Welcome to the Game Show Economy

While Rudolph couldn’t play any reindeer games, social media marketers and digital branding professionals want their clients’ customers to play as much as they want.

Games and contests have long been a staple of marketing and advertising – from fast food restaurants creating their own versions of classic board games to car dealerships offering scratch-off coupons to entice potential buyers to the showroom floor.

In our digital world business owners large and small know that attracting and retaining customers is a key to success. And the best way to do that is to engage with customers as often as possible in as many ways as possible.

One of those ways is gamification, a marketing concept defined by applying elements typical to game-playing such as point scoring, competition and the awarding of points, badges or other “prizes.”

With visions of sugar plum fairies replacing worries about profit and loss dancing in the heads of corporate leaders and business owners and dazzling holiday displays popping up everywhere, it can be hard to keep track of all the news that’s fit to upload. But using gamification to talk about business and financial information, we can offer some perspective and enter the world of game show economics.

First up is the classic “Let’s Make a Deal.” Rather than contestants dressed in crazy costumes vying to see what’s behind Door #1, this new economic version features consumers looking for bigger, better deals to finish their holiday shopping.

With inflation worries still top of mind for many shoppers, retailers are expected to cut prices even further to lure consumers back to the stores for that final push before Christmas. And shoppers are likely to play the waiting game in hopes of finding the perfect gift at the best price.

Next on the list is “Market Jeopardy,” the game show where investors and analysts try to figure out how consumer behavior and business confidence will impact Wall Street as the year winds down.

With categories including “Things That Begin with the Letter R,” “Bulls and Bears” and “Federal Reserved,” the “questionable” answers could provide some hints about where the markets are headed in the coming weeks and months. To get the ball rolling, we’ll take Interest Rate Hikes for 50 basis points and hope we don’t end up in double jeopardy.

For mobile game players who want to challenge their financial vocabulary, there is Economic Wordle, where the daily word relates to how supply chain issues, inflation fears and Federal Reserve Board rate hikes will impact the economy.

After the first five tries, we are down to needing just one more letter. But with more Fed action on the horizon and jittery equities markets, we must be careful with the last guess to see if the economy will be HUNKY or JUNKY.

The reality is, we can play all the games we want to try and figure out where the economy is headed. And while game show economics can be entertaining and diverting, the truth of the matter is with so many factors at play there is no way to know what the economic future holds.

And that is my final answer.