MGM Resorts Lays The Foundation For A Unified Data Strategy

MGM Resorts International’s media, ecommerce and analytics teams used to work in silos.

“You’d have one team in analytics sending out reports … and separate product owners doing A/B testing and data management,” said Sylvester Obafunwa, the company’s director of digital analytics. “In the past, a lot of our [tech] integration was also primarily focused on one product.”

MGM, which recently brought programmatic media buying in-house, wants to connect information about a user’s browsing behavior back to Adobe’s data sets, so it’s testing an integration between its DMP Adobe Audience Manager and Adobe Analytics.

MGM Resorts has a lot of properties in its portfolio, including a slew of international properties, a WNBA basketball team, and the Las Vegas hotels MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage and Bellagio.

But it couldn’t get a unified look at its customer across all those platforms without a common data strategy across ecommerce, media and marketing. 

For instance, a media planner using Audience Manager and Adobe Media Optimizer could activate a campaign and prove performance, but that data wouldn’t necessarily reach the analytics team assessing the impact on site conversions.

“It was one thing to use each tool in a silo, but then you’re completely missing out on what’s happening in the consumer experience,” Obafunwa said. “We needed to get to a point where there was common integration across tools.”

By integrating these systems, MGM Resorts hopes to unify insights, such that an ecommerce team member can use CRM data to know whether a site visitor is a repeat customer or loyalty member.

By connecting first-party data to third-party insights in its DMP, it hopes to give different teams more context around consumers’ actions.

For instance, based upon their search history or which ads they’ve clicked on, a marketer can start to determine whether someone likes country music or certain types of food.

Connecting first-party analytics to DMP data will also help MGM Resorts carve out at least 30-40 more attributes about a single persona.

Those additional attributes can help the marketing or analytics team determine whether a Bellagio guest is coming to the property for a wedding, to see a Cirque show, on business or leisure if they’ve recently searched for vacation packages on third-party sites.

“That data helps us have deeper conversations across departments, including product owners for weddings, business travel or entertainment and shows,” Obafunwa said.

“It also helps marketing in conversations with senior leadership. If we put additional media dollars behind a campaign, they want to know the potential for ROI and what’s the data that speaks to it.”

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