Caesars guests roll the dice all the time and leave a lot to fair Lady Fortune. But the casino’s admirable approach to mobile marketing leaves little to chance. During an hour-long webinar earlier this month, a senior executive from Caesars Entertainment said that mobile will sit at the center of the company’s strategy to move the business a giant leap forward in 2013.
Eric Petersen, director of new media, Caesars Entertainment, sees “four components” to mobile.
First, mobile Web is used to get consumers to Caesars’ properties — allowing them to make reservations. Second, SMS is mainly used to reach consumers that are in market — sending them exclusive offers, deals and reminders.
Third, mobile applications are “hotel-specific to enhance customer experience” — and these apps deliver value by enabling customers to access and use concierge services, room service and make dining reservations.
“Finally, Petersen noted, “we use QR codes on print advertising and on-site signage to increase the level of interactivity consumers can have with our brands.”
Petersen is wise to provide consumers choice and let them decide how (mobile, Web, on-site) they want to interact with his properties. He also correctly assumes that his customers have a certain level of sophistication and mobile savvy.
But there is a bar to reach. Brands have to deliver their customers a mobile-optimized website and experience. “Without it,” he argued, “you will give the consumer a bad experience and risk that they will never return.”
What’s more, with search being one of the most popular activities on a mobile device, it is imperative that search results lead to an optimal user experience. “This is why brands must optimize their sites for mobile, and [why] mobile Web will still lead as the main channel next year,” he said.
Petersen may work in glitzy Las Vegas, but the lights don’t blind him to what works in mobile — and what fails.
This is why Caesars’ mobile strategy is squarely focused on delivering user experiences that provide value.
“Mobile is making things easier for consumers,” he said. “You can deposit a check, book a flight or make a dinner reservation. As marketers, we need to keep this in mind. Mobile is here to solve problems.”
And it shouldn’t just be about solving the problems of a select group of individuals (distinguished by their high-end devices or huge appetite for apps). This is why Petersen has purposely included tried-and-true text messaging in his marketing mix. Unsexy, yes. But it is effective. “SMS is an important factor for engagement,” he said. “It’s the only medium that offers 100-percent reach.”
HOW I SEE IT: As I’ve written before, the travel and tourism vertical gets mobile. Marketers in this industry are among the most active — and most effective. From enabling people to make last-minute bookings using only their mobile phones, to driving on-premises customers to nearby restaurants and shows, companies in this vertical have proven mobile provides convenience and immediacy.Caesars is another great example showing the way forward.
As we look to 2013, you have to wonder whether Augmented Reality (AR), a technology gaining serious traction in mobile marketing, might not also hit it big in Vegas (and elsewhere) in 2013. After all, Las Vegas is surely a great fit (can you think of a place more distant from reality?). Granted, usage is small. But next year might be the time for AR to get its day in the big lights.
(first appeared here http://www.mobilegroove.com/mobile-more-than-roll-of-dice-for-caesars-las-veg...