Database marketing is part art and part science. The science is typically sought out through segmentation. Within each segment you can define test and control groups based on hypotheses of player behavior; if the test and control group is large enough and measures against tests of significance, marketers can prove causation. Marketers use segmentation to reach a player group by choosing one or more variables. Segmentation variables are generally grouped into four buckets: demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioral.
Demographic variables include age, gender, ethnicity, income, education, and occupation – to name a few. Marketers use these characteristics because they can tie to player needs and behavior. When I worked at a property in Northern California, for example, we coded players based on ethnicity and marketed in-language to Chinese players. These players received a separate creative piece that focused on rich, lucky colors and numbers and was written in Tagalog. This ethnic segment was so important to the business, we even hired an Asian advertising agency out of San Francisco to be sure we conveyed the culture “right.” In other markets, we used age and gender for specific promotional purposes. For deer hunting opener, a red-letter day in Minnesota, we targeted women for a widow’s weekend offer. We claimed Senior Tuesday by targeting anyone over the age of 55 with specific offer sets.