Loyalty versus Reward: What you can do to keep your customers coming back

Communicating with our patrons has always been a large part of the gaming industry.  However, now more than ever, this area is regarded as the largest opportunity for growth.  Loyalty programs have evolved considerably over the last couple of years, though the word ‘loyalty’ is somewhat ambiguous.  Our research shows that  gaming players will frequent more than one venue, sharing their wallet with your competitors.

This means that creating a loyalty program is more than just giving away a reward. The challenge in today’s game is to increase visitation from each player and ensure your venue is the number one choice.  This is where loyalty programs come into effect.

We often incentivise our most loyal patrons through points, cash and prizes based on spend. However, this alone is not the answer to loyalty – rather a way to ‘reward’ player behaviour. One of the key factors in creating loyalty is devising a marketing plan or loyalty campaign for players.  Instead of looking at one offer, we need to be focusing on changing player behaviours. Venues will not change a player’s behaviour based on one campaign.  At best, they might return with the incentivised offer of a ‘free meal’ but what happens after this?

Marketing to players has become very specific, with more venues spending less on broad-based marketing techniques and diverting efforts into direct marketing.  This style of communication must suit the needs of the recipient, not just the venue’s requirements. To make content work harder and smarter, you need to focus on strategy rather than just tactics.  Ensure you examine business objectives, target audiences and the customer touch points that matter most. Given today’s customers’ one-web experience; this could include PC, smartphone and tablet, you can give content a fresh look by considering multiple distributions and formats from the beginning. This entails employing a strategic content view, which considers all the different paths and formats possible. After an initial strategy is in place, consider the ways in which you can create multipurpose, adaptive content. The ideal scenario is that content must be created with the intent of adaptability for different use.

In order for venues to remain competitive, a consistent review of their player communication strategy should be undertaken regularly.  The amount of information at your fingertips is constantly changing, providing great insight into player behaviour.  Accessing this information will greatly assist in getting to know your customer.  Once you find the answer, the next question is – How do I use this information?

With the constant evolution of player data, venues often struggle to filter through the mass of information due to time constraints and crucial business operations. DWS specialise in analysing data, giving you the answers you need without having to spend large amounts of time digging for the answers. So next time you are discussing loyalty programs ask yourself the question,’ Am I trying to reward players or create a loyalty program?’  The difference between you and your competition may only lie in the time taken to respond.  Don’t fall behind! Give Danny Nixon-Smith a call today.

Considering your next gaming development?  Contact Danny Nixon-Smith at danny@dws.net.au or call (07) 3878 9355

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