Digital Marketing

In his article How Real-time Marketing Technology Can Transform Your Business, Dan Woods makes an amusing comparison of the differing environments that marketers face today as compared to what their 1980s counterparts might have faced:

“Technology has changed marketing and market research into something less like golf and more like a multi-player first-person-shooter game. Crouched behind a hut, the stealthy marketers, dressed in business-casual camouflage, assess their weapons for sending outbound messages. Email campaigns, events, blogging, tweeting, PR, ebooks, white papers, apps, banner ads, Google Ad Words, social media outreach, search engine optimization. The brave marketers rise up and blast away, using weapons not to kill consumers but to attract them to their sites, to their offers, to their communities. If the weapons work, you get incoming traffic.”

Real-time stream processing is an integral part of this rapidly changing marketing environment and if casinos and IRs don’t join the real-time marketing world, they will be left behind, I have no doubt.

Successful mobile advertising requires three things—reach, purity and analytics; reach can be fostered by accessing accounts through multiple platforms like blogs, geofencing applications, OTT services, mobile apps, QR codes, push and pull services, RSS feeds, search, social media sites, and video-casting, amongst others. “Purity” refers to the message and its cleanliness; if the data is unstructured and untrustworthy it is, basically, useless and data governance is paramount for real-time advertising to work properly. The third ingredient, analytics, “involves matching users’ interests–implicit and explicit, context, preferences, network and handset conditions—to ads and promotions in real time.”

Knowing what might interest a consumer is only half the battle to making the sale and this is where customer analytics comes in. Customer analytics has evolved from simply reporting customer behavior to segmenting a customer based on his or her profitability, to predicting that profitability, to improving those predictions (because of the inclusion of new data), to actually manipulating customer behavior with target-specific promotional offers and marketing campaigns. These are the channels that real-time thrives in and this is where a casino can gain a powerful competitive advantage.

Composing the marketing message, however, is probably the easiest part of the process. In its Delivering New Levels of Personalization In Consumer Engagement, Forrester Research found that survey participants believed that personalization had the potential to increase traffic, raise customer conversion rates, and increase average order value. Surveyed marketers felt that personalization capabilities could improve a variety of business metrics, including customer retention (75%), lifetime customer value (75%), and customer conversion rates (71%).

Today, “Personalization” is becoming the optimum word in a radically different business environment and even though this personalization comes at a price—privacy—it is a price most consumers seem more than willing to pay if a recognized value is received in return. For the casino operator, “personalization” requires an investment in software analytics, but casino operators should recognize that this price must be paid because highly sophisticated consumers will soon need an exceptional casino experience to keep them from going over to a competitor. This kind of personalization also gives the casino property powerful information to build optimization models that can reduce cost and increase productivity.

These survey participants see email, call centers, corporate websites, mobile websites and physical locations (such as stadiums, sporting venues and hospitality sites) as today’s key customer interaction channels, but any future marketing efforts to reach them should be “focused on mobile websites, applications, and social media channels.” Casino operators should keep these channels in mind while devising their customer experience (CX) campaigns.

Understanding customer-specified preferences is imperative for personalization; “80% of marketing executives currently use them in some or all interaction channels. In addition, 68% of marketers personalize current customer interactions based on past customer interaction history. Other commonly used personalization methods used by nearly 60% of firms in some or all of their interaction channels are based on the time of day or day of the week of customer interactions.” Forrester Research states that the difficulties of personalization include:

  1. Continuously optimizing campaigns in response to a customer’s most recent interactions.
  2. Optimizing content or offers for each person by matching identities to available products, promotions, messages, etc.
  3. Creating a single repository containing structured and unstructured data about a consumer.
  4. Delivering content or offers to a customer’s chosen channel in real time for purposes of conversion.
  5. Analyzing all available data in real time to create a comprehensive, contextually sensitive consumer profile.

In their article Knowing What to Sell, When, and to Whom, authors V. Kumar, R. Venkatesan, and W. Reinartz showed how, by simply understanding and tweaking behavioral patterns, they could increase the hit rate for offers and promotions to consumers, which then had an immediate impact on revenue. By applying statistical models based on the work of Nobel prize-winning economist Daniel McFadden, researchers accurately predicted not only a specific person’s purchasing habits, but also the specific time of the purchase to an accuracy of 80%. Obviously, the potential to market to an individual when he or she is primed to accept the advertising is advantageous for both parties involved. By utilizing data from past campaigns and measures generated by a predictive modeling process, casino companies can track actual campaign responses versus expected campaign responses, which can often prove wildly divergent. Additionally, casino companies can generate upper and lower “control” limits that can be used to automatically alert campaign managers when a campaign is over or underperforming, letting them focus on campaigns that specifically require attention.

One of the benefits of automating campaigns is that offers based on either stated or inferred preferences of patrons can be developed. Analysis can identify which customers may be more responsive to a food/beverage offer, a room offer, and/or a free chip offer. The result: more individualized offers are sent out to the casino's patrons and, because these offers tap into a customer’s wants, desires, needs and expectations, they are more likely to be used; more offers used mean more successful campaigns, which means more money coming into the company’s coffers.

Intelligencia can help travel companies increase personalization with a powerful digital marketing platform.

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