Leading Trends for a Relevant Casino Marketing Plan

Hint: Bigger is Not Better

I’m guilty.

I’m sure many of you are guilty too.

Guilty of working with marketing teams for untold hours to produce marketing plans that are hundreds of pages long.

Everyone worked late. The team placed correlated pages into huge presentation binders in an ordered line on the conference room table. Copy machines overheated. Pizza was consumed.

A companion PowerPoint was created.

The result was an enormous, well thought out document, beautifully illustrated.

The presentation was flawless.

And, not a single person referred to the plan again … until next year.

Sound familiar?

Join the movement to create comprehensive marketing plans for the short attention span, digital age.

A concise marketing plan delivers a solid strategic thinking process, with goals benchmarked throughout the year to track revenue streams and departmental progress. All in a format that gets right to the point.

That’s right … a marketing plan that you can use.

First things first:

Remove old material jammed into the plan year after year, with slight updates. This includes old demographic studies, repeated market analysis, outdated market studies, promotional photos, articles, maps and repetitious market research.

Start clean, be brief, with relevant information only.

Let’s start with the core plan elements.

1. Where is your property now and where is it going?

Situation Analysis – In the Situation Analysis, use your market knowledge to show where your property fits and how your strategy will take it forward.

Describe the market situation. What is the current state of the market and where does your property stand? Are there changes in the market? Is new competition on the way? Are you mired in a mature market looking for a way to stretch market share? Are you introducing a new product into the market?

State how your marketing strategy performed in the past year and how it will redirect next year’s strategy.

SWOT Analysis – Use a SWOT analysis to demonstrate the thinking behind your future strategies.

A SWOT analysis is a proven method of revealing the market and your property’s standing by examining Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This is the best opportunity for you to direct key company leadership in a session that generates true collaboration and buy-in.

Competitive Analysis – One of the best predictors of the future is how your competition acted in the recent past.

Tracking promotional programs and understanding the competition’s public offers is a necessary first step. Your property should be conducting competitive shops to understand the competition’s direct marketing offers, entertainment plans, special events, digital, and social media programs. A fair share market analysis will also show your exact position in the market.

Customer Analysis – Analysis of players and changes in year over year revenue behavior will focus strategies on guests who produce the best return on investment.

Whether you’re a high volume major resort or a heavy repeat local property, understanding your customer is an important step. Review your database to define player demographics and geographic origins. Use database analysis to understand changes in revenue sources by player segmentation, theo, frequency, etc. Review your non-rated player percentage.

2. Objectives and Strategies Using Benchmark Timing

The trend towards digital age marketing plans focuses on quantitative benchmark attainment models. As discussed above, keep the traditional strategic thinking up front in your plan. A benchmark attainment marketing plan assigns trackable goals for all revenue streams, channels and marketing departments. The goals become the focus of condensed departmental action plans.

Spread the goals and benchmarks over four quarters and hold quarterly reviews with each department head to ensure your plan is on track and successful. Keep track of what works and what does not work to review for next year.

Objectives and Strategies – Every marketing plan starts with meeting the financial goals for revenue and expenses set by the company. You will also be asked to meet operational goals and standards such as player sign-ups, player retention, sales department goals, digital and social media lead conversion, etc.

Remember to compensate for seasonality when spreading your departmental goals, based on property history.

Executive Summary Strategies – The first segment of your marketing plan is the last section you create. It is a culmination of your strategic planning.

By using benchmark attainment, your marketing strategies are based on quantitative, trackable, measurable performance standards. These strategies are then based on achievable goals spread over each departmental function.

3. Departmental Action Plans

Once established, a marketing leader using attainment benchmarks can track the progress of each department every quarter.

Assign each department benchmark goals distributed over four quarters. Goals can be financial and operational. Examples are reducing database churn by x%, increase top tier visits by x%, expand sales revenue by x%, and grow hotel occupancy by x%.

This quantitative method of benchmarking will set standards in each department that will help make quarterly reviews and annual team member performance reviews relevant.

The ability to track progress using benchmarks will give you the tools to respond to issues quarterly, and catch and react to changes early.

Putting it all together 1-2-3

The best advice for a benchmark marketing plan is to pay particular attention to customer engagement targets and sharpen your focus on the guest. By using the three-part benchmark process, marketing departments can provide casino companies with succinct marketing plans that remove the unnecessary noise of large, oversize documents.

By basing marketing plans on benchmarked financial and operational goals, digital age marketing departments can be clear and to the point when contributing to the company business plan.

Your marketing team and copy machine will thank you.

Tom Osiecki 28 Articles