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We’re excited to celebrate a huge milestone for our team leader Justin Shank! He is entering a brand-new decade and we can’t wait to see all he will accomplish as a friend and colleague. Birthdays are the perfect time to reflect on previous years and set goals for the future. Though it can be deeply personal and individual, looking back at the past decade of Justin’s life, there have been so many obvious milestones and accomplishments.

He created and formed Shank Marketing, brought so many talented folks onto his team, married an incredible woman, became a homeowner, and most recently a proud doggie dad! We’re so impressed and privileged to know Justin, and though we know we’ll have many more memories and experiences with him ahead, we thought we’d share a little bit about what it’s like working with him.

I have a slightly biased relationship with Justin as his younger sister, Amy. I count him as my first and longest best friend, a fierce protector from the moment I was born, and now an incredible mentor and leader that gave me the incredible opportunity to be part of this team. As someone still new to the crew, I wanted to hear more about how everyone else sees Justin. Here are the amazing responses they shared! 

How long have you known Justin and what was your first impression of him? 

 What do you like most about working for Justin? What do you like most about him personally? 

Any funny stories to share? 

Like Jordan, I’ve got too many funny stories to share about Justin! The common thread throughout these experiences’ ties so well into the Justin I’ve known my whole life. A wonderful leader, honest in a biting yet eloquent way, and a charismatic nature that people can’t help but want to get to know better. Happy Birthday Justin! Here are birthday wishes from the team.

This month is Native American Heritage month and at Shank Marketing, we want to highlight the incredible work so many of the Tribes we work with are doing to help restore natural habitats, encourage economic growth in Native communities, and replenish the environment of its natural resources. Many of our clients are committed to giving back to their communities in so many ways and throughout the month we want to express our gratitude and appreciation for their continued efforts since time immemorial.

We are so fortunate to work with clients throughout the Pacific Northwest, where many of our Shank Marketing team also reside. Washington state is well known for its beautiful and bountiful trees, once thriving river and ocean systems, and the constant rain that attributes to our illustrious landscapes. However, the land has changed enormously and due to human development and neglect has wreaked havoc on once thriving ecosystems and wildlife. One of these resources are the salmon that were once plentiful throughout the Western Washington river ecosystems. According to the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, “the tribes in Western Washington participate in the annual Pacific Salmon Commission meetings to promote their harvest opportunity, but their primary focus is conservation of depressed chinook and coho stock”(www.nwific.org). We are so proud to work closely with several Washington state tribes; Tulalip, Lower Elwha Klallam, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Suquamish, Swinomish, all of which are Coast Salish tribes, or tribes that are a part of the Salish Sea basin that is rich in heritage between rivers and the ocean. We are so appreciative of the heroic efforts of those that came before us to affect change, and express our gratitude for the continued efforts of Washington State Tribes to return the land to its more natural condition.

The days have grown colder, the leaves brightening and changing, and the season of gratitude, togetherness, and remembrance has begun. At Shank Marketing, November also holds special significance as we observe Native American Heritage month. We know a month of reflection and celebration for the rich and bounteous Native cultures will never be enough to erase the many wrongs and injustices done to the first people of America. Each day can be an opportunity to highlight the incredible work so many of the tribes we work with are doing to help restore habitat, encourage economic growth in Native communities, and replenish our environment to its natural and once bounteous condition. We are so grateful to work with several tribes in Washington, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, California, and Oregon and will highlight their incredible efforts throughout the month. 

The history of Native American Heritage Month is one that spans time immemorial. It is a time to bring attention to lesser-known heroes in American history and embrace the past and present efforts of Native American people. According to Native News Online, Dr. Arthur Caswell Parker, a Cattaraugus Seneca Indian, was one of the first known advocates to introduce a day of celebration for Native Americans (www.nativenewsonline.net). He dedicated his life towards Native American efforts and advancement and established several American Indian rights organizations. Shockingly, in 1924 Native Americans were finally granted American citizenship, and Dr. Parker strongly advocated for what should’ve been a birthright. Another exceptional Native rights advocate was Reverend Red Fox James, of the Blackfoot Tribe. Reverend Red Fox James, “embarked on a 4,000-mile trek on horseback to petition the President for an “Indian Day” (www.nativenewsonline.net). These heroic efforts were still not enough to bring attention and recognition to Native communities and it wasn’t until 1994, that official proclamations were issued each year.

We are so proud to work closely with several Washington state tribes; Tulalip, Lower Elwha Klallam, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Suquamish, Swinomish, all of which are Coast Salish tribes, or tribes that are a part of the Salish Sea basin that is rich in heritage between rivers and the ocean. In Oregon, we work with the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe. In California, we work with the Redding Rancheria Tribe with Pit River, Wintu, and Yana people. We also work with a tribe in Wisconsin, the Sokaogon Chippewa community, and in Oklahoma the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma. Within our team at Shank Marketing, Abby Yates is a Tribal Member with the Nooksack Indian Tribe, and Olivia Rick is a Tribal Member with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. We want to encourage people to take the time this month for reflection and to honor and express our gratitude for true Native American heroes, both past and present.

The Northwest Regional Casino Marketing Boot Camp will be held at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort, in Suquamish, WA from October 24-26th. This is the first time this event will take place in the northwest and we’re thrilled to gather with like minded folks in such an incredible setting. This collaborative experience is one that highlights the innovative efforts of marketing businesses to reach our customers in up to date and groundbreaking ways. We’re eager to be in an environment where colleagues, professionals, and entrepreneurs get to stretch our minds, indulge our creative side, and learn more about how to keep up with the ever-evolving world of casino marketing. Justin will be a session Coach teaching the benefits of marketing through social media content. He’s honored to be coaching alongside such talents in the industry as Julia Carcamo, Dan White, Bobby Thornton, Elizabeth Dixon, and Daniel Kustelski.

Social Media: Content Marketing for your Casino

At Shank Marketing, we pride ourselves on our ability to keep up with the times and constantly strive to be inventive so our clients can utilize the many facets and opportunities social media engagement provides. We love attending and moderating events like Casino Marketing Bootcamp NW. It gives us the opportunity to educate ourselves, learn best marketing practices, and bring our own ideas to the forefront of the industry. Recently, Julia Carcamo interviewed Justin on LinkedIn (Casino Marketing Boot Camp), to discuss the ways in which he plans to engage everyone with a special assignment before they get to the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort. He’ll be challenging attendees to think about their usage of social media platforms in ways that are simple, consistent, and constant. His hope is to highlight casinos through the eyes of customers. In the day to day experience of being at work, we often forget to look around at the space around us. Creating constant content can be exhausting but he plans to emphasize how to use your own facility in new and varying ways to help bring in more customers and excitement surrounding these businesses. This session with Coach Justin (Social Media: Content Marketing for your Casino) will be held the final day of this exciting three day event, on October 26th at 9am.

If you’re attending the Casino Marketing Bootcamp NW at Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort (casinomarketingbootcamp.com) October 24-26th please reach out to connect!

There has been a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding the Global Gaming Expo (www.globalgamingexpo.com) next week at The Venetian in Las Vegas from October 10-13. Every time the event is brought up in meetings and discussions, faces light up, voices raise, and a general enthusiasm sweeps our collective computer screens. It is evident that this event has an impact on our team in so many ways. 

“My favorite part about attending G2E is getting a chance to catch up with industry folks who I have known for years. Getting a chance to hear about the growth of their properties, tribes and careers is really amazing. I have been able to watch my colleagues make huge strides for their own tribes. It is really heartening.”-AbbyJustin and Abby were eager to share their long standing history with G2E. Justin has been going since 2011, and as Shank Marketing since 2017(the first year he started the company). Abby has attended regularly since 2003, when she was only twenty years old. She remembers clearly how impressed she was by her surroundings and knew she’d be returning. They expressed how important the event is in terms of networking, engagement, and innovative new technologies surrounding the marketing and gaming industry. Ultimately, both love being a part of the casino industry and connecting with others to learn and grow as a company. Justin says, “we hope to share more about what our company can do to help potential new clients in our industry, but mostly we’re just excited to strengthen relationships with clients and continue building our network.” 

The Shank Marketing team is thrilled to attend one of the top events gathering so many talented individuals in the industry. We look forward to seeing and connecting with everyone attending two of our sponsored events. On Tuesday, October 11th, from 5:30-7:30, a Happy Hour event will be held at Sugarcane in The Venetian. Sponsored by Shank Marketing, J Carcamo &Associates, MMRC, C3 Gaming, and Profitable Customers. The Native Networking party is on Wednesday, October 12th from 8pm-12am at the Ghost Bar in the Palms Casino Resort. Sponsored by Shank Marketing, Raving, TG&H, SlotC, Red Circle, eConnect, TutorPerini, and Kencocompany. Justin Shank, Jordan Crahan, and Abby Yates are excited for another incredible G2E, held at The Venitian Expo in Las Vegas from October 10-13th. Please reach out and connect we’d love to meet up and discuss the potential of working together and meeting new talents in the industry!

Travel season is here and we’re having a blast catching up with friends, playing a few holes in tournaments, and checking out the latest and greatest advancements in the field. 

This week we’re attending the 2022 Northwest Indian Gaming Conference & Expo (WIGA). We’re excited to be attending for a number of reasons including that it’s being held at the scenic Tulalip Resort & Casino. Aside from the beautiful setting, Justin is moderating a panel discussion titled “Social Media — An Operations Point-of-View.”

Joining him will be JaNessa Bumgarner, CEO at Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel, Kevin Zenishek, Executive Director of Casino Operations at Northern Quest Resort & Casino, and Letisha Peterson, GM at Legends Casino Hotel. 

Social Media — An Operations Point-of-View

The scope of social media marketing has grown beyond the marketing department into everything we do as organizations to engage with players, employees, guests, and our local communities. Our panel will discuss social media from the operations perspective and provide some key takeaways for every leader in our industry to consider. How are we leveraging social media to innovate and attract new employees and/or players? How are we sharing news, events, promotions, and information about our casino property? What can we do to encourage participation throughout the organization to expand the digital footprint of our casino brands?

If you’re attending WIGA and want to learn more about Social Media from an operations point of view, be sure to check out the session on June 21 at 4:00PM. 

Over the course of the next couple months you can catch us at a few more conferences including the Casino Marketing & Technology ConferenceThe OIGA Conference & Tradeshow, and… of course, G2E! Slide into our DMs or send a text if you’d like to connect. We’re always down for a cup of coffee, any and all snacks, and gambling action!

Our Upcoming Conference Travel Schedule:

July 12-13: Casino Marketing & Technology Conference — Las Vegas, NV

August 9-11:  The OIGA Conference & Tradeshow  — Tulsa, OK

October 10-13: G2E — Las Vegas, NV

From reminders about often unnecessary appointments to pings about someone looking at any one of our social media channels, there is a lot of noise being created in the digital sphere. So much so, that according to Business of Apps the average cell phone user receives 46 push notifications a day. This is part of the reason why a recent study about mobile device usage found that the average person checks their phone once every 4 minutes. 

Instead of adding to the cluttered social scene, there is one platform stepping up to break people out of the endless barrage of notifications. “BeReal.” is a social media platform designed to capture the same moment from hundreds of thousands of people around the globe while simultaneously encouraging users to ditch the social media facade.

BeReal. only serves users a single notification per day and with that being said, the notification is more of a challenge than aimless beacon sent into the ether designed to melt your brain. Once the notification is sent out to their daily users (up 315% YTD), each person has exactly two minutes to capture their world. The time crunch motivates users to get snapping without overthinking or overcomplicating the process. There are no stickers, buttons, hashtags, or any of the other elements we’ve been groomed to peruse. The attention is on the moment, the activity (or lack thereof!), and the relationships captured between frames.

When it comes to how the social media audience is reacting to the new player in the heavily populated sector, the numbers continue to speak for themselves. With nearly 5 million downloads since December it’s clear that BeReal is scratching an itch for the over-indoctrinated. 

In the U.S. market Google Trends has nearly every search query associated with the app in its “breakout” category, with the District of Columbia, Virginia, Rhode Island, Massuchussettes, and Utah leading the charge amongst early adopters. The app, which was founded in 2020 and based out of the microstate of Andorra, has raised $30 million in VC funding and is not yet monetized in any way. Given their emphasis on authenticity and human connection it will be interesting to see how they approach that process, though it is almost assuredly going to be unique relative to how other social media platforms have chosen to monetize and lure brands to their users.

The Takeaways 

Jordan: Marketers are all too familiar with the challenges of being on all the platforms all the time, and I think that fatigue has definitely extended to the end user. Rather than try to get users to spend more time on their platform, BeReal turns that notion on its head and prompts users to spend less time collecting content and less time scrolling through content posted by only your closest connections. It also forces you to post content in order to view what your friends are up to eliminating the ability to just aimlessly scroll for as long as you want. I think this is a wake up call for social media as an industry, and for companies and marketers that use these platforms that it’s time to rethink how we measure the value of content and the value of what brands provide to their followers. We are in the very early stages of this journey but I think companies who ask those questions now, and are not afraid of the answers, will be the ones who set themselves up for success moving forward.

Courtney: I’m not going to lie, when Jordan first told me about this application I was VERY skeptical. That’s because I couldn’t get over the name “BeReal.” I thought that the application was going to be boring or function more as a “self-help” venture to break social media addictions. It only took me a few minutes to be proved wrong, the platform is actually a great window into the lives of people across the globe without the pressures of having to do anything. If I want to post a picture, I can post a picture. If I don’t that’s just as well too.

Unlike most of our blogs, this blog is going to be written in first person. That’s because I’m super excited to breakdown the past weekend that Jenna and I spent with The Slot Cats at Seven Feathers Casino Resort.

Jenna and I made the trip to Seven Feathers to help their internal marketing team facilitate a series of influencer marketing events including a group pull. The first thing to breakdown is offering an explanation as to what a group pull is. Essentially, a group pull is an event where player’s pool their money into one slot machine and hope for a big win. After everyone pools their money into the selected machine, each person gets the same number of spins. What players are hoping for is a profit over their initial buy in- most group pulls are about $200 per person. After the last person takes their spins, the remaining money is divided equally by the total number of entrants.  

So, with this basic understanding we can get into the specifics of The Slot Cat group pull at Seven Feathers Casino Resort. This event was hosted by Heidi and featured 14 total participants, each buying in for $200. This was honestly one of the livelier group pulls that I’ve participated in because the group was engaged, Heidi did a great job explaining the process, and the machine was, arguably, on fire. There were multiple bonus hits including one lucky spin that resulted in three retriggers! What was also interesting was that only one person in the group had participated in a group pull event before, this let me know that more traditional players are open and intrigued by this new form of gaming. All in all, those that participated left with a profit, but we’ll leave the exact amount for you to find out by clicking the link below.

As you can probably tell from the video, while big wins aren’t guaranteed, a sense of comradery is. That’s because content creators like The Slot Cats have been working incredibly hard to grow their fan base while making gaming approachable and friendly. Group pulls are often viewed as an event much like heading to the casino to see a musical act is. Events like these are also a way for players to experience gaming from a new angle. If they aren’t high level, high limit players on a regular basis, group pulls offer them the chance to experience the thrill of high stakes gaming. An added bonus is that group pulls can often take the intimidation factor out of gaming for “newbies” to the casino floor.

If you’re a property that is considering tapping into the power of the slot community, we encourage you to watch the video above. If you have any questions or would like to talk it through you can shoot me an email at courtney@shankmarketing.com. In addition to group pulls, we can work with your internal team (or handle everything) to facilitate slot tournaments, player dinners, Q&A sessions, meet and greets, and more. Happy gaming! 

What are Instagram Ads?

You may have bought your favorite pair of jeans from an IG ad, or purchased that Amazon item due to an ad you scrolled by. Instagram advertisements are posts that are paid by the advertising business to market to users and will usually include a small “Sponsored” banner across the top of the post. 

As of January 2022, there are 1 billion active Instagram users with 500 million DAILY active users*. That’s a lot of business potential to tap into. 

Types of IG Ads

Here are the 5 most popular types of Instagram advertisement formats:

With all that being said, it is up to the business to decide which format will provide them the best results based on their specific engagement goals. 

Why Should You Use Instagram Ads?

According to Business.com about 72% of Instagram users reported purchasing products*. This data helps us to understand the potential IG has to help businesses achieve engagement, reach, site traffic, and overall brand awareness. Not only are Instagram Ads  budget friendly for businesses, it provides a larger reach, and the various formats allow specific tailoring to target customers. These social media ads are also a more creative way to market and allow your brand voice to uniquely stand out. 

Another cool feature to these ads is the incorporation of influencer marketing! This advertising strategy allows businesses to promote content created by influencers on OTHER people’s feeds. This influencer- created content can even be seen by users who do not follow the influencer’s account. These ads are almost the exact same as the usual ads on Instagram, however in the post there will be a “paid partnership” label attached to the post. According to a New York Times article, businesses wish to utilize influencer marketing on this platform because “promoting content directly from an influencer’s handle inherently gives the post more authenticity than coming from a brand handle”. This gives the audience the authentic and organic content that they crave!

For any questions you may have, don’t hesitate to contact Shank Marketing for any of your advertising needs. We can help guide you in the right direction when it comes to social media marketing and advertising.

It’s hard to believe that we’re already a few weeks into January. Whether you’re breaking down the holiday decorations or ditching your resolutions, make sure you consider elevating your digital promotions game. We’re offering four customizable promotions for 50% off! Keep reading to learn more.

With the most romantic holiday of the year approaching, use this as your opportunity to let your clients know what you have to offer. Go ahead, embrace the pink and red tones of the season! Our Memory Match game allows you to use pre-selected themed tiles or your own images. Are you trying to push your Valentine’s Day promotions? This option will allow your guests to enter for their chance to win a preplanned romantic itinerary, something else, or we can omit the prizes so your guests can just enjoy a fun themed game! This game can be set up for a variety of different winners and prizes such as dinners, gaming credits, spa treatments, and lots more! Try out our sample memory matching game here.

The big football game is only a few short weeks away! Whether your business has plans for the game or you’d just like to use the opportunity as a fun themed marketing event – our word search game is a great option. With this game, you can select your own words to search – like your company name, or stick to the theme with football terms. Like all of our promotions, you can select your own prizes, too – tickets to a viewing party, branded gift basket, complimentary drinks, or something totally different! Try out our word search here.

Of course, once football season is over, we have to start preparing for St. Patrick’s Day. This is a huge holiday in the hospitality industry, that’s why we’re offering an interactive picture search. You guessed it, this promotion is 100% customizable too! Use an image of your business, your product, something else, or go with one we’ve provided. You pick the prizes, we’ll make the game! Check out our sample image search here.

You might not have filled out your brackets yet, but you will be soon! With college basketball being a month-long event, it’s important not to gloss over this one. For this basketball extravaganza, we’ve put together a customizable prize wheel. Your guests can spin the virtual wheel to win a prize, which you can choose the likelihood of winning. Give our sample a spin here.

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We specialize in digital marketing solutions for casinos, hotels, restaurants, golf courses, tribal enterprises, and small businesses.
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