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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

'Conrad on Casino Marketing' vital, packed with profitable ideas

24 September 2009

Dennis Conrad, who penned Conrad's Corners -- Uncut and Uncensored in 2008, has now written Conrad on Casino Marketing (240 pages, hardbound, $49.95). The book contains seven major sections, with something for everyone, it seems, energetically packed with innovative, money-making ideas, which should be even more vitally important to the industry in today's economic setting.

Conrad covers a wide variety of tangible and intangible subjects including dealing with customer superstitions, building relationships and furthering loyalty of customers through your own personnel fine-tuning customer interaction with every level of management and removing the intimidation of certain games through education.

Native American casino management will benefit from the book's advice about how to find good employees, coming trends involving tribal casinos and what the industry can learn overall about community involvement and executive development.

As he should, Conrad discusses casino culture and customer service, the worst mistakes casinos make (pet peeves of the author) in dealing with patrons ("It's not my station." or "You'll have to get your table games comps from the pit.") or scowling security personnel and improving the role of casino hosts.

One of the most crucial sections examines how to listen to your customers and your own employees with examples of how to identify and reward your best workers.

An industry veteran with more than three decades of experience, Conrad admits he isn't perfect. To prove it, he describes his own worst blunders (including "The Slot Celebration That Backfired"), but it's the positive ideas and examples he offers which make the book a value for the price. This is what will make casinos money because it alerts management to potential financial minefields.

The author's discussions on "branding" and "branding variations" are vital and why it's important to fix areas where there are "stalled revenue streams" (where customer spending is reduced, slowed or stopped altogether). Overall, Conrad's work is packed with marketing ideas, with methods to detect and eliminate problem areas, with an excellent analysis of why people gamble and a small but key area about the game of bingo and some fine ideas on promotions and innovations make this a must-read for beginners or those veterans looking for new ideas on improving the bottom line.

Conrad is a former Harrah's employee who now operates the Raving Consulting Company. Much of what is in the book are articles he previously wrote for casino management magazines — but it's a fine, potent package under one cover. John Romero, another marketing author (Casino Marketing and Secrets of Casino Marketing), loves the book as well.

Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com