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CMO50 #26-50: Christopher Coyne, Crown Resorts

  • Name Christopher Coyne
  • Title Chief marketing officer
  • Company Crown Resorts
  • Commenced role February 2014
  • Reporting Line CEO
  • Member of the Executive Team Yes
  • Marketing Function 125 staff, 7 direct reports
  • Twitter @CoyneCMO
  • Related

    It’s been a transformative first 18 months for Crown’s CMO, Christopher Coyne, the first marketing leader to gain a seat at the executive table.

    Over the next 1-2 years, the strategic aim of his marketing department is to grow the entertainment and hotel operator’s revenue and profits through innovative and effective marketing strategies that are consistently measured and tracked, he says.

    “The direction marketing will take in order to deliver on that strategic aim above is to focus on Crown’s entertainment-based opportunities including gaming, productions and sport as well as food and wine, hotels, spas and retail,” he says.

    “We’ll work to deliver communications in the formats and channels that best suit our customers want and intend to underpin all of our work with a focus on building a best-in-class customer loyalty program.”

    Crown Marketing will shape the Crown brand with new advertising output in 2016, and is also overhauling its loyalty program, with a relaunch expected in 2016 also.

    From the CMO50 submission

    Business contribution and innovation

    In addition to his day-to-day role as CMO, Coyne is an executive board member at CrownBet, the online and mobile sports betting company that Crown bought a majority shareholding in. The role sees him tasked with looking for fresh and innovative ways to enhance and position the business.

    Coyne also leads the Crown marketing team to deliver innovative strategies as part of its partnership with CrownBet, as well as assisting with integrations into the propositions and sales channels that Crown promotes to its customers.

    Modern marketing and customer engagement thinking and effectiveness

    Coyne said that a challenge to solve at Crown was how to create a world-class loyalty program with a common framework that is agile enough to satisfy the different competitive and commercial needs of all Crowns’ businesses.

    Insights existed within Crown’s data and market research that indicated customers use multiple products and areas within a visit. The goal, therefore, was to create an overarching loyalty program that showed a deeper understanding for customers, and which would address the right customer, with the right offer, at the right time, he said.

    The first step was embarking on a comprehensive global review of what Crown identified as ‘world-class’ loyalty programs. This process included qualitative and quantitative research across existing program members, a deep analysis of best-in-class loyalty programs across the globe, consultation with leading academics and industry renowned experts, and significant internal stakeholder research and engagement.

    To date, Crown has implemented a new customer segmentation process business-wide, which helps to identify and communicate most effectively with each individual segment. The refreshed loyalty program, which is due to launch in 2016, focuses on customer experiences and interacting with members in a highly personalised, omni-channel way.

    To do this, Crown has implemented new ways to make the most of the huge range of reward assets at its disposal, from hotels and restaurants to golf and entertainment, and will interact with members through real-time communication across its website, digital app, portal, face-to-face encounters and social communication channels.

    Data and/or technology driven approach

    In late F14, Coyne set up a new digital team within Crown Marketing, charged with overhauling Crown’s current digital assets. This marked the commencement of a journey of complete digital transformation, one which would see Crown operating with world-class websites and mobile experiences within nine months.

    With the average Australian having at least three devices* connected to the Internet at any one time, and with 45 per cent** of these being on their mobile phone, Coyne realised Crown could take a big leap forward in both customer engagement and market share by creating highly engaging, high converting websites and mobile apps.

    The first-ever mobile app was launched in late 2014 and has since had five version updates. In addition, the new websites have been live since May. Following on from the implementation of both, Crown is now experiencing record online bookings, increasing revenue every month. The new team is a genuine partnership developed between IT and marketing, Coyne said.


    * Google, The Connected Consumer Survey 2015

    **The Consumer Barometer with Google (Australia)


    Under Coyne’s direction, Crown’s marketing team works to consistently review and improve marketing initiatives, thinking creatively and using innovative techniques to create better engagement with our customers. Recent examples include:

    • Instagram: Up until 18 months ago, social media had not been a priority for Crown Resorts. This all turned around in June, when Crown Resorts became first in market with Instagram Carousel Ads, one of only three brands to be served first to the four million users in Australia. As at 30th November 2015, Crown Resorts had 27,600 Instagram followers, 295,000 Facebook followers and 12,200 Twitter followers. Crown also delivered significant directly tracked revenue off Facebook.
    • Mobile app and Crown websites re-development: Crown’s first mobile app has proved extremely successful and the websites have been hugely effective. Following the implementation of both, Crown is now experiencing record online bookings, increasing revenue every month.

    “By modernising Crown Resorts marketing channels, we have harnessed the ability to reach more of our customers, find new audiences and engage with them in a more sophisticated manner,” Coyne said.

    “No longer are we limited by constraints of traditional media or geographically. Our evolution is both in development and also ideas. Tapping into relationships within the tourism industry, suppliers and international properties and contacts, the strategy now intends to drive not only visitation to our property but also, awareness of Australia as a destination.”

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