Building Vendor Relationships: Lessons in Agency-Casino Partnerships
Featuring: Andrew Parnell, President of LaneTerralever
February 9, 2023
Just like snowflakes, there are no two casinos that are alike. Each has its own unique positioning, priorities and promotional styles. But according to Andy Parnell, President of Phoenix marketing agency LaneTerralever, this is part of the beauty of working with casino clients. Through his fair share of public relations, agency strategy, and business development, Parnell has seen it all when it comes to client partnerships. As a leader in the marketing space, Parnell now has over 17 years experience with casino clients, and needless to say- he knows the industry like the back of his hand.
We sat down with Parnell to learn some of his key insights in casino marketing. If you’re pining to dip your toes into the exhilarating day-to-day operations of casino strategy, keep reading for our exclusive inside scoop on agency-casino partnerships.
What’s Special About Working With Casino Clients?
Sure, agencies manage their fair share of clients from various types of industries – but casino clients? They’re one of a kind. From no office hours to a 24/7 influx of customers, casinos require unique marketing strategies and insightful partnerships. As Parnell puts it, the casino industry never sleeps – meaning agencies have to be adaptable, reactionary, and quick. Speaking of casino operators, “What they value the most is speed with purpose,” says Parnell. In other words, when working with casinos, everything is always happening – usually all at once.
How Has the Casino Industry Evolved?
Compared to ten years ago, today’s casino industry is practically unrecognizable. Slot revenue will always be the whole enchilada, if you may, but offering unique experiences, a variety of options, and loyalty programs are key for the modern day casino. The evolving landscape and legalization of sports betting has also redefined the playing field. Beyond gaming and gambling incentives, casinos and agencies have to constantly discover new differentiators for enticing untapped audiences and visitors to the property. Whether this be through dining, entertainment, or special events, agency-casino partnerships are dedicated to understanding the needs of their current and prospective customers.
Why Should Casinos Work With Agencies?
Casinos and agencies form a natural partnership by filling in each other’s gaps. While casinos commonly have difficulty recruiting niche creatives in-house, the agency world is packed with creative minds ready to tackle their diverse projects. And lucky for agency employees, working with a casino provides the opportunity to express their creativity through unique projects and service types. From conceptual promotions, to concerts, menu designs, and even pool campaigns, agencies are able to immerse themselves in endless, exciting projects. Together, the work of agencies and casinos inspire constant innovation, and motivate each other to continue breaking the mold.
The Biggest Lessons of Working with Casino Clients
“All casinos are not created equal,” says Parnell. Whether looking at values, internal culture, target audiences, or specific client needs, each casino partnership will surely be different. With this in mind, agencies must keep on their toes to understand each of their clients’ specific needs and ways of life. If you try to compartmentalize casino clients into one industry category, you’re destined to box yourself into a corner.
What’s Your Advice to Those Pursuing a Career within Agency-Casino Partnerships?
In Parnell’s words, “You will have to be somewhat comfortable with a little bit of chaos.” Change is the one constant in the casino industry, meaning agency employees have to be prepared for the industry’s rapid ebbs and flows. Casino operators need partners who understand the volatility of their industry, and partners who are ready to weather the storm. Acting as a balance to each other’s needs, casinos and agencies can take charge in this occasionally daunting industry landscape. Keep in mind: If you’re someone who prefers structure and projects going exactly to plan, casino clients might not be in your best interest.
What Words of Wisdom Would You Tell Your Younger Self?
If Parnell could give one piece of advice to those discovering their professional journeys, it would be to pursue your passions and follow your gut. While striving for the highest salary can be an easy mistake, it’s crucial to remember your personal goals, and what truly makes you happy. Like Parnell advises, fulfilling, meaningful work will only streamline your career growth.
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