Robert Wheatley, CEO of Wheatley & Timmons, a public relations and marketing communications agency, argues that we need to rewrite the marketing communications rulebook to grab elusive customers, in "Have We Lost the Art of Persuasion? on Brandweek.com. The constant barrage of repetitive marketing messages might increase awareness, he contends, but it rarely persuades customers to buy.

What does persuade customers to buy? Wheatley says getting an authentic message out to "mavens" -- information hungry early adopters -- is the real way to create buzz and garner more customers.