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Smart Casinos: Real-Time Marketing On the Casino Floor (Part 1)

May 24, 2021 | Blog

We’re excited to introduce our 5-part article series, Smart Casinos: Consumer Engagement at the Edge. Written by Les Ottolenghi, former CIO at Caesars Entertainment, Smart Casinos spans everything from real-time marketing and digital sportsbooks, to 5G wireless casino networks. With this series, gaming executives will learn how their organizations can digitally transform their operations, maintain a competitive advantage, and grow revenue, all while meeting the changing needs of digital-first patrons. In Part 1, we’re taking a look at real-time marketing, the trend transforming the casino floor.

We have entered an age of instant gratification and personalized marketing. With the expansion of the 5G network — and our increased tendency to remain glued to our smartphones — digital marketing strategies have become a requirement for modern businesses. This on-the-fly, ever-changing advertising method is often referred to as real-time marketing.

Real-time marketing is a strategy that utilizes customer data and current trends to anticipate customer needs and meet them with relevant offers. We live in a fast-paced and evolving culture where what is popular one day may be completely forgotten the next. By leveraging the power of data collection, social media, and targeted digital marketing, businesses can stay top-of-mind with customers and grow their bottom lines.

The casino industry is ready for a change, and real-time marketing can help bring this more antiquated business category into the modern world. Through the power of novel marketing techniques, casinos and other businesses can navigate their way to success in today’s environment.

The Continuous Feedback Loop

In essence, real-time marketing is built on continuous feedback loops. The idea of feedback loops has parallels in our everyday lives: home thermostats operate on a feedback loop, cooling the air as it becomes warmer and repeating this process over and over again. The human body operates on a similar loop, as it continuously regulates overheating through the process of perspiration.

These ideas can be translated into the world of real-time marketing as feedback loops can be implemented to guide customers and satisfy their needs. Geotracking is a common and effective real-time marketing method that relies on these same concepts. As patrons explore the casino floor, a proprietary smartphone app can monitor their movements and provide personalized recommendations and specials. As they approach various games and restaurant options, incentives can be offered to interact with those products or services. If they leave the casino altogether, notifications can be sent in an effort to entice them to return.

Social Listening

Another facet of real-time marketing is giving real-world relevance to your actions. These days, it is easy to feel out of the loop if you're not a regular user of social media. Services like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tik Tok have made it possible for ideas to quickly find an audience, become a trending topic, and then fade away just as quickly as they popped up. Social listening refers to the real-time marketing practice of picking up on and reacting to these trends, all before the next one takes its place.

Companies can use the idea of social listening to curate their marketing tactics. Advertisements can be formulated and released in a matter of minutes, allowing casinos to connect with potential customers about the ideas and issues that matter to them at the moment.

Sophisticated software performs this audience research for large companies and helps make the most of the large amounts of data. The data is crucial to creating a focused marketing approach, but businesses need a competent marketing team in place to translate and utilize the data properly. If wrongly interpreted, marketing efforts and dollars can go to waste. Dedicated third-party marketing teams can be effective here, since they are specially trained in crafting digital, responsive campaigns. They can often assist casinos in the formulation of impactful, real-time advertising initiatives.

As casinos modernize their operations, real-time digital marketing has become an indispensable arrow in their quiver and a business requirement. By adopting real-time methods, casinos can satisfy customer needs immediately — meeting the need for instant gratification and personalization — while giving brands greater stickiness and generating more top-line revenue.

In Part 2 of this series, How Feedback Loops Can Modernize the Casino Industry, we’ll dive deeper into how continuous feedback loops can transform floor operations and deliver personalized marketing, as well as examine how casinos can use customer data both ethically and powerfully.

Be sure to register for our June 24th webinar, The Smart Casino: Consumer Engagement at the Edge, where leaders from AT&T, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Black Fire Innovation, BankRoll Ventures and LOCH Technologies will discuss how technologies like 5G and the mobile edge are transforming the consumer gaming experience.