I've also been informed it matters less what your CI is compared to competitors, but more on what the prices you set are. So perhaps marketing is even less important than first thought.
Well, it is. When your RI is properly set up, the prices you can set up allow you several percent of margin increase, even taking in account the increased marketing costs. When fuel prices rise and margins go down, it's often the difference between life and death. In current GW3, we have 350 players remaining, and only 150 of them are above 5% of margin. When you're at this level(or below), everything
counts. If you're at 5% margin with 10 CI, you can probably reach 10 % margin at 50/60 CI - and a proper pricing of your flights.
For maybe half of the companies of GW3, it can be the difference between life and death. So, "less important", well, for the happy few at 33% margin, or the unhappy few at -20% margin, of course. For me at 12%, it's already important. It nearly doubles my profit - and therefore my financing capacity. With wich I 'm buying instead of leasing, which increases my profitability even more, and allows me to survive & win price wars(I never launch them, but I'm often a target), and grow even more after the opponent killed himself.....
Less important, OTOH, to reach insane levels. A medium-sized company with mainly regional jets shall not aim for 100, or even 90. I'm begining to be somewhat big(250 CRJs, 90 737s) without being huge, and I'm currently unstable at 82. Aiming for 90 would be probably counter-productive right now(later, when I'll hit the 500 planes mark, it will be another situation). And if it's what you meant, I agree. Race to CI can kill you quickly(it killed my opponent in Memphis). But important nonetheless, as the marketing & correct price route setup can increse your margin from several needed %.
Remember : everything counts. It's a game of margins. You must make the best income from your situation. and the game is full of interesting questions. Shall I go for the E190, or for the slightly inferior - but easier and cheaper to get J928? There is no absolute answer here, just judgement. When I played in London City, the answer was obvious, the J928 is forbidden there. But now that I'm in the USA? I still have not decided wether I keep my CRJ, or aim for an alternative solution. And it makes the game interesting. A bad decision there will probably not cost me more than 1 or 2% of margin, but 2 % of margin over the years make a huge difference.