How Do We Successfully Market to Aliens?
What is the most important profession needed to successfully make contact with aliens? By now you’ve probably read that we’ve discovered the first potentially habitable planet outside our own solar system. This is a big discovery as it suggests that there are likely hundreds of other planets in the universe that exist under the same conditions. Despite the fact that the planet, Kepler 186, is 500 light-years away and we may never be able to study this planet in depth, the discovery is cause for contemplation about the logistics of making contact with an alien life form.
Of course we would assume that our astrophysicists are the most important people involved in making contact with an alien planet, but they would be responsible mostly for getting us there. Geologists , chemists and biologists would be necessary for determining if we could even enter the atmosphere and land on the planet, but outside of that, they have little to do with actually making contact. Perhaps a mathematician or a language expert would be needed to decipher a way to actually communicate with another intelligent life form, but once we had that locked in, what do you actually say to make successful and peaceful contact?
Throughout all of the movies we’ve seen and much of the personal thought we’ve all likely given, it’s natural that we would consider scientists as playing all of the roles associated with contacting aliens and managing a peaceful co-existence, but there are other experts who would be called upon. I’m not talking about politicians here – even they have experts that advise them on successful communication with the not-so-alien life form that exists on this planet. Who I am referring to are marketers. The professionals who are paid to craft messages and visuals that convey exactly what was intended and that convince others to do exactly what they want.
Contacting an intelligent alien life form would be the ultimate PR challenge. How do you convey anything to a life form that you don’t understand and that doesn’t understand you? How do you communicate peace through imagery? How do you arrange words in a way that is guaranteed to not offend a species with cultural differences so natural to them, but we could never comprehend.
What mediums do you use to ensure that your message is received clearly and is communicated to the masses? Is there a Kepler Facebook? How many impressions does it take to make a conversion on an alien planet?
All of this contemplation is fun, but it’s unlikely that marketers in our lifetime will ever have to face this challenge. However, this exercise of thought can be put to good use. As we experience change in our own society and as cultures shift and people are further segregated into their own self-identified factions, how do we communicate effectively with our own species. How can we break down preconceived notions, convince others to be open-minded and convert them to our way of thinking? I think that this starts with a clear understanding of their way of thinking. What is the best way to do that? What can marketers do best to succeed? They can listen.
Are you a marketer or a business leader? How would you craft a message of peace to an alien life form? How do you go about breaking down barriers within our own planet, between people of the same species? How can we adapt our message to new mediums and platforms in order to reach every corner of the population? Please share your thoughts.
Photo Credit: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech