The new conventional wisdom is to use the net as a marketing tool. I am certainly one who believes that the net is as influential as was the introduction of TV as a marketing medium, but the “rules” for brand building remain similar on the net as they have always been, just the emphasis, and degree of control of who receives the message is different. The focus of activity is now onto the individual, rather than a group of people who display some commonality.
The first and biggest challenge is to recruit visitors to your site, and gain their permission to engage with you, and this is getting harder by the day as the number of sites explodes, as does the sophistication of the strategies to attract users.
However, once you have a “user” to leverage the power of the net, you must:
Motivate consumers by using stories, have a narrative which individuals can use to guide their behavior, and that of their various groups of peers.
Engage with consumers individually, on some level, and facilitate connections amongst individuals who can relate to the narrative.
Leverage the power of the individual communication, by giving people something to do, a way to engage, a reason to buy.