We are lucky in the casino industry to have access to piles of data about our players. In spite of the available data, many properties rely almost exclusively on player value data generated through our gaming systems. However, ADT or ADW may not be the most reliable measurement to predict value accurately.
By focusing on player value alone are we missing opportunities to leverage other key metrics to increase player reward outcomes? During a lively discussion with a group of industry experts, I believe the answer is “yes.”
According to Michael Minnear, VP of Pechanga Resort Casino; Steve Browne, Raving Senior Partner; and Heidi Hamers, Mill Lacs Corporate Ventures; we can drive additional trips by considering five other key metrics. Additionally, and most interestingly, they arrived at this conclusion from very different perspectives. Michael, as a data scientist with an outside-the-industry perspective; Steve Browne, lives it and breathes it as a PD expert, operator and former casino owner; and Heidi Hamers, as a data analyst and marketing expert.
Here are the five additional metrics to consider:
Predicting worth is very difficult, if not impossible, especially when evaluating only one trip. Most databases are full of low-trip frequency players and although trips are considered in player evaluation, typically they are used to exclude players from receiving an offer rather than using it as an opportunity to entice additional play. According to Hamers, “Recent behavior is often a good indicator of future performance. Players who made a recent trip are also more responsive to quick response offers.” This creates an opportunity for properties to develop quick bounce back incentives.
The next step is to uncover why people make a trip in the first place. By understanding the motivation behind the trip, marketers can customize offers based on the individual player. Is the trip for gaming, entertainment, dining or a special occasion? This information can help us to understand the one trip and overnight player better.
According to Browne, “Instead of changing this behavior, we can begin to market to preference; therefore, actually giving the player what they want out of their gaming experience.” Additionally, he says, “We can use this information as a tool for player development.”
#2 – LOSS TOLERANCE & CLUSTERING
We all know our players have an amount of money they are willing to spend or lose during a trip. By understanding the wallet elasticity or loss tolerance, we can begin to recognize and reward players for their unique playing habits, which means an increase in play-per-trip.
By using a loss tolerance scale, we can begin to build reinvestment models delivered to a player while they are on property. For example: A players’ experience depends on whether the game is working for or against them. According to Minnear, “This means we must begin to factor game volatility into a player’s experience.” He goes on to say, “You can improve loss tolerance through trigger technology or finding ways to recognize and reward players while they are experiencing the loss.”
Once we begin to understand trips and potential trips – along with the driving factor for a trip – we can start to further dig into demographics.
As you begin to consider lifestyle factors along with the driving factor for the trip, you begin to get a more complete picture of the customer. As a marketer, this can allow you to differentiate your offers from the competition.
If you have worked the floor, you quickly discover the guests who influence the “regulars.” They are in charge of the self-imposed complaint committee. They are the ones who either advocate for the property or sway players to mutiny to another location. Once we identify the value of these individuals, we can prevent a rating that could send a group of players down the road.
A more straightforward way to consider relationship/influencer is to begin to link players with their “visit partner.” For example: Find a way to value the wife who is an average table games player, but her husband loves your maximum bet penny games. If statistically, the wife is the primary influencer of a trip, we may want to consider creating a more enticing offer for her. (Just saying.)
#5 TOTAL WORTH
Evaluating a player’s total worth must be a consideration to ensure we aren’t missing something. Although it may not change the investment in the player, it could allow us to significantly improve the personalization of the offer, which enhances engagement and potentially increases visits. This can also help us maximize low hotel occupancy days or drive retail revenue to entertainment and dining venues. Basically, we can have it all if we take the time to create a more complete player model.
Luck really has little to do with driving additional play in today’s competitive market. Properties who understand their product and data will improve revenues. One warning: don’t get lost in the numbers. Remember, we are talking about real people. How we communicate the offer is just as important as the offer itself. The magic happens when we can deliver the right offer at the right time. And a little luck can’t hurt.
This article was originally published in the January 2019 issue of Casino Journal.