Remember Who Brought You To The Dance

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 13, 2008 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

Are we aiming at the wrong demo? Have we forgotten who brought us to the dance? Is this how you reward those who have been your backbone for decades? You decide….

For years, the demographic of 25-54 years of age has allowed many tracks to keep their doors open. I have been reading and hearing about the great push to making this a techno-brand game.

The new wave is rolling with terms such as YouTube, Facebook and focusing on a younger crowd. I do see the importance of investing in the future, but don’t overlook the crowd who has supported the game over many decades. We need to reach a new audience, but in my opinion, we still need to cater to our loyal existing fans.

I see the new tools as a social network. The best advertising is word of mouth. The younger crowd almost blocks out the advertising message using to attract and draw patrons. They have gravitated to a social setting were they can hang out and be a part of the action. This is great. We just need to know how to separate the message.

The younger crowd may become a new target audience with new advances. They are savvy, young, and represent the game of tomorrow. All good and well. We need to focus on this right away. The younger generation is one that loves constant action, the possibility of being able to win just by being there. No problem. The game can accommodate, and reach them.

The tried and true generation of players may be overlooked. While we seek the answer of tomorrow, we may miss out on the survival of today. These players want to know what is happening. They want to be informed. Access to materials to handicap, clean facilities, and friendly customer service. They are not asking for too much. Just to be treated fairly. After all, they have carried us through thick and thin.

Why don’t we try free coffee stations for the early-birds? If you get there between doors opening and the first race, you get a free program? How about free valet parking for our long standing players? Player development could work magic by getting to know these people. Let them know they are appreciated. Get to know them by name. Know where they sit and what tracks they like. This is their Facebook. They love the old ways of face-to-face interaction.

We have plenty of time to market and advertise in ways that a younger crowd will appreciate. But let’s not forget the retirees who play until their pockets are empty and have been supporters before the wheel. Remember and appreciate these players. It is much easier to retain current players than to cultivate new ones.