Gifting programs have long been a tried-and-true casino marketing strategy designed to build customer base and create brand loyalty. They do, however, take on a very special significance for player development teams whose goal it is to attract, cultivate, and maintain high end players.
InfiGifts is the one-stop answer to simplifying and deriving the maximum results from VIP gifting events. Given the operational challenges that properties face planning, budgeting, and executing what are arguably the most important occasions on a property’s player development calendar, VIP gifting is nothing to leave to chance.
Azam Husain is the CEO of Seattle-based Casino Science, a data science and analytics solution company for the gaming industry. The company specializes in making in-depth studies of data and how casinos can make better decisions using the data that they generate.
It was a result of parent company Casino Science performing analytic research to evaluate the effectiveness of gifting programs that InfiGifts was created.
“One of the things that we discovered was that gifting events do exactly what they were designed to do,” Husain said. “That is, to get the player to make an incremental trip to the casino. The trip will include them playing, usually at a high volume.”
Given the positive impact and proven results of gifting, Husain realized there had to be a better way than having to plan events months in advance, create storage space, procure staffing, and plan all of the other operational requirements that a casino must put into place in order to make certain the event is successful.
What’s more, there had to be a more efficient, impactful and meaningful way to reward high value players. Stating the fact that player development does not have the same resources to manage a gifting event as the marketing division, Husain cited the challenge of selecting gifts that are considerably different than those offered in monthly continuity gifting programs.
“VIP players reason that if they are giving more worth to the casino, they should be entitled to a gift commensurate with the value they bring to the property,” Husain said. “If you’re a VIP player, you don’t necessarily want to have a crock pot, for example. You wish to have a really high-end type of gift that is designed to show the player that they are valued and that the casino truly appreciates you and wishes to reward you.”
InfiGifts makes it possible for the VIP player to have this experience. Redeemed through their smartphone or a kiosk, the gift is then shipped to the player’s home address. They receive exactly the gift they want without the casino making investments in storage, logistics, and staffing.
“InfiGifts is designed to address what is associated with trying to provide success with VIP gifting,” Husain said. “This means the kind of gifts targeted specifically for the high-end player. The gifts that we offer on our platform are all well recognized brands with whom people are familiar. They know exactly the value they are receiving and the quality they are receiving. They are gifts that recognize precisely who that player is and that they are very different from what they may be receiving from another casino.”
Among the many properties that have discovered the value of InfiGifts is Win-River Resort & Casino, located in Redding, California in the northern Sacramento Valley.
“I absolutely love it,” raved Vicki Baggett, manager of the property’s River Club Rewards. “InfiGifts saves money and has improved the customer service that we are able to deliver. I don’t see us going back to the old way of doing things.
“We have successfully used InfiGifts at our event parties. It allows us to tier the items that we are gifting and provides a much broader selection. There are no extra costs, because we are only paying for what is selected by our guests. We did a dinner for our highest value players. They loved the selection that was offered to them and the added convenience of having their gift shipped directly to their home.”
Husain explained that when InfiGifts was originally developed, the intent was to have the technology work on a variety of different modalities. Not only via app, but also kiosk, printer, and integration into as many different forms as possible.
“InfiGifts was designed knowing that casinos make investments in different types of technologies,” he explained. “We wish to put our technology into those investments and support the investments they have made. Over the past several months we have been prioritizing building partnerships and relationships. We have our own app, but we don’t want to be just another app provider.”
A relatively new feature that InfiGifts brings to the VIP gifting solution is “Surprise Gifting,” which allows players to receive gifts without advance knowledge.
“The great thing about Surprise Gifting is the concept that the player didn’t expect anything, yet it shows up on their door step,” Husain said. “For example, a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day that shows up at the player’s front door with a branded message.
“Surprise gifting has put us on a path of developing other types of creative strategies for operators that allows them to ‘own’ their experiences when it comes to gifting. Branded messaging, for example, actually extends the brand of the casino into the gift that arrives at the player’s front door.”
Husain acknowledges that the strategy with gifting, especially at the high end, revolves around players who are of the highest value and who have a choice of where they wish to go to spend their entertainment dollars.
“VIP players are going to spend their money with you for a reason,” he said. “As such, you must ensure that whatever gift you place in front of them is significant enough in value to make them feel appreciated and make it worth the experience.”