What to Expect from Your Agency Post-COVID-19

Are they good or are they great?

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The dynamic has changed in the agency-client relationship since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With unknowns, new processes and a changing economic landscape, bringing value beyond the basic services an agency provides can separate a good agency relationship from a great one.

Most agencies provide services like media placement, creative design, public relations, web design and social media services, but since the onset of COVID-19, other support services have come to the forefront and are here to stay.

Providing Strategic Council

It should go without saying that your agency should be providing a strategy for reaching your audience, but does it stop there? How about helping to identify internal communication processes, identifying new technologies for guest communication, or identifying best practices for closing and reopening outlets or properties as a whole. Challenges aren’t always marketing-related, but great agencies have processes that can identify potential solutions to many outside-the-box concerns.

The great casino-specific agencies also have the unique viewpoint of working with many gaming partners and have developed a deep understanding of best practices that reach beyond the marketing fold. Providing council based on this knowledge can prove invaluable. Especially in challenging environments, like the one brought about by the current pandemic.

Preparing for Change and the Unknown

If COVID-19 has taught us one thing, it’s that we have to get comfortable with planning for the unknown. How do we budget for next year? How will the next variant of the virus affect visitation? How will outside economic factors affect disposable income? These are just some of the unknowns that industry leaders will have to consider.

A good agency will execute your plan to deal with the unknowns, but the great ones will get you the answers to those questions and help you develop a better plan. Whether looking for consensus among peers, conducting original research, or keeping tabs on the latest from national and local health organizations, the great agencies put themselves in a position to be a resource for you.

Determining Guest/Player Attitudes and Perceptions

With many of the uncertainties caused by the pandemic, understanding the shift in guest and player attitudes and perceptions has become a key component to developing marketing and communication strategies. Even the best plans can go awry if consideration hasn’t been given to shifts in guest perception.

Great agencies have a role to play in determining those attitudes and perceptions. Through surveys, focus groups and general market research, a great agency can pinpoint hot buttons that influence guests to behave the way you would prefer. They can extrapolate the nuances, develop a plan to address them, and execute that plan.

As a follow-up to the COVID-19 survey that reached over 40,000 active casino guests, Catalyst Marketing Company is conducting a 2022 guest perception survey. This survey will identify the current outlook related to guest habits, behaviors, preferences, marketing responsiveness and future intentions. To include your property in this year’s survey or to find out more information, please email us at hello@teamcatalyst.com. Participating properties will receive results from their guests specifically, as well as the overall survey results.

The Evolving Agency Relationship

Changes over the last two years and the challenge of the unknown going forward have created a focus on more efficiencies in marketing, operations and staffing. The agencies that embrace the role of going beyond the nuts and bolts of traditional agency work to help solve these issues will be better positioned to help you when you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask your agency for help outside the normal agency-client relationship. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results.