Jason Kottke's weblog usually focuses on media design and production, but there's a post in there this week that I think applies just as well to bands.
If the "average" band has a life span of a few years and doesn't make it off the ground financially, you must become significantly better than average for you to succeed. Instead of trying to copy what other bands in your neck of the woods are doing (and I see this happening more and more as street teaming becomes almost a competitive sport), take some time to look at the best practices of bands that have made it. (It's the reason we included case studies in Grow Your Band's Audience.)
Focus on emulating success, instead of keeping up with the band next door.