A friend of mine, Peter Shankman, built and sold HARO, an email list for public relations professionals, and sold a few other companies as well. But what makes him smart isn't his results: it's where he started. Shankman stands out from the pack because he created a unique experience for his consumers.
Create An Experience
Shankman did a project with ScotteVest, a company known for its interesting clothing. The apparel provides hidden compartments for technology storage, like a secret iPad pocket. The project had a few key elements: an active Twitter presence, a strong blogging platform, a cause marketing element (they donated to Best Friends Animal Society), and several practical uses for its products.
You can implement these components into your own business. Do you sell an all-natural beverage? Set up a food truck, travel around New York City and hold tastings. Capture it on video, put the video online and use Twitter to start a conversation with your consumers.
Remember the Elements
Create an experience that's fun with a content-creation angle. The goal is to create something for your consumer to enjoy. Have a platform on the web and social networks, but also provide an offline marketing aspect that your consumers can participate in. Add a cause marketing effort.
Remember to Measure
Measure your success and the steps you took to get there. Make sure the final product can be tracked back to some tangible call to action. Awareness isn't enough; track the number of clicks on your links, how many people signed up for a demo and your increase in sales.