Posts Tagged ‘marketing database


How Harrah’s Entertainment translates customer data points into the big picture.

At Cequity, we have always believed that “earning points” in a loyalty program is a means to an end and not the end itself. Many companies fail to see the data from such programs holistically and tend to treat it too tactically leading to managing the points rather than an effective customer management strategy intent with which they started these programs. One of the few companies that have made this transition happen is Harrah’s Entertainment. Here’s what David Norton, CMO of Harrah’s Entertainment had to say:

Pointillism is a painting style in which the artist dabs small dots of primary colors on the canvas. Viewing the artwork at nose-distance, you see nothing but adjacent points. But step back, and suddenly you see Georges-Pierre Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

Analysis of customer behavioral and transactional data can similarly suffer from such granular myopia. Individual data points viewed without an overall perspective not only masks the larger view, it also blinds you to opportunity.

When I joined the company in 1998, we designated customers who played $400 in a given visit to one of our casinos as VIPs who received preferential treatment. But a customer who played $402 during one visit, triggering VIP treatment, might play only $398 on a subsequent visit and receive no such treatment. More importantly, customers who played only $50 a day but visited 50 times a year received no differentiated service at all.

As our goal is to see the total picture of a customer’s play with Harrah’s casinos, members earn credits across any one of our 12 casino brands. This feature not only benefits our members; it also allows us to measure their cross-market play. A third of our revenue comes from members playing in a property other than their home property—whether home is Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno, New Orleans or Tunica.

Our Total Rewards database also gives us unique insight into our customers’ total relationship with Harrah’s—including their non-gaming spend. Historically, Harrah’s Entertainment earned 80 percent of its revenue from gaming; our initial data analysis revealed that we received less than a third of our customers’ non-gaming budget. Once we acquired the Caesars Entertainment family of properties, however, non-gaming revenue—from hotel stays to fine dining to entertainment to shopping—became a significant portion of our business. Caesars Palace provides a strong gaming revenue stream from a relatively small number of VIP players, but many Caesars customers come to Vegas for non-gaming entertainment. We can now encourage non-gamers to use their Total Rewards card, for stays at Caesars Palace, trips to the spa and on our shows and still receive all the benefits of our loyalty program. Today, $2.1 billion of our revenue comes from non-gaming activity—and we want the total picture of those customer relationships too so we can customize their marketing and service interactions.


Data Warehouse can wait- Start with Data-Marts

Very often we find organizations spending a lot of time planning and less time executing. So is the case with long gestation projects like Datawarehouse. Most often, requirements keep changing, business challenges are also dynamic.

Here’s an interesting article on how enterprises must start with data marts and get some quick-wins before they move to large scale DW projects:

An Enterprise Data Warehouse is a long term commitment: There are many imperatives (or foundations), which are key for a Data Warehouse. The examples of these imperatives are foundation or conformed dimensions, fine-grained granular data, comprehensive star-schemas etc…These elements need high level of readiness and investments to build these foundations. These foundations (though great for data marts as well) can be compromised for initial set of Data-marts.

Business Learning– Initial set of data-marts will provide great learning, less on the IT side and more on the business side. Here are the set of learnings from business side:

  • Creating business themes
  • Building Data-Mart Business Requirements
  • Building Dimensional Model
  • Testing of Data-Mart
  • Taking business decisions around the extraction and transformation
  • Generating the information out of the Data-Mart through end-user tools (like reporting and analytics application)

Examples of IT Learnings:

  • Extraction, Transformation and Loading design
  • Processing Load Management
  • Handling Data Explosion (data goes up exponentially as you add sparse fields- where most of the records are blank)
  • Change Management (end-to-end impact analysis if you make a change in the Data Mart Model)

Show-case for sponsors: A successful Data-Mart makes sponsorship of a Data Warehouse much easier.

Quick-hit: A Data-mart is a quick hit and gives earlier gratification.

Non-Disruptive: It does not take away the attention of an organization from other big things

At Cequity, we believe customer intelligence will be the biggest competitive advantage enterprises will have in the next decade or two. Successful enterprises of tomorrow will be the ones who can organize and leverage this information at speed to optimize their marketing performance, increase accountability, improve profit and deliver growth. Cequity insights will bring to you trends and insights in this area and it’s our way of sharing best practices so as to help you accelerate this culture and thinking in your organization.
January 2019
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