What to do after the honeymoon phased has waned
After two weeks open and being treated to record numbers, many properties are starting to see some normalization as pent up demand has passed its peak and competition is kicking back in. Beyond demand, a number of contributing factors even boosted openings beyond expectations for some. The first to market had the advantage being the only game in town. But, as the honeymoon phase has waned, now is a good time to take a breath and begin to look towards what’s next.
The initial wave of reopening success has seen an abnormal mix of business with a younger demographic weighing in heavily over the first weeks. With 65+ gamers making up a good portion of the typical player base, there could be a second wave of good fortune waiting in the wings. For the older players that just aren’t comfortable visiting a casino yet, there is another level of demand that can spring loose once they feel comfortable reengaging with casinos.
From a straight marketing perspective, many properties have laid off full blown advertising campaigns during the opening stretch. Reasons for this vary from budgeting, to concern over public backlash on messaging, to some even predicting that they would be busy and it wouldn’t be necessary. Now that we have a few weeks under our belts and we can see where the trend is headed, we thought we’d share a couple of tactics to focus on over the next few months to help you capture your share of the revenues.
1. Protect your Players
It may sound obvious, but this goes deeper than sending an aggressive database offer. Utilize addressable geofencing to specifically target your most valuable players. Segregate your lists to pinpoint VIP’s to highlight your top players and stay in front of them. Use digital reinforcement to compliment that regular database offer to keep top of mind.
2. Stay Local
According to our own research as well as MMGY Travel Intelligence, half of travelers are expected to book travel in the next three months, but two thirds of that group will only travel by car. By using player data to target local players, you can ensure efficient use of your budget by not targeting those that may not be willing to travel in the short term. With the virus still active and many communities concerned, these targeting tactics can help keep the volume of advertising from creating a perception that you are operating business as normal. That doesn’t mean you can’t go after out of town guests for your hotel. Just keep your eyes set on those within driving distance.
3. Follow Live Sports
As more live sports come back online, there may be an opportunity to reach a wider audience than normal since there has also been pent up demand for sports viewers. The cost at least initially should remain low by comparison, so don’t be afraid to be the first in on broadcast sports.
Overall, the best thing is to do, as always, is to be smart with your tactics. Avoid wastefulness with your budget and be ready to react to the ebb and flow of the market.
Watch a video interview with Mark Astone and Tom Osiecki on marketing strategies during and after reopening and what trends to watch for.