A solid marketing strategy unveils a path to success because it identifies where you want to end up. It differs from your marketing plan, which is the collection of steps you will take on the path and the tools you’ll need to get further.

There are five casino marketing strategies any business, large or small, can adopt.

Database Marketing
Like any other businesses, casinos compete for the disposable dollars of adults, specifically disposable dollars that adult may choose to use for entertainment. Casino marketers are asking for a not-so-insignificant part of that entertainment budget. While a trip to the movies with popcorn and soda could easily top $50 for two people, casinos are looking for that spend from one adult. So, how they identify, and target is worth a look. In my opinion, few companies leverage a database quite like a casino. They have been collecting information about customers for years and are now able to leverage that information to determine who the most valuable customers are today and will be tomorrow. They have learned to understand the triggers that drive visits during targeted times. And, given the explosion of technology, they continue to use snail mail in successful ways. You can do this too! CRM and sales tools about from free starters great for small businesses to rock star business intelligence tools.

Today’s casino host is part salesperson, part customer service representative. The primary functions of the casino host are to create experiences for high worth customers by providing the complimentary perks that make their visit truly personal. At the core of this function is the understanding that casino customers – indeed all of us – want the businesses we patronize to know who we are and what we like. Years ago, I dropped a dress off to my usual dry cleaner. I walked in and place my dress on the counter as usual. The young lady behind the counter greeted me and proceeded to complete my ticket and letting me know when my dress would be ready. Notice anything? She didn’t ask for my name. She knew it even though I barely stopped there every one or two months. To this day, that little moment is still memorable.

A Chance to Win
Ever wonder what makes people buy lottery tickets when the odds are stacked against them? Psychologists will tell you that our brains can’t really compute probabilities that are that high. They might also argue we mere humans fall into a trap of “near miss”, in other words, “If I was that close this time, I could be the winner next time.” But what about freebies? Whether it be free or a gamble, people want a chance to win something. Casinos understand this and build calendars of events that use drawings, free spins and tournaments to create multiple chances to win.

(Free play isn’t allowed in Australia but it is a standard tool in USA casinos)

Anyone with a dollar to spend wants to feel they are getting something of value for that dollar. Casinos understand pricing and value like few other businesses. Thousands of focus groups have repeated the same feeling. Gamblers know the odds of winning are not in their favour, but the want to be able to play for enough time with the budget they have. That’s how they interpret value on the casino floor. Additionally, casinos price certain food venues to appeal to that need for value. Value is not a dollar amount; it is the relationship to your customer’s wallet. So, as you look at your offerings and customer experience, think about those moments you add value and where you take it away. Sometimes, something as easy as using a POS system that easily emails a receipt can add value to a checkout.

Let’s be honest, when casinos came to the area, many looked forward to the fun and excitement. Few really believed the operations would enhance the community. At the last company I worked for, employees performed over 14,000 hours of community service in only one year. Perform a simple search on the American Gaming Association site and you’ll see example on top of example of how the communities were enriched by the hard work of casino employees. Get involved. There are too many needs and I bet given the opportunity, your employees would love to get involved.

As a marketer, I constantly look to all industries for examples of best practices. These are the five casino marketing strategies that can easily be adopted by you.