The Promotions Magic Number

Marketers, how to stop doing the same programs over and over again

What’s the magic number?

The casino marketing magic number is 365/24/7. You market your property 24/7 for 365 days a year. Time doesn’t stop. Your casino property demands to be filled 365/24/7.

Casino marketing departments are like Lucille Ball on the conveyer belt, pushing out programs on a moving belt that goes faster and faster. Which brings me to promotions. Promotions are the “have-tos” of marketing. They have to be produced. They have to be executed. They have to produce results. Casino marketers are like chainsaw jugglers; keeping promotions flying and spinning … and you can’t afford to get it wrong.

Let’s do the time warp again

The sad reality of promotions is the unrelenting march of marketers doing the same programs over and over again. The world changes every day. Marketers can fashion promotions after the new, the unique, the exciting and the trendsetting. People crave something different. Something fresh to get them out of the house and into your casino. Yet, thousands of casinos time warp the same promotions again and again. Promotional time warp. Ghostbuster promotions. It goes on and on.

The magic code is on the Internet

New promotions keep your property fresh and give guests a reason to return. You can draw new concepts from the news, new trends and cutting-edge forms of entertainment. If you’re out of ideas, use the promotional magic number and go to the Internet.

There are thousands of casinos in hundreds of markets. The not-so-secret secret is that every casino in the universe posts promotions on their websites. You can travel the casino universe from your laptop and seek out new and unique promotional ideas while sitting in your pajamas. It’s a simple, effective research project. As a bonus, most casinos post the rules along with promotions.

Questions to ask before every promotion

When you try new promotions, how do you know they will work? Ask yourself the following questions to determine if a new promotion will be successful.

How many times have we done this promotion before?

If your answer is “frequently,” it’s time to ditch that promotion for something new. It’s a simple approach. If you are honest with yourself, you will conclude that repeated promotions just give benefits to the same guests who happen to be sitting at your slots or tables when the promotion runs.

Does it have a positive ROI?

Estimating the financial outcome of a new concept is not the easiest. You can always create a pro-forma based on how similar types of promotions performed in the past. A new idea can mirror a successful promotion from your archives. Then, take your shot.

Is it in the budget?

Your promotional budget should contain some room to experiment. If not, your budget is built for mediocrity. It’s comfortable and predictable to design the future on the past. But it makes for a stagnant strategy designed to reward the same guests the same way with the same things. By discontinuing old promotions, you will find the funds to do new.

Can we execute the promotion?

New is challenging. When you take that leap of faith, make sure that your team can execute the new concept. This generally means that you bring out the big guns, communication and training. A new idea requires building a new set of rules and processes.

Sit down with your team and develop, write, plan, budget and process something that you have not done before. Once you have your plans, the next step in new promotional execution is to develop communications for your team and for the property. Hold communication meetings within marketing. Ensure all departments touched by the promotion are communicated with and informed. Lastly, take the concept property-wide and spread the word. Hold training sessions within your department and additional departments if necessary. Communication and training are the jet fuel of new promotions. Use them or you could see a good idea fall flat.

The big red easy button

It’s a breeze to hit the easy button, submit the rules and launch that program you’ve done since Yoda was a baby. But ask yourself, are you doing your best? Baby Yoda. Hmm. Now that sounds like a new promotional concept you can use!

Tom Osiecki
Tom Osiecki 14 Articles