Tuesday, July 21, 2009

GameLogic Announces New Player Acquisition Product -- NewPlay

CM Comment: Another product announcement from GameLogic (our sponsor). This one is all about using the web to bring in new, first-time customers. Definitely worth a look.

July 15, 2009: summarized from Business Wire --GameLogic, Inc., a provider of interactive marketing services for the U.S. regulated gaming industry, today announces NewPlay, a cost-effective, high-impact solution for the greatest challenge facing today's gaming operators - attracting new players. NewPlay is a first-of-its-kind, turnkey, web-based marketing platform that directly extends traditional new customer acquisition activities onto the Internet.

"Today, attracting new customers is more important then ever," said John E. Taylor, Jr., GameLogic president and chief executive officer. "With NewPlay's player portal and unique games, a gaming operator immediately creates a sense of membership and 'stake' in their property or games among targeted prospects. As importantly, operators can easily and efficiently transition those prospects into customers."

NewPlay combines web-based player registration and profiling with an interactive new player portal including PlayAwayTM games - all working in concert to attract prospective patrons, capture them into a marketing database, provide them a daily chance to win, and ultimately instill in them a sense of "stake" in the associated casino property or lottery program. The result: eligible prospects convert into first-time customers quickly and easily.

NewPlay includes three key components:

1. Web-based registration designed to: initiate an online relationship with prospective customers; collect contact information including email, address, mobile phone numbers (for SMS), etc.; and manage all aspects of the relationship including subscriber opt-in management.

2. GameLogic's PlayAway™ suite of online fun, bonus-delivery and tournament games designed to engage players in a daily Internet-based relationship and then have them build-up "stake" in the casino property or lottery program, promoting an urgency to become an active customer.

3. The NewPlay web portal, providing prospective members a personal, online "play space," complete with free online games surrounded by a new player oriented marketing calendar, promotions, advertisements and more. The portal is the focal point for all marketing programs and vehicles, tracking each call to action (through email offers, PlayAway games, etc.) and containing general messaging as well as all of the information relevant to that prospective patron and his/her burgeoning relationship with the property.

NewPlay heavily leverages GameLogic's popular PlayAway product suite. "Traditional player acquisition programs foster awareness, but they don't fundamentally change player behavior. PlayAway does by giving players a daily chance to feel like a winner - right over the Internet - fueling a primary emotion inside all gamblers," says Taylor.

NewPlay is delivered as a turnkey system, simple to implement and inexpensive to operate. GameLogic operates NewPlay under a Software as a Service (SaaS) model in which the platform is licensed for use as a service on demand. GameLogic hosts the application on its own web servers and performs as a technology and marketing service bureau for day-to-day operations and support

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/n5o4je

Dover Downs Hotel & Casino Places Twitter Billboard on Route 50 in DC

Delaware Casino Uses Traditional Advertising to Attract Twitter Followers

July 17, 2009: summarized from PRWEB -- Last week Dover Downs Hotel & Casino posted a billboard along Route 50 near Washington, D.C. instructing passers-by to "follow" the company on the social networking site Twitter.

While the company's other billboards feature more traditional contact info, such as a phone number or Web address, this billboard targets users of one specific Web site exclusively.

Anyone over 21 who subscribes to the company's updates on Twitter receives instructions on how to obtain free slot play credits at the casino.

Gloria Hammelef, Senior Director of Marketing at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, was prompted by recent media coverage to begin exploring the different ways Twitter can be used to connect with new and current customers.

"Twitter has become, for us at least, a great way to interact with a vocal and vibrant segment of our customer base," says Hammelef. "We've been able to reach out to people via Twitter who might have been unaware of us otherwise."

Dover Downs Hotel & Casino began using Twitter in the beginning of June and as of this writing the company has over 370 followers and has "tweeted" (updated their profile) over 800 times.

To further connect with Twitter community, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino will host the September edition of the Delaware Tweetup at a restaurant in the hotel. The Delaware Tweetup is a gathering of Twitter users from Delaware for networking and charity fundraising.

Follow Dover Downs Hotel & Casino on Twitter by visiting the casino section of their Web site and following the link to their Twitter page.

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

Hey, Marketers ... What's So Bad About Mobile?

July 17, 2009: summarized from The Wrap -- The "year of mobile" has been long-predicted and hotly debated by industry insiders, but in 2009 mobile marketing in entertainment is still pale blue rather than red hot.

Forrester's latest interactive forecast describes mobile as "one of the most anticipated, least adopted interactive channels in the mix." And although entertainment marketers are active in mobile marketing, they are not the biggest spenders.

eMarketer estimates that movie studios will shell out more than $16 billion on advertising in 2009, climbing to $18.6 billion in 2013. An increasing share of this spend is heading to the digital sector -- $1.2 billion in 2009, and an estimated $2.7 billion in 2013.

But mobile advertising budgets represent a tiny segment of that amount -- roughly 10 percent -- and an even smaller piece of the overall marketing budget -- about 1 percent.

So why isn't entertainment a more prominent player in the mobile arena?

TV is still king. Mobile is an afterthought. Some studio honchos dolling out dollars to interactive departments are not themselves early adopters to technology. So the mentality is: "If I'm not using this, then how viable is it?" Many have spent their entire careers budgeting buying for broadcast TV, believing it to be the most effective way to get butts in seats, sell DVDs and drive tune-ins. Think about how difficult it must be for them to change their tactics this late in the game -- especially when what they love to buy is on sale.

Much like online, mobile buys are still primarily used in promotions. But if mobile marketing continues to be an afterthought, budgets will remain small. And let's face it, the entertainment industry is still playing catch-up in the digital space, never mind mobile.

Fearing the leap from traditional to digital. From a traditional marketing perspective, some studio executives believe mobile is an unproven medium. Marketers are hesitant to put time, money and resources into something that may not pay off. But mobile reporting is improving and, nearly everything that can be tracked in an online banner can now be tracked in a mobile ad unit. More case studies, research and benchmarks are available to tout results and prove effectiveness.

An example of great mobile integration by a studio is the Paramount Pictures/Millennial Media execution of the "Eagle Eye Mobile Challenge" supporting the release of "Eagle Eye." The campaign integrated mobile web, voice response, text messaging and viral activation, to give users an authentic experience reflective of the film's plot. Results exceeded expectations with an exceptionally high conversion rate.

No uniform operating systems and device specifications. Numerous operating systems and device specifications in the U.S. have made it difficult for third-party ad servers to integrate across a large number of publishers. Just as online ads need to be tested across various browsers, specifications vary across mobile devices. Phones have different display sizes and proprietary browsers that render differently. (The same website viewed through the BlackBerry browser can appear very different on an iPhone using Safari.) There are also differences between cellular network speeds and traditional network speeds; i.e., the 3G network is not as fast as a standard broadband connection.

To reduce that pain point, mobile ad networks and ad servers such as Millennial Media, Quattro, and AdMob allow advertisers to place bigger buys with larger reach and provide integrated reporting and creative services. The emergence of the iPhone has also enabled more than a simple text-based browsing experience.

iPhones allow for greater creative executions with expandable rich media units featuring pristine video such as the ones Focus Features ran for "Burn After Reading".

Perception of high CPM's. Mobile ad CPMs (cost-per-thousand) have the reputation of being pricey, in the $15-$25 range, which makes the cost-per-pixel skyrocket in a mobile marketing plan. Combine high CPMs with skepticism and you've got a big red flag on a plan. But the cost of mobile advertising is correcting itself along with the market, and CPM prices are coming down to a more reasonable $5-$15. This lower rate will help motivate marketers and spur future campaigns.

No one to do the work. Studio and network interactive marketing departments, and ad agencies that support their business, are short-staffed. The folks at the top didn't rise with interactive, and suffer from a lack of understanding of both the workflow process and what is required to make online and mobile campaigns fly.

Changing copy involves redoing numerous versions of ad units which then need to be re-trafficked. All of these efforts increase the chance for error. When audio and video are placed into the mix, the effort/error ratio increases exponentially, causing additional delays.

No phone in the movie? No plan for you! Sometimes if there is no direct product tie-in to technology, marketers don't see a connection. Matt Shaw, director of west coast sales for AdMob, views the studios as being forward thinking and doing exciting things with mobile such as Universal Pictures' "Fast & Furious" iPhone site -- but he scratches his head when folks tell him, "Oh that's not a mobile movie."

With some 60 million unique users in the U.S., mobile is here to stay and the marketing platform those users offer will continue to grow. The question is, When will that day hit Hollywood?

Perhaps mobile marketing during the summer of 2012 will finally make it a red hot one in Tinseltown.

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/nw5sv2

Sorry Google, 'There's A URL For That' Doesn't Have The Same Ring

July 17, 2009: summarized from mocoNews.net -- At yesterday's MobileBeat conference in San Francisco, Google Engineering VP Vic Gundotra said the app store trend is just a fad and at some point powerful browsers will take over as the main mechanism for delivering services to the phone, reports FT.com.

While that may be true, the biggest problem facing Google will not be convincing developers, but consumers. Apple's steroid-enhanced marketing machine has drilled into the public thinking that "there's an app for that," not that there's a URL. Clearly after logging 1.5 billion downloads within a year, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) is on to something and vigorously training the mobile users of tomorrow. Even if Google is correct for all the right technical reasons, they may face an uphill battle when it comes to perceptions.

It's not that Gundotra didn't make a strong case about using mobile browsers. He argued: "What we clearly see happening is a move to incredibly powerful browsers. Many, many applications can be delivered through the browser and what that does for our costs is stunning." Already, there's some evidence that this could work. The latest technology will let web applications tap features on the phone, including the accelerometer, and already Google has integrated location information.

And mostly, users don't care what technology they are using as long as it works. When people in the mobile industry talk about browser-based technology, they aren't saying that icons-or shortcuts-on the phone will go away. In actuality, there might be a light-weight widget sitting on your phone's homescreen, much like an icon today-however, it's actively pulling info from the web. For instance, Google's Android operating system is already supporting widgets. The WeatherBug widget displays the current temperature and the expected hi and low for the day-based on your location-right in the icon.

But it's not just marketing hype...Google will have to prove browsers are the best way to go, and some of the challenges of creating a browser environment may be out of Google's hands. It's up to the carrier to provide a strong signal, and without a native experience on the phone, losing a cellular connection or having a weak signal would severely hamper the user experience. In addition, it's not realistic to believe that the browser will eliminate fragmentation (unless Google intends on dominating the mobile browser market). Developers will have to tailor their services to meet all of them, much like they do today for the iPhone's Safari browser. Another complication, which could be an entirely separate post, is distribution. How will you find new services in a browser? Likely, Google's answer is Google search.

To be sure, there's still a ton of kinks to be worked out in Google's plan. But you have to wonder why Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, caved on the matter himself over a year ago. If you remember, Jobs originally had the same idea for the iPhone. "Build for the web," he said. But as we know, applications were launched just a year later, now there's more than 65,000. That's a lot of momentum.

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/ntjd2j