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Predictive Analytics in Casino Industry

Predictive Analytics in the Booming Casino Industry

Casinos are all about numbers-however, not the typical ones found on playing cards. Modern casino brands are utilizing predictive analytics, data tracking and personalized gaming to enhance profit margins and customer loyalty while providing a robust gambling experience! 

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In almost all other industries, any arbitrary business you potentially work with would want to see one common thing—you to succeed as their partner, client or occasionally even rival. This invisible hand that pushes brands and people to compete and perform strongly is the backbone to many corporate goals and collaborative endeavors, particularly in the spontaneous, fast-moving 21st century.

Casinos And Predictive Analytics

However, there’s one industry that sticks out and wants you to sit in front of them and lose—and to keep losing, fast. Because the more you bet away, the more they earn. The typical casino yearns for quality, consistent patrons to glaze over in front of slot machines, roulette wheels or blackjack tables and fire their winnings away into the maw of uncertain probability. It would make perfect sense, anyway—profit margins on slot machines have risen upwards of 60%, reported Drew Harwell from The Washington Post.

But there too exists a fine line where the territory of draining your customers’ wallets and them getting vehemently upset to never return to your casino’s entrance can be crossed. With this in mind, companies are realizing that bad floor planning and business decisions that are inconsiderate of customers’ needs can plummet potential revenue and damage customer loyalty.

While gaming is on the exponential rise, with the Canadian Gaming Association disclosing that legalized gaming has almost tripled since 1995—from $6.4 Billion to $15.1 Billion in 2010—the casino and gambling industry must adapt and evolve as many others to the tides turned by technology—and smarter consumers to bat.

After all, with casinos essentially being the ultimate adult fantasy escape, personalization and a deep focus on the consumer engagement pipeline are of critical importance. Without that, casino brands remain blind in the face of ever-changing audience tastes and whims.

As casinos realized this and put forward a customer-first approach, questions arose regarding patrons’ future or historical worth, which valuable members to pamper and identifying systemic weakness points that some users may inevitably exploit.

Keep in mind, these are all strategic facets that must be tackled to ensure success in the exponentially fast-paced gambling scene. In recent years, casinos have gone as far as to increase the physical range of offerings to retail, golf, theater, dining, and of course, zero windows in case you need a reality check from within paradise!

Patrons desire much more than just a game of poker and a drink; with such a wide range of activities and options present, the most valuable customers with the heaviest ROI (which should technically be called Return on Loss!) are spending all across the property.

Now, in order to have a better picture of their customers’ behavior patterns, preferences and decision points, casino brands must acquire more information than simply who their literal key players are. A deeper understanding of their audience and accurately managing vast quantities of data while pinpointing qualitative details can provide these houses with the ammo needed to make better judgment calls on new investments, security issues, and future goals.

THE MODERN MILLENNIAL GAMBLER—THEY WANT IT ALL!

 As is evident, the casino industry is having to keep up to speed with the rapid advances in security technology, user experience insights, and sculpting inefficient business operations to instead conform around the customer. Customer is king, and when your core audience progressively gets smarter and younger, delivering the most quality user experience can place you above the rest. Studies reveal that while Vegas visitors are getting younger, with the average age dropping from 50 to 45 since 2009, the number of those patrons who gamble has fallen from 83% in 209 to 71% in 2013.

Jeff Hwang from Motley Fool clarifies the meaning of this. “The simple fact is that Millennials are smarter, more experienced, and more knowledgeable about gambling and gambling strategy than any generations to come before us.” And with a younger, more technologically-savvy crowd coming into casinos, these businesses must know well ahead of their customer where their true opportunities lie, and how to navigate the terrain of luck favorably. 

Now we understand that the modern gambling experience should not (and honestly cannot) be limited operating analog slot machines while propped on an uncomfortable chair. The future is here and now, and a generation of iPhone users and Xbox gamers won’t even glance at such ancient platforms. Many top-level managers believe casinos often lack the attributes of actual gaming; namely, leveling up, power-ups, unlocking achievements, using utilities or tools to further the engagement.

Multiple avenues to success or ways to win provide excitement and the impulsivity that users seek these days. “There has to be the opportunity for people to have the option to address technology as they address it in their leisure time,” remarks Caesar’s Executive Vice President Melissa Price. Casinos acknowledge that technological progression is necessary to the survival of the industry, as consumers become more and more unsatisfied with linear experiences.

Companies must also recognize one of the other major key benefits of using data-driven approaches to fulfill business and marketing operations—micro-segmentation of the user base. Modern technology outfits prepare casinos to track gamblers’ behaviors and construct a data profile for them.

Most often found in harmless devices such as loyalty cards, they enable the house to estimate customer risk-aversion or propensity to jump into risk, and subsequently, place fatter bets. These tools store and contain information regarding playing speed, amount bet, time spent at the venue and when you’re about to leave so they can incentivize you to stay…just a little longer.

Some patrons never actually even hit the casino floor…but that doesn’t mean their business has to be lost. These individuals are just as valuable in another manner if they are led to utilize other revenue-generation outlets during periods of lower activity or bring heavy hitter friends with them!

Providing consumers with multiple offerings and a wide variety of experiences that implementing an accurate data tracking infrastructure allows casinos to imbue a more laser-focus approach within their marketing and operational fields, and build a relationship with patrons that encourages trust. Your customers will feel that you genuinely care about them and come back to your brand! 

DON’T PLAY YOURSELF—LOVE THY PLAYERS!

Consumers seek a human conversation with brands who can make them feel special in a superficial society. Personalized interactions, a wide variety of product or service mix and not being treated like a dollar value are just some of the refreshing indicators consumers expect when waltzing into the grand world of gambling. So when companies agree to march forward along with technology, there are a number of factors to potentially recalibrate.

Casinos must consider what games to offer or update (and where in the building to physically place them) when historical data is significant enough to extract and analyze, who the biggest winner and losers are, and which machines were engaged with the most and yielded the highest profits—for the casino, that is.

 There are at least three main uses of response modeling that can improve marketing results:

  1.       Identify the likelihood of patrons to respond to the offer
  2.       Identify the offer(s) to which patrons are most likely to respond
  3.       Predict when a patron is likely to return

Gambling firms yearn to attain a full-depth understanding of their customers, figure out why people choose certain rooms or games, and what makes gamblers click into their betting zone. As a result, intelligent casino exec must consider the inherent behaviorisms and historical data catalogued all over the casino and within every action a user makes.

These hidden gems lie in slot machines, loyalty cards that are swiped, or even emails that track the online meanderings of a potential conversion. They can be telling of certain tastes, purchasing power or security issues.

In a very online-centric world steeped in social media, users tend to resonate much more with online social casino options through various outlets, and companies are responding back. This also gives companies insight regarding patrons who are less responsive to certain offers or games, and those who are more attracted to playing/purchasing.

Soon, it became possible to collect insight about the strongest predictors of guest preference that would maximize profit while maintaining the inherent balance of fair and random play (or as fair and random as a casino can get!) Now casino marketers can procure and keep discovering the most valuable patrons who provide them with the most ROI back.

 The easiest way casino marketing teams have dug past the layers of mystery and randomness in users’ actions within their walls is by wielding the power of “big data”. The term refers to the vast quantity of information created by people as they purchase, browse, and decisively interact with brands and their surrounding environments. “In addition to your personal information, casinos collect such things as the amount of money you spend, times and dates you visit the location, and even your favorite slot machines,” claims Mike Wood from business.com.

If brands seek to venture further into retargeting old customers or leads who have since vanished from the casino, they may parse through this valuable pool of dormant information and bring to life a new marketing angle that can captivate a targeted audience member. Say, for example, individuals who haven’t visited ABC Casino in X amount of months.

You can then further dissect it by amount spent per visit, and then the number of “free play” or “demo” instances used—or offer those same deals and coupons to those patrons who support your business the most. Prying apart this information lets casinos almost literally peek into consumer’s thought processes and scoop back up potentially lost revenue, 

As we’ve found, the modern customer is also a hard one to satiate. Now, with piles of invaluable customer data amassed, this “big data” can be funneled into a system that determines the worth of individual customers. That’s not to say that they’re worthless—the company just sees certain individuals as more contributory towards their firm over others.

Let’s think…what does one breed when they elicit repeated transactions and higher levels of satisfaction from their customers? Loyalty! Casino marketing departments have a plethora of offers and tantalizing deals which users may or may not respond strongly towards, based on personal preference.

The smartest way to combat such an intrinsic problem is to work smart and not hard—directly targeted offers! Metrics and available diagnostic information allow casinos to track user data history and understand why those individuals picked a certain game after losing a certain amount, when they made the decision and how. Brands can optimize the best-performing offers backed by predictive ROI modeling and cut out unnecessary elements detracting from their end goals, providing a clean marketing pipeline and tackling each person’s needs without sacrificing scale or personalization! 

As the world around us continually shifts and changes, new paradigm shifts all across industries provide expansive growth for companies who are willing to give innovation a chance. Analog, old-school styles of play are boring now and audiences seek a higher, more intimate and more engaging entertainment experience.

Perhaps with a firmer grasp of what their patrons desire in the ideal gaming scenario, casinos may renovate the traditional approach of ‘winning off of people who lose, and helping them lose harder’ into a solid relationship with their audience base—established on a fundamental trust and true fairness. After all, if everyone just kept losing, they’d never go back to that resort!

Fine tune your own casino brand’s approach to modern marketing solutions and the reality that exists before you—one filled with gold mines of data and shimmering with possibilities—will bear fruit. You can bet on that!

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