The Marketer’s Guide to the Galaxy
Imagine if in its exploration, the NASA Curiosity Rover finds on Mars the six elements necessary for sustained life: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. More than just potential evidence that life could have existed at some time on Mars, finding these elements could also be the springboard for beginning plans to make Mars truly inhabitable for humans. It would certainly be heralded among the most important events in human history … and would introduce the ultimate new marketing frontier.
What would marketing on a different planet involve? The frenzy would begin before the first civilian foot even stepped down onto red soil. Companies would need to target future “Martians” before they left Earth because products literally would not be available once they arrived. Overnight delivery, needless to say, would be generations in the making. Factories will not just appear on Mars; the sheer idea of transporting the materials and equipment to build adequate housing is enough of a challenge in itself without worrying about new industry.
How would a supply chain be set up? Which company would transport people between planets in the most comfortable and affordable way? Which food brand has the best food for travel, or can find a way to produce it on Mars? Which clothing chain makes the best clothes for a Martian atmosphere?
And how do you start to market to a society as it develops? Mars itself is an empty slate — no billboards, signs, or even a way to print. Once the bags are packed, the goodbyes are said and the chosen few homesteaders are on their way, that commute of tens of millions of miles will provide companies with quite a captive audience to whom they can start pushing future Martian products. Ads on the shuttles themselves would be important, and ads in the magazines/movies/books and other items that people bring for entertainment value would be priceless real estate.
For the first time in history, we would be faced with starting a completely new society in a technologically advanced time in which marketing is as much an integral part of our daily lives as the very media through which we receive it. The challenge is enticing, and the outcome is completely unpredictable!