Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Research: How Casinos Can Find and Target Their Favorite Customers

CM Comment: Somewhat technical ... this study presents a mathematical model which integrates gamers' frequency of casino visits, their total wagers and the distribution of those bets at table games versus slots machines. The researchers determined if revenue from specific players was derived from "skill" or "luck," and they were able to identify players who are highly skilled or perhaps revenue-producing high rollers.A Model for Gamers' Revenue in Casinos

Mount Airy Casino Makes Its Presence On Popular Twitter

CM Comment: Example of casino experiment with Twitter as an element of it's marketing mix.

May 11, 2009: summarized from The Pocono Record -- At first glance, you may wonder how 140 characters can connect a local Realtor, insurance agent, casino, church and dozens of other individuals, businesses and institutions.

The answer is Twitter, an online micro-blogging and social networking service that allows users to send and receive others' updates, called tweets.

Twitter asks a simple question: What are you doing? Users post their updates, which are delivered to their followers, who are other users who have subscribed to their update feed.

Well-known businesses and corporations, such as Starbucks, Dell and Whole Foods, use Twitter. So does the FBI and prior to the presidential election, Barack Obama frequently posted new tweets. Actor Ashton Kutcher recently became the first Twitterer to hit 1 million followers. However, you don't need to be a household name to make the most of the site.

Mount Airy Casino Resort is also betting on Twitter. Spokesman Pete Peterson said the resort recently joined the site.

"Twitter offers another means to communicate with our customers," Peterson said. "Individuals are obtaining information and news from a variety of sources outside of mainstream media and we felt that it was important to be engaged with our customers who use Twitter."

Users who follow Mount Airy will be among the first to know about casino news - such as the addition of new machines and the reopening of the golf course. Peterson said Mount Airy also tweets about special rates and upcoming events.

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/prkdwb

Beyond Clicks And CPMs: A Look At 'Engagement'-Based Ad Deals

CM Comment: More and more online advertising is moving towards "engagement." Here's an article that sheds some light on what this means.

May 11, 2009: summarized from paidContent.org -- CPMs are the default standard for buying display, and paid search ads get measured in clicks. But when it comes to valuing a social-media sponsorship, "advertorial" content on a magazine site or even a virtual-world campaign, there's a growing consensus that neither of those metrics is good enough.

Click-throughs aren't great for ads on social networks, for example, because most people are there to interact with the content-not click on a link that will take them to some advertiser's site. And with an oversupply of inventory and easily dismissed ad units dragging down CPMs, publishers are pushing for an alternative currency that attributes more value to their audiences.

That's where "engagement" comes in-and there are a variety of ways to try to achieve it. Facebook has its Engagement Ads that try to entice users to interact; Hearst's digital division is letting advertisers pay to "engage" with Seventeen and CosmoGIRL readers by answering their questions; and video-ad firms like VideoEgg and ScanScout offer "cost per engagement"-based buys. Meanwhile, publishers' sales teams are increasingly serving up stats like time spent, return visits, and event the number of times a brand gets mentioned in the comments, as proof of why advertisers should pay more for their inventory.

The problem is that other than "time spent," there aren't any real standards around engagement. That's partly because all these sites offer different ways for users to interact with their content, but also because each advertiser's goal will be different. "There's a consensus that engagement is going to be how we hold online advertising accountable from now on, but we're still grappling with how to tie it back to real business results," said James Kiernan, VP and group client director for P&G at Mediavest. "Like, how many 'engagements' does it take to drive purchase intent? How do we tie it back to sales?" We spoke with some companies to find out which metrics they're using to broker their engagement-based deals.

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/qbow3w

How To Reap The Benefits Of Mobile Advertising

May 13, 2009: summarized from ADOTAS -- Mobile marketing and advertising is a hot topic these days, mainly because in the midst of a serious global economic downturn, its overall growth has been impressive.

In fact, the bad economy may actually be a net positive for mobile advertising, as companies are looking for ways to increase the ROI of their advertising campaigns-which is exactly the advantage that the highly-targeted mobile medium presents. But while its robust growth is receiving a flood of attention, less discussed are best practices for actually getting the most out of mobile advertising campaigns. At BuzzCity, we not only run one of the largest mobile advertising networks in the world, but we also run campaigns for our own business. Over the years, we have collected some best practices for mobile advertising campaigns-here they are.

Understanding the Medium

First of all, it is helpful to take a step back and consider how people access the mobile Internet and applications on their phones. Earlier this year, BuzzCity announced the results of a global survey of users across the more than 2,000 mobile web sites that comprise our mobile advertising network. Perhaps surprisingly, the survey found that most people who access the mobile Internet do not actually do so while "mobile." Rather, they are surfing the mobile Internet while they are at work, home, etc.

Less than six percent actually use the mobile Internet while travelling, commuting or outdoors. In terms of usage, the survey found that most people use the mobile Internet and applications for communication with friends through chat, blogs and discussion groups-basically, social networking (60%). We found much smaller, but still significant, use of the mobile Internet for entertainment (16%) and for looking up specific information (10%). Advertisers can certainly learn a lot from surveys like this, with the first lesson being not to make any assumptions about the medium that may cause your mobile advertising efforts to lose effectiveness. These assumptions can include thinking that mobile Internet usage is tied to a certain demographic, or that it is most effective for local or location-based advertising-throw these out and start with a fresh look at the facts.

Once you have done your homework and know what you will be getting from a mobile campaign, we have found that the following four points are critical to consider:

Identify your Audience and Objectives

I know-it sounds pretty straight forward. But advertisers must really think about this point in the context of the mobile medium. Start from the beginning and ask yourself again who you are trying to reach with the campaign and the action you want them to take once you reach them. You no doubt thought about these questions when you conceptualized your campaign, designed ad banners and wrote copy, but taking a fresh look at these points will help you determine when and where to place the mobile ads.

Date and Time Targeting

Mobile advertising is particularly time-sensitive. What do I mean by this? It is important to think about the fact that mobile usage ebbs and flows by time-of-day and day-of-week. And mobile is a dynamic medium-meaning you want to reach users when usage is high (not too big of a stretch there), but also when they are most engaged and most likely to be open to clicking on a specific mobile advertisement.

Day-of-week and precise dates also have an effect on who you will reach with your mobile campaign. We've found that students, for example, don't surf on holidays. From my experience at BuzzCity, two specific examples from the UK and Nigeria come to mind in this regard: In both of these countries, mobile users tend to check email messages early in the morning. Office workers don't typically surf during their lunch hours (we've found that across the board lunchtime, in fact, is the least active period on our network).

Across our entire advertising network, the most surfing takes place during the evening hours. School holidays, festivals and public holidays will also impact mobile device usage, and should be taken into account when planning mobile campaigns.

Content Targeting

All marketers are familiar with content targeting-which ensures that a marketing or advertising message is delivered to an audience that is most likely to respond to your message. This is where mobile advertising is most powerful and advantageous for marketers because the medium allows advertisers to utilize content targeting to an unprecedented degree.

For example, mobile advertisements can be targeted to appear on phones made by specific carriers or manufacturers (Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, etc.) and operating system/platform. The former is a particularly useful feature for e-commerce transactions that are tied to a specific mobile provider-something you will want to consider if your call-to-action is designed to result in an e-commerce transaction. You can also target technical features like Bluetooth, Flash and music players. This is something to keep in mind if your application requires a specific technology-like apps that work on GPS or if your graphical advertisement is designed to play in Flash.

And Finally...Test, Test, Test

Perhaps most importantly-especially if this is your first foray into mobile advertising, and before you formally launch your campaign or spend a lot of money, start small and test. Try different ads and types of ads, different copy and various targeting strategies to see which elicit the best response. Measure responses by reviewing site logs, survey responses and other mobile web site analysis tools. Testing with a small budget will also help you avoid falling into a trap of "over-targeting." If you are too specific, the audience becomes small, your ROI may drop and you may not be able to have the ad served often enough to be cost effective.

Perhaps the best advice I can give is something that I constantly advise-to use a mobile advertising network that can instantly provide the scale and reach necessary to conduct truly successful mobile advertising campaigns. The mobile medium is growing by leaps and bounds and holds real promise for enhancing the marketing mix in ways previously unimagined. But like any effective advertising and marketing technique, strategic thinking is required to take full advantage of the opportunity and reap the benefits of mobile advertising.

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/o3mp6x