Marketing as we've known it all our lives is dying before our eyes. Spam is the culprit, because it's conditioned us to hit "delete" so quickly, and with no compunction whatsoever. Today, nobody wants to hear about your company. The era of the company is ending, just as the age of the idea is dawning... by that, I mean that people will listen intensely if you have great or useful ideas who wouldn't give you a moment of their time if you were marketing your company to them. The term "paradigm shift" gets thrown around loosely, but many of the paradigms that are now shifting have been around since the beginnings of the industrial revolution... so this is the real deal.
This requires a completely different approach, because nearly everything changes. A number of people have been thinking about what all this means for a decade or so now. There are some excellent books out there, including (alphabetically):
Free Agent Nation
Daniel H. Pink, Business Plus, 2002.
Pink lays out a new form of doing business that is overtaking the corporate model.
Seth Godin, Portfolio Hardcover, 2010.
Greatest rant yet on the end of the Factory Era, where you show up, take orders, and do your job.
Long Tail, The
Chris Anderson, Hyperion, 2008.
Groundbreaking book laying out the mechanics of the new niche-based markets that toppled the long-running “greatest hits” system, and is radically changing both the publishing and music industries.
For a picture of how wide-ranging this phenomenon is, here's a blog post describes the Long Tail of Housing Demand.
New Rules for the New Economy
Kevin Kelly, Penguin, 1998.
Considered obsolete by some because it was written before the dot-com bubble, it nonetheless contains a number of foundation ideas applicable to what we’re building today.
Rise of the Creative Class, The
Richard Florida, Basic Books, 2002.
Florida’s classic work has been trashed a bit recently because places restructuring according to his principles took a beating in the Meltdown. So did everyone else, of course. The core ideas are still sound.
Joel Comm, Wiley, 2009.
This is the best Web 2.0 how-to manual I have seen. Clear & concise style, exhaustive content.
Unleashing the Ideavirus
Seth Godin, Hyperion, 2001.
Godin’s classic lays out the operations of ideas that spread.
Web 2.0: A Stragegy Guide
Amy Shuen, O’Reilly, 2008.
This wide-ranging overview of the interactive web covers the bases that existed when it was written.
What No One Ever Tells You About Blogging and Podcasting
Ted Demopoulos, Kaplan Publishing, 2007.
It’s 3 years old, which is a long time in Internet time, but it’s still got lots of highly useful stuff.
Whole New Mind, A
Daniel Pink, Riverhead Books, 2005.
Pink proposes that the era of left-brained dominance is giving way to an age when the scales tip to the right-brained creatives.
Wisdom of Crowds, The
James Surowiecki, Anchor, 2005.
Great description of the new collaborative environment that is flourishing outside the walls of “Fort Business.”
And then the book that nobody you know has ever read, but which appears to have been the touchstone text for nearly all these authors. I highly recommend it as essential reading for anyone who wants to really understand what's going on right now:
Cluetrain Manifesto, The Christopher Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls, David Weinberger, Perseus Books, 2000. The 95 theses in this book underlie much of the Web 2.0 thinking that has followed.
The following are some of my posts dealing with these issues:
Top 10 Characteristics of New Media People: sounds a lot like some New Urbanists, doesn't it?
First Ten Things for Web 2.0: how to get started.
What Should Students Do Now? (actually applies to most of the rest of us as well)
Social Media and Living Traditions (slightly off-topic, but could be of interest)
Idea Cards (encapsulates these ideas maybe as well as I'm capable of doing in one post)
Breakless Time (seems off-topic as it's a graduation note to my son, but it applies in general)
Losing Earthlink (catalogues several way moving to the new web will save)
Website Paradigm (from a couple years ago; Mouzon & Guild sites have now been converted)