Q&A

Rob Collins

CHIEF MARKETING and STRATEGY OFFICER

Q

Rob, you have been with Sun International for six months now and you bring considerable marketing and operational experience to the group. What are your key insights for marketing Sun International?

A

In all our core competencies – casinos, hotels, entertainment, food and beverage – marketing has come to play a critical role. In an increasingly competitive world we must have an attractive offering as consumers are blessed with more choice than ever in all aspects of gaming, entertainment, restaurants, television, internet – we have to be at the cutting edge.

Although Sun International has an attractive offering we have to understand that there is no annuity, contracted or subscription income – and consumers have no obligation to visit our properties. That means that we have to be a customer-centric business which differentiates and de-commoditises itself against the run of the mill. We have to offer a special service and experience to lure people to come to us.

Winning licences is capital intensive, and significant investment is made in building casinos, hotels, restaurants, bars, and conference venues. Once the bricks and mortar are complete, the trick in staying relevant is to grow business through increasing frequency of visitation and monetary spend per visit. Especially for repeat customers, we need to keep the offering fresh and relevant to win people’s time and discretionary spend.

   

Q

You have spoken about your obsession with “content” at our properties. How does this play into marketing the group?

A

For Sun International, although we have geographic exclusivity at many of our properties it is crucial that we remain customer-centric and marketing focused, we must be relevant to our community.

We can (and must) differentiate our business with mind and mood – bringing in acts, entertainment and events to make sure that the built environment offers a fresh experience with each visit. We need to maintain relevance, presence, coolness, and an “X factor”. My view is that when the tide comes into the harbour, all ships rise – if we can drive footfall to the properties in general it will ultimately migrate onto the casino floor.

The digital age represents a massive change and opportunity for us. It gives us the ability to talk directly to the thousands of customers who frequent our properties – from a banner that gives updates on events or Sun Rewards, to an online booking engine that includes all concessions on our properties. We are rich in data but need to become content obsessive – to provide fresh and varied content that entertains and markets us – from CSI initiatives to events.

   

Q

In terms of our approach to digital marketing, are we staying abreast of this fast-changing medium?

A

We have overhauled our digital strategy, focusing on delivering immersive digital content across every channel, including web, mobile and social media. Importantly, this feeds into the changes we are making to upgrade our website and content management system. The website has a vital role beyond appeal – the online booking engine functionality is being improved so it becomes easier to transact with the Group, to book rooms, events and activities, check points and see the breadth of our offering internationally. Content will help drive traffic to the site, so it becomes a platform for the whole business.