MRI Casino Marketing Blog
Geo-Targeting Shifts Into Higher Gear


Geo-targeting is not a new term in the marketing industry; in fact, it is a term that is set to take casinos by storm in 2015. Geo-targeted or location-based marketing, uses a highly-specific message to reach a user when they are at a specific location. The beauty of geo-targeting is that the same business can now know how to better target their potential customers. For example, you wouldn't send a mobile user an advertisement for pizza delivery; just as you wouldn't tell the person who is searching from home that they could simply walk to the pizza restaurant. In short, geo-targeting helps businesses achieve better results. So, what does this mean to the casino industry and why are we sending you this article? In a nutshell, we are constantly looking ahead to emerging technologies, as we strive to design solutions that incorporate new ideas into successful casino marketing strategies.

OnStar Launches Geo-Targeting into New Heights

At the 2015 Consumer Electronics Store (CES), OnStar announced that it will be implementing a new technology to push targeted messages to the right people at exactly the right time. According to Mark Lloyd, a Consumer Online Officer for OnStar, “On the heels of our 4G LTE connectivity launch last year, OnStar will continually roll out powerful, simple ways to bring daily-relevant connected vehicle features like AtYourService to complement our foundation of safety and security technology. We will continue to innovate in ways that make our customers’ time on the road more efficient and more convenient.” In this vein, OnStar has strategically partnered with Dunkin' Donuts® to make their geo-targeting campaign an effective reality.

Scott Hudler, Vice President, Global Consumer Engagement for Dunkin’ Donuts® stated that, “We can’t think of a more exciting and targeted way to connect with our guests than when they are in their vehicles looking for a Dunkin’ Donuts® restaurant. We’ll bring value to GM drivers while driving those consumers to our stores with instant incentives.” Through their announcement, OnStar has shown the possible effectiveness of a geo-targeted advertising campaign where people on the go are requesting information and being met with advertisements that specifically meet their requests.

Connecting the Dots Between Geo-Targeting and Casinos

Prior to OnStar's AtYourService there was PlaceIQ. PlaceIQ is a data analytics operation that has literally taken cities and broken them into 100 x 100 meter tiles. In an interview with Forbes, Duncan McCall, co-founder and PlaceIQ CEO, stated that, "we have taken tens of billions of data points about location and look at them in a grid system. We analyze large amounts of location data. There is so much information created about and by location as people are standing in one spot on their phone tweeting, playing a game, or looking for something."

With these data points in mind, let's say that a consumer was searching on their phone for online casinos. Let's go on to hypothesize that this same consumer had a history of retweeting news stories relating to the gaming industry. Finally, what if the consumer happened to be located in the same city as your latest casino? A geo-targeted ad is the perfect opportunity to pounce on the potential to bring the consumer into your casino. In fact, listing your casino with a platform similar to OnStar's AtYourService or PlaceIQ is the perfect way to target consumers while they are centrally located and on the move.

Concluding Thoughts on Geo-Targeting in 2015

Reaching today's customers is all about capitalizing on the popularized idea of putting your message in the right place at the right time. Messages that are targeted to people based on where they are and where they're going will result in attracting an interested consumer, rather than a passively searching passerby. In a recent report on defining consumers via mobile use, Pew Internet reported that nearly half of all mobile internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 do most of their browsing on their mobile devices. For casinos, this means that jumping on the 'OnStar bandwagon' for geo-targeting will result in capturing new consumers while they are located at your front door. And we all know that once you have brought them through the doors, the slot machines and poker tables will do the rest.

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