finish marketing projects on back burner

Move those back burner marketing projects forward

With most US casino operations having been closed for three or more weeks now, you’ve probably been through extensive org chart reviews, difficult furlough decisions, and multiple calls regarding expense and revenue re-forecasts and marketing plans. You’ve most likely drilled down as far as you can in those areas for the time being.

People far smarter than me are predicting casinos will re-open somewhere between Mother’s Day and Independence Day. This presents us with time. Time to visit the daunting office TO DO list. You know the list. The one you keep tacked to your wall or stashed in your email DRAFT folder which you faithfully review with optimism every Monday but are quickly forced to shun in lieu of everyday management responsibilities of running a casino.

I’m betting somewhere on your list is assessing your current guest reinvestment strategy. We enter each month with great intentions to dig into it. Before you know it, another month or two slips by and you’re hitting revenue goals, so why tinker with it, right? Now is the time. Time to rethink everything. Time to hit the RESET button.

Let’s examine a few of those things that may be on your list, but lack of time and resources have kept on the back burner.

Using theoretical worth – net of free play, in all your reinvestment calculations.

With three plus months passing since the last set of core offers were mailed out, this change shouldn’t draw an abundance of attention, yet it positions you to be more profitable and redirect reinvestment dollars to those guests who need it.

Firm up a culture of continuous learning.

A-B testing sounds simple on the surface, but there are multiple nuances that make it difficult. Use of control groups creates another array of challenges. Because test/control elements can be hard to execute, they often fall on the cutting room floor. However, now more than ever, continuous learning is vitally important. Take this time to carve out a detailed approach to testing at your property. Start with what you’d like to learn. It may be something simple like determining if $5 or $10 offers are more profitable in the lowest segment. Or what food offers are really doing to impact player behavior. We tend to live by our calendars, so make sure a monthly test meeting is scheduled to review what was tested, the actionable results and future tests.

Overhaul the loyalty club.

Too often, this program falls into the “set it and forget it” abyss. Take this time to rethink everything, starting with the long-held belief that guest ability to earn points and convert them to free play is an untouchable staple. That, along with a daily point multiplier tier benefit is probably costing you millions in non-strategic reinvestment dollars. You can successfully make this change and not send guests fleeing for the exits. Reinvestment goes beyond rethinking point structures. When was the last time you refreshed your list of benefits? Do they stand out when compared to the competition? Is your loyalty program adding guest value away from the casino?

Granted, the refresh of a loyalty club is a 9 to 12 month undertaking when done properly. But you can use this time to build a plan and make sure you have the proper resources in place to help you along the way.

When you re-open, competition for reduced gaming budgets will be fierce. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to be dialed in on your primary marketing tools. Challenge old thinking, casting aside the fear that has kept you from making bold changes because you didn’t want to be that person who destroys the business.

Great leadership finds opportunity during crisis. Using this time to hit the reset button can set you up for success in navigating the uncertainty ahead. Let us know how we can help.

Steve Dahle