MRI Casino Marketing Blog
4 Factors That Will Supercharge Your Casino Brand


Business in the digital age is inherently dynamic, and the gaming sector is leading the charge with more sources and alternatives particularly in the mobile gaming space. Social gaming options are abundant, and online gaming now reaches everywhere. The galaxy of gaming alternatives is expanding rapidly.

Casinos are competing for the limited entertainment dollar of a customer base that already has sports, music, movies, gaming and many other sources of entertainment available. For this reason, the industry must be deliberate with its marketing efforts, willing to take calculated risks and deliver on the promise to meet customers’ expectations.

The noise and competition for your players’ attention are louder than ever with this convergence of mobile and social media channels into traditional analog channels. Estimates of daily brand exposures vary widely from several hundred to several thousand daily to each consumer.

Marketers are constantly seeking ways to leverage finite resources to communicate and engage their audience. Life is loud, audacious and filled with dynamic, colorful messages that would have been sure-fire advertising winners just a decade ago. However, given a saturated customer base that has seen and heard it all by this point, rising above the wall of sound to deliver a message can be challenging.

With messages competing fiercely for the player’s attention, how do you stand out?

Our media research illustrates four important considerations:

Who is the Competition?

A crucial component of developing that unique voice, understands the nature of the competition, to best differentiate a marketing message. While casinos are certainly competing with one other, the overall entertainment dollar the average consumer is willing to spend must be a focal point as well.

Although tables, slot machines, and buffets will always be a part of the message, it’s the customer experience and the unique thrills found in a casino that needs to be relayed in a marketing strategy. Casinos offer a singular experience that makes them inherently different from any other form of entertainment. Concentrating a marketing campaign on making an emotional connection with current and potential gaming consumers will maximize ad spend and deliver the ROI that campaigns are designed to generate in the first place.

Is the message relevant to the audience?

Your audience represents segments of players who are seeking similar but not identical experiences. By understanding your target audience and their behaviors and needs, marketers can refine messages that are more compelling and deliver experiences players’ want.

Gambler segments from past research were identified with their predominant reason for visiting a casino. They include:

1.    Recognition Seekers: Most valuable, Most loyal, Service intense

2.    Escapists: Moderate value, Escaping life’s mundane, Seeking respect

3.    Reward Seekers: Low value, Deals and free stuff, Promiscuous loyalty

Using the compelling motives for these segments require a dramatically different message. Selecting a target audience is challenging, but the message can be much more focused resulting in more effective communications.

Is The Message Unique To Competitors?

When “free play” was invented and implemented it became a primary message that marketers relied upon to attract players. “Free play” became an arms race that eroded profits and created an undifferentiated messaging. Free Play wasn’t aspirational. Some brands focus on value as represented by monetary rewards. Across hundreds of gambler focus groups cash back and /or free play are the number one desired loyalty reward. It’s the minimum expectation and not a differentiating feature.

Unique messages distinguish your brand and create a position in the brains of your customers. Once your brand owns a position it is difficult, if not impossible, for a competitor to occupy that space. When Jack Binion’s Horseshoe Gaming offered limitless bets and “100X odds”, as well as dozens of other unique gaming propositions, they appealed to the aspirations of a segment of dedicated players who wanted to be part of the Horseshoe experience. The payoff for the Horseshoe was uncommon loyalty.

Is The Message Honest?

If your brand has a promise and the operators and staff deliver on that promise then the message will match the players’ expectations. This builds loyalty and avoids disappointment.

Ultimately, marketers want to convert new customers and retain existing customers by delivering compelling messages that reinforce brand love and create expectations of a memorable and repeatable experience.

Whether that voice is developed through time and repeated iterations, intensive A/B testing or in-depth research on consumer behavior, it’s important to remember that the best, most lasting brands don’t often appear overnight. They are practiced, retooled and refined over time. Building a successful, long-lived casino brand is a process that balances the risk-taking mentality needed to convey unique qualities with the deliberate, patient perspective required to establish longevity and true brand loyalty.

If you liked this article, you may also appreciate reading the following:

The Trust Factor

Why Do Some Casino Brands Succeed Where Others Fail

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