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FutureLogic’s PromoNet system makes casino marketing smarter and more responsive to players than ever

Monday, 01 November 2010 16:20
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FutureLogic Inc’s PromoNet® casino coupon product is a flexible and feature-rich system that delivers real-time targeted promotions into the hands of all players as eye-catching coupons printed directly at the game.

From the convenience of a desktop PC, the PromoNet Campaign Management Tool lets casinos quickly create multiple marketing coupons using a variety of images, fonts and languages, and then link these coupons to how individual games are played to create tailored marketing promotions. Promotions are customised using a wide range of triggers—including date, time of day, length of play, frequency of issue, wagering activity and other user-definable criteria such as membership of a player’s club.

Once the coupons have been designed and the triggers defined, the campaign database can be uploaded to the promotional server. From here, the campaigns are then downloaded casino-wide via the Gaming Standards Association’s open standards protocols to slots equipped with a GEN2 Universal™ printer.

The promotional server can then be used to track, monitor, and enhance campaigns across the casino floor to maximise slot play throughout the day and across the floor. The system is designed to be simple and secure, ensuring that the casino servers are in full control of all communication with the printers, offering casinos of all sizes a flexible and cost-effective promotional tool.

Inside Asian Gaming spoke to Alfred Hwee, Business Development Manager—Asia for FutureLogic, about the capabilities of PromoNet.

IAG: What are your plans for PromoNet in Asia?

Alfred Hwee: At G2E Asia we showed live how players can receive promotional coupons out of the slot machine based on how they played the game. We are now in the final stages of testing at a number of customer sites across Asia. We haven’t yet publicly announced placements, but there are properties in markets such as Macau, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines and Cambodia that we are targeting.

PromoNet helps identify valuable anonymous or ‘uncarded’ players by the number and type of promotional triggers they hit whilst playing on a game. By being offered incentives via PromoNet these valuable ‘uncarded’ customers can be encouraged to sign up for a players’ card. For example: If a tour group of 500 people arrive at a casino, they may be scattered around the casino floor, many of them making low bets, but some of them betting high bets. It is difficult, however, for floor attendants to spot these valuable uncarded players amongst the masses because the attendant may be busy with other customers. PromoNet identifies these valuable players automatically by responding to certain triggers activated by those players. If a guest plays for above a certain amount of time, or places bets above a certain amount, that guest is of value to you now and in the future. PromoNet identifies and rewards this player by printing a ticket offering 1,000 points or player credits if they sign up for a players’ card within a certain time frame. This creates an incentive for the player to go to the membership desk and sign up for a players’ card. If the person is already a carded player, it can lead them to a higher tier of rewards or membership or an even richer promotion offering discounted food and beverages or hotel stays.

Can you explain how PromoNet works on the casino floor?

We want players to feel important when they come to a club or casino. The guest could be playing for three or even six hours. Perhaps they have already committed HK$10,000, HK$50,000 or even HK$100,000—do you want them to walk away empty-handed, or do you want to make them feel special by providing a promotion and incentive to stay longer or come back another time? If a coupon is printed at the end of the play session offering a free meal, it shows the customer that they are valued and extends and enhances their experience.

On the other hand the player may have won really big. Do you as an operator want the player to walk out straight away or make them an offer to stay at the hotel by automatically printing a ticket saying ‘Congratulations, you’ve got two nights free stay at our hotel’, giving the player an added incentive to stay and perhaps spend some of their winnings. PromoNet enables operators to be more creative with their rewards programmes, offering exciting prizes and incentives outside the gaming experience.

Can PromoNet be linked to nongaming operations in the resort?

PromoNet can be tied to the retail shopping side of the operation, for example offering players a discount voucher for their favourite luxury retail outlet.

Equally, if a casino visitor walks in to a high-end retail outlet and spends above a certain limit, this customer may be of significant value to the casino operation if they could be attracted to visit the casino floor. When they pay for their products—whether by credit card or cash—a PromoNet terminal can print a ticket that says ‘Congratulations, you have been awarded 1,000 points or player credits’. If the person then redeems those credits by playing in the casino, at that stage they may still be an uncarded player. But when they use that ticket in the casino, PromoNet recognizes the transaction and orders the system to print out another ticket saying if you sign up for a players’ card in the next say 15 to 30 minutes, we will give you another 1,000 points or playing credits. At that point you get the customer’s information, and from there existing player marketing strategies take over.

What are the benefits of marketing to players via PromoNet as opposed to say marketing to them via a second screen on a slot machine?

The benefits of receiving marketing messages direct to a player’s hand rather than via a screen are significant. If you’re sitting in front of a machine playing the game, you are watching the symbols. You might, for example, have two scatters, and you are waiting for the third one. It’s quite possible that you are so engrossed in the game on the main screen that you’re unlikely to be looking at the second promotional screen.

The advantage of PromoNet is that it fits organically with the player’s existing slot machine experience. At cash out, a light flashes, it prints a cash out ticket, and then it prints out a PromoNet coupon direct to the customer’s hands; it’s not just showing them something on screen, it’s providing the means to take that message away and use it, read it again, keep it as a reminder. It’s an award carefully targeted to a specified play behaviour.

Can you give us some examples of triggers for promotions?

Promotional triggers include length of play, the money line wager, i.e., how much the player risked to win a certain amount, amount spent or combinations of these and other triggers. PromoNet also has the capability to select when promotional coupons can be redeemed, creating incentives for players to come back to the casino on specific dates or times, increasing footfall during quieter periods.

Does PromoNet interact with the maths or accounting of the game?

No, PromoNet is a standalone technology for promotional couponing. It connects via an interface card to the [slot] machine and to a second port on the ticket printer; it does not, therefore, affect any accounting on the [slot] machine. Information on play behaviour is obtained from game play metrics that trigger the promotional coupon to print via real time information transfer. When the player realises they have been awarded something extra to any game winnings, it creates a positive experience for them. Once players have the expectation of that extra value, they may spend more hours and more money on the machine in order to try to trigger further awards or offers. Extending average length of play or increasing the average bet by even a small amount provides significant gains for the operator.

Tourists from mainland China can only visit Macau once a month at the moment. Does that mean PromoNet is better employed for targeting more frequent visitors such as Hong Kong residents and Macau residents who can easily take advantage of promotions?

Casinos still need to reach players whether they come once a week, once a month or once every six months. PromoNet is a great tool for reaching out to all these unknown, uncarded and anonymous players. Using PromoNet, operators can create their own unique campaign applications to target these players using the PromoNet tool kit. The casino can tailor the value, type and frequency of promotions and the validity period and redemption date of each promotion to the precise needs of the customer, regardless of whether they are coming once a month from China or once a week from Hong Kong.

Infrequent visitors to Macau from Singapore and Malaysia can also be targeted using promotions providing a medium for specific marketing messages. These messages can offer significantly more visual information than can be put, for example, on a text message.

Particularly at peak times such as Chinese New Year, Macau operators calculate how many people come into their property and the percentage that sign up for a player’s card. Compared to other jurisdictions, it’s still quite low. PromoNet is the perfect marketing tool to increase this percentage and at the same time enhance the player experience.

 

You can visit FutureLogic at Booth 2431b during G2E to see PromoNet in action on many well known manufacturers’ games.

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