Post Pandemic Digital Trends for Casinos

5 Digital Marketing Trends for Casinos in a Post Pandemic World 

The past 18 months have been difficult for the travel industry to say the least. Resort casinos have been no exception, with U.S. casino revenue decreasing by $13 billion in 2020 (American Gaming Association). 

Beyond the pandemic’s financial impact, months of lockdown and restrictions have changed the way audiences engage with media. Data usage is up 44% year-over-year and the average person now spends a whopping 145 minutes per day on social media (Statistica). This means that the time for you to take your digital marketing efforts to the next level is now. 

We recently had the opportunity to lead a panel discussion at the 2021 Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Convention (NIGA) with marketing directors from three of our favorite clients:  Agua Caliente Casinos, Coeur d’Alene Casino and Inn of the Mountain Gods where we presented 5 Digital Trends that every casino marketing department must embrace in a post pandemic world.

5 Digital Marketing Trends to Embrace

01. MORE DIGITAL

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

The best restaurants rarely use special ingredients that others don’t have access to. They create a better mix of ingredients and innovative methods of preparing them. The same is true for marketing budgets. Your mission is to find the best mix of channels and tactics to maximize your ROI.

Start by investing more in digital. Most casinos under-invest. This is your opportunity to gain market share.

In the travel industry, digital represents 45% of the typical ad budget and is expected to increase by 15% in 2021.

Travel Industry Digital Ad Spending in the US 2017-2021

WHAT TO DO

Set a target and start moving towards it. For a typical resort casino, we recommend a starting point of 25-30%. This is lower than the travel industry average, but still a large jump for most properties. If you can’t get there immediately, set a goal to shift incremental funds to digital each quarter.

02. MORE AGILITY

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

Most organizations create an annual marketing plan based on business goals and historical data. This becomes outdated very quickly. The world is changing too rapidly. With an annual plan, you risk either not adapting to your environment by sticking with the plan, or disregarding your plan entirely and reacting to every trend whether it’s important or not.

WHAT TO DO

Consider adopting agile marketing practices. This involves setting quarterly roadmaps in support of your annual plan and using a Kanban board to constantly evaluate and prioritize your work. A great book on this approach is “Hacking Marketing” by Scott Brinker.

03. MAXIMIZE YOUR REAL ESTATE

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

Your website is your number one sales and marketing asset. Many of our clients have hundreds of thousands of people visiting their website every month. It’s time to give the same level of attention to the site as you do to your property. Maximize every inch of real estate and provide a unique brand experience to your audience.   

WHAT TO DO

Stop guessing and start testing. Inexpensive A/B Testing tools like Google Optimize allow you to test different designs, copy, promotions and layouts in real time with your audience. By conducting 2-3 tests per month, you’ll continuously improve your conversion rates and revenue while creating happier customers.

04. MAKE IT PERSONAL

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

  • There are more than 149,000 emails sent per minute. (Statistica)
  • The average consumer is exposed to 5,000 ads per day. (Forbes)
  • The average attention span has decreased by 25% since 2000. (Microsoft)

See a trend here? We’re in an environment of information overload where your marketing message can be easily overlooked. It’s time to make every message as personal, relevant and timely as possible.

WHAT TO DO

Most casinos personalize offers based on demographics and past behavior strictly to loyalty club members. While this is a great foundation, there are several ways to take this to the next level and provide basic personalization to a larger audience including:

  • Welcoming back returning website visitors.
  • Customizing your homepage to feature content a visitor is interested in.
  • Knowing when someone is on your property and updating messaging accordingly.
  • Leveraging AI to trigger automated communications based on a person’s action on the website

05. EMBRACE AI

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

The travel buyer’s journey is complex. It’s easy to think only in terms of someone spontaneously deciding to visit your website and then booking. The reality is that many things take place before that visit ever happens. It’s critical to gain visibility at key touchpoints with the right message, at the right time and in the right format.

This is nearly impossible for a person to do at scale. But current AI platforms make this a reality.

WHAT TO DO

Start using AI based programs for real time campaign execution including when you send emails, which ads to serve to which audiences, and how much to spend for placement.

This allows people to do what we do best, which is strategy and creative thinking; while machines do what they do best – crunch numbers and make predictions.

Google leverages over 200 signals about a specific person to determine the exact combination of images, headlines, copy and CTAs that will be most effective.

Download the entire presentation to share with your marketing team.