What’s In a Title? THE VP OF LOYALTY MARKETING

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I have been writing for

Gaming & Leisure magazine

for more than 10 years

now, and want to thank

Jeannie Caruso for the

opportunity to contribute!

The purpose of these articles

is to give an overview of a

day-in-the-life of a Casino Hotel department

head – as this article is intended. Also, once a year

we compile an annual Salary Survey and hopefully

you, the reader, find some value on these pages!

This article is going to visit the Marketing

department, where we’ll learn about one

major casino company’s reward program. To

assist, we reached out to Jordan Salmon, Vice

President of Loyalty Marketing Strategy,

MGM Resorts International. Mr. Salmon has

been with the MGM for a total of nearly 10

years, including preopening experience at the

MGM Macau, and also experience at IGT.

Here are his comments:

G&L: Tell us about the MGM properties, and

your area of responsibility.

JS: There are 15 MGM Resorts International

destinations in the U.S. that are part of our M

life rewards program including: Bellagio,

ARIA, Vdara, MGM Grand, The Signature at

MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Delano Las

Vegas, The Mirage, Monte Carlo, New York-

New York, Luxor, and Excalibur in Las Vegas;

Beau Rivage and Gold Strike in Miss., and

MGM Grand Detroit.

M life members can earn Tier credits for

virtually every dollar spent at our worldrenowned

properties by spending on the most

exciting slots and table games, luxurious

rooms and suites, amazing restaurants, and

awe-inspiring shows. I can’t think of another

program that offers this type of depth and

breadth of experiences for members. We also

are working on leveraging our global network

of resorts and entertainment experiences to

provide additional value to our members

throughout the world.

G&L: How many people are under you, and

who do you report to?

JS: My boss, Josh Swissman, oversees our

Loyalty Marketing Division and more than 45

people who are responsible for campaign operations,

reporting, analytics, and my area –

Loyalty Marketing Strategy. I have 7 amazingly

talented individuals on my team who

focus on all aspects of strategy, operations, and

performance of the M life loyalty program,

including our Partnership Marketing efforts

and social media. We work with teams

throughout MGM Resorts on a daily basis to

ensure M life is successful.

Loyalty Marketing falls under the organization

of our new Chief Experience Officer (CXO),

Lili Tomovich, who recently joined MGM

Resorts from MasterCard. She is extremely

knowledgeable and focused on the customer,

and we are very excited to be working with her.

G&L: Describe a typical day in your work

schedule.

JS: I am happy to say that every day brings

something new. One day may be focused on

preparing an executive summary on the performance

of M life. We communicate about

program performance on a monthly basis to

all VPs at MGM Resorts. The next day might

involve meeting with our Casino Marketing

Committee and discussing ideas and programs

with senior leaders throughout the company. Another day may be spent working

with the team to think about how our loyalty

strategy will shift 5 years from now, and

develop appropriate program mechanics.

With a number of changes for our company

on the horizon, including MGM National

Harbor in Maryland and MGM Cotai in

Macau, as well as other opportunities here and

abroad, our company will look very different

in a few years. No two days are the same and

that’s what makes this role so exciting!

G&L: What are some of your top departmental

priorities?

JS: Our top priority is always determining how

to better engage our M life members through

program enhancements, personalized offers and

strategic relationships. We also focus on growing

our customer base but not at the expense of

providing great service and value to our current

members. We do this by evaluating the value

proposition of the program and our ability to

consistently execute.

We monitor key metrics and results, but we

also look at member feedback. We communicate

to our members with offers, newsletters and other

program communications in a targeted and relevant

way. And most importantly, we ensure our

62,000+ employees throughout the organization

are knowledgeable about M life so they can provide

the best possible service to our members.

G&L: MGM Resorts has been very successful please

share with us some of your Marketing

strategies that helped you attain this success.

JS: I have been extremely lucky to be part of an

organization that values innovation, and I have

personally been involved with many of them –

including our loyalty programs (our first

Players Club that developed into M life), and

most recently the myVEGAS social game – a

partnership with PLAYSTUDIOS, which is led

by Andrew Pascal. Players Club was one of the

first “one-card” programs in the industry, and

FREEPLAY was a big part of its success. With

M life we have been able to successfully expand

our loyalty program beyond the casino, and

provide an integrated program that values all

of our members’ spend. myVEGAS has allowed

us to introduce our brands to new customers,

which creates new demand for our resorts

through special rewards.

G&L: Where do you see the future of the

industry going?

JS: Changing demographics will necessitate a

change in the types of products we offer. We have

already seen this with some of the nightclubs in

Las Vegas, but it has not yet translated to the

gaming floor. I believe we will see more convergence

between casino gaming and social games. I

am also interested to see how technologies such as

BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and NFC (Near

Field Communication), as well as mobile payments,

will impact our industry. There will come

a day when I tap my smartphone on a slot

machine to earn points, instead of inserting my

loyalty program card. It is just a matter of when.

Thank you Jordan for your insights and words of

wisdom, and I hope our readers enjoyed it too. If

you have any comments or questions I would love

to hear from you. Until next issue, have a great year!

Marc Weiswasser is a Managing Member

of CasinoRecruiter.com, an Executive

Recruiting firm for the gaming & hospitality

industry. He can be reached at 702-

798-0180, Marc@CasinoRecr

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