First Up: Casino Marketing
What do a quarter of all American adults more than 21 years of age have in common? According to Profile of the American Casino Gambler, a 2006 study released by Harrah's, one in four of adults visited a casino at least once that year.
In order to capture a portion of the millions of people who walk through their doors as frequent players, casino marketers maintain vast databases of customer information and target based on that data.
"If you're looking for a poster-child industry [for direct marketing], this is probably it. Casinos have great information on their customers, their customers love doing the activity and if marketed to right, the 20/80 rule - which applies to just about every business - really applies to casinos," says Dennis Conrad, president and chief strategist for Raving Consulting Co., a full-service, Reno, Nev.-based marketing company specializing in gaming organizations. Whether you are a retailer trying to drive more in-store traffic or a fundraiser testing to get the most out of an ask string, below are three direct marketing tactics that casino marketers get right, which you can apply to your direct mail strategy.
1. Drive Results With Strong Offers
An airtight offer can determine whether or not a direct mail campaign pays off or costs you. Among casino marketers, the single desired outcome of a mailer-every call to action, reward and involvement device-is to get the prospect back into the casino.
"Typically, the casinos will go by the old axiom that ‘cash is king,' meaning that they're going to give players a certain amount of free play or actual cash to get them to come back into the casino," says Jack Breslin, senior vice president of marketing for G.A. Wright Marketing, a Denver-based company with an expertise in gaming and hospitality. He's even seen some mailers go out with a sweepstakes or scratch-and-win mailing that is redeemable only when activated at the casino. "That's just a technique to get them to come in to say, ‘Under here there's a guarantee of at least $10 in free play, but it could be up to a $1,000.' What makes that a good promotion for gamers is that it has a gaming proposition inherent in it," explains Breslin, who also says that offering free overnight stays have been shown in studies to encourage return visits.