Whilst doing my Marketing MA (before dropping out after 11 months because the business I was running took over), two notable things happened.

First, I came precisely top of the year in the assignment about Brand Building and Marketing Strategy. How to position and sell. I focussed on the possible, not the probable, and I beat everyone.

Second, I came precisely bottom of the year in the assignment about Statistical Marketing. How to scope the market. I focussed on the possible, and got bored thinking about the probable (again), and everyone beat me.

Dave, the course leader had a one word comment.

“Weird.”

He said.

‘Thank you.”

Said I.

And left.

Anyhow, it’s this part of me – the guttural part of me – that, this week, led to me to answer this question,

“How can you build brand recognition without a large marketing budget?”

Like this:

“It’s more interesting (and valuable) unpacking this question, than it is (directly) answering it. Here goes:

1. It’s implied that you need (it’s better to have) a large marketing budget to better build brand recognition. Such notions breed crap, lazy marketers and crap, lazy marketing. A great idea, excited bravely beats widely communicated blend-in stuff, always.

2. I’ll add that you should look long and hard at what you’re looking to get ‘brand recognition’ for – before spending a penny. Is it just brand awareness? So they know you’re there. Or brand strength? So they know why you are different and better. If it’s the former – it’s not good enough.

Find and answer the questions behind the question – first.”

You see, the problem these days is not that marketers use AI. It’s much worse than that. The problems is that marketers are AI.

Most marketers are robots.

They don’t question questions. They tick the box. Or, worse, look to AI to tick the box for them.

The world of the probable is based on looking at the past.

That’s where all marketing robots live. Even the living breathing ones.

The world of the possible is based on looking at the future.

That’s what brave, driven, interesting businesses need.

And where brave, driven, interesting marketers look.

Choose which you are, or which kind of marketer you appoint.

Your future depends on it.

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