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Chris Sieroty

Marketer touts new cloud-based database marketing service

17 August 2012

LAS VEGAS -- If you ask Russell Fine, he respects and admires many of the marketers in the casino business, but he says the industry's approach to direct mail marketing programs is outdated and has been for years.

As managing director of The Fine Point Group, a casino management and advisory firm in Las Vegas, Fine has overseen the development and launch of his company's new cloud-based database marketing software, LaserPointCRM.

Fine said the software allows casinos to use customer data - from how often they come to a casino to what they're worth and what games they play - to create a more personalized and cost-effective marketing campaign.

"Even though in our industry we know an enormous amount about our customers ... casinos would like to be more sophisticated about how they send mail to their customers," Fine said. In other words, eliminate mailing the same coupons to high rollers that are sent to customers who might visit the casino once a month.

Traditionally each customer has been placed in a separate category to determine how many offers, what kind of offers and what size of offers to receive. When a casino only has four customer categories, they can't be targeted or customized in their approach, he said.

"They would like to have 400 or 4,000 segments, but to do that requires a lot of time and a lot of analytical skills that most casinos don't have," Fine said. "The more segments a database has, the more ability to target, to get personalized and ultimately get to that one-to-one marketing everyone talks about, but few practice."

Fine said LaserPointCRM requires no onsite hardware or software and no incremental staff to operate. All information is in the cloud, which involves storing data on multiple virtual servers hosted by Fine Point.

He said the company launched the product in June and signed its first customer three weeks ago. Fine, who declined to identify the firm's initial customer, said the company is negotiating with three or four other casino companies.

LaserPointCRM has a fixed cost, with the base product costing in the low six figures annually. He said some clients might want additional consulting services that can run $20,000 to $200,000 per month.

"We've created a system that basically takes the data in, leverages our algorithms to figure out how they can generate the 400 to 4,000 segments and then give them back an answer," Fine said in a recent interview.

Fine has created a successful casino marketing and consulting business whose client list included Station Casinos LLC, Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, and the Seminole tribe that operates the Hard Rock Casino in Florida.

Although successful, Fine has kept his distance from Wall Street, preferring to be a privately held company.

"We've been profitable from our first day," he said. "We have no need to have public financing. We do, however, have an interest in acquiring a casino."

Fine said he's been patient, and has walked away from several opportunities.

"I have no goal of owning a casino so I can name the restaurant after myself," Fine said. "I would be interested in owning a casino only if it was available at a good price."

Fine declined to discuss specifics or disclose his firm's annual revenues.

Fine Point holds six tribal gaming licenses, and the company is in the process of being licensed itself in Nevada.

"We never had a reason before to pursue our license," Fine said. "When the law was changed last year and it was no longer required that we had to buy a casino before being licensed, we decided to pursue it."
Marketer touts new cloud-based database marketing service is republished from