.
Automated marketing solutions can be effective in the following ways:
- To welcome new players who upon sign-up receiving personalized-offers and messaging during this crucial initial stage in build loyalty;
- To greet players with personalized birthday wishes along with personalized promotions;
- To congratulate loyal players when they are upgraded in their loyalty tier, creating better player retention;
- To reactivate players who have been inactive at the property by using automated marketing strategies to send targeted messages and offers inviting them back; and
- To incentivize jackpot winners with engagement in real time, offering free rooms and other options that drive more play on the gaming floor.
Creating a unified view is not as hard as one may think. The first step is to capture a player’s digital footprint by obtaining their e-mail address, mobile telephone number or social media contacts. This can be done by:
- Asking players for contact information such as e-mail and mobile when they set up their loyalty program account, or using a “Contact Settings” area on their personalized player portal;
- Providing players with incentives for providing their e-mail address and mobile phone number;
- Sending direct mail offers that provide online redemptions for visitors that provide their mobile SMS and e-mail address; and
- Using third-party resources to obtain e-mail addresses and social media accounts.
Casino marketers can also send a direct mail offer that points players to a personalized landing page that captures their e-mail address and mobile number.
With this information, properties can now engage players with precisely targeted e-mails and SMS messaging – driving more frequent visits and offer redemptions without having the added expenses associated with direct mail.
Once a player’s digital footprint is obtained, casino operators can prime them to receive omni-channel messaging with further engagement, using relevant and personalized content that continuously gains their attention. Casino marketers will now have the ability to send triggered multi-step, multi-channel messaging to new players in loyalty programs. Sending messaging via e-mail and SMS gets these new players accustomed to receiving e-mails, which in turn results in lower unsubscribe rates, higher open rates and increased overall engagement with digital messaging.
Another way to lower postage costs is to enhance a direct mail program by adding cross-media capabilities such as online response channels. One way to do this is by generating personalized URLs (PURLs) for each player in a direct mail list—as well as inbound SMS keywords, QR codes and more—to drive visits from that direct mail piece to an online response page. Marketers can use these personalized online response pages to collect e-mail addresses and mobile phone opt-ins as well as mirror the offers shown and provide printable coupons—the possibilities are endless.
Using this technique, the casino marketer can take a player from an offline mail piece to the online world; and by capturing contact points for future e-mail and mobile messaging, enable future cost-savings.
Using a centralized marketing management system, marketers can build a centralized player engagement profile over time for each of their players which tracks the channels that they are responding to most frequently. By knowing which players respond on which channels, it is possible to optimize audiences for various outreach programs—restricting player’s messaging to the channels that generate the most responses.
To effectively make an impression and drive loyalty in today’s fragmented media environment, it is not only necessary but imperative to create and execute a coordinated omni-channel marketing strategy.
Charge on and be omni-channel—it’s easier than you think.