Word of mouth advertising has always been the best sort, people put great store in recommendations from those they trust. The extension of this recently has been what I call “word of mouse” advertising, enabled by the networking capabilities of the net.
Taking the idea further, the potential to engage your customers via various forms of social media, to the extent that they become advocates of your product is not only possible, but should be a key marketing objective.
Call centers have progressively taken over the function of a sales force, and technology, and India has progressively taken over the call centers. Perhaps there is an opportunity for high end goods to reverse the trend, use technology to facilitate the transactional end of a relationship with a consumer, but invest in call centers to build the engagement of consumers by personal contact.