Introduction to Competitive Advantage in Information Systems

Data Asset in Action: Caesars' Solid Gold CRM for the Service Sector


A walk around Vegas during Caesars' ascendency would find rivals with bigger, fancier casinos. Says Loveman, "We had to compete with the kind of place that God would build if he had the money.…The only thing we had was data".

That data advantage creates intelligence for a high-quality and highly personal customer experience. Data gives the firm a service differentiation edge. The loyalty program also represents a switching cost. And these assets combined to be leveraged across a firm that has gained so much scale that it's now the largest player in its industry, gaining the ability to cross-sell customers on a variety of properties - Vegas vacations, riverboat gambling, locally focused reservation properties, and more.

The firm's chief marketing officer points out that when the Total Rewards effort started, the firm was earning about thirty-six cents on every dollar customers spent gaming - the rest went to competitors. A climb to forty cents would be considered monstrous. But within a few short years that number had climbed to forty-five cents, making Caesars the biggest monster in the industry. Some of the firm's technology investments have paid back tenfold in just two years - bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars.

The firm's technology has been pretty tough for others to match, too. Caesars holds several patents covering key business methods and technologies used in its systems. After being acquired by Harrah's, employees of the old Caesars properties lamented that they had, for years, unsuccessfully attempted to replicate Harrah's systems without violating the firm's intellectual property.