The introduction of casino legislation in Japan will lead to the development of a raft of creative agencies hungry to win the marketing budgets of integrated resort offerings, according to Chris Wieners, managing director of the Macau based HOGO Marketing.
Wieners, whose session at May’s Japan Gaming Congress (JgC) is entitled ‘Finding your customer – unique challenges and opportunities that exist when marketing to the Japanese consumer’, explained: “I think for the casinos to succeed they will need to look to a variety of agencies for marketing and advertising assistance. For example, I don’t believe that those agencies who have an in-depth understanding of the China market and culture will also be able to offer the same-level services for Japan, and vice versa.”
He continued: “Offline is traditionally the best brand building technique, whereby online and digital channels – web, search, social, mobile and more – include both brand building and commerce marketing opportunities. I think that for the mainland Chinese market, international marketing, basically, those hosts that deal with the direct VIP gaming business not brought via the junkets, will be key. I can see a situation in which groups will look to leverage their existing junket relationships to bring in much of the VIP business, especially for those clients coming from China.”
When it comes to the likely restrictions on casino marketing Chris Wieners is clear. “In many formats, gaming and direct casino marketing – from an advertising perspective – is not allowed in key Asian markets. I don’t see this changing, as is the case in other regulated markets” he stated: “Even in the case of Macau, there is heavy censorship on the ability for an operator to promote casino-specific campaigns. The properties will need to rely on significant integrated resort offerings such as hotels, entertainment and food and beverage.”
Wieners also envisages the creation of twin marketing strategies, one for tourism and the other for the domestic market. He explained: “I believe that the core focus of the market for the new integrated resorts will be more around the ability for inbound VIPs coming from other areas. The domestic marketing will be more focused on brand building with regard to offerings by the integrated resort itself.”
Rory Credland, Senior Producer responsible for JgC said: “Chris is one of over 40 leading authorities who has agreed to speak at May’s Congress. From the outset we have been conscious of the need to deliver our delegates with expert insight covering every facet of gaming. Clearly IR’s will need to market their proposition effectively and within the law and the knowledge that Chris will be able to impart on his specialism gained from over a decade spent in hotel, resort and casino marketing will be invaluable.”