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MGM Mirage debuts mobile marketing programs across properties

Gaming giant MGM Mirage has thrown its full weight behind mobile marketing with opted-in offers for guests at six casino/hotel properties in Las Vegas and Detroit.

The company is working with Acuity Mobile and interactive marketing services firm Acxiom Corp. to power mobile marketing programs to guests for the duration of their stay.

"MGM Mirage has tested various approaches to mobile marketing, but to our knowledge, this is the first solution that has been deployed by multiple properties simultaneously," said Alan R. Sultan, president of Acuity Mobile, a mobile marketing firm in Washington.

The mobile marketing programs are live at the Mandalay Bay, New York-New York, Monte Carlo, The Mirage and Treasure Island in Las Vegas as well as the MGM Grand Detroit in Detroit.

Guests at these MGM Mirage resorts will get targeted special offers, alerts, contests and quizzes.

The promotions also include real-time offers texted to guests' mobile phones, property information and entertainment promotions such as deals on show tickets or meals in hotel restaurants.

"These initiatives are all about ensuring the guest gets the right offer or incentive based on the guest's interests, playing history and location in or out of market," Mr. Sultan said.

"This approach ensures that guests see this program as a tangible benefit from MGM Mirage, and thus drives revenue for MGM Mirage," he said.

"Mobile is ideal for any sort of perishable inventory, like show tickets, buffets, and hotel rooms. So allowing line managers at the various properties to trigger campaigns, when the inventory would otherwise go to waste, all in a very controlled, meterable environment is just good business."

Not a mirage anymore
The news comes less than two months after Acxiom and Acuity Mobile said Harrah's Entertainment Inc. was using their mobile marketing services to target personalized promotions to opted-in guests at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Harrah's is providing real-time offers, property information and Total Rewards Club loyalty points balance to Rio guests on their mobile phones (see story).

Acxiom, Little Rock, AR, put together multilayer mobile programs for Harrah's with SMS texted offers using its Impact-X Mobile platform that is powered by Acuity Mobile's technology.

For example, Rio guests can text RIO to the 227466 (CASINO) short code to opt in for offers. A return text will confirm that the opted-in guest will receive four offers for the next four days.

A typical Rio's guests stays four days at the property, hence the four-day limit for offers.

Like Harrah's, MGM Mirage was looking for a mobile marketing platform that was an enterprise service.

"Their objective was to allow each of their properties to manage their own mobile presence and tailor the messaging and marketing to their own unique demographic and business objectives, but at the same time do so in a very controlled and accountable manner," Acuity Mobile's Mr. Sultan said.

"Moreover, MGM Mirage has very aggressive plans for mobile in the future and was looking for a partner who could ensure that they are always at the forefront of the mobile industry with the ability to provide each of their properties with mobile services like applications, location targeting, data segmentation and real time analytics," he said.

Casinos and hotels are a natural fit for mobile marketing. Given the elastic loyalty of strapped consumers, permission-based offers delivered in a timely, relevant manner will resonate.

Chips on mobile
Mobile is also proving itself as a CRM tool, and one that deserves a place in the marketing pantheon.

"Marketers are beginning to see that mobile very much has a place in their toolbox, based on the ubiquity and personalization of the medium," Mr. Sultan said.

"I think this is a great example of the marketing world shifting from a focus on individual mediums -- an online strategy, a mobile strategy, a traditional media strategy -- to a focus on the individual, and how that individual chooses to consume their media," he said.

"Marketers must think differently. A true multichannel approach means that business rules need to start with the individual, and then flow to the preferred medium for that particular customer.

"Email, mobile and direct mail all need to be synced to ensure that the consumer receives a consistent message and is optimized to their preferences, not the other way around."

With this latest win, Acxiom and Acuity Mobile now handle select mobile marketing programs for two of the leading casino brands nationwide - Harrah's and MGM Mirage.

The assignments also proved that mobile is moving beyond the experimental stage within Harrah's and MGM Mirage.

But the customer-focused use of mobile, like all other mediums, is expected to address a similar challenge for marketers such as MGM Mirage and Harrah's.

"In this market, it's all about revenue," Mr. Sultan said. "This program will not only create a service that will be valued by guests, but will drive bottom-line incremental revenue to the properties."