Six Pixels of Separation.
1. Create meaning - If you focus on making money, you are bound to FAIL. The right path focuses on making meaning by empathizing, making a change by solving a problem, and making the world a better place. It's amazing to see how people are more than willing to support a cause that is beyond themselves.
2. Communities are the new currency - In any market, there are always small and large communities (on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc) that share similar interests, stories, needs, and a respect for each other. As a marketer, you can either lead this community by connecting people or become part of it as an equal. You cannot simply barge in and act like a multi-billion dollar corporation and expect people to listen to all your self-promotion. I'd unfollow you on Twitter right then and there!
3. Trust and transparency - Now that people have the power to choose, you have to earn their trust in order for them to be your customer, become a Facebook fan, or subscribe to your YouTube channel. Like in any relationship, the best way earn trust is by being genuine and human. People hate talking to voice recordings, seeing automated emails, and encountering mechanized interactions. They can even smell if you're not being honest with them right through your computer screen. Focus on building the relationship first by being REAL!
4. Listen, listen, listen - If you think having the largest marketing and advertising budget is necessary to win, then you are sadly WRONG. We have all become desensitized to TV, radio, print, and web advertisements. The key is to start listening by following people's conversations on Twitter, Facebook wall posts, and YouTube comments. People are more than happy to share their opinions, issues, and suggestions in an open and non-intimidating atmosphere. All you have to do is ask.
Overall, these four lessons may seem somewhat general and may differ depending on the situation. But I believe they are the basic values that every marketer and entrepreneur needs in order to do business right. Do you agree or disagree? What else am I missing?