When you’re dealing with product lines that have pretty much sold themselves for decades, the marketing discipline becomes that much easier.
But for Bob Parente, who oversees global sales and marketing as the new chief revenue officer for Scientific Games’ Gaming Division, the sheer volume of products associated with the Bally, WMS and Shuffle Master brands requires coordination of a vast global sales and marketing network that might daunt the most experienced marketer.
Luckily, Parente is well-equipped for the task, both in his own personal experience and in the global sales network already in place for each product group.
“Based on the combination of the multiple companies, I have a vast talent pool to work with globally,” Parente says. “I’ve assigned business leaders to manage each of the three geographical territory segments—the Americas, EMEA and Australasia. Each of those leaders is a consolidated head of marketing, sales administration and sales operation. They all have years of gaming experience and success in the respective markets, and I’m fortunate to have the wherewithal to have tried and proven leaders.”
Parente’s current post at the top of Scientific Games sales and marketing is a continuation of his role at Bally Technologies, where he was senior vice president of North American sales and corporate marketing. As with other former Bally executives, his current task of merging sales and marketing forces in the new company is a continuation of the job recently completed as SHFL was integrated into Bally.
“The market space has been a fairly strong overlap of what we were doing at Bally, obviously enhanced now with the WMS product line,” Parente says. “WMS was another major supplier to the marketplace, and it brings additional strengths on the interactive side.”
Add in Scientific Games’ lottery products and distribution channels, and the international sales force already in place there, Parente has boots on the ground familiar with the needs of each customer around the world, and a better understanding of what’s needed in each jurisdiction.
“This enables me to have more customer face time, and a comprehensive understanding of the customer’s operations and needs,” Parente says. “This gives us the ultimate potential to offer more consultative selling—partnership-building.”
The same goes for the Scientific Games marketing apparatus. “We have a unified global marketing team, but we have subsets of those marketing teams with local representation in each of the key markets around the world,” Parente explains.
Parente acknowledges that his toolbox of product groups and brands would be the envy of most marketers. “The brands that resonate with the customer are Bally, WMS and Shuffle Master, and we’re excited to have those well-known brands reinforced and positioned as our product lines,” he says. “Between these different areas of product expertise, having us integrate that solidly and seamlessly is very important from a customer standpoint.”
He adds that the Interactive group—the former Williams Interactive, now SG Interactive, plus the worldwide interactive lottery element brought by Scientific Games—adds another dimension to bolster the company’s marketing strength.
“We’ve been able to take a 360-degree view of our customers,” Parente says. “We have an incredible amount of data in our customer experience to really understand how to be the best partner. And how often do you get to look under the hood of a major competitor—in this case, three major gaming suppliers—and compare data? Electronic tables is one of the fastest-growing segments in the company, and that’s due to us bringing key competitors into the fold, as well—Tom O’Brien, for example, came over from Interblock because he sees the opportunities here.
“We have a melting pot of information from several different viewpoints, to understand what works well for the customer and what doesn’t.”
As Parente continues to consolidate marketing teams and exploit the vast talent pool at his command, he keeps his eye on new markets including Greece VLTs, Massachusetts and evolving markets in Asia such as Macau and Japan.
“We continue to monitor legislation for potential market openings,” he says. “One of our areas of focus in the short term is integrating our product solutions across slots, tables, systems, interactive and even lottery, to really create and manifest new markets for our customers.”
A prime example is Baha Mar, the new $3.4 billion mega-resort, where Scientific Games secured a deal to provide solutions in slots, table game products, systems and interactive products. Baha Mar’s main 100,000-square-foot casino will be managed through the Bally ACSC casino management system, along with Bally Business Intelligence and iVIEW Display Manager bonusing solutions—and of course, popular Bally and WMS branded games on the slot floor and Shuffle Master in the pit and e-table areas. Baha Mar will also be the first casino to leverage the full SG Universe suite, anchored by a single-wallet mobile application featuring concierge, social gaming and real-money, on-property wagering.
“As a company with offerings across all these product lines, we’re unique, and that’s really helped us expand the level of relationship we have with our customers,” says Parente. “Beyond what I’ve heard of us being referred to as the new gaming superstore, we want to be the partner of choice.”