Celebrating 10 Years of Innovation


How “gamification” has become a powerful tool for casinos

Ten years ago, my partner, gaming visionary owner and operator Bill Paulos, and I established a new marketing concept for his casinos – gamification. Given that word was not even recognized in any dictionary before 2011, we stand proudly as digital marketing pioneers and the inventors of gamified marketing for the casino industry. It was a revolutionary concept then, and we are proud of the fact that we continue to innovate and evolve our REACH System … now in v.10.7.

As a testament to our success and innovation, we’ve been honored with many awards over the last few years as gamification takes hold, including just receiving the prestigious MarTech Breakthrough Award for Best Interactive Content Platform Globally. It is a great honor to be recognized in this way alongside such recognized leaders as Marketo, Eventbrite, GoDaddy, Salesforce, Adobe Creative Cloud and MailChimp.

Necessity Is Truly the Mother of All Invention

As I mentioned, our REACH System has really evolved since we began. But some of the greatest improvements that we’ve made were born from our direct collaboration with our clients. As is often the case, when you really listen to a client, discover their needs and goals, and work together to solve them, amazing things can happen. We live the expression “necessity is the mother of all invention” every single day.

For instance, one of our best solutions and system configurations came from a client specifically asking us to help them achieve one of their most pressing business needs – reactivating dormant guests. Another requested us to find a solution to attract sports bettors and enthusiasts to help them gain a foothold in this hot market and build a database for when sports betting would be legal in their state. Furthermore, our team building and education platform came from another client whose corporate mandate was to significantly raise performance levels of all their frontline team members, because it’s been proven that more guest-centric team members leads directly to an increase in bottom line property revenue.

Our collaborative efforts have led us to add and refine even more elements of traditional gamification to REACH that include leveling up, trophies, journeys and a passport program that drives players around to key property hotspots. And client collaboration even led to a vastly improved UI/UX that makes it even easier and more enjoyable for the end user that we’ll be revealing at G2E.

And what makes this collaboration especially effective is that we know and appreciate that property bandwidth is always limited. As such, our agency model of “We Design. You Approve. We Deliver.” allows our clients to rely on us as the experts in gamification and to do the heavy lifting when implementing REACH.

Finally, because we created REACH from an operator’s viewpoint, we look at each program as being absolutely customized to meet the client’s specific business needs. It’s never a “one size fits all” where you just slap a logo on a game and fire off an email. It’s constant engagement with guests, just like a traditional players club works to do every day. That, and listening to and working closely with our clients, is the reason we have emerged as the most innovative and results-oriented gamified marketers today!

Our Role as Educators

Gamification is really making its mark today. Yet, even with the increased level of
gamified marketing acceptance and implementation, it can still be confusing to many. This confusion makes it incumbent upon us to help our clients navigate the best path for them.

In addition to continuous engagement, we have also learned and have proven that our system is one of the best advertising and awareness campaigns that a casino can run. The players who interact with REACH come into the property already excited about what’s happening there – from restaurants to promotions to concerts and more – which gives the property a distinct advantage over their competition. It is proven to “steal” a visit that would have gone to a competing property. We also work with properties on a mission-critical marketing component – social media – with our regular use of video and constantly fresh content that we develop on behalf of our clients.

Another key collaborative truth we’ve discovered over the years is that proper segmentation is vital to financial success. And it’s not just how many segments to target and proportionally reinvest in. It’s well beyond that, as we look at other variables, such as proximity and number of monthly visits to the property, and very importantly, which segments should not be included. More is not always better, as all players are not created equal. In doing this, we focus on a profitable visit – not just driving traffic.

These just scratch the surface of what we’ve learned over the last 10 years, and we know that our commitment to the collaborative model will produce even more exciting, valuable business extensions in the years to come. To that we want to say thanks to all our clients who have worked with us to help make our system even better.

G2E and Beyond

We’re excited to formally reveal all our latest innovations at G2E this year, and you can stop by our booth #1623 to get the complete lowdown. Of course, you can expect and look forward to many more exciting innovations from Engaged Nation as we continue to deliver fully customized and immersive programs for our clients. If the first 10 years are any indication, it’s going to be a really fun ride.

Jerry Epstein