I was on an online science forum the other day "Nimblebrain Forums" and replied to a frequent poster who had expressed frustration over his inability to influence the science community that much of the science of the universe is incorrect and needs to be rewritten. In doing so, I later realized I hit on a few great underlying principals of marketing in general:
You just have to come up with a concrete, undeniable demonstration of how the current science doesn't work. Preferably an example that the average sixth grader could relate to.
I have my own suspicions about the underlying nature of the universe, but until I can show how not looking at it my way causes you real problems in your daily life, who cares?
Contradictions between science and observation of objects 10 million light years away can be easily ignored, since most of the population will continue to be blissfully unaware and unconcerned one way or the other. Build a flashlight that shouldn't work, but does and people will pay attention. Much easier said than done, but that's how you change science. Throw the contradiction in everyone's face and lots of folks will get busy on the rewrite.
But before you can make people believe, you have to make them care.
I'm not talking about the professional cosmology crowd. The incentive there, for the career guys, is to demonstrate understanding of the current consensus. That's how you get speaking engagements, cocktail invitations, promotions, tenure, grants, etc. You don't dispense with the status quo until you're in danger of looking like a total buffoon if you don't. You don't want to be the last guy defending an obviously flawed theory, but there's no real danger in not being among the first.
If you're really trying to promote new science and academia isn't buying it, you need to explain it to the masses in language the average Joe understands. Joe is no less intelligent than the academics, but he's not going to get very far, very fast if he has to pull out a Cosmological Terms and Equations encyclopedia after each sentence. And if you want Joe to give you some time and attention for a topic that you're way more interested in than he is, you have to connect it to something that Joe is very interested in.
1. You have a product, service, idea or agenda that you want to sell. Now you have to make me care. It may do exactly what you say it does, but why should I even look at it? Demonstrate to me how having this thing, or at least learning more about it, is better than not doing so.
2. Speak to and seek to impress your customers, not your professors. I get trade magazines all the time. Many feature the very latest in printing technology. A lot of the new toys may or may not be a good investment, but after reading the ad or the article, I still have no clue because I'm not an engineer or someone who has already owned a similar product, and no, I'm not going to go to night school just so I can understand your sales pitch. Speaking to your audience and not over them, does not mean you have to "dumb it down" or omit information. You just have to use a different vocabulary. If you can't do that, you probably don't really understand the material.
3. Know your customer. Before you can influence a potential customer, you have to open a line of communication. You want to locate people who would be interested in buying what you're selling. What else do people in this group have in common? What do they read? What do they watch? Where do they go? What activities or events are they more likely to attend? Answering these questions can provide opportunities to make first contact with your potential customer.
A lot of things change over time in marketing. Public opinion, current events, legislation and generally a dynamic society keeps marketers on their toes and makes it a challenging and satisfying pursuit. But the three principals listed above are constant. It's not rocket science, but a good foundation to keep in mind when developing a presentation or campaign.