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The approach of Harrah's Entertainment to CRM is so sophisticated that the company has a so-called customer valuation patent. US Patent No. 6,993,494, granted in 2006, enables Harrah's to create customer segments based on the value of their purchases in its gaming, retail and dining properties.

The casino and entertainment marketer is well-known in the direct marketing industry for its 12-year-old loyalty program, Harrah's Total Rewards (originally known as Total Gold). The industry is highly competitive, and Harrah's realized more than a decade ago its loyalty program was an effective way to motivate repeat purchases. It also discovered that customer purchasing data was at the heart of its segmentation strategy.

Functioning like an airline frequent flyer plan, Harrah's Total Gold allowed customers to earn points for slot play and redeem them for cash, merchandise, food and lodging at its locations.

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