David Meerman Scott has written something similar to what Doc Searls has been saying for a long time now - marketing is about personal communications, and the "mass media" model is a recent thing. What the web is doing now is returning the old style to prominence:
Instead of making everything "new," the Web has brought communications back full circle to where we were 60 years ago. On the Web you can finally communicate again in the way that people respond to. What people respond to, and the way they make purchase decisions, really hasn’t changed at all.