Marketing is an important skill for students to learn, regardless of what field of study or work they are hoping to pursue. This lesson will give you some fun and engaging activities to help you teach your students about marketing.
Why Marketing Games?
Regardless of what your students intend to study or do in the future, it can be useful for them to learn about marketing. In this case, we can think of marketing as a way of selling a product or service or promoting an idea or set of ideas. These skills can be handy in many different walks of life. At the same time, it can be dull to simply lecture students about marketing. Especially since the content has such dynamic and interactive potential, games can be the most helpful way to really show students what marketing is all about.
In this lesson, you will follow along with a fictional former student Rachel, whose marketing teachers used games to inspire her to pursue marketing as a career.
One of Rachel’s favorite games when she was studying was making commercials. She and her fellow students would watch advertisements on television and Youtube, and then, they would choose a product (real or fictional) to advertise.
They would work in groups to design, stage, and produce commercials trying to produce interest in their product. They would then vote as a class to determine which commercial was the most convincing. Rachel enjoyed this game the most when other classes were also involved. They sometimes staged their commercials like reality TV shows where the winner was applauded and given prizes. Commercials had to be persuasive, convincing viewers that they were making the right choice.
A simpler game that Rachel and her friends always enjoyed was called Marketing Lingo.
To play this, they would decide on a few products or services they wanted to market. Then, they would have two minutes to make up a quick jingle, motto, or key phrase for marketing this product. Teams that couldn’t do it in the allotted time slot lost points, and at the end of an hour or twenty products, the team with the most points was considered the winner.
Switch the Product
Switch the Product really helped Rachel branch out in terms of diversifying the sorts of things she felt capable of marketing. To play this game, the instructor would project an image of a product or service onto a Smartboard or other screen.
Each student or team would have five minutes to jot down as many ideas as they could think of for marketing whatever image was projected. Then, the teacher would switch the image, and the procedure would repeat. The game would continue through about ten images, then students would compare notes and discuss what they came up with.
Simulations are something Rachel always found effective.
By simulating a stock market situation along with some of her fellow students, Rachel was really able to understand more about both buying and selling stocks. Simulating an advertisement firm’s brainstorming session helped Rachel learn much more about the PR industry, including the importance of quick thinking and cooperative collaboration. Rachel found that the instructors who were most effective at developing simulations would allocate plenty of time for letting the simulations unfold. Each student was assigned a particular role and the task of researching what the role would involve. Simulations are not games in the traditional sense, but they can be used so diversely and really give students valuable insights into how marketing looks in a variety of authentic situations.
By playing Marketing Charades, Rachel was able to solidify her vocabulary around marketing careers, major themes in marketing, and concepts and theories behind different aspects of marketing as she studied them.
This game works just like any other type of charades except that students are expected to act out terms with particular relevance to marketing. It is a useful game to play at the end of a specific unit, to help students internalize the vocabulary and concepts they have most recently learned.
Audience Roulette was a game Rachel played with classmates to learn about the importance of the audience in marketing. Here, Rachel and her fellow students would focus on marketing one particular product or service.
However, they would spin a spinner whose arrow could point to different audiences: children, adults, urban residents, country dwellers, men, women, and so on. Then, they would have two minutes to describe how they would focus their marketing for that particular audience.
Let’s review. We can think of marketing as a way of selling a product or service or promoting an idea or set of ideas. Marketing is often an exciting field, and games can help students learn how to be more persuasive, convincing marketers who are engaged and excited for learning about the field. By trying these games with your students, you will help them internalize major concepts of marketing and practice their marketing skills in interesting ways.