Katrina Steffensen over at AdAge has an interesting post up about the similarities between digital marketing and a NASA launch. That may sound about as random as a comparison between, say, a capital campaign and a ham sandwich, but Steffensen, a channel manager at a marketing firm, qualifies the juxtaposition with a recounting of her recent visit to Cape Canaveral watch the test flight of the Orion spacecraft:

"NASA created a program a few years ago called NASA Social, in which they invite social-media influencers to attend a launch and document it. I joined NASA on one of these events earlier this month to view the launch ofOrion, hopefully the first spacecraft that will take us to Mars. I couldn't help but see how NASA's quest connected back to what we do every day as marketers. We might be the industry experts, but NASA has a few lessons that we can take back to our teams on Earth."

So what were her observations? First, that NASA is able to create lifelong brand advocates by going the extra mile for its most ardent supporters. Digital marketers should inject some emotion and humanity into their work in order to appeal to your brand's growing support core. Second, that NASA isn't afraid to ask for help. Its contracts with firms such as Lockheed Martin and partnerships with the U.S. military help NASA achieve its goals. Dealing with all needs internally is a recipe for disaster.

Third (and this one is the most notable to me): "If the conditions aren't right, wait for when they are." Just as the Orion launch was delayed, you shouldn't release any campaign under suboptimal conditions. NASA isn't afraid of showing a little patience. Marketers could take a cue.

Check out Steffensen's full piece (linked again below) and let us know what you think.

Read more at AdAge

Photo credit: Jose Antonio Perez / Shutterstock