You can no longer market to the anonymous masses. They're not anonymous and they're not masses. You can only market to people who are willing participants.
Seth has the crux of the situation. As people turn more and more to the internet, reviews, forums and there's so much more research before you make the purchase decision. As the world becomes even more (inter)connected, word of mouth advertising and share of voice is of primary importance.
Of course, when it comes to generic CPG, I wonder if you can afford to wait for this slower pervasiveness of this technique.