Web marketing 1.0 taught companies one simple principle: brand big. Make your brand visible and consistent by spreading your logo and brand message across your site (ideally with a few demonstrations of your web team’s Flash prowess) and throughout the Internet (through the awesome power of banner ads).
That approach worked great – or at least ok – in the era of content push. But while a great Web 1.0 site was as good as the marketing and web team behind it, a good Web 2.0 site is only as good as the people who contribute to it. And that makes all the difference.
You can have the best web developers in the city and the smartest marketers in the country, but if your customers don’t want to play – if they don’t want to put their words, profiles, voices, photos or videos on your site – you’re going to have a hard time creating a Web 2.0 community.
The trick is creating a site where people want to play. For a few lucky brands – like media companies, Nike or Apple – customers care enough about the product or brand that they’re happy to come and talk about your products. For everybody else, the best way to tap the power of Web 2.0 is to create an online community that has intrinsic value, and let the activities of that community reflect positively on the parent company's brand.