How Do You Tap Into Your Players’ Passions?

TAPPING INTO PASSION: WHY FOLLOWING YOUR PATRONS' PASSIONS WILL DRAW YOU CLOSER TO LONG-TERM LOYALTY

By Nicole Barker, Senior Raving Partner, Database & Loyalty Marketing 

 

When you tap into passion, technology becomes a vehicle, not an impediment. People of all ages, demographics, and socio-economic backgrounds will find a way to connect, to engage, and to further their exploration if passion is at play. Before you think your patrons aren’t ready to jump online or go mobile, get your knitting cap on.
 
Let me introduce you to Karen Cross. She’s a knitter and a friend in both quilt guilds that I belong to. She’s in trouble with me. Big trouble. She introduced me to something. It’s all her fault. She was trying to help, but instead, she was my enabler.
 
Here’s the situation:
I have three tubs of yarn…and I don’t know how to knit. This is a common problem for knitters and quilters. We are like squirrels with nuts – we live to create a stash of materials. We live in a world of abundance of creative intent, but not necessarily the follow-through to gain credibility as artists within our own families.
 
Karen introduced me to Ravelry. It’s a website. I signed up for an account, built a personal profile, and now spend hours immersed in searching, finding, and chatting with people of like minds. It’s a community of hobbyists with common interests. My personal dilemma: I have yarn that I love, but lack the skills to complete a project. Within this site, I can search for patterns that feature the yarn in my stash. Then, I can narrow the search by style. Behind each post is a person who has completed a project with a link to the pattern she used. I have created a folder of patterns using my yarn. Oddly enough, I narrowed my search by featuring patterns of scarves that have been worn in the Starz drama series Outlander.

The interface can be personalized and is interactive. I can also post the contents of my stash to receive notices of when more creative ideas become available. I can also post my own finished projects to receive accolades and support from my online friends.
 
This is how engagement works:
It’s a mix of passion,
It’s a community of people,
It’s a connection between wants and needs,
And it’s boundless.
 
I get it.
You do not quilt.
You do not crotchet.
You do not knit.
 
I get it.
You are a casino marketer.
 
But this is the status of the new “interest economy.” You will be judged in the coming years based on your ability to engage with your customer. Engagement does not consist of push or pull notifications. It is an organism. Feed it.
 
Why?
 
We’re indebted to people like Karen and those like her who knit, who crochet, and who quilt. She represents our most valuable segment: 40+-year-old women with disposable time and income. These women are your peeps. They are online. They are engaged. They are technically savvy and will share more of themselves if you listen and learn. The crux of why Ravelry works is its ability to connect, the ability to allow patrons to explore, and the platform for users to share.
 
Coming to a casino resort is a social enterprise. You are captain of this community. Whether it’s yarn or Invaders from the Planet Moolah (my favorite slot from WMS Gaming), this is the dynamic environment within which you need to get creative. The monumental shift for marketers in all verticals is from the selling of a product or a loyalty program to that of wholehearted support of a community based upon highly personalized interests. As marketers in an interest-based economy, we will map, track, and trigger our touch points based on the navigation of this environment. This is 3D thinking. We’re not selling 2D linear concepts of Points, Tiers, and Coupons; we’re selling community. The differentiating factor is how a person is willing to self-identify with your casino faster than that of your neighbor. Knit one, purl one. Game on!
 
How will you lay the foundation for players to connect in 2018?

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About the author

Nicole Barker 

Nicole works with casinos across the country to harvest potential from patron databases in order to fine-tune the segmentation, messaging, and programming of multimedia and multi-channel campaigns. Conference attendees can catch Nicole's session "Loyalty 360" tomorrow morning during Raving's 20th National Indian Gaming Analytics & Marketing Conference.

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