Oct. 30, 2013
Anne Arundel Community College’s marketing team created an integrated marketing plan for its Casino Dealer School that not only resulted in registration in the casino and gaming industry classes, but also won the team a Gold Medallion Award in the online marketing campaign category at the National Council of Marketing and Public Relations’ regional meeting.
After the Maryland voters approved the expansion of the state’s gaming industry to allow table games, Maryland Live! Casino needed to hire trained dealers and managers for table games. The college’s Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute (HCAT) already had trained other casino workers and, in preparation for the expected expansion, had worked with the industry to develop courses to train dealers for table games. The marketing team’s challenge was to let potential workers know about the Casino Dealer School and to enroll them in training classes in time to meet the casino’s first hiring deadline. The marketing team for this project was Jill Bennett of Annapolis, assistant director of strategic marketing, Susan Gumula of Severna Park, marketing coordinator, and Leah Bryce of Arnold, digital marketing coordinator.
With a limited budget, the team chose a campaign that focused on Facebook and Google AdWord advertising to drive prospective students to specialized web landing pages. Those ads allowed the college to reach well beyond its immediate neighborhood to raise awareness and visibility statewide. Once on the website, interested students were led to other web pages and emailed follow-up information on the course orientations, details about the training and information on a career as a table game dealer. The online campaign also coordinated with traditional media, such as press releases leading to a print media feature, internal publicity and a brochure for workforce development partners. The campaign resulted in increased awareness of the dealer school program as indicated by the high number of impressions, click-through rates, website traffic, newspaper publicity and social media interaction.