Chapter 15 Managing Information and Technology
A Winning Hand for Harrah’s
If you enjoy gambling and want to be pampered, the Las Vegas Strip is the place for you. The four-mile stretch is home to some of the world’s most lavish hotels and casinos, each competing for its share of the thirty-six million visitors who pack the city each year.Robert L. Shook, Jackpot! Harrah’s Winning Secrets for Customer Loyalty (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2003), xi. The Strip is a smorgasbord of attractions. At the luxurious Mirage, you can witness the eruption of a seventy-foot volcano every quarter hour. The five-star Bellagio resort boasts a $300 million art collection (including Picassos and Van Goghs). There are star-studded shows, upscale retailers, and posh restaurants with award-winning chefs. You can relax at pools and spas or try your luck in the casinos.
Harrah’s has become an industry leader in the gaming and entertainment industry by effectively using technology.
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So how does a gaming and entertainment company compete in this environment? If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, you know that a lot of them erect mammoth, neon-bathed, brick-and-mortar casino-resorts. A few, however, do what Harrah’s did in the late 1990s: they invest heavily in technology and compete through the effective use of information. What kind of information? Marketers at Harrah’s collect information about the casino’s customers and then use it to entice the same people to return. Does the strategy work? Harrah’s is an industry leader.
Throughout this chapter, we’ll discuss the information needs of Harrah’s top executives, managers, and other employees. We’ll examine the ways in which the company uses technology to collect data and process them into information that can be used at every level of the organization.