Rolling the Dice Selling to the Casino Industry

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by Greg Cholmondeley, Workflow Practice Director, PODi and Caslon & Company

Mike ChiricuzioCasinos are a niche industry but they have money and they understand the value of direct marketing so they can be incredibly lucrative for marketing services providers. The problem is that everybody realizes this so you need to have the right skills and industry understanding in order to win. Mike Chiricuzio has been successfully selling direct marketing solutions to the casino industry for years, and is willing to share some insights.

First, this industry, more than probably any other, understands the value of customer data, has the ability to collect it, and already extensively uses it. Personally, I miss the feel and sound of coins clattering through slot machines, but if you’ve been in a casino recently, you’ll know that pretty much everything runs on magnetic cards. Sure, this makes it easier and more convenient for patrons to play, but the real winners are the casinos which know exactly where you are, what you’re doing, when you’re doing it, and how much you’re spending. Casinos know who you are within minutes of checking into a casino hotel, or playing your first slot and, if you’re a major player, are already on their way to enhance your stay. But even if you aren’t a gambling whale, they’re still tracking your casino experience and preferences to use in their direct marketing campaigns to get you to return sooner and spend more.

You see, unlike most other industries which care about customer loyalty but thrive on individual transactions, casinos really make their money on each and every customer. Any given customer transaction may be a win or a loss – but keep the casino customer coming and playing and the casino is always going to win. This is a fundamental difference between this and most every other industry, and it is just one of the things marketing solutions providers need to comprehend before approaching it.

Casinos are much more heavily invested than other industries in keeping their customers, driving them increase the number and duration of their stays, and getting them to return more frequently. Sure, they want to attract new customers, but the payoff of loyalty is far greater here than in other industries – plus they have the data to make it happen.

Think about the data they have at their fingertips. They know:

  • Your visit frequency
  • Your room and meal preferences
  • Your gaming and entertainment preferences
  • Your betting amounts
  • The stores you frequent and items you purchase
  • Even the servers you tip the most

Savvy marketers can use this to craft personalized communications which include offers for the games and monetary scale of the recipient. They can include imagery and messaging highlighting the facilities guests like to use. They can even include imagery including people resembling the appearance of preferred servers. This is powerful information that most industries just don’t have about their clients.

To win in this market you need to know who to talk to, how to reach them, what to say, and, above all, have a compelling message about what you can do which no one else can to help them meet their business objectives. You’ll never get across the threshold of the VP of Marketing, the General Manager or the CEO’s office if you don’t know the terminology or if you raise your eyebrows when they use terms like “talent” when talking about their staff. And you won’t get high-margin marketing services work if you don’t have an innovative answer on how to retain casino customers and how to grow their value. There are just too many others who are already trying to shoehorn their generic marketing solutions into this niche industry using buzzwords and prepared talk tracks.

Like I said, Mike has been successfully doing this for a long time and has prepared a 4-week course to help prepare marketing services providers sell to this industry. Some students will learn how to fine-tune their messaging, while others will discover which skills they need to bolster to succeed. Some might even discover that the skills gap they need to cross is just too broad for them to succeed. All of these lessons cans save, and possibly deliver, a lot of money for companies seriously considering approaching this industry.

Mike’s course, Selling and Delivering Customer Retention Solutions to the Casino Market, runs October 7, 14, 21, 28th at 1:00 pm U.S. Eastern Time. You can go to for more information and to register.

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