We’re NASA and We Know It: Marketing Lessons from Mars Curiosity

We’re NASA and We Know It: Marketing Lessons from Mars Curiosity

viral video nasa and we know itWe landed on Mars.

It’s some of the biggest space news since the Challenger blew up in 1986, a man walked on the moon in 1969 and the Russians beat us to the punch in putting a man into orbit – and God knows NASA needed the PR boost.

In recent years, many wondered whether NASA was worth it, afterall the X-Prize had an entire generation of grassroots rocketeers lining up to put people in space for a fraction of the cost. With Mars Curiosity, NASA punched through the stratosphere of doubt and revitalized their brand.

Mars Curiosity Shows Every Business How to Boost Their Marketing Efforts

When travelling to the moon a space shuttle is off course 99% of the time. It is only by making small adjustments that astronauts bring it to the intended destination.

It is so easy to find yourself off course with your own marketing. Businesses big and small can find themselves in a black hole of doing the same old thing or missing the mark. The good news is that you can start to recalibrate your marketing NOW to hit the mark.

Since you are all suited up and ready to shoot for the cosmos, we are going to talk about the big moves that you can inject into your marketing at anytime to give it that liftoff it needs. Let the countdown begin …

One small step for you, one giant leap for your marketing.

3-Seconds to Lift-Off With Your Marketing

NASA missed the marketing mark for years. Sure they did some cool stuf: lots of shuttle launches, the International Space Station and plenty of other things that most people never heard of. It wasn’t until the Curiosity Rover hit the Red Planet, however, that NASA became the trending topic they are right now and an entire planet has become energized over what they are doing. Here are three ways they’re doing it right to get and keep the buzz going (since this is space we are counting backwards …).

3… “Create a Messianic Sense of Purpose”

This headline comes from Carmine Gallos excellent book “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs.”

Like the great Steve Jobs, NASA had their own big dreams: to get to Mars and get answers. Long a subject of human fascination, the obsession with Mars dates back hundreds of years when scientists first started rendering drawings of the planet. With NASA’s single-minded purpose, they have become the first to achieve what others have dreamed of for centuries.

Here are some questions you want to ask yourself to develop your own messianic sense of purpose:

  1. What does our product do for the customer and how do we define our mission?
  2. Is your mission ambitious and exciting enough? If not, what is needed to make it soar?
  3. How will our product ultimately change the world?

Don’t be shy on answering these questions. Shoot for Saturn and you can hit Mars.

2 … Be Viral Video Worthy

NASA has a pretty big marketing budget to shape public perception. They have been working with tons of outlets to promote Mars Curiosity including National Geographic, XBox Live (you can watch Mars coverage from your console), mobile apps and more. They really are everywhere.

But one of the best pieces of coverage didn’t cost a dime.

The group “Satire” posted a YouTube video called “We’re NASA And We Know It,” a spoof of the LMFAO hit “I’m Sexy and I Know It,” all about Mars Curiosity. It features great dancing, catching lyrics and a homage to the famous NASA technician with the starhawk mohawk.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFvNhsWMU0c’]

In just a couple of days the video got a quarter million hits, thousands of Likes and coverage on almost every major news outlet. The video has kept the fun in Curiosity and lengthened the news cycle even after the inital buzz started to fade.

Now intergalactic space travel may be more viral worthy than say your enterprise solution for business executives, but the point here is to look for ways to do something different and highlight the unique features of your business that just might be worth everyone’s attention – even at the viral level.

1 … Enthusiasm is Contagious: Get Excited About Your Product

One of the greatest things about watching the action around Mars Discovery was seeing just how amped all of the NASA guys were to achieve their mission. Shots of the control room going wild when the rover touched down are the stuff of iconic imagery that will stay with us for years.

Find ways to get excited about your product. When you are enthusiastic about what you are selling your customers can’t help but get caught up in the mix. Be authentic about it though (nothing is worse than someone pretending to be pumped) and find ways to share that with your customers through your marketing.

A student asked me the other day how she could get excited to market products for her company when she really didn’t feel it. Here are the three things I told her to focus on to discover excitement for her company’s products:

  1. Feel your customers’ pain – this product exists to help them – what are you helping them to do?
  2. How does this product help the customer and who has it helped already (got some stories)?
  3. Someone has a gun to your head – in one sentence tell them why this product is the bomb.

If you can’t find excitement after working through these three considerations then it may be time to find a new company to work with. This time be more selective of who you take the job with and clarify what you really want to be doing in life, because as Gary Vaynerchuk says, “no one should be working in a job they hate.”

Which were your most memorable moments from Mars Curiosity and what marketing lessons can you take from them?

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