I didn't see mention of it, but I also didn't have the time to read the entirety of the thread, so I apologize if this has been discussed before.
I think a more interactive approach to marketing is both fun and more interesting to the general populace. Things like contests, or just talking, having fun, Facebook status stuff, etc. People generally enjoy things like this, and while it's a bit more time consuming than just tossing up your website somewhere, or giving out a free book, or whatever, I think it has better overall results.
Results are also probably a bit slower, but I'd say they are longer lasting, too.
As a random example, I'm fairly small time in terms of writing. I don't have a huge presence or anything, but I did decide to hold a contest on my website awhile back. I enjoy playing online games, so I decided I'd give away gift cards for the games I play and mention it on the forums for those games.
This was when I first started my website, so it was really really slow in the beginning. I had 80 and 86 total hits in the first two months. I started the contest at the end of the third month and still managed 554 views(around 300 in one day), and the fourth month skyrocketed at 1,277. After that my total views per month definitely rose, though it's not as high as when I held the contest. Still, I'm seeing about 3x more people per month checking out my site than I first had, so there's definitely something to that.
And it was fun! People enjoyed it. I gave away some decent prizes, though nothing super expensive. No one minded me posting on the forums for those games because I was a player, plus I was offering prizes related to the games in question.
I don't think this is the end-all-be-all promotional/marketing tool, but for me it was a lot of fun and I think everyone who joined in the contest had fun, too.