The move to relationship marketing is being driven by changes in people.
The pressures of time and stress are making consumers more demanding, less passive - and less logical - according to Joe Cronin, vice chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide.
Cronin told the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit last month that these changes have created a new breed of consumers with unprecedented levels of expectation.
'Visitors to the Grand Canyon spend more time at the IMAX theater than at the Canyon itself,' said Cronin, whose agency handles the Toyota account. 'IMAX has motion, music - a big hit - bigger than the Grand Canyon.'
The illogical nature of consumer demands makes it difficult for ad agencies that rely on statistical research and modeling to predict consumer behavior.
'It's scary to think a model will have the logical answers in an illogical world,' he said.
Time is the new currency marketers must use for dealing with consumers, because people lack time. They also lack energy because of the stress of contemporary life styles.
That creates the opportunity for relationship marketing, but it also creates some challenges, because time-stressed people are developing a different view of relationships.
Said Cronin. 'We've gone from six close friends five years ago to four today. Why? It's all we have time for.'