For today’s online consumers, privacy is hugely important – and for marketers throughout the gaming industry, that can cause some serious headaches.
Historically, marketing departments have essentially relied upon players to “opt-in” to correspondence – that is, before a department can market to an individual, that individual has to affirmatively agree to join the marketing funnel.
In general, this “opt-in” model has proven to be an excellent method of attracting and retaining a considerable number of patrons, who have likely been enticed to share the data of their patronage in exchange for offers, information, and whatever else might be on offer.
For the marketer, this patronage data can be hugely beneficial. When converted (by the method of ratings or other reward schemes) into “goods” (including Buffet vouchers, Match-play, Free-play, hotel rooms…etc.), this exchange can help significantly toward building brand loyalty among those patrons on the receiving end.
However, while demonstrably effective, this method has never been able to address that other marketing concern: how to inculcate loyalty among this those you do not know.
For players who (for whatever reason) wish to remain anonymous, there has been no effective way to gauge their loyalty – even on an hour to hour basis – nor has there been a way to incentivize their remaining within your premises, even in the short term.
That has been the state of affairs since the very introduction of loyalty cards and other loyalty systems. But with the addition of advanced facial recognition technology to the marketing equation, that all may be changing – and modern business owners must prepare to adjust accordingly.
Deploying Facial Recognition for Marketing Purposes
In order to achieve the maximum benefits of facial recognition for marketing purposes, two key elements remain vital:
- A camera that can see people’s faces, and
- An AI system that can identify patrons to some unique parameter – whether that is the name of the individual, or some AI generated facial value.
Once this capability can be deployed, the marketing department is able to move forward with the following formula for establishing regular contact:
Tracking an Individual’s Unique Interests & Activities
Business owners can utilize facial recognition and Artificial Intelligence to track specific individuals throughout their visit. This can be achieved using the Rating system, the POS system, the TITO system, or a combination of these systems as most appropriate for the situation.
For example: say you had an unidentified customer who was playing at the gaming table (their name and associated details are not known). Facial recognition technology could be used to uniquely identify them based upon the parameters of the AI system. At this point, they would be “recognized” by the system as that same individual each time they played at a gaming table – not necessarily by name, but by facial recognition.
Using this data, an individual player’s value could be assessed as accurately as that of any other “known” patron. They would, in effect, become an identified patron – albeit one without a formal membership arrangement.
Create Patron-Specific Marketing Offers
Now that the individual in question has been uniquely identified, and now that their play has been “rated,” it would now be possible to design marketing offers specifically targeted toward them based upon their interactions with the various “touch points” within the casino operation, including gaming tables (location and type) as well as bars and restaurants, slots, or EGMs.
This snapshot of all the player’s related “touch points” can then be used for market segmentation purposes, allowing the operator or marketer to build loyalty from the facially-identified patron, as well as to enable extensions of valuable play time. This enables operators and marketers to take advantage of several helpful marketing considerations:
- This activity could be considered from a loyalty scheme standpoint, although likely at a far lower reward level, to determine whether offers should be made.
- These offers could be made directly at the device in play (or at least the TITO Kiosk), a Slot/EGM, from a staff member at a Gaming Table, or a waiter or waitress if recognized within a restaurant/bar setting.
- Reward offers could be delivered directly to the identified patron, so that the number of such offers made would be absolutely identified as well as the person receiving the offer. This would also allow the participation rate of any offers made to be considered. Since the system would know how many offers were made and to whom, they could also consider who among the beneficiaries actually used the offer and how long this was after the offer had been made.
- It would also be possible to compare what was known of the play of the people who had been made an offer and chose to accept it when compared to those who had been made an offer and not acted upon it.
Overall, the system would use data from multiple sources within the casino estate, as well as AI Facial Recognition algorithms, to build up a far larger and more nuanced picture of what was going on and the interactions of those individuals frequenting the operation with it.
Using Facial Recognition and AI to Rewrite The Marketing Playbook
This type of holistic “knowledge” system allows marketing departments significant potential to radically increase efficiencies within current casino marketing Reward and CRM systems.
Perhaps more importantly, it also allows operators to completely rewrite the marketing paradigm to cultivate loyalty within the anonymous as well as the well-known.
Using facial recognition at basic “touch points” within the casino estate allows for more effective and efficient marketing to individuals, better customer service and, almost certainly, an increase in the bottom line.
This additional knowledge, tied into the capability to make offers “on the fly” as well as at specific reward periods, could help refine these practices further, enhancing marketing segmentation by making it more inclusive and more accurate.
Facial Recognition and AI systems like these are not only coming in the near future – they are practical and in use now. Moreover, they are helping to improve organizations’ entire bottom lines, even when the costs of the system are factored in.
The question now: do you want to be in the vanguard and achieve first-mover advantage? Or would you prefer to be left behind?
If you’re ready to see what these systems can do for your marketing efforts, get in touch with our team at eConnect and we’ll walk you through exactly how to put facial recognition and AI technology to work for your marketing efforts.