Unlimited Marketing Budgets Are Unicorns

Unlimited Marketing Budgets Are Unicorns
Photo by James Lee / Unsplash

Marketing is the science of making choices. Some call it art, but I prefer to define it as a mix of science and art.

Unlimited marketing budgets don’t exist in real life, just like unicorns. That’s why a good marketer is someone who can easily make trade-offs.

But how would you feel if unlimited marketing budgets existed? Let’s dream together.

If every brand in the world had unlimited marketing budgets …

… the media market would self-regulate and money would not be a currency anymore.

In the early 2010s when every brand could open a Facebook brand page, many brands started pouring their energy into this tactic. Organic reach, likes, comments, and engagements were the metrics of the day.

Until we saw that we were not impacting the bottom line very much. Rapidly we realized that without paid support, very few brand pages would generate enough engagement to pay the content creator bill.

The market of free-owned social pages tanked, and the unlimited access to a Facebook audience became very limited.

If everyone in your category would have unlimited marketing budgets the floor would raise …

…and inflation would kick in.

If everyone is willing to pay more and more for that audience, the market will up-price the opportunity to see. CPMs would go up rapidly and media inflation would start.

Typical inflation rates for a market with limited marketing budgets – 2019

Because, at the end of the day, what sets you apart from the competition are the choices your make, not the depth of your pockets.

If every brand in your portfolio had unlimited marketing budgets

…the largest brands will always win long term.

I wrote about the power of big brands in a previous blog post, and I still believe size creates an unfair advantage to the Goliaths of this world. But look beyond your brand size today. I challenge you to forecast the size of your brand 3 years from now and use those numbers in your simulations. Future growth potential is a key factor to account for in allocations.

So, what can you do now that unlimited marketing budgets are clearly in the same universe as unicorns?

What 3 things can you focus on within your limited marketing budget