Casinos are these amazing, crazy places that keep us rushing around from sunup to sundown and sometimes well into the night. We often have a back-of-our-mind or parking lot list of things that we want to do “someday” when we’re far enough ahead. Enter another campaign, concert, VIP event, or promotion to plan, execute, and report on. It’s a never-ending cycle. Then COVID-19. If you’d have told me that all the casinos in Nevada would ever be closed all at once (much less all of the casinos in the country), I’d for sure have waved you off. And yet, here we are.
When we all get down to the business of reopening, the return to normal may be a slow process. It will take time to build revenue to the previous levels, and managing reinvestment will be more important than ever. Knowing that, this downtime presents us with an opportunity to do some reinvestment analysis and planning — the kind that we always put on the backburner because we’re just too busy making things happen every day. Gaining a full understanding of all the ways we’re investing in our players and programs, we can plan changes for reopening that maximize our opportunity and revenue.
As marketers, we know that making changes to player programs is often a pain-filled process. Guests resist change; scaling back or changing spending on offers or changing promotions is nearly always a two-month-long barrage of phone calls and feedback from players who are “dissatisfied’ with the new plans and new ideas. Change is hard for all of us. With that in mind, we have been presented with an unexpected opportunity because of this crazy time:
There will be a span of time in which our players haven’t been getting offers regularly. The faucet is temporarily turned off. That affords us a period of time when offers are “new” again, players haven’t played, and the perception of entitlement will be lower.
The perception of nearly everyone on earth is that things are not going to be the same for a long time. That’s an opportunity to do new things, talk to people differently, and have a new relationship with our players.
Change will be expected. Players know you’ve been closed. They’ll want to know about the new things like how social distancing will be facilitated, how cleaning is being done, how you’re looking out for their wellbeing as you welcome them back. There will be changes in so many facets of our business and our lives. Change will be expected and perhaps appreciated in a new way.
Let’s take advantage of an otherwise tough situation and use this as our chance to make improvements, implement changes, and along with our players, get used to the new world together.