Why Waste Your Media Budget When You Don’t Have to?

Targeted Media is More Effective AND More Efficient

Sponsored by Red Circle

Ever been out fishing and realize after you got there — way out on the lake — that you brought the wrong bait for the fish you want to catch? You brought your back-trolling set up, but the walleyes are biting on simple jigs and night-crawlers. Yup, I’ve been there. Sucks. Enough to make the beer in my cooler taste flat.

The right bait for the right fish. Same principles are at work in advertising. Any advertising, including casino advertising. Sure, you can use the wrong bait and catch fish some of the time.

Here’s a photo of my dad from a year ago. We were in Canada, jigging for walleye with little minnows, my dad using a little, super-bendy walleye rod, and I don’t know how (dumb luck — my dad seems to have a lot more dumb luck than me when we are fishing), he catches a 43 inch Muskie. 8 pound monofilament line. I mean WHAT. THE. HELL.

Gary Germann, Chad’s father (pictured right) holds up a Muskie.

So it happens. Sometimes you get lucky. But advertising costs money. Money to make the ads, money to buy the media, which is supposed to lead to you MAKING MONEY when the advertising drives guests into your casino. So do you really want to rely on luck and maybe something you throw out there into the market hits a Guest on the head. By luck. And they jump in your boat by near accident?

That’s a risk, and, frankly, it’s wasteful. In today’s multi-channel, dial-up-what-you-want digital media landscape, it’s foolish to just make some ads and push them out to the market and hope. Instead of hoping, what you need to do is segment your audience according to interests, age, location, competitive market or non-competitive markets (fight zones, if you will), drive time, resort overnight, local stop-by, etc. There’s a million different way to segment your audiences. And like what you’re doing with your loyalty marketing, weigh out these different groups according to value, build a campaign calendar, set up test groups, test markets, and then with the help of a creative agency like Red Circle, build up a collection of slightly different/varied versions of your brand creative — which is a bit of an effort. But, trust me, it’s worth it. Like digging up fresh night-crawlers the night before you hit the flats on your boat that next morning.

And here’s the tricky party. The spot where you really benefit from having a sophisticated agency partner (like Red Circle). Once you have that collection of slightly different/varied creative put together, you need to organize media placement campaigns that maximize the benefit possible FROM USING THAT RIGHT BAIT FOR THE RIGHT AUDIENCE. Because — and, again, this is sorta fundamental, but it’s also tricky in advertising — you need to be fishing in the right kind of water for the fish you want, also. There’s the right bait (creative variety to match the variety of your audience), AND ALSO the right water. If you are fishing for black marlin, you won’t find those in a Minnesota (where I’m from) lake. Likewise, there are no walleye (taste so so good) in the Mediterranean Sea. You have to find the right water, the right depth, and even the right water temperature (for that depth and that bait). It’s complicated. But not nearly as complicated as media placement.

Right now I’m working on a creative campaign for a casino that’s launching some exciting new amenities (more than a year out), and building the plan for all the different audiences — interest sets, age demos, income brackets, local versus drive versus resort weekenders, etc. — and then layers that information with the different media possibilities (with all the new digital marketing tools, and the crazy targeting tools available now), and then layer in the timeline — teaser campaigns, pre-launch information-heavy campaigns, launch event campaigns, post-launch, long-term sustaining brand work — frankly it’s dizzying. I mean, the possibilities are almost endless.

But the success of the campaign is depending on the work. And the more complex our targeting, the more effective our messaging, the more efficient the campaign. And the better the yield to the bottom line. Different fish, different bodies of water, require different kinds of bait, different tackle set-ups, and different boats, even. That is, if you want to catch the fish you want to eat.

(There’s a whole section I wanted to add here about how Red Circle’s RECON software is like a fish-locator — special technology that allows you to see through the murky water and find fish more efficiently and more effectively — and this is software that only Red Circle has, blah blah blah. But this article is getting long and I can’t stop thinking about the fish in my freezer…. So we can save that fish story for another day.)

In summary, then, let me say (and not just me, but every ad agency executive you’d ask about this) the days of building one brand TV spot with one set of young and sexy models bouncing through your casino, cutting that spot up, using those same models for print — those days are over. That’s just the height of inefficiency. Makes me think of me when I was a little kid, sitting on the end of the dock, with a string in my hand, a bent paper clip on the end of my line, a piece of soda cracker on the clip. Fun, but for kinda just for kids.

Do you have any examples of a highly targeted campaign resulting in big gains? I’d love to know.

Red Circle is a Native-owned full-service marketing and technology company specializing in the casino industry. Owners of RECreON, a casino analytics software platform built by casino marketers for casino marketers.