The New Vanguard
However, Morley warns against making the easy choices and simply focusing on the latest trends—such as SEM: “What’s hard is going back and looking at everything from hard copy direct mail to Web seminars to inside sales and lead cultivation, and your lead contact strategy through your inside sales team, and looking at constantly improving those systems.” —IC
The Loyalty Pro
David Norton, Senior Vice President, Relationship Marketing, Harrah’s Entertainment
After time spent with MBNA and American Express, David Norton joined Harrah’s Entertainment in 1998, which is now benefiting from his focus on and understanding of the relationship between customers and marketers. “I would say that we’ve turned this into a very strong marketing company, and it’s recognized as one of the marketing leaders of any industry in the United States,” says Norton. “Our financial performance has been a great story for seven years, in terms of seeing strong sales growth for 25 quarters or so.”
Much of that success Norton attributes to a multipronged approach that relies on analytics and customer research (including testing out ideas via customer satisfaction surveys), a very close partnership with Harrah’s IT division, and input from the field. “A lot of the execution happens at the individual property level, and [we’re] making sure we have that input from the field right from the outset.” Buy-in from the bottom up, as well as top down, is crucial, according to Norton.
This balanced approach has brought year after year of profitable initiatives that have driven revenue and boosted customer loyalty. Norton is particularly pleased with Harrah’s direct marketing execution, which is a “highly segmented, closed-loop test and control process [executed] in a fairly automated way [that] allows us to be very smart, as well as very customized based on the individual’s needs.”
Harrah’s Total Rewards Loyalty Program also is running on all cylinders. Norton describes it as, “The first national loyalty program in the casino industry. [We] continue to refine it, make it better, so that about 80 percent of our gaming revenue now is tracked to a total rewards card.”