7 Ways to Blow Up Casino Marketing

As we move out of a paper world and into a digital world, you are reviewing your entire approach to Casino Marketing.

You’re not?

Do you go home, throw away the physical mail, and look at your phone all evening? Of course you do. And that is why we have to review our entire approach.

Our industry needs to move away from the mass distribution of glossy pieces. And I am not talking about switching from direct physical mail to direct email. I am suggesting that we turn everything on it’s head.

First, let’s get on the same page re: what happens today.

When we pour money into billboards, radio ads, and sponsoring local events, we are doing  Saturation marketing. We hope to catch the attention of everyone in those zip codes but of course, not everyone is going to care AND we cannot measure the response.

If I ruled the world, I would leave a two billboards on the Interstate to catch the passers-by who need a rest-stop, and invest 90% of the rest into targeted ads on Facebook. Your casino is in a fixed spot and does not move around. So you can use targeted ads on Facebook to promote your property, amenities, and events to the right demographics in the right locations. Instead of relying on someone looking at the mailer to see your Double Down Tuesday, run an online ad on Monday and Tuesday.

And the missing 10%? You know how you look at picture of some shoes, and then an ad for those shows follows you around as you go to other websites? Imagine investing in that technology so if someone clicks on your Steakhouse, then your restaurant follows them around as they look for alternatives.

When we pump out a physical mail piece (your Monthly Mailer) we are doing Targeted Marketing. We are sending  30,000+ glossy mailers to a segmented list using worth, market, demographic, recency. Yes, we are helping the United States Post Office but 55% of our mailers end up in the same place as the offer for a new credit card. There is a lot of talk about how to attract millennials into our Casinos but using physical mail is a real turn-off because that demographic don’t like to see waste. (Pechanga is getting some great publicity for donating their half-used toilet rolls!)

BTW, direct email is not the answer to direct print because, let’s face it, you don’t read those either, do you?

If I ruled the world, I would only send a postcard, on recycled paper, with the dollar amount of their offers in large print. And it would look exactly the same every month but on a different colored card. People will keep this because it looks like money and because they have the excuse to go to the casino and ‘not waste it’.

Think about how upset we get when it is revealed that a charity gives 5% of our money to the children in need, and burns through 95% on advertising, marketing, and staff. Take a hard look at your Marketing budget. What % ends up with the guest in their offer, and what % is used for ‘communication’? How could you shift some money over into the actual offer and upset your competition?

Your multi-million dollar investments in Advertising and Direct Mail, buys you a very large, slow moving, fishing boat using large nets to try to catch fish; both large and very small.

By comparison, your somewhat meager investment of 500K in Player Development, is like fly-fishing with a rod. If they take a Strategic Approach, your PD team will watch, target, and pick off the big fish.

Having a PD team is based on the premise that the highest worth gamers deserve personal attention and 1:1 marketing techniques.


We don’t give the PD team the tools and the budget to do 1:1 marketing. We expect them to use their cell phone, and waste time at the laser printer with form letters.

Ideally, the PD team would have a CRM, (so they can segment their players) that is hooked up to your vendor for print and email. Or hooked up to a vendor so the coded player automatically receives a personalized birthday gift from their Host, or a box of cookies at Thanksgiving. All handled automatically… with a text to the Host that let’s them know the gift has been delivered, so they can call and bask in the glory.

I suggest you consider asking someone on the Direct Marketing team to take a look at the coded players and come up with segmentation, with business rules for ‘when to send what kind of gift to which kind of player’, and burn some dollars on those best players.

Many of you are building very large Player Development teams, with as many as 20 Hosts, in an effort to go deeper into the Club and build a relationship with more players. I think that’s great! But invest in an approach, and some tools, in addition to adding bodies.

And, to truly go ‘deeper into the Club’, you have to go deeper into the phone. Everyone is carrying a phone. It is now a fact and not  a question. So how do you use the phone to attract, track, motivate, and retain, your customers?

This is why I was so excited to read about the Mobile Experience & Engagement Training (MEET) Day that has been added to the Casino Marketing & Technology Conference.  Take a look at these topics around using the phone to improve the casino player, guest and employee experience.

In conclusion!

  1. Take a hard look at your Marketing budget. Don’t be that greedy charity that burns 95%!
  2. Keep two billboards on the Interstate that emphasize your good food and clean restrooms.
  3. Move your advertising budget into Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Youtube, and techniques that follow the surfer around after they have clicked on you.
  4. Dump the expensive physical mailer in favor of a simple (recycled) postcard that has a $ amount in large letters.
  5. Treat your coded players as a ‘database inside a database’ and give some direct marketing tools to your PD team.
  6. Go deeper into the phone. Everyone’s attention is on their phone, and you want to be literally ‘in their face’. Attend MEET in July.
  7. Drink the kool-aid about getting attention by watching Gary Vaynerchuk.  Here’s an intro to Gary Vee. . Put up with the profanity and listen to the end.

Finally, be brave. Be audacious.


And if you enjoyed this, then take a look at How Do We Transform the Gaming Industry, Gary Vee?

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