Rolling the Dice for Direct Mail
This article begins in the '60s.
John Romero was the sales promotion manager for the Sahara Hotel, "The Strip", Las Vegas, Nevada. I was doing direct mail and sales promotion projects for the Riviera Hotel - a short walk away.
After a while my business trips to Las Vegas became regular, ...up in the morning - back in the evening. On one of these tours to the "first" gambling city in America, I met John. Some where, some time, at some event long ago forgotten - we met.
Yet, we never worked together. I was totally unsuccessful in selling John anything. Except friendship. We became business friendly, and have stayed that way 3+ decades later. At best we see each other once a year - usually at some Direct Marketing event.
Recently a publishing client asked my help in getting introduced to the gaming industry. Casinos. John was my first thought. Why? 'Cause John Romero is THE premier direct mail copywriter in the gambling industry in America. No one can hold a candle to John's accomplishments.
Much happened to make this a fact. One is John is still in great physical shape. He was a marathon and long distance runner. As a promotion for the Sahara, he began a relay race from Las Vegas to Los Angeles...a 300 mile run. Of course he participated in his own event, and got introduced to southern California. He liked it.
Once he became tired of living in Las Vegas and decided to move to that part of California known as "the southland", he went looking for something to do. That "something" was - and is! - using his casino marketing knowledge and background and selling it to casinos around the globe.
Thus, John Romero Direct Marketing was born.
For the last dozen years plus John has been marketing columnist for International Gaming & Wagering Business Magazine. Something casinos everywhere read.
This writing began a collection of articles. Which turned into a book...Casino Marketing (in the United States you can order his book by calling toll-free 1-800-223-9638. Worldwide, reach John by e-mail at RomeroMkt@aol.com.
John is modest. It is sometimes difficult to get to know him. He doesn't talk about himself. He DOES talk about his clients. Let me share with you a story he shared with me about one of his Reno, Nevada clients:
There are 2 messages here: The first is John "loves" his clients. He always speaks well of his clients. And second, John really believes in Direct. His dig at general advertising is obvious.
The name of the author of Acres of Diamonds escapes me - the concept does not. In fact, Database Marketing is the same topic. They both talk about using the knowledge you have about your customers and prospects, and gaining more business.
The Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas is a long time John Romero client. They have a Database...thanks to John. Here is a letter from a customer of the Tropicana, sent to the General Manager of the hotel:
Well, it doesn't take a marketing genius to see the value in continuing communication with your customers. Hotels, casinos...all of us...will benefit when we "talk" with our customers.
While on hotels, let me insert a question / thought. In much of Europe, Asia and South America, hotels ask their guests, as they check-in, for their birthday. Part of the registration process includes a question about "date of birth".
My international travels began in 1972. I have been in 159 countries on 7 continents. Many countries many times. There are years I spend more nights in hotel beds than my own in Roll, Arizona. I have been asked the birthday question scores of times.
Yet, I have NEVER received
Sometimes when I'm feeling "mean" (usually late at night, checking in after a loooong flight) I ask reception why they ask the birthday question. The answer is always 1 of 2: It's policy," or "I don't know," which is the same answer!
John works closely with his casino clients so they DO something with the knowledge they gain about their customers.
Inother Romero story comes from a client who started their conversation with "Gotta have new business". The response was "What's wrong with old business?". As John says, "You'd be amazed how many carefully laid plans I've screwed up with that innocent question".
Finding "new business" from "old business" is what this is all about. Most call these "old" inactives. John says; "Name it anything you like but remember this -- it's the best "new business" you can find, and it's right there in your own files, waiting."
This philosophy created Romero's 7 Rules for Repositioning and Reactivation. Since I believe these same rules apply to every business, not just casinos, here they are:
These are John Romero's 7 Rules for Repositioning and Reactivation. With my spin. Use these ideas for your next "new" business campaign.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.