Promotional requirements never die. They just roll in month after month with gaping holes in time that need to be filled over and over again. Like time wraps, the need to fill promotional gaps has you transporting back and forth from one deteriorated, unproductive promotion to another.

Today you see a shocking similarity in promotions born of system promotional programs. Even in crowded markets, promotions are mirror images. Creativity and ingenuity are absent when faced with the availability of machine-based system programs.

What’s a Marketer to Do?

There is no way around itkeeping promotions fresh and profitable is hard work. You have to work all the angles and check a long list of promotional elements. To keep your promotional schedule viable, you have to examine promotions from every possible direction and chip your way to success. It takes diligence and dedication. It takes looking at every single promotional segment to keep the mix crisp and garden fresh.

Twelve Point Checklist to Audit Your Promotions:

  1. First of All, Will Your Guests Like it?

This is my most important, common-sense point. By staying connected with your guests, you can know which promotions they like. You can keep in touch by walking and talking on the floor. Take time out of every day to get to know your guests by name. It’s a simple process; but very hard to do. Using in-person research, your players will always tell you what they like and do not like in promotions.

You can also choose research in the form of daily surveys, online surveys, or formal research projects. Online surveys have become easy and inexpensive. Dedicating your resources to asking your guests what they actually want from you, and delivering it, is one of the most important concepts in marketing.

  1. Are Your Promotions Guest Friendly?

Ask yourself, will your guests enjoy themselves using promotions?

We all have to live with legality and regulations; however, the key to a popular promotion is one that is easy, accessible, free from confusing and time-consuming rules. Design your promotions with your guests in mind. Will your guests breeze through your promotional processes, or will they spend precious casino time figuring out a labyrinth of rules? Keep it simple and uncomplicated. Make sure your rules are easy to understand and carry out. Promotions are tools to attract and retain players, not push them to your competition.

  1. Are Your Promotions on Brand?

Ask yourself what kind of venue are you? Your brand reflects the personality of your club or hotel. It does not matter if you are a local venue with a hot dog cart as an amenity or one of several mega clubs in a state. You are your brand.

You might be a value venue, a multi-site, a friendly local club, a gaming destination, or an entertainment venue. Ensure that your promotions reflect what you are as a brand. Entertainment clubs may focus on entertainment, value club promotions focus on value, etc.

Your promotions should mirror the image you project to the market and the product you deliver to your players.

  1. Do Promotions Appeal to Your Demographics?

Customer demographics are remarkably predictable and incredibly diverse.

There are as many demographic combinations as there are clubs. Understanding how your promotions appeal to demographics is basic and important. Does your club have a large population of high value players or are you a low to mid-market product?

Appealing to the direct demographics for your venue will make promotions more effective and profitable. You can also run a general promotion to raise gaming revenue from the middle market, while offering extra benefits inside the promotion for the top of the market.

  1. Do Promotions Fit Your Strategy?

Marketing strategies change every year to one degree or another. Competition, outside influences, and market changes can affect how your venue approaches each year.

The same goes for promotions. It is important to review each promotion to ensure that it still fits your current marketing strategy. Your goal to attract more outer market visitation may have changed to a focus on new member sign-ups. Do you still want to give up expanded benefits to your outer markets when you really need fresh blood in your players’ club?

Examine each promotion against your overall needs as an organization.

  1. Are Your Promotions Traceable and Trackable?

Nothing is worse than sitting in a post promotion meeting and not being able to relate how successful your promotion was or was not. Systems today offer a multitude of methods to track promotions. Better yet, if you cannot track your promotions or trace them to your targets, do not do it.

  1. Do We Have the Money for This?

Promotions should follow a strict protocol of budget conciseness. Throwing out promotional programs without a proforma and postforma system is so 1990’s. Analysis that sets budget and performance parameters is an essential tool for going forward. All promotions should be trackable, measurable, targetable, and have a positive ROI.

  1. Have We Done This Before?

Creating a promotional schedule is daunting and mind numbing. Trying to think several quarters ahead creates the temptation to rerun promotions.

New is hard. Trying to develop promotional concepts, rules, advertising, and analysis from scratch is challenging work. It is much easier to pull that promotion off the shelf and put the needle on the broken record.

Trying to add new and fresh to a stale promotional schedule is not the easiest road. However, if you continuously present your market with reheated leftovers, they will most likely head to another place to eat.

  1. Do you have ROI Analysis Paralysis?

Face it; the reason we do even do promotions is for positive ROI.

Doing anything else is elaborate window dressing that drains resources that might be better applied elsewhere.

Establishing a marketing analysis function is the most important thing you can do to generate positive ROI for your programs. If you are a mid-sized or small club, a dedicated analysis person or department might be beyond your reach. In that case, assigning analysis to an Excel pilot already on staff with basic proformas and postformas is the way to go.

The other side of the coin is to create intricate analysis that prohibits promotions from ever getting onto the floor. Properties that grind out a massive promotional analysis create a barrier to creativity that cannot be overcome.

So, analysis paralysis is bad for progress and throwing promotions against the wall is not the best use of funds. Choose wisely.

  1. Can We Execute This Promotion?

It’s one thing to develop the promotion of your dreams and another to execute your dream. If you have a massive staff that can fill in floor promotions with time, attendance, and effort; good for you. Most marketers are not in a position with unlimited resources.

Are your promotional creations possible in the real world? Remember, promotions should be loved and accepted by your fans. Promotions with poor execution light up your phone lines the next day with complaints. Promotions with poor execution discourage your team and dishearten morale. Promotions with poor execution create results without a positive return on investment.

  1. Is it Omnichannel?

When you create a promotion, is it possible to add components that will cross pollinate across the Omnichannel of options?

Promotions that can be accessed online, mobile, and with on-the-floor applications are the future. Ask yourself how you can you take advantage of your growing mobile market or online to move live players onto your floor.

  1. Is your promotion gaming-centric focus?

“It’s The Gaming Stupid.” Late gaming research guru Mike Meczka had the catch phrase of the ages. If you focus your promotions on gaming, they will always be on target to move the needle for your property. Promotions that get people in the door but do not have a gaming centric focus will not support your primary goal as a gaming marketer.


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Article written by Tom Osiecki and first appearing in TG&H Magazine – Bet Raving Knows >>> Promotional Checklist for Time Travelers – Tribal Gaming and Hospitality Magazine (