According to Tourism Research Australia’s International Visitor Survey, in 2011 Crown Melbourne was ranked as the third most visited tourist destination in Victoria for all international visitors. Why would travellers be so interested in visiting this particular resort? The answer is: Crown’s Marketing Research!
The current Marketing strategy undertaken by Crown Resorts was based on a magnificent Marketing Research plan focused on obtaining the insights of its current visitors, with the objective of fully understanding the brain of the people who decide to spend a moment of the day to enter Crown’s empire: from the reason that makes them step in, to the experience that they are looking for, going through their behaviour during their stay.
So why would a big company like Crown spend time and effort on Marketing Research when it already is a market leader?
This brand has been successful in creating a value perception in the market, it is positioned as luxurious, sophisticated and high-standard; but, would that really increase its customer loyalty or broaden its visitor base? Just put yourself in the shoes of Crown’s CMO for two seconds and think: once the visitors have fulfilled their desire of visiting Crown, that’s it! They’ll take pictures, have fun, spend some bucks, post it on social media and by the end of the day they’ll go back home, satisfied. So how do I, as Crown’s CMO, make these visitors come back? How do I generate in them the desire to visit Crown again?
GOING THROUGH THE MARKETING RESEARCH PROCESS
Marketing Research can be utilised for multiple purposes, from opening a new business to understanding human consumption behaviour. As Iacobucci well mentions, Marketing Research is tremendously flexible (2013, p. 199); the amount of information generated can be overwhelming when not knowing what exactly we want to obtain from it.
Therefore, the first step of the Marketing Research process is defining the problem. This part is the most important one because the outcomes of the research will depend on it. Crown identified it lacked customer insight and it needed that information in order to segment its visitors and design a loyalty program. The main objective then was developing a loyalty program based on market segmentation, for which Crown had to obtain data that could help to truly understand the consumer segments that were currently visiting the resort.
The second step of the process is obtaining secondary data to answer the preliminary questions. Secondary data refers to the information that is already available from other sources such as government statistics, journals, third-party agency studies, etc.
Part of the data collected by Crown’s Marketing Team, was obtained from the Australian Government Tourism Research results. With this, Crown is able to know which tourist destinations Australian travellers prefer to visit during their stay, the number of international visitors that enter the country in specific periods of time, as well as their basic demographic characteristics such as country of origin, economic status and level of expenditure during their visit.
Additionally, Crown dived into a deep analysis of the best loyalty programs globally, and did some significant internal stakeholder research. The company also engaged in consultation with leading academics and industry renowned experts. This execution of constant collection of information related to the company, that can be regularly accessed and updated, is commonly known as Marketing Intelligence.
Primary data is collected specifically for the research purposes of the company through tools designed for the objectives previously defined, therefore providing more accurate information.
Crown designed its own questionnaire for the research, which was specifically tailored for the objectives of the project. Crown’s Research included qualitative and quantitative information obtained from surveys responded by more than 10,000 customers, both loyalty cardholders and non-cardholders. This type of study is classified as Descriptive because it involves a large sample that is representative of the whole population (in this case, population would be considered as the total visitor base of Crown).
PLACE YOUR BETS!
Based on the 5Cs framework (Iacobucci, 2013), the research made by Crown Resorts can be classified in three Cs: company, collaborators and customers.
It was by analysing all that information that Crown managed to segment its current visitors and thus provide each segment with exactly what they were looking for when entering Crown’s resort. Thanks to the power of Market Research, Crown obtained deeper knowledge of its customer base and with that, it was able to achieve the goal of creating a loyalty program based on a customer segmentation strategy that allowed to address the right customer, with the right offer, at the right time (Cameron 2015). This is a great example on how effective decisions are the ones based on reliable, accountable and objective data.
Georgina Pina Sevilla
Cameron, N 2015, ‘CMO interview: Betting big on Crown’s customer loyalty proposition’, CMO, 23 October, <http://www.cmo.com.au/article/587381/cmo-interview-betting-big-crown-customer-loyalty-proposition/>.
Crown Resorts Limited 2014, Crown Melbourne’s Contribution to Victoria, Melbourne, <http://www.crownresorts.com.au/CrownResorts/files/a2/a279b0b1-c4cc-4420-a5a8-4271fec80809.pdf>.
Iacobucci, D 2013, MM4, Cengage Learning, Mason, Ohio.
Little, S 2016, Casinos in Australia, IBISWorld Industry Report (Report No. R9201), <http://clients1.ibisworld.com.au/reports/au/industry/default.aspx?entid=662>.
Malhotra, N 2012, Basic marketing research: integration of social media, Pearson, Boston.
Tourism Research Australia 2016, ‘International Visitor Survey Results’, TRA, <https://www.tra.gov.au/research/latest-ivs-report.html>.