Gaming Leaders Sharing
Tips & Tidbits
Occasionally we feature articles and opinions from gaming insiders, executives and managers who face critical issues every day. We believe this helps balance theory and study with current practices in the casino world.
Our special guest for this issue is Andrew M. Klebanow, firstname.lastname@example.org. Owner of Klebanow Consulting, he previously held marketing positions at Boyd Gaming, Santa Fe Gaming and Alliance Gaming. He holds a Masters Degree from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.
Developing the Casino
Andrew M. Klebanow
This article stresses the need to develop and implement structured marketing plans. He discusses the benefits of formal planning and the challenges of developing a researched, realistic plan. An outline or framework for a casino marketing plan appears at the end.
Keywords: casino marketing plan, casino marketing, strategic marketing
Casino Marketing Evolves
The phenomenon of casino development in the United States is a fairly recent trend. Outside the jurisdictions of Nevada and Atlantic City, casinos have existed for less than a decade. The initial success of riverboat, dockside and Native American gaming operations in the early 1990s was predicated more on operating in monopolistic or oligopolistic environments than on sound marketing practices. Marketing plan development and implementation were not critical factors in the initial success of these nascent operations. Rather, operators were able to open facilities and implement a variety of marketing programs based more on individual managers' personal experiences, adapt the marketing programs of Nevada operators or to simply mimic what the competition was doing rather than develop marketing strategies and action plans based on the customers' needs and market trends. Today casinos in many jurisdictions operate in very competitive environments. As such there is now a need for casinos to develop and implement structured marketing plans. Andrew M. Klebanow
Las Vegas. Nevada
UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal • Volume 6, Issue 2
What Is a Marketing Plan?
A casino marketing plan is a working document that the gaming enterprise develops each year in order to plan its marketing and advertising activities for the next twelve months. The marketing plan first identifies trends in the market, details the practices of the competition and evaluates the property's past year marketing efforts. Based on the results of this analysis, the plan then clearly defines the property's goals and objectives for the upcoming year, the strategies it will employ to achieve them and the specific action plans that will carry out those strategies. The plan concludes with a budget to carry out those marketing activities.
What has historically passed as marketing plans in gaming operations include special events calendars, promotions calendars, direct mail schedules, marketing budgets and PowerPoint presentations delivered to senior management. These are not in themselves marketing plans. Developed in the absence of a critical evaluation of the market and without clearly delineating the property's objectives, goals and strategies, promotions and events calendars are nothing more than schedules, created so that these proceedings do not conflict with major holidays and to give the marketing staff a framework on which to plan these events.
Regrettably, many casinos use this method and plan their marketing activities without any appreciation or understanding of the market's needs, the property's goals, its marketing strategies or even what worked or failed in the past. These casinos employ such practices because that was what their managers did at other places where they worked.
Benefits of Developing A Marketing Plan
The total expenses associated with the marketing activities in a modem casino can easily exceed 20% of gaming revenue (slot...
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