How many times have you heard someone say “If I could clone you we could get so much more done”? It’s been said many ways but the question always revolves around cloning someone because they are already so busy and their skills are needed somewhere else as well.
A dream we all have is to take our most motivated and driven staff and clone them instead of hiring and training other people that may or may not be as driven or as capable.
What if there was a way to free-up your most valuable personnel? What if you could set them free to work in other areas? You COULD get so much more accomplished each day!
This is where Marketing Automation comes in
What if every report, every direct mail campaign, every post-forma and every possible daily task was automated to happen wither someone came in to work or not? Think about it.
What if you could put all your daily struggles on cruise control and your entire team got to focus on new guest experiences, contests, expansions and community outreach?
I’m not saying it’s 100% possible… But What If it was?
It would be like you just cloned your entire staff and the they all got to focus 100% of their time on those new pressing issues on the top of your internal bucket lists. Think of how much more you could do if they were not stuck on mundane daily paper pushing, database queries, reports and spreadsheets.
The Big Bonus is that you only pay 1 set of wages even though you are getting the work done of an entire extra cloned department by automating as many tasks as possible. Then, if you have staff turnover all those items are still being completed as planned without any skipping a single beat.
Where do we start?
The best way to get started is to let everyone know that you are forming an automation task force to audit all the redundant, mundane but critical tasks that keep us at our desks and not in front of guests or directly working on refining and building promotions.
Have your IT department create a full audit of every report that is created by every person in every department. Document the time spent on building post-formas, mailing lists, email blasts, data entry, creating redemption codes and every other daily, weekly monthly task that involves your staff’s time.
Have an ongoing contest across your entire property to identify redundant tasks that could be automated even if they all seem like they could not be done at first. Offer rewards and incentives for the people that find the largest blocks of time that could be saved.
Don’t forget to automate this incentives program as well.
Many ideas will see unreachable at first but with all these ideas on the table at once it will be very easy to identify large blocks of time and energy that could be spared by programing them to be automated.
Low Hanging Fruit
The reason we start with an audit of all tasks is that we can quickly identify the largest savings of time and energy. For example, many reports can be combined into 1 report and generated on a timed basis in SQL and emailed daily/weekly to everyone that needs it.
Many decisions you would make based on that report could be automated as well so that the logic doesn’t change from day to day.
Imagine that every day a list of inactive guests is queried and an excel spreadsheet is generated. You then forward that list to your hosts for them to call on. They in return call those guests and offer them a special room rate. The next step would be to mail those guests a special offer to get them back in.
Instead of the last scenario you program SQL to generate that exact same call list and forward it as an excel spreadsheet directly to the hosts themselves on a timed basis. That same data is automatically transferred to our automated direct mail facility where those direct mail pieces go out daily. The host says “I’m sending you a special offer” and those personalized offers are already in the mail. Hosts spend more time on the phone with guests and you just freed up expensive talented staff to do something else important.
Direct Mail Automation
You can call it “Triggered Mail” or “Timed Mailings” but what we’re talking about is putting your mailings on cruise control while still offering the same level of personalization and more.
Don’t wait until you have time to get to your customers that are going inactive. Address it immediately, without any required labor; through automated offers triggered by events the database can track. Don’t wait for a mailing of 1000 when you can reach out to every single declining play or declining trip customer with a mailing as small as 1 piece that goes out daily.
Why are you waiting to reach out to that client? I know, “you’re too busy”. Automate it!!
Setup a small data transfer every morning from your player database to our data center and your personalized direct mail art merges with your data and prints automatically on one of our digital Presses. We then cut, fold, insert and apply postage and your new member, birthday or inactive mailers go out every single day.
With automation you also receive an email summary each morning of how many pieces were mailed with an opportunity to review the variables used in your mailer. Records are also automatically cleaned and compared to the US Postal Service for accuracy as well as to make them look better in your mailer.
This is an easy service to setup and you can focus your time and energy on your more complex promotions where you need to be focused.
Think of all the marketing programs you can automate:
• New Members
• Inactives or trip frequency decline
• Increased or declining play offers
• Monthly Mailers
You can easily automate personalized Letters, Postcards and Emails with Variable Print, Variable Offers, Variable Images and variable Envelopes.
If you want Blackjack players to receive blackjack images and Keno people to get pictures of Keno just build that in. In many ways automated direct mail can be much more personalized than the manual tasks you do now.
Automating your redundant marketing tasks may be the biggest no-brainer in marketing. It can eliminate the response-rate rollercoaster ride of all the manual methods you’re doing now. You truly get something measureable and consistent month after month and year after year since it is automated and not influenced by staff changes along the way.