Over 2000

That’s the number of metrics that are available across social media platforms, search engines, display partners, affiliate networks and the ever-growing number of digital touchpoints competing for the attention of the always-on consumer.

And the sheer volume of data has many a media marketer overwhelmed with more analysis, more metrics and more meaningless reporting. The challenge in this new environment is to separate the signal from the noise and focus on the metrics that matter in measuring not just marketing results, but also business results.

Multiple this challenge by 75 + which represents the number of locations managed by our client Golden Entertainment, a publicly traded gaming company that owns and operates gaming properties across three divisions: resort and casino operations, pubs and taverns and distributed gaming. Each location had their own media budget, their own way of tracking performance and their own definition of what matters.  Given the unified marketing approach we had just created and with millions of media dollars on the line each year, we knew this disjointed media approach was simply not sustainable. 

Services

  • Media strategy
  • Digital strategy
  • Data and analytics
  • Attribution models
  • Super Bowl advertising
  • Media audit
  • Media buying
  • Social media management
Golden Entertainment Casino Properties - Restaurant Locations

The Challenge

How do we build a consolidated media machine for Golden Entertainment that focuses on the right metrics, and attributes value back to each property while driving cost savings across the entire enterprise?

MEASURING WHAT DOESN’T MATTER: LAST CLICK ATTRIBUTION

The last-click attribution mindset we inherited was skewing the true picture of which media tactics were ultimately driving revenue to Golden Entertainment.  This was creating challenges on two fronts: 

Disproportionate spend on paid search: 

Outsized credit was being placed on paid search as it contributed to room bookings but there was no acknowledgment of how search was drafting off the success marketing channels. Golden Entertainment knew that display, social, and all of their investments in traditional media had some value, but how much?  Without revenue attribution, who could tell?

Disproportionate focus on room bookings:

And because this last-click attribution mentality focused only on room bookings, all the other revenue centers that could be aligned with media spend were overshadowed. 

What about Tavern/Restaurant visits, Spa bookings, Corporate Event Bookings and all the other conversion events which reflect the diverse, multi-function organization of Golden Entertainment?

MEASURING WHAT ACTUALLY MATTERS: FOOT TRAFFIC & AVERAGE DAILY REVENUE (ADR)

Think about the last time you went to a casino, booked a hotel room or went to your favorite tavern.  What made you do it?  You might say that a perfectly timed piece of digital content showed up in your social feed. But without awareness of the brand, would you even consider it? 

Based on our customer journey work and client experience, we knew the following:

  • The journey from awareness to conversion is hardly linear, but one thing is certain: Awareness is step 1.
  • Television and other “traditional” channels were still important tactics for their impact on brand affinity, branded search volume and direct website traffic.

To reflect these truths, we developed, a full-funnel approach to media attribution to align the value of branding with business-specific outcomes.  Each stage of the funnel (top, middle and bottom) aligned to specific and measurable KPIs including brand lift, website visits and the ultimate KPI:  Average Daily Revenue (ADR). ADR is a theoretical figure based on historical data, unique for each location and it became the rallying cry for how we allocated and optimized media dollars.

Casino Analytics Marketing Platform Factual

With ADR in hand for every single Golden Entertainment location, we took it to the next level. Imagine being able to track daily foot traffic as a result of marketing activities?

Leveraging the technology of our location tracking-data partner Factual, we could accurately track those who had been exposed to our media and then entered one of the locations. Our analytics team then overhauled the data approach to arrive at a count of individual visitors attributable to our advertising efforts each day, and then applied each property’s ADR to calculate attributable revenue in a way never before possible for Golden Entertainment.

We can now apply proper attribution to all marketing activities, including TV, not just bottom of funnel marketing activities.   Speaking of TV…

GE-Case-Performance_Study-Desktop_Image5

A MEDIA INNOVATION DELIVERS MORE BANG FOR LESS BUCK

The single-most watched, most-hyped TV event of the year:  The Super Bowl - just happened to coincide with the launch and re-branding of the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino to The STRAT.  The Stratosphere had largely been unchanged for decades and we needed to make sure all relevant audiences were aware of the enhancements and new names. We were focused on the following:

  • educating visitors from out of market about what they could expect from the new STRAT
  • surprising Las Vegas locals who were accustomed to the “same old” stratosphere
  • hyping up Golden Entertainment’s employees about the change to their new flagship property

With millions of people in Las Vegas and key visitor feeder markets planning their day around the event and its TV commercials, The STRAT had a unique opportunity to share the re-brand with an unprecedented number of people and make a big, fast splash in the marketplace.

However, a Super Bowl TV package in and key feeder markets was going to cost close to $2 Million, an expense we all believed was indeed frivolous.

But we had a workaround: Automatic Content Recognition.  ACR uses feedback from connected TV’s and from mobile devices to allow advertisers to deliver targeted messages to viewers of specific content.  In this case, the Super Bowl.  LaneTerralever used ACR to deliver the STRAT re-brand videos to viewers of the Super Bowl on their mobile devices in Las Vegas and in feeder markets, in real time and for two weeks after the event.  By leveraging ACR in the feeder markets, we were still able to run TV ads in Las Vegas during the Super Bowl, at a fraction of the cost of a full TV package.

Golden Entertainment Super Bowl Ad

The Las Vegas TV buy delivered three more units than originally proposed, delivered almost 50% more impressions than originally proposed, and reached 88% of Las Vegas’ population in one fell swoop.  And we did it for 12% fewer dollars than originally proposed.

The ACR buy delivered nearly 2 million impressions, drove almost 20,000 visits to the STRAT launch website, with an incredible 80.3% video completion rate.  All for what a fraction of what it would cost to be on TV.  Almost 10% of the Strat’s organic social traffic for the entire year leading up to the launch came on the day the campaign aired.

Television, once viewed as a standalone (yet critical) part of the media plan, was now able to deliver the data and analytics insights that digital has claimed for so long.

ATTRIBUTING VALUE BACK TO EACH PROPERTY AND TO THE ENTERPRISE

The numbers speak for themselves:

We have delivered significant year-over-year improvements for each property’s media efforts.

  • +11.1% increase in total conversions
  • -22.7% decrease in cost per conversion
  • +12.8% increase in revenue attributed to these efforts

Between direct cost savings, improved delivery, increased revenue, and improved Expense to Revenue ratio, LaneTerralever drove an overall 18% improvement in cost-effectiveness in Q1 of 2019 alone

By developing a full-funnel attribution model at the property level and in aggregate, Golden Entertainment has an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability into media spend and knows exactly which levers to pull to get to better business outcomes.