Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Casino CMOs – 3 Mindsets to Enhance the Customer Experience Beyond the Casino Floor

As a CMO, you know that the customer experience is critical to building strong brand connections and fueling the repurchasing cycle. The same is true for casinos. 

In my research as a graduate student in integrated marketing communication at Northwestern University, I have found two articles that provide deeper insights into how technology can be used to draw in millennials and enhance the casino customer experience:

In his CasinoJournal article “Gamification's wide impact on casino marketing,” guest columnist Aron Ezra, CEO of incentive software company OfferCraft, discusses gamification strategy and how bringing game elements into all areas of casino life could have incremental benefits for both casino operations and the consumers themselves. Gamification has proven to be an effective in changing consumer behaviors across many industries, including casinos. To illustrate his point, Ezra describes real-life applications of gamification in casinos operations, describing implementations in hotel check-ins, email campaigns, and billboard advertising. As Ezra says, “Our customers (and many of our employees) are a self-selected group of people who genuinely want to be around games. Let’s give them what they want. Let’s bring game experiences to everything we do.”

The second article discusses the emergence of mobile apps as a way to enhance casino customer experience, ultimately attracting the desired millennial markets. In the CalvinAyre article, “Marcus Yoder talks using mobile apps to attract millennials” Rebecca Liggero draws from her video interview with Marcus Yoder of Gamblit Gaming, who illustrates the potential power of mobile for casinos. Yoder describes the problem that most casinos are facing with millennials, the fact that 35%of 21 to 35 year olds go to casinos, but only 2% actually wager a bet. His solution? A mobile app. However, Yoder has specific advicefor casino mobile apps: “It can’t be an app that’s all about a slot finder because the millennials don’t even care about the slot machines. It’s got to be, come play this new game that you’re already playing, like Candy Crush, on this table, on that kind of machine. Give them an experience.”

In distilling these two articles, and from my experiences in the Northwestern Medill IMC program, here are three mindsets to help refresh the casino customer experience that every casino CMO should consider.

  • Think Big – Look beyond the casino floor to enhance the customer experience in all areas of casino operations (hotel, spa, restaurants, etc.).
  • Think Games – Casino patrons love games! Be sure to give them what they came for at every possible moment.
  • Think Mobile – Use apps to give customers experiences both inside and outside the casino.

Armed with these mindsets, you’ll be primed to create a customer experience to draw in the elusive millennial and better serve your existing customers. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anna Klutho is an aspiring brand manager with an undeniable passion for marketing, communication, and big ideas. She is currently pursuing her M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, aiming to increase her knowledge in the theory, analytical skills, and most effective methodologies required to become a valuable asset to a marketing strategy department in the hospitality, entertainment, or travel industries. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter @Anna_Klutho.

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