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Integrating Your Loyalty Club and Player Development Function

Loyalty and Player Development at Casinos - Steve Browne at Loyalty Player Development Conference

Why this is critical to your casino’s growth

It’s not rocket science. No, it’s not. Nor is it a rocket ship.

It is not a cure for disease, or a solution to global warming. It is not the latest whiz-bang technological gizmo, 24G web speed, nor an electric car with a 1,000-mile range.

No, it is nothing that amazing, revolutionary or evolutionary. It is really pretty fundamental, pretty simple, and, well, pretty common-sensical. And if that’s true, then why has no one really done it yet?

You see, I am talking about combining two of the most elemental and critical parts of your overall database and loyalty marketing engine, the loyalty (née players) club and the casino player development function.

“What?!” you exclaim wildly, “They are not already combined?”

Not at all. And, as a matter of fact, there are still properties where they do not even report to the same person, or exist in the same department, or even communicate on a regular basis. And yet they are the entire foundation, the very engine, that drives all your marketing efforts (not to mention your sales efforts, basic accounting and audit functions, and just about everything else that speaks to data and your business).

“And why is that?” you ask incredulously. “Why aren’t my marketing, loyalty, reward and player development functions all integrated and running under the same umbrella?”

“Well,” we reply, “we don’t really know. That’s just the way it is, the way we’ve always done it.”

But now it is time for a change, maybe not as evolutionary as some of the aforementioned items, such as a 1,000-mile range electric car, but change we must, for it is long overdue.

For far too long our casino marketing efforts have been fractured along player-worth lines. We have different programs for different value levels, and we often overlap these programs in ways that are not only inefficient, but downright wasteful and confusing to the intended recipients, our players. We need to get on the same page, get integrated and coordinated under one model that doesn’t try to do everything for everybody, but rather applies strategies and properly coordinated programs specific to the different types of players we host in our properties.

Here at Raving we think that starts with bringing your loyalty club (and all its operations and output) and your casino player development function into one seamless entity.

You see, your loyalty program really performs two functions. First, it is the fundamental and basic engine that drives all of your data collection and efforts around the data you collect for your business. Secondly, it is also the marketing tactic you use to market to both low and mid-value players through the use of points, tiers, and direct mail programs (as well as the primary vehicle you use to reinvest in players).

Your player development function on the other hand is focused on one task only, which is to use the data generated by the loyalty club to provide a personal one-on-one sales effort aimed at your high-value players. Moreover, it should provide all marketing efforts aimed at your high-value players, since they do not want to be marketed to like the masses in the lower segments.

Perhaps that is why they have always been considered separate entities, connected only by the data that they share when performing their respective tasks. However, when you unite the two, you overcome several inefficiencies in your marketing efforts and gain several powerful advantages.

Here are some examples of which I speak:

  • Better coordinate and execute the different tactics aimed at different valued players while avoiding overlap, rewards layering, and the subsequent over-reinvestment in your players.
  • Reach farther into your database of mid-value players with effective player development techniques once reserved only for the highest of value players, thereby unleashing several pockets of excess value currently lying dormant in your database.
  • Free your executive hosts from being overwhelmed with minor guest service and comp writing duties so that they can focus on their true job of selling to high-value players.
  • Develop a true career path for player development and marketing team members that runs from the loyalty club all the way up through the highest levels of player development and your Marketing Department.
  • Create a stronger, more varied and interesting job function for your loyalty club team members, many of whom are currently languishing behind the counter overcome with repetitive tasks and job boredom.
  • Provide more effective and powerful training programs across the entire scope of the department, so that from the moment a player joins the club, through their journey to a high-value level, they only encounter highly motivated, engaged and well-trained professionals dedicated to selling your gaming experience in the best possible way.

Sound good? Let me reiterate that the first two bullet points above speak to the very significant activities of saving money (over-reinvestment from reward layering) and making more money (using powerful player development techniques in an affordable manner with lower value player segments where you are currently leaving a lot of money on the table).

If you want to know more, then check out Raving’s upcoming Loyalty and Player Development Conference, July 22-23, this summer in Las Vegas, where we will present this new model of a combined loyalty club/player development model, along with several sessions dedicated to coming up with the ideas and tactics necessary to make it work and achieve the deliverables as listed previously.

Right now, many properties, faced with a dwindling need for a cashier’s cage due to the increasing use of automated kiosks, think it’s a good idea to combine loyalty (players club) and Cashier Cage functions behind one counter. We STRONGLY disagree and suggest that there is a better way. One we are working hard to develop. So, get to the conference in July and check it out.

It’s going to be an exciting conversation, there will be lots to learn, and I hope to see you there.

Steve Browne

Steve Browne