News and Views

Establishing Player Loyalty Takes More Than Sending Offers Through Direct Mail

Perhaps the most important place you can concentrate your efforts to elevate your brand to the fullest extent is your Player Club. A well-positioned club can be your most powerful acquisition tool and your strongest weapon in the competitive battle ground for market share. Presenting your club as a value proposition to players and potential players is an ongoing work in progress. Balancing between loyalty strategy, acquisition strategy and strategy to maximize incremental play from your known players (at a favorable return on investment) requires a fine pointed plan with constant course correction centered with insightful analyses.

If you have been around the gaming world for any significant time you recognize that for the last ten years technology has led the charge in our industry, oftentimes sacrificing customer service and real strategic planning as well. We became so enamored with “systems” and software we tend to have lost sight of the forest for these trees.

It seems many marketers have given over to the idea that the essence of the player club is to collect data in order to rate players and send one size fits all, per tier, incentives through the mail, month in and month out. The same coupons issued to very different people with very different play patterns, different attributes and different motivations factored very often only by average daily theoretical.

But guess what – your competitors are sending very similar offers through their direct mail programs – month in and month out. This begs the question, how do you consider this strategy to be a strong foundation for loyalty?

Have you really assessed your club lately from the perspective of how it looks to players in your market versus how your competitions’ clubs look? Is your point earning frequency competitive? Is your point value competitive? What can players use points for at your casino versus the competition? How do your upper-level player perks look versus your competition? Do your outfacing tiers have an aspirational quality, or really just a different color and named card with a little more fluff? Are you hosting, gifting and incentivizing your patrons on a personal level?

Are you using the technology you have available to you as a tool in your strategy toolbox? Or are you relying on technology to do the thinking. Used right the technology available this day and age can truly set you apart from the competition. Are you stratifying your database by long term value metrics as well as daily theoretical? Do you segment by geographic regions as well as distance from property? Do you consider success a big redemption on a direct marketing initiative or do you look at return on investment for every segment you identified in your target? Do you know how free play is affecting your hold percentage? Can you determine whether or not you increased trips or decreased during any given time period for all your tiers in your direct program? Are you really measuring incremental growth?

Can you go into your data and determine what promotions, gifts and incentives above and beyond free play and hotel rooms motivate your players? Do you know what media your players respond to help in your acquisition efforts?

We know from primary market research even your best players play at other casinos. In fact 1/2 of your upper tired players play at other casinos multiple times every month, leaving tons of money on the table for you to recapture if your club is structured properly and you utilize the technology available to you to its fullest extent.

If you can’t answer all the questions above feel free to give SMP a call because we can show you how you can. Our company, SMP Communications is a gaming agency that has been involved in Casino Loyalty Program planning and strategy for over a decade. We have a successful track record with over 35 casinos and we are available to help you in your efforts to establish real loyalty through player club strategic planning.

7626 E Greenway Rd
Suite 100
Scottsdale, Arizona
Toll Free (888) 796-3342
Phone (480) 905-4100
Fax (480) 905-7110