Casinos have an excellent understanding of the importance of players and they know that players are the life force that drives business. Players determine the failure or the success of a gambling establishment across nearly every measure or KPI that’s available to the company.
Understanding the patterns and the behaviour of people is pivotal to the success of any casino marketing strategy.
While the first move when it comes down to having a clear understanding of the behaviour of a player is to understand the lifecycle of the average casino client. This cycle can be split into three phases that are quite distinct from one another, namely acquisition, maximization, and retention. To enhance your understanding of the player lifecycle, we suggest that you follow what comes next as you’ll learn about player behaviour and how a marketing strategy is implemented in each stage.
The Player Lifecycle in Effect
The importance of players is undeniable; however, many casinos have failed due to failure to recognize player behaviour and not taking advantage of this. However, this concept might be simple in theory, but to implement an effective marketing strategy without coming across as too desperate is something that inexperienced marketing teams find difficulty in doing.
Below you’ll find the full player lifecycle and the components that establish it.
Acquiring Casino Customers
A customer learning about your brand and property is part of the acquisition phase and once this phase begins, there’s no loyalty or obligation to be loyal to your brand coming from the client. However, the fact that they’ve entered the casino or visited the site means that something that you’re doing has piqued their interest. This phase spans from the moment that they’re aware of your organization until they’ve established themselves as regular clients, which is usually after 3 visits.
The most important part of this process is when they sign up to join the loyalty club as this is where marketing strategies that power business into casinos and general brand awareness start to matter the most.
Maximizing Casino Customers
During this phase, the new client will continue to engage with your brand, more so along the lines of new and unique dimensions, along with the exploration of everything of value that’s offered by your establishment. As a casino that has different amenities, the client will explore these, either by enjoying a treatment at the spa or spending a night in one of the hotel rooms.
Furthermore, the client will also start to venture into different parts of the casino that may be new to them along with trying different games. This is a crucial part of the process as the player is deciding what appeals to them the most and will continue to come back for it. Casinos have recognized this and this is where the most marketing resources are being placed by offering a variety of promotional offers to cardholding players.
Retaining Casino Customers
The risk of the churn is marked by the coming of the retention phase which usually enters once the client has decided on what they’d like. However, the client will display different behavioural patterns at this point and this is where you’d run the risk of losing them the most as the client decides to disengage with the brand.
A classic example of this would be that the client used to visit the casino every Friday, but they had missed the last few Fridays. This is evidence that the client can’t be retained, such as if they’ve picked up more responsibility at home or if they’ve moved to another city. But there are times where you can step in and stop them from disengaging; this could be by enticing them with a better promotional offer than a competitor.
Establishing Your Marketing Plan
The cornerstone for every strategic casino marketing task has to start with a clear understanding of the player lifecycle. By developing marketing operations that are based on the aforementioned lifecycle phase of the players that you’re targeting you’ll be guided to make tactical decisions in various aspects of marketing such as spending, channelling, messaging, duration, and many more.
Why is this so Important?
Aside from the fact that a casino requires players in order to thrive and generate a profit, organizations that are affiliated with casinos are often provided with a commission that’s based on the lifecycles of the clients that are referred. This means that the duration of the client’s stay at the casino has a direct impact on the commission that the affiliates will receive. It goes without saying that the affiliate will want to promote longer life cycles from the clients that they’re sending to casinos as it’s in their best interest.
The Four Basic Elements
There are four basic elements that are used to encourage clients to have longer life cycles, these include the following:
Honesty – Tricking people won’t get you anywhere; think about how you feel when you’re baited into clicking on a YouTube video with a cool picture. Now imagine deceiving clients into visiting your site with the promise of presenting them with something that isn’t and has never been there. You’ll quickly find that they won’t be sticking around for very long once they’ve realized that they’ve been bamboozled.
Promotions – Promotional offers are a huge part of the gaming industry and for a good reason, they work. From the freshest brand on the scene to the most established, you can bank on the fact that they’ll be providing their clients with some kind of offer to entice them. This includes deposit match bonuses, free spins, and every else in between.
There are plenty of sites out there that communicate with their affiliates to establish special offers that will assist them with player conversion. Clients also prefer having a more direct line to the offer, so if you provide them with one, they’ll probably devote more time to the casino.
Tournaments – There are few things more important than tournaments when it comes to poker players and there are two kinds; online tournaments that are played online and qualifier tournaments, which are essentially tournaments that you’ll need to win before you’ll be allowed to participate in a large land-based poker tournament.
There’s a huge appeal to poker tournaments as most players would love to write the narrative to the story that sees the underdog take the win. This isn’t impossible and it happens more often than you think.
Marketing – We’ve been through the player lifecycle and there’s a lot more to it than you think. As you improve your understanding of the type of client that you have, you’ll be better equipped to align your client with affiliate advertising. This might sound complicated, but it isn’t and you’ll be able to use Google Analytics data to break down the process, and basically, you’ll be able to provide your client with advertising that interests them.
For example, the page that you have that’s dedicated to upcoming Poker Tournaments will likely attract visitors that are interested in the game. By focusing on the marketing aspect of the poker niche, you’ll be providing access to online rooms that are hosting Poker Tournaments.
Understanding the Technique
By keeping everything that’s mentioned in this segment at the back of your mind, it does seem like encouraging and understanding player lifecycles will employ the same tactic as marketing to casino clients in the first place. By gaining more experience, you’ll quickly understand how to create an online business that’s fully tracked and you’ll have a clear understanding of what would work and what wouldn’t.
There will always be room for improvement and there are advanced player lifecycle techniques such as:
Lifecycle email marketing operations – These are used with standard email marketing and they’re designed to keep your clients engaged with your brand, communicative, and most importantly, happy.
Detailed Data Analysis and Reporting – It’s imperative that you have a concrete understanding of your traffic along with the type of people that are being attracted by your marketing strategy. The better you are at doing this, the better you’ll be at retaining them as clients. By using advanced data reporting, you’ll be able to accomplish this; however, it will take a lot of time and it’s a labor-intensive task. Or you could hire someone to do the job for you.
Lifecycle Retention Software and Services – These are available at online marketing suppliers; however, they’re not cheap but will be a great investment as it will allow you to free up time that you could use to focus on other aspects of the brand. This will always be an important and valuable tool for business growth.
As you can tell, there are plenty of factors that go into establishing an effective marketing strategy and it’s also very important to have a good understanding of what your clients want. This is evident in the casino industry, as there are plenty of land-based and online casino operators that turn a blind eye to the desires of their clients.
Author: Dave Perez
Dave Perez is a casino content expert working in the industry for 5 years as a content manager, looking for the best online casino tips? follow this guy
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