TG&H Value Add: Audit Checklist for Marketing Departments – Five steps to Control the Uncontrollable

In the gaming business there is no shortage of challenges, there is only what can be controlled and what can’t. Casino operators faced down unrelenting trials due to the pandemic, only to experience push back from high gas prices, general inflation, and economic headwinds.

Raving has created a marketing checklist to help casinos get out in front with top-line strategies when faced with increasing, uncontrollable economic pressure.

Step One: Market Analysis

Casino markets have shifted during the past two years. Now is the time to take a deep dive into your analytics to get ahead of the curve.

  • Casino Competitive Analysis
    Understand your property’s competitive position through firsthand analysis of your competitors.
  • Market Share of Wallet
    What is your property’s competitive position regarding player share of wallet?
  • Check Local and Regional Economic Trends
    How has the entire market economy changed during the past two years?
  • Market Demographics
    Have the demographics of the market shifted?
  • Geographic Population Concentrations
    Are changes in market target geographic trends affecting your property?

Step Two: Guest Analysis

Guest bases have evolved during the past few years. Take time to understand your guests and dig deep to determine fluctuations.

  • Database Valuation Analysis
    Include player segmentation, guest acquisition and retention, player attrition/churn, free play analysis, and reinvestment.
  • Player Demographic and Geographic Profiles
    Review demographic and geographic information available from database, players club, kiosks, digital media, and other sources to detect shifts in key demographics.
  • Target Market Analysis
    Have your key target markets changed? Look at vital player data with a focus on your specific target markets to analyze changes.

Step Three: Brand Analysis

What are the key market differentiators that will set your casino apart in changing markets? Listed below are research projects to help understand how guests perceive your property in changing dynamics.

  • Market Surveys
    Professionally executed market surveys to understand trends that affect future strategies.
  • On-Property Guest Surveys
    Surveying on-property guests can give you rapid feedback from users of your facilities, both rated and unrated.
  • Focus Groups
    Selected from your player base, focus groups will give you firsthand feedback about your property and service. Ensure that all levels of players are represented in the focus groups.
  • Guest Satisfaction Surveys
    Surveys focusing on levels of approval from your guests provide running measurements of your service levels that can build over time.
  • Online Research
    Real-time results can be obtained from surveys conducted digitally from your website, digital media, or social media. Easy to execute and available from numerous sources, online research is a popular source for obtaining measurable data about your company.

Step Four: Budget Review

Review all departmental budgets to increase chances to be nimble as you go into an uncertain future.

Step Five: Departmental Review

  • Advertising
    Does your branding message still carry safety messages? Confirm that your brand reflects changes from the past few years. Check to see if your messages are consistent across all channels to reflect the new normal of a post-pandemic environment.
  • Media
    Prepare your media mix to reflect digital, should budget cuts in traditional media become a reality. Gear up media outlets that are trackable and mix with social media. Does your media spend track with the current realities of your geographic and demographic mixes?
  • Public Relations
    Your public relations posture should be focused on giving back to the community as economic conditions affect markets. Positive additions made in team member programs should be reflected in public relations to assist hiring in a tough environment.
  • Database
    Now is the time to take a deep dive into your database to anticipate shifts in revenue from all tiers. After two years of remarkable swings in databases, complete a cost-benefit analysis of your database expenses. Review free play patterns to ensure up-to-date applications and avoid carrying outdated offer levels.
  • Promotions
    For the best results in a new environment, build a promotional calendar that targets gamers. Review the promotional calendar to certify that you are not carrying outdated or underperforming promotions as you go forward. Learn the lessons of the past two years and strive to produce promotional programs that are increasingly efficient. Review your promotional and comp pro formas and post formas to determine how changes will be applied if economic pressure is encountered.
  • Player Development
    Perform an ROI and benefit analysis for player development programs to know that recent changes are on solid profitability ground going forward.
  • Loyalty Club
    Review your players club to determine if club rewards and strategies are driving incremental, profitable revenues by increasing guest loyalty. Review each loyalty club tier offer redemption and investment rates.
  • Entertainment and Special Events
    Guarantee that ongoing entertainment and special events are targeting profitability as you face changing market conditions. Create a special events calendar that is gaming focused.

In Summary: Control What you Can

The five steps above can get ahead of changes and help perform adjustments before issues hit again. Knowing your market will keep you aware of your surroundings. Knowing your changing guest base will ensure you build programs with demographic insight. Reviewing the profitability for your existing programs will give you a base to build on when changes arrive, and budget analysis will show where you can apply resources. Knowing your niche in the market can help you apply the right strategies using your best advantages.

Tom Osiecki 20 Articles