OPTX exec: Looking at slots and marketing together can be a game-changer

OPTX exec: Looking at slots and marketing together can be a game-changer

  • Buck Wargo
January 28, 2022 12:07 AM
  • Other

Combining slot and marketing data can be a game-changer for casino operations, according to Brooke Fiumara, co-CEO of OPTX, the data-platform company.

Traditionally, slot machines, player development, and marketing all tend to work in silos, but “there’s immense value in bringing all of the data into a holistic and actionable view,” Fiumara said.

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Brooke Fiumara, co-CEO, OPTX

“At the end of the day, running a casino isn’t about each individual department. It’s about each individual customer. Casino customers interact with all these different departments, but the customers don’t compartmentalize their experience. They’re keeping a scorecard across areas to then create their perception of overall experience at the property.”

“If casinos aren’t looking at slot, marketing, and player-development data in a single tool, they’re leaving opportunity on the table.”

In today’s labor-challenged environment, it doesn’t mean casino marketing initiatives need to fall by the wayside either, Fiumara said. When a casino’s entire database resides “in a single easy-to-use mobile platform like OPTX, all team members on the floor can become part of the marketing team.”

For example, Fiumara says, they can issue comps that align directly with the casino’s rules. An employee who doesn’t have a host’s traditional access can still make great business decisions around comping.

“They can greet high-value customers even if a host isn’t available,” Fiumara said. “They have access to who those high-value customers are and when they were last contacted, so they can prioritize their contact on the floor and even bring them their favorite beverage and elevate the guest experience.”

The employees can answer questions about upcoming promotions and offer details on a guest’s account on the fly, without needing to go back to a desktop computer and/or marketing. They can even quickly act on high-value unrated customers with a tool like OPTX, so they can be converted into loyalty members and ultimately grow those relationships and business.

“A tool like OPTX truly is a game-changer for operations of all sizes. There are many risks for casinos if they don’t look at data holistically, and one of them is not seeing the whole picture. When you’re instantly able to look at your database or segments of your database where you redeem something like free slot play, it can reveal insights to game performance and trends that otherwise might be overlooked through standard reporting,” Fiumara said. “There’s a lot of power in visualization and OPTX has best-in-class slot visualization and heat mapping for casino operators.”

According to Fiumara, another risk is uninformed or misinformed decision-making. If casinos are looking at a slot report and have a game that’s severely underperforming, by looking only at that slot report, they would assume a need to convert or remove the game. But if casinos take that same report and overlay it with marketing data, they might learn that although it’s severely underperforming, two of their top players spend 30% of their time and 20% of their wallets at that machine. Given that information, a casino’s decision on how to handle that game might change.

Another example she gave of misinformed decision-making is looking through the lens of player development. Hosts are good at evaluating players and understanding worth and often keep notes about what players might like to play.

“With a tool like OPTX, you don’t need to keep notes,” Fiumara said. “The data drives that story, and it’s automatically populated into the guest’s account, so everybody has access to that information.”

When casinos combine slot and marketing data and use it to drive player-development initiatives, they can immediately act on recommendations provided by OPTX around their best players. An example of this is educating your top players in real-time on other games they might like, thus driving incremental time on device.

“That type of service sets you apart from your competition,” Fiumara said. “Most properties strive to integrate marketing data into slot decisions, but they struggle due to a lack of technology and resources. With OPTX, that blocker is removed, because the platform does the heavy lifting for you. Slot teams can seamlessly manage their floors with all of their marketing and player-development data in a single platform.”

Performance can also be taken to the next level through artificial intelligence. AI models, like the ones developed by the OPTX data-science team, piece together these microtrends that underlie all the data.

“It’s not just slot data and marketing data, but all of the data across your property, that identify these microtrends to convert them to very specific recommendations that have a material ROI (return on investment). Those recommendations can come in the form of player recommendations – a player you should contact and how you should contact them and when you should contact them to get the biggest return on that player,” Fiumara said. “It can be machine information, such as which machines on the floor you should swap or which you should convert or replace altogether.”

From a marketing standpoint, the OPTX models look at a casino’s segmentations and make recommendations on players that should move up in segments, down in segments, or out of the campaign altogether. The information can also be used to optimize monthly mailers.

“When you pull all of the data to one place, you can truly make a bottom-line impact for a casino,” Fiumara said.