“Marketing is not an event, but a process… It has a beginning, a middle, but never an end, for it is a process. You improve it, perfect it, change it, even pause it. But you never stop it completely.”
– Jay Conrad Levinson, Casino Expert
In an era where digital marketing campaigns dominate most industries, it’s easy for business owners, casino managers, and marketing professionals to overlook the potential of traditional marketing strategies. However, dismissing traditional marketing would be a costly mistake. Casinos may establish a dynamic and effective marketing plan by combining the latest digital tactics with time-tested, conventional means. This article aims to highlight the importance of incorporating traditional marketing for casinos and the benefits that come with it.
What is Traditional Marketing?
Traditional marketing refers to advertising methods that have been used for years. Promotional channels include print media (including newspapers, magazines, and flyers), electronic media (including radio and television commercials), outdoor media (including billboards and banners), postal mail, and public relations (including press releases, sponsorships, and events). Traditional marketing primarily focuses on reaching a broad audience through offline channels, as opposed to digital marketing, which leverages online channels to target consumers.
Key Elements of Traditional Marketing
- Print Advertising: Print ads are those that appear in printed publications like newspapers, periodicals, and brochures. Print ads are a tried-and-true way to reach your demographic, build your brand’s reputation, and give your customers something to hold.
- Radio and Television Advertising: These advertisements are aired to a large audience, and they use audio and visual storytelling to stand out to viewers and pique their interest in the advertised product.
- Outdoor Advertising: This encompasses billboards, banners, posters, and transit ads that are displayed in public spaces to capture the attention of potential customers. Outdoor advertising is an effective way to generate brand visibility and attract local and regional visitors.
- Direct Mail: Direct mail marketing entails mailing advertisements directly to potential clients at their homes or places of business. Direct mail can be a highly targeted marketing method, as it allows businesses to send personalized offers and promotions to specific demographics.
- Public Relations: Public relations (PR) efforts include press releases, media outreach, events, sponsorships, and partnerships that help establish and maintain a positive brand image in the public eye. PR can be a powerful tool for building brand credibility, increasing visibility, and fostering consumer trust.
Role of Traditional Marketing in Casinos
- Expanding Reach: Traditional marketing allows casinos to reach a broader audience, including those who may not be as digitally connected. This ensures that the casino’s brand message reaches as many potential customers as possible.
- Building Trust: Traditional marketing methods are generally viewed as more credible and trustworthy by consumers compared to online ads. By using these methods, casinos can build a strong brand reputation and foster customer loyalty.
- Driving Local Traffic: Traditional marketing channels can be customized to target specific local markets, making them ideal for casinos looking to attract regional visitors. For instance, local radio spots, billboards, or direct mail campaigns can be tailored to resonate with a particular community or demographic.
- Supporting Brand Identity: Traditional marketing allows casinos to reinforce their brand identity and create memorable experiences for potential customers. For example, a captivating TV commercial or print ad can leave a lasting impression on viewers, making them more likely to visit the casino.
- Complementing Digital Efforts: While it’s true that digital marketing has seen significant growth in recent years, a well-rounded marketing plan also makes use of traditional methods. By integrating traditional marketing methods with digital efforts, casinos can create a powerful and dynamic marketing campaign that drives brand awareness, customer engagement, and revenue growth.
- Community engagement: Sponsoring local events and organizations can help casinos build strong connections with their communities and generate goodwill, leading to increased customer loyalty and a positive brand image.
Case Study: MGM Resorts International
One popular casino brand that has successfully implemented traditional marketing strategies is MGM Resorts International. Their “Welcome to the Show” campaign focused on creating a memorable experience for their customers and promoting their various properties through traditional channels such as TV commercials, billboards, and print ads. Due to this campaign’s success, MGM Resorts’ third-quarter 2018 net revenue increased 33%. Here are five ways MGM Resorts implemented traditional marketing strategies in their “Welcome to the Show” campaign:
- TV Commercials: MGM Resorts created a series of TV commercials that showcased the different experiences customers could have at their various properties. These commercials aired during popular TV shows and sporting events, reaching a wide audience.
- Billboards: Eye-catching billboards were strategically placed in high-traffic areas to promote the campaign and drive traffic to their properties.
- Print Ads: MGM Resorts also used print ads in newspapers and magazines to reach a more targeted audience and promote specific offers and promotions.
- Live Events: In addition to traditional advertising, MGM Resorts also hosted live events such as concerts and shows to create a memorable experience for their customers and promote their brand.
- Direct Mail: The campaign also included direct mail pieces that were sent to their loyalty program members, offering exclusive offers and promotions to encourage them to visit their properties.
Benefits of Traditional Marketing for Casinos
Now, let’s dive into the benefits of traditional marketing for casinos. Nielsen found that television, newspapers, radio, and billboards collectively receive 67% of all advertising dollars spent globally. This means that while digital marketing is important, traditional marketing cannot be ignored. Here are some specific benefits of traditional marketing for casinos:
- Tangible Impact: Print materials like brochures, flyers, and direct mail can create a lasting impression on potential customers, providing them with something to hold and reference later (source).
- Wider Reach: Traditional marketing channels, such as radio, TV, and outdoor advertising, can reach a broader demographic, including those who may not be as digitally connected (source).
- Trust-Building: People tend to trust traditional advertising more than online ads, leading to a stronger brand reputation and customer loyalty (source).
- Longevity: Traditional marketing materials often have a longer lifespan than digital ads, making them a cost-effective way to maintain brand visibility (source).
- Local Targeting: Traditional marketing methods like direct mail, print advertising, and radio ads can be easily customized to target local markets, making them ideal for casinos looking to attract regional visitors (source).
15 Traditional Marketing Strategies for Casinos
1. Billboard Advertising
Billboards are an effective way to capture the attention of potential customers, especially those commuting or traveling near casino locations. Strategically placed billboards with eye-catching designs and compelling messages can drive foot traffic and brand awareness.
2. Print Advertising
Magazines, newspapers, and brochures can effectively target a specific demographic of potential casino-goers. For instance, local newspapers can reach nearby residents, while lifestyle magazines can target high-end clientele.
3. Radio Advertising
Radio advertising allows casinos to reach a broader audience during prime time slots. Offering exclusive promotions and enticing customers through catchy jingles and memorable slogans can help create a lasting impression.
4. Direct Mail Marketing
Direct mail marketing involves sending promotional materials, like coupons or event invitations, directly to potential customers’ mailboxes. This method can be particularly effective for targeting specific demographics and local residents, increasing the likelihood of a response.
One of the most effective traditional marketing methods for casinos is direct mail. By sending targeted mailers to potential customers, casinos can provide personalized offers and incentives that are more likely to convert.
Regular newsletters can be a great way to keep your casino’s audience engaged and informed. Always notify your customers of forthcoming sales, events, and other relevant news.
5. Promotional Events
Hosting special events, like live shows, tournaments, or themed nights, can draw in new customers and encourage existing patrons to return. Collaborating with well-known artists or hosting charity events can also help to enhance a casino’s reputation and visibility.
Casino nights and other themed events can attract new customers and leave a good impression. These events allow potential customers to experience the excitement of your casino first-hand, making them more likely to return.
Everybody loves freebies! By hosting promotional giveaways, casinos can generate excitement and encourage customer loyalty. Consider giving away branded merchandise, free play credits, or even trips and other big-ticket items.
6. Loyalty Programs
Rewarding loyal customers with exclusive benefits, like free play credits or dining discounts, can help retain clients and encourage repeat visits. Loyalty programs also provide valuable data that can inform future marketing efforts.
7. Networking and Partnerships
Casinos can benefit from forming partnerships with local businesses or organizations, such as hotels or tourism boards. These relationships can lead to cross-promotional opportunities and increase visibility for all parties involved.
8. Press Releases
Announcing new games, expansions, or special events through press releases can help garner media attention and generate buzz around your casino. Your press releases should be sent to both general news outlets and trade journals.
9. In-Casino Marketing
In-casino marketing efforts, such as attractive signage and displays, can help create an immersive experience for customers. Make sure all of your promotional items are on-brand and made to attract attention.
10. Celebrity Endorsements
Partnering with well-known celebrities or influencers can boost a casino’s profile and attract new patrons.
11. Trade Shows and Industry Events
Attend and exhibit at trade shows and industry events to network with professionals, showcase your casino’s offerings, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends.
12. Community Involvement
Participate in local events and charitable initiatives to foster goodwill within the community and create a positive image for your casino.
13. Loyalty Programs
Reward your regular customers with loyalty programs that offer incentives and perks for repeat visits. This will help you retain customers and improve your marketing strategy as well.
14. In-house Publications
Creating and distributing branded magazines or newsletters can keep patrons informed about upcoming events, promotions, and news.
15. Swag and Branded Merchandise
Offering branded merchandise like t-shirts, hats, or keychains can help spread brand awareness and create a sense of loyalty among patrons.
Top 15 Traditional Marketing Campaigns in the Casino Industry
Below is a list of 15 notable traditional marketing campaigns in the casino industry, showcasing the effectiveness and creativity of these strategies. While some specific campaigns may no longer be accessible due to their time-sensitive nature, you can visit the casino websites to explore their current marketing efforts.
1. MGM Grand Las Vegas – “Maximum Vegas” Campaign
This campaign focused on showcasing the luxurious, high-energy experience that MGM Grand offers. It featured print and outdoor advertisements, as well as TV commercials, to create a sense of excitement and anticipation for potential visitors. The campaign helped solidify MGM Grand’s position as a top entertainment destination in Las Vegas.
2. Caesars Palace Las Vegas – “Like a Caesar” Campaign
This campaign emphasized the indulgent and opulent atmosphere of Caesars Palace. Using print, radio, and TV ads, the casino encouraged potential guests to “live like a Caesar” and enjoy the casino’s luxurious amenities and services. This campaign helped elevate the casino’s brand and attract high-end clientele.
3. Wynn Las Vegas – “The Dream Begins” Campaign
This campaign promoted Wynn Las Vegas as the epitome of luxury and sophistication. Print, outdoor, and TV advertisements highlighted the casino’s world-class amenities, fine dining, and exclusive entertainment. Therefore, the name Wynn Las Vegas has become synonymous with opulent gambling.
4. The Venetian Las Vegas – “Discover Your Venice” Campaign
Using print and TV advertisements, this campaign showcased the unique Italian-inspired experience offered by The Venetian. By promoting the casino’s architectural wonders, gondola rides, and luxurious shopping, the campaign attracted visitors looking for an immersive, upscale experience.
5. Cosmopolitan Las Vegas – “Just the Right Amount of Wrong” Campaign
This campaign was designed to intrigue and entice potential visitors by positioning the casino as a daring and unconventional destination. Through TV and print advertisements, the campaign appealed to younger, adventurous customers, resulting in increased brand awareness and customer engagement.
6. Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa – “Get Your Game On” Campaign
Using TV, radio, and print ads, this campaign aimed to attract gaming enthusiasts to the Borgata’s extensive casino floor. The campaign emphasized the excitement and thrill of gaming, driving an increase in casino visits and revenue.
7. Foxwoods Resort Casino – “The Wonder of It All” Campaign
This multi-channel campaign featured print, radio, and TV ads promoting the wide variety of amenities and entertainment options at Foxwoods. By highlighting the casino’s diverse offerings, the campaign successfully attracted a broader audience and increased visitor numbers.
8. Mohegan Sun – “A World at Play” Campaign
This campaign showcased Mohegan Sun as a premier entertainment destination, using print and TV ads to highlight the casino’s unique gaming, dining, and entertainment options. Mohegan Sun’s popularity and customer base grew as a direct result.
9. Pechanga Resort Casino – “Experience It All” Campaign
This campaign promoted Pechanga’s vast array of amenities and entertainment options through print, radio, and TV advertisements. The successful campaign helped Pechanga attract new visitors and increase overall revenue.
10. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – “The Sound of Your Stay” Campaign
This campaign used print and TV ads to emphasize the casino’s rock-and-roll-themed experience. By focusing on the casino’s unique atmosphere and music-driven offerings, the campaign drove increased interest and visits from music lovers and gaming enthusiasts alike.
11. Atlantis Casino Resort Spa – “Escape to Atlantis” Campaign
This campaign used print and outdoor advertising to showcase the resort’s luxurious and relaxing atmosphere. By promoting the casino’s spa, dining, and entertainment options, the campaign successfully attracted visitors seeking an upscale, rejuvenating experience.
12. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino – “Where the Fun Begins” Campaign
This campaign featured print, radio, and TV ads highlighting the casino’s diverse gaming, dining, and entertainment options. By emphasizing the fun and excitement that awaits visitors, the campaign drove increased interest and foot traffic to the casino.
13. Golden Nugget Las Vegas – “Experience the Rush” Campaign
This campaign used print and outdoor advertising to showcase the excitement and thrill of the Golden Nugget’s casino floor. By focusing on the casino’s energetic atmosphere, the campaign successfully attracted gaming enthusiasts and increased overall revenue.
14. River Rock Casino Resort – “Your Playground Awaits” Campaign
This campaign promoted River Rock’s gaming, dining, and entertainment offerings through print, radio, and TV ads. The successful campaign helped the casino attract new visitors and generate buzz around their diverse amenities.
15. Harrah’s New Orleans – “Get in the Action” Campaign
This campaign used print, radio, and TV ads to emphasize Harrah’s as a premier gaming destination in New Orleans. By showcasing the casino’s unique location and vibrant atmosphere, the campaign attracted both tourists and locals, leading to increased brand awareness and customer visits.
These traditional marketing campaigns demonstrate the power and impact of well-executed traditional marketing strategies in the casino industry. By understanding their target audience, effectively communicating their unique selling points, and utilizing a variety of traditional marketing channels, these casinos have successfully increased brand awareness, customer engagement, and overall revenue.
Things to Avoid in Casino Traditional Marketing
- Overpromising and under delivering: It’s essential to strike a balance between creating enticing offers and setting realistic expectations for customers. Avoid making exaggerated claims or promises that your casino cannot fulfill, as this can lead to customer dissatisfaction and harm your reputation.
- Ignoring local regulations: Each jurisdiction has its own set of regulations governing casino advertising and promotions. Ensure you are familiar with these rules and adhere to them when creating your traditional marketing campaigns to avoid fines or other legal repercussions.
- Neglecting target audience preferences: It’s crucial to understand the preferences and interests of your target audience when creating marketing materials. Avoid using generic messages or visuals that may not resonate with your audience, and instead, tailor your content to better appeal to their interests.
- Ineffective ad placements: Place your billboards, print adverts, and radio spots strategically for maximum impact. Don’t waste money on advertising by placing signs where your target audience won’t see or hear them.
- Overlooking cultural sensitivities: It’s important to respect different cultures when making advertisements, so don’t include any pictures or language that could be seen as insulting. This is particularly important when targeting diverse audiences or operating in multicultural markets.
- Failing to measure results: To optimize your traditional marketing campaigns, it’s essential to track their performance and identify areas for improvement. Avoid neglecting this crucial aspect of marketing by regularly monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) and making data-driven decisions.
- Inconsistency in branding: Consistency is essential while working to establish a company’s identity in the marketplace. Avoid using different logos, fonts, colors, or messaging across your marketing materials, as this can create confusion and dilute your brand’s impact.
Summary Checklist of Action Plans
- Develop a comprehensive traditional marketing plan that complements your digital marketing efforts.
- Allocate budget for print advertising, targeting magazines and newspapers that cater to your desired audience.
- Invest in outdoor advertising,such as billboards and banners, in strategic locations to maximize visibility.
- Build strong public relations by participating in community events, sponsorships, and partnerships.
- Utilize direct mail marketing to send personalized offers and promotions to your casino’s loyalty program members.
- Create captivating radio and TV commercials to air during prime time hours, boosting brand awareness and customer interest.
In conclusion, traditional marketing for casinos is still relevant and important in today’s digital age. While digital marketing is crucial, traditional marketing channels such as TV commercials, billboards, print ads, direct mail, and live events offer unique benefits that cannot be ignored. Traditional marketing can reach more people, improve consumer experience, and enhance digital advertising. As a casino digital marketing expert and consultant, I highly recommend considering traditional marketing as a key component of your overall marketing strategy to maximize your reach and impact. Marketing is a process, not an event, and your casino’s long-term success depends on how well you manage and improve it.