Well, the increase amounted to 5% of my profits, not my total expenditures. Marketing, even at just the State level, is my single largest expense, roughly 20% of my revenues. If I go to the National level the expense is a completely unsustainable $4,000,000 a month -- it would amount to over 80% of my revenues just to cover Marketing expense. The marketing formulas don't scale well to regional carriers AT ALL. They're a function of destinations you fly to, and I fly to a lot of destinations with a lot of flights, but as a regional carrier, I fly to pick up a mere 75 people at $40 a head -- the marketing expense for route-specific marketing alone usually costs several TIMES what I make in profits on that route; throw in a few mil for National level Marketing and it's completely unworkable.
I don't disagree that more marketing might be beneficial, it's the differences between games that was more of my concern.
That, and if this is indeed the case of more Marketing needed, we need some work done on the formulas to account for Regional carriers and/or clarification on just what and how much Image affects things. Because, as it is, they'd be completely unable to make enroads into the established territory of a national carrier simply because they'd never be able to get their image high enough because they can't afford National marketing campaigns, or be completely susceptible to a higher-image carrier taking over their territory -- at least if image is as important as I was led to believe it is. An airline's ability to take market share off a particular route has extremely little to do with national image, but rather image in that region. Perhaps we need a regional image too, but that wouldn't be easy as people would constantly argue over what a region's boundaries should be and you could quickly have an easy-to-manage dozens of regions turn into thousands of regions.
For example, I move 1 out of 3 passengers through KDFW in the current game and fly throughout the South-Central US. I'm sure my Image there would be exponentially greater than, say, a national carrier based out of LAX would have, despite the fact that they may have a higher Company Image than I do. If I open a new route to, say, El Paso, I should have a significantly easier time of it than if this new guy decided he wanted to run a flight to El Paso (via my Hub in KDFW). Or if I already had the route, he shouldn't be able to take it away very easily simply because he's national image is a higher figure -- it's impossible for me, as a regional carrier, to attain that level of image due to the costs involved.