Tuesday, June 23, 2009

PlayerVantage Adds Internet Power To Casino Database Marketing

CM Comment: Yes this article is a product press release issued by our sponsor GameLogic, but still it is very relevant and worth taking a look at.

June 17, 2009: summarized from Business Wire - GameLogic (www.gamelogic.com) announces the release of PlayerVantage, a turnkey platform for harnessing the power of the Internet to improve a casino's database marketing activities. PlayerVantage combines targeted email communications with an interactive player portal with GameLogic's engaging PlayAway game content, to create a uniquely personalized online experience for casino patrons.

PlayerVantage includes three key components:

1. Personalized communications designed and timed to improve the effectiveness of traditional direct mail. Combining traditional mail with electronic media has proven to result in higher response rates and a correspondingly better ROI. In addition, long-term cost efficiencies are realized as players elect to opt-out of traditional mail and receive communications exclusively online.

2. GameLogic's PlayAway™ suite of online fun, bonus-delivery and tournament games designed to engage players in a daily Internet-based relationship, thereby capturing their email address, and serving as the catalyst for their interaction with all the other aspects of PlayerVantage.

3. The PlayerVantage web portal, providing every member a personal, online "play space", complete with free online games surrounded by personalized marketing calendar, promotions, advertisements and more. The portal is the gateway for each online marketing call to action (email offer, PlayAway games, etc.) and contains all of the information relevant to that patron and his/her relationship with the property, as well as general and targeted messaging.

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/nja3wj

Outbound Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing - Where's The Smart Money?

June 17, 2009: summarized from Business Marketing Goldmine -- During the course of my work as a copywriter, I encounter a surprising number of established businesses who, in marketing terms, have so far allowed the 21st century to pass them by.

While they may have an online presence, they do little to enhance their branding through incoming channels. Many have never conducted an online campaign, and few attach much significance to their online rankings and flow of site traffic. The prevailing attitude is 'business as usual' - i.e. reliance on the traditional channels of trade shows, direct response, email marketing and cold calling.

But while these methods remain effective in the short term, they are, like the dinosaurs before them, locked into a slow and irreversible demise. The evidence is all around us. Just take a look at the prevalence of new tools for blocking interruptive marketing, including sophisticated spam filters, and caller ID. And, even more worryingly, laws such as the CAN Spam Act and Do Not Call lists mean that even if marketers find a way of getting past the gate keepers, they'll find it much harder to circumvent the law.

The fact is the way people research new products is changing forever right beneath our noses. Smart businesses realize this, and are slowly shifting the emphasis of their efforts from 'outbound' marketing - i.e. broadcasting your message to thousands of people in the knowledge that between only 1% and 7% have any interest whatsoever - to 'inbound' marketing - by which people seek you out when they're ready to buy something. This means making the move away from conventional old-school marketing and investing more in search engine optimization, pay-per-click, business blogging and social media marketing. It means you'll be found by more qualified prospects and convert more of them to paying customers, and you'll stop wasting money on costly, hit-and miss interruption marketing methods.

A good place to begin is by analyzing your business's internet marketing effectiveness. Currently, how often do you to get 'found' by prospects in search engines, blogs and social media? To get the relevant data for your company, do some keyword research using Overture Keyword Tool, search on Technorati for blogs in your industry; search on social media sites relevant to your industry (Facebook, LinkedIn and others).

Use the data from the report to see how you can build more opportunities to reach prospects who are searching for your products and services.

Finally, develop a plan for transforming your company's marketing strategy from inbound marketing to outbound marketing, and bring it screaming and kicking into the 21st century!

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

Hotels Are Jumping On The Social Media Bandwagon

CM Comment: Some examples of Twitter is use within the lodging industry.

June 16th, 2009: summarized from bNet -- With all the talk about Twitter, the micro-blogging social media platform, as a business tool, it's no wonder that the struggling hotel industry is now using it as a way to reach potential guests.

When a friend of mine, who keeps a blog that covers restaurants, told the Twitterverse how she had a sub-par happy hour experience at Hyatt's Andaz hotel in Los Angeles, the hotel (whose two-month-old Twitter handle is @andazweho) offered her a free meal at its restaurant. Andaz says it also made sure to correct my friend's grievance - that her party wasn't served enough bar food. How's that for customer service, social media-style?

And not only are hotels using Twitter to interact directly with its guests, they're also using the platform to generate general interest by giving away free stays and other goodies.

Marriott International Inc. (@marriottintl) recently held a "Deal of the Day" promotion via its Twitter feed and Web site, offering one discounted deal per day for a Caribbean, Hawaii or California hotel from June 1 to June 12.

Some hotels use their Twitter feeds to create a persona, essentially giving life to a hotel. The Westin Bonaventure (@thebonaventure) in downtown Los Angeles has given away free stays and meals at its restaurant to promote its business, but it also tweeted about the Los Angeles Lakers' championship run, ingraining itself into other parts of the city's culture. And then there's this: "Why didn't Lisa Bonet lay down her version of 'Baby, I Love Your Way' as a single? We love that song. 'Is that Peter #$@%* Frampton?'"

Some other hotels on Twitter include Shutters on the Beach (@ShuttersSecrets) in Santa Monica, Hotel Carlton in San Francisco (@HotelCarltonSF), the Iron Horse Hotel (@ironhorsehotel) in Milwaukee and the Charles Hotel (@CharlesHotel) in Cambridge, Mass.

While straying too far from business-like tweets, a la the Bonaventure, might not be all hotels' goals, reaching out to customers and potential guests on a more personal level than the traditional press avenues could be a good bet. While people are demanding lower prices and better deals from their go-to travel destinations, they also want better service, and communicating via Twitter or other social media platforms is an effective way to do it.
Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/lxxmhe

Predictions About The Future Of Advertising

CM Comment: Some good ideas as we head into budgeting season.

June 16, 2009: summarized from Fast Company -- Let's start with what we know about media habits, structural changes in advertising practices, and advertising effectiveness.

Media habits
People are NOT watching less TV. Over 95% of video watching hours still occur on TV. However, many multitask and use DVRs. People are moving away from print toward digital. Time spent on social networking sites continues to explode; up 83% vs. last year according to Nielsen Online. Mobile is a main device for connecting to the Internet in many countries and is increasing here; apps and text messages bring brand messages right to the point of purchase.

Advertising practices
While Advertising spending is down because of the recession, TV, digital, and shopper marketing appear to be gaining share at the expense of radio and print (based on latest reports from TNS media). My guess is that spending on creating Web sites, communities, widgets, staff needed to participate in social media, etc., is growing but we don't really know since it isn't reported. Print is challenged, especially by classified advertising moving online. While print media now all have digital versions, they find that their audiences and ad revenues do not automatically transfer.

Structural changes
It's about integration. Media companies are putting their content on multiple platforms, making content rather than medium the organizing principle. Advertisers are creating integrated marketing teams. Advertisers and media companies are directly negotiating cross-platform relationships with deep integration of the advertiser into the program content (so people can't fast forward past the message).

Ad effectiveness
Despite people saying in surveys they don't like advertising, it still works. Perhaps the biggest surprise to some is the evidence that TV advertising works as well as ever. Even display ads and search are proven to translate into business without a click.

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/lr5xl8