Welcome to Marketing 2.0 - not just a buzz word, but the real thing where the concepts of marketing have been re-booted to match the evolving needs of the consumer and the marketplace. This is now a world of transparency - information accessible everywhere, all the time, and like it or not, your brand is no longer in your hands.
With Web 2.0 in full swing, your brand really is digital now and it means that it is literally in the hands of people - beyond your control. It's not about controlling the color or the font style anymore. The days of task-oriented marcomm are gone and you now must deal with your brand ambassadors.
Who exactly are your brand ambassadors? Everyone - from your staff and employees, to partners and vendors, and of course, your consumers, represent your brand. In this digital medium, you must cede control in order to let your brand flourish and prosper. Sound counter-intuitive? Not to the social "connectors" of the world. This is when your connectors and those able to see and think big picture (what I like to call the 20%) are critical to the success and sustainability of your brand - it's no longer about just an e-newsletter, or a blog, or a wiki - it's about how you connect all of these elements together into the big picture. You need the plan - without it you're adrift and at the mercy of those who can't tell the difference between a brand identity and a logo.
Marketing 2.0 is about discipline, vision and trust - you need all three to get the job done.