In a massive engagement that spanned close to 18 months, ROKKAN redesigned or launched 41 digital properties for Caesars Entertainment, unifying them on the backend while differentiating the creative to create a unique customer experience for each.
The client is a global company that operates gaming and entertainment brands including Caesars Palace, Harrah's, Bally's, and Paris in Las Vegas and other cities. Some brands were acquired over time, and most had created their digital identities in isolation from each other, according to Chung Ng, chief experience officer and managing partner in ROKKAN.
The challenge, Ng says, was, "How do we create a consistent look and feel for Caesars Entertainment and yet distinct enough for each brand?" The problem was more difficult because there was a wide range of amenities at different properties.
ROKKAN created a design language and user experience that could remain consistent among all the brands but still allow flexibility. One key is stacked elements that let each property create modules based on the different amenities, such as casinos, shows, and restaurants.
Acting as the strategy, creative, and technology lead, the agency also built a global booking engine that's consistent across all properties.
ROKKAN has a large consulting business, and a significant part of the engagement focused on business strategy and business process redesign to improve e-commerce, customer acquisition, and loyalty. It conducted consumer research to supplement Caesars Entertainment's own customer insights.
ROKKAN found that, while customers identified strongly with individual brands, those who associated themselves with lower-priced properties were interested in trading up.
The integration of a single booking engine and integrated loyalty programs now allows Caesars to cross-sell and upsell.
"Players are very brand-associated. You're a Harris player, or a Caesars player," Ng says. "We found that the people who stayed at middle-tier or lower-tier hotels aspired to stay at, for example, Caesars Palace. We push them with aspirational messages."
For example, if an online customer came to book through the Harrah's website, it's now easy to insert a room card for Paris, with a promotional message, such as, "Stay at Paris for just $80 more."
A study of Caesars Entertainment's analytics showed that a lot of consumers were searching by market, rather than by property. "A lot of people who were brand-agnostic typically searched for these broad market categories that were dominated by large travel agencies. So, we thought, why don't we build our own version so we can capture our own traffic?" Ng explains.
In addition to the Caesars site and digital sites for each property, ROKKAN built five city-based properties, such as Total Las Vegas. They're unbranded but capture all the dining, shows, hotels, and gaming opportunities for all the Caesars properties in that city under one umbrella. "This also helped us cross-sell amenities," Ng says.
Ng could not disclose the total cost of the engagement, but summed it up by saying, "On the top level, it's a creative redesign, but backed by a lot of data and research on what is the best way to increase yield."
The agency's execs will be at Cannes next week, discussing how ROKKAN's business strategy and social media teams cooperated with creatives and developers on the Caesars project and other engagements.
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
March 19, 2014