What Fabulous Las Vegas Has Taught me about Business Marketing –
Since I was of legal gambling age, I have always enjoyed taking short trips to Las Vegas, Nevada. If you’ve never been there, I highly recommend it, even if you aren’t into gambling. So much to see and do, from outdoor adventures, relaxing by the pool and shopping to shows and of course the decadent food.
How have the Las Vegas casino/hotels managed to get me to return there so many different occasions? With clever marketing practices, of course. And just because your business doesn’t have slot machines or an all-you-can-eat buffet to lure in customers, doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two from the Las Vegas marketing masters. Here are a few things that I noticed about how Las Vegas (and the casino/hotels in general) practice effective marketing:
- Get a great Brand and Memorable Tagline: Even if you’ve never been to Las Vegas, my guess is that you know their tagline: “What Happens Here, Stays Here,” which many have copied for their own campaigns. Check out some of their ad campaigns on the Las VegasYouTube channel. They’ve even taken it a step further, and added a page to their website which talks about an oath you must take when you travel there. Hilarous, yet it is so memorable. This great brand helps to build up the mystique and the excitement that is only Vegas. Does your brand convey something memorable or exciting, or give customers a good feeling? If not, it’s time to change it.
Market to Loyal Customers (and Reward them): The casino/hotel where we stay always sends us a postcard within months of our previous stay, with a special offer, asking us to return. Many times, this comes in the form of a giveaway, such as a free night or two of hotel stay, slot play, spa discount or dining credit. Because Vegas knows that once you experience a stay there, you’ll want to return soon. And of course the more you spend, the better the offer. Are you marketing to existing customers to get them to come back for more?
- Know your Customers Well: If you have been to Vegas and used one of the hotel’s loyalty cards (which tracks your gambling play, dining activities, and more), or charged any activities to your room, you’ll most likely be invited for a return trip. That’s because the hotel/casinos use this information to learn more about their customers, in order to cater to their likes and dislikes when they return. How well do you know your customers? If not very well, how can you find out more about them by implementing a loyalty program or tracking their purchases?
- Market to and Support New Customers: Vegas doesn’t forget that every year, millions of people turn 21. Or that millions of others have never been to Las Vegas – whether they are intimidated or don’t think that it’s for them. They have a section on their page devoted to newcomers, so that their first trip doesn’t seem overwhelming, and that they can take advantage of all that the city has to offer. This serves as a great customer service tool as well, to help people navigate around, and ensures that their customers will have a great experience while there.
- Segment by Target Audience: Las Vegas knows their audiences well, so they make sure to market different types of activities, depending on their customer. A high roller might be more interested in accommodations or privacy, a casual traveler might be more interested in clubs, events or special offers, and a family with kids might be interested in when the pool is opening for the season, along with any family-friendly shows. And since Las Vegas is always changing, they have done a great job of keeping customers updated on everything that’s new to see and do in the area. Do you market differently to customers based on how they spend, or segment out your email marketing, ads or direct mail campaigns accordingly?
- Make it an experience: One thing that Las Vegas does well is make it an experience to visit there. From the time we arrive, to the time we depart, we feel like royalty. Just looking down the strip and seeing all of the lights and sounds puts you in a different frame of mind. Even though I might have spent most of my time playing video roulette, there was always a cocktail waitress handy to refresh my beverage. Even if you win $2 on a slot machine, when you cash out (electronically, mind you), what do you hear? The sound of coins falling, as if you’ve hit it big. How can you make your retail or service business an experience for your customers? Sometimes the little things make a big difference.
What other things have you noticed about Las Vegas that could help others in their marketing efforts? Or what do you enjoy most about visiting the city? I”d love to hear about it!
PS: Las Vegas has not paid me to write this post. But I’d love for them to invite me back! 🙂