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Change Management: 5 Steps to Rolling Out a New Casino Pricing Strategy

by Jason Q. Freed, Managing Editor |

Did your new total-resort Revenue Strategy lead you on a hunt for a revenue management system? Or did rolling out new technology spur thinking around a more innovative pricing strategy?

You could say it’s a chicken-and-egg deal. Either way, changing the technology behind how you price the rooms and amenities at your casino only gets you halfway; true profitability comes when you start thinking about valuing your amenities and rewarding your players in more modern ways.

Just as your new technology takes some time to deploy, your new Revenue Strategy also needs to be rolled out thoughtfully throughout the organization.

We spoke to Daniel Lofton, director of casino services at ‎Duetto, about how installing new casino technology is only half the battle, and he gave some good tips on managing change throughout your different departments.

New #casino revenue management #technology won’t solve all your problems; it needs to be paired with a more modern way of thinking #changemanagement Click To Tweet

Deploying a Modern Casino Revenue Strategy

Before you even get started, understand that communication and collaboration are going to be your biggest allies, Lofton said.

If your revenue and marketing teams aren’t already on the same page, they need to get there quickly. Then, ensure your casino and hotel teams are working hand in hand.

For example, a common strategy is to divide management of the hotel rooms, giving half the rooms to the hotel to fill and half to the casino to fill. Instead, break down those silos and get everyone considering total profitability for the property.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Bring IT, marketing, operations and revenue management to the table.

Lofton suggests the conversation shouldn’t begin with, “Hey, we need to make a change,” but instead by letting everyone know where they fit into your new Revenue Strategy.

Getting everyone aligned is critical. If your revenue team sees a spike in demand and raises hotel rates, but the marketing team is still comping low-rated players, you’re not fully taking advantage of your revenue technology.

  1. Effectively communicate the benefits of a more dynamic player marketing strategy.

Casino marketers tend to rely heavily on direct mail, offering players free rooms or a certain percentage off. This outdated, static strategy doesn’t allow casinos to maximize their revenue based on supply and demand and often leaves them comping low-rated players on high-demand days.

Instead, the easiest step toward a more dynamic revenue strategy is to instead ask players on your mailer to call for their personalized rate, Lofton said. Instead of free rooms or static discounts, your offers can be “rates starting at $29” or “free rooms to those who qualify.”

  1. Start off on the right foot by being as transparent with your new strategy as possible.

Sometimes there are concerns when installing new technologies that it will cause friction in the way things are running. Be proactive in this situation and help others embrace change.

Ensure your casino hosts that the only impact on their role is that they will have more rooms available to give to the best players. You will continue to value players as you always have, but your strategies are just much more dynamic now, so there needs to be more communication.

You don’t have to go all-in at first, Lofton says. Instead you can start by attacking the low-hanging fruit and implement more revenue-driving strategies in due time. Be reasonable about setting expectations for other departments while greasing the wheels of change.

  1. Oversee a quick deployment that starts with ensuring your different systems are integrating and sharing data correctly.

There are many casino technology systems that need to talk to each other — casino management system / patron management system, property management system, booking engine, etc. — for your optimal Revenue Strategy to work.

Getting them to talk to each other and ensure they’re accurately reporting data takes some time and diligence from your vendors, but as long as you’ve done your homework in selecting a vendor, deployment should be a relatively easy process.

Now you’re ready to start setting up basic information like room types and comp sets, and dynamically managing your cash rates, while you build strategies to unlock true player value with your new data sets.

  1. Ignore the haters.

Lofton says that sometimes casino managers fear that if they change the way they are valuing and rewarding guests that they will anger guests and business will suffer. Time and time again, we’ve seen this is not the case.

In fact, by moving to a more dynamic reinvestment strategy, guests benefit by being able to call anytime for their personalized rate, which is truly based on their worth to you.

Trust us: Your call center will not explode.

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Jason Q. Freed, Managing Editor

Jason Q. Freed, Managing Editor

Managing Editor at Duetto
Jason joined Duetto as Managing Editor in June 2015 after reporting, writing and editing hotel industry news for a decade at both print and online publications. He’s passionate about content marketing and hotel technology, which leads to unique perspectives on hotel distribution and revenue management best practices.
Jason Q. Freed, Managing Editor
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Jason Q. Freed, Managing Editor

Jason joined Duetto as Managing Editor in June 2015 after reporting, writing and editing hotel industry news for a decade at both print and online publications. He’s passionate about content marketing and hotel technology, which leads to unique perspectives on hotel distribution and revenue management best practices.