What If You Did Have a Big Budget?
I’ve recently fallen into what I think is a pretty good habit with the shows I’m promoting. It was completely unintentional, but lately as I’m brainstorming promotional ideas I’ve been coming up with one or two “big” ideas that are out of reach for the marketing budget that I’m working with. These ideas aren’t going to make it onto the marketing calendar, but it’s some of the most valuable brainstorming I do.
At first I thought maybe I was wasting valuable time entertaining these pipe dreams. Instead of thinking about an aggressive idea that I can’t afford, I should be focusing on the tactics I can actually use. Right?
It’s a balancing act for sure. I would never advocate completely ignoring the tactics you can put into practice on your current production, but spending twenty minutes daydreaming about how you would market if money were no object is a fantastic idea. Here’s why.
1.) Train your brain to explore new ideas
When you find yourself facing the task of marketing shows over and over again – or even just twice – it’s natural that your thinking will narrow. You’ll focus on the things that have worked in the past, and your brain sometimes resists coming up with new ideas.
Challenge yourself to come up with marketing that will delight and amuse the people who see/hear/smell/touch/taste it.
Don’t let that happen! The arts are inherently infused with creativity. That doesn’t stop at the footlights; bring that creativity out into the real world. Challenge yourself to come up with marketing that will delight and amuse the people who see/hear/smell/touch/taste it. And a great way to get your creative juices flowing is to imagine what you would do differently if you had more money.
2.) Find ideas for future productions
Just because you don’t have a big budget today doesn’t mean you never will. Maybe the in-depth video series you dreamed up for your current show isn’t going to happen right now. But it might be perfect a year from now when your lighting designer has just bought a top of the line video camera, and the new computer you got for work comes with some snazzy new video editing software installed.
You could wait until then to start thinking about a video, but imagine how much better it will be if it’s been marinating in the back of your mind for the last 12 months.
3.) Discover ideas you wouldn’t otherwise find
The most immediate benefit: dreaming big can lead you directly to great actionable ideas today. I say go ahead and flesh out exactly what your great idea would look like. Along the way you might discover that you could break off a piece of that big idea into something smaller you can implement on today’s budget. Maybe the documentary-style video series is too ambitious, but you use a platform like Vine to create a series of 6 second videos that require no editing, and still convey what you wanted about your production.
Plus the fourth (and arguably best) reason… it’s kind of fun.