In my current position, in concert with the GM and the management team, I have collaboratively helped develop marketing and business initiatives and led the communication and deployment of these with the rest of the management team. On the marketing side of things, this includes building out a full casino marketing structure using both tested and true methods as well as untested new opportunities.
I advocated diligently for a more aggressive promotional landscape as well as a more formalized and focused role for the Host concept within a properly designed Player Development department. With the help of skilled and dedicated hosts we hired throughout the years, we eventually developed the Player Development Manager position into the key position equal to that of Marketing you see in most casinos that recognize the benefit of aggressive relationship marketing in securing high-end players.
Promotions & Player Development Management
Over the years I've been able to mentor Player Development and Casino Management personnel in player statistics and quick evaluation for requests in the field, and convince upper management of the benefit of a Player Development priority until such point as they elected to bring on a candidate with dedicated experience in Player Development Management. I've also been proud to mentor marketing personnel in promotional design and direct mail implementation.
Directing people in creative endeavors is a unique and difficult form of leadership, and it requires a different touch than is required to lead front-line employees at the service center of transactions. I find it beneficial calling upon my background in direction of live theater to be able to manage the more unique challenges in directing a creative personality and guiding them to good work for the enterprise.
Outsourcing & Vendor Management
I've been managing vendor relationships across the spectrum of casino marketing, from advertising representatives and production teams, to promotional giveaway item salespeople, to professionals at every stage of a direct mail chain: data, creative, and production. In relationships both contracted and casual, I've been able to leverage my personal experience and empirical knowledge to better evaluate a vendor's performance, product, and value whether they are providing graphic design or data mining and reporting.
Honestly, vendor management for marketing is important but is a much smaller requirement on both time and patience than vendor management for Information Technology. In my tenure as Director of Information Technology, a rich and multi-layered workload of vendor management involving licensing, capitol purchases, support contracts, and RMA's can absorb a significant amount of time. It's important to be direct and forceful yet diplomatic at times to get things accomplished along a set timeline.
What is the most effective strategy for marketing? Well, that's the question, isn't it? Marketing in practice is a process, one that defines its goals and measurements but at the end of the day is slaved to the goals of the overall business. Is the business targeting aggressive growth? Is the business targeting steady maintenance of commanding market share while increasing margin? Is the business trying to establish a new market, or is the business engaged in competitive battles for share of an existing market?
The area of strategy with which I am most familiar is businesses operating in an established segment, in a fiercely competitive and saturated market. Casinos in the Black Hawk and Central City markets are surrounded by tightly packed competition, and aggressive promotional and outbound strategies focusing on market share are key. And yet, also being established and saturated with competition, excessive short-term growth-directed marketing spend has long been attempted in the market (particularly upon change of ownership in properties in the market) with questionable short-term results.
In truth, this is a long-term market, with long-term customer relationships. With a consistent focus on revenue and EBITDA as opposed to mindshare and growth, casinos here are smart to carefully analyze and consider their spends to find strategies that can be executed, measured, adjusted, and redployed efficiently in spend to grow the bottom line. To accomplish this, the property needs to be operating on all cylingers, and every aspect from service and hospitality, to food and amenities, to branding and positioning in the market, to facilities and decor, to advertising and promotional strategy must be aligned and effective.
The most effective market strategy is therefore fluid to the needs of the business, can't be summarized in a few paragraphs, is more of an ongoing process subject to continual refinement than a set strategy, and by necessity includes evaluation and communication on all areas of the business. The smart marketer also derives strategy by listening to all areas of the business as well. In my experience, our operative marketing strategy has been reached in close collaboration with upper executive management.
General Manager at Augustine Casino
February 19, 2010, Jef was senior to Dana but didnít manage directlyDana is a highly creative, technical whiz kid in the marketing arena. He has the very unique ability to not only create gorgeous, effective, compelling artwork but also possesses the proficiency to use his advanced database querying skills to determine who the message should target and why. It's rare to find this combination of expertise in a marketer and Dana definitely maximizes both sides of the brain to deliver amazing results. I highly recommend him for any marketing project large or small.