Eric Kintz has hit on a key point regarding customer-centric marketing, with the phrase "dissociative identity marketing." Eric calls on marketers to recognize that customers are consumers too, following different personas in different media. Seems that marketers would be wise to follow some advice from T.S. Eliot as well: "prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet."
For me, the distinction here is strategy vs. tactics. Customer-centricity is a strategy that requires the use of both short- and long-term tactics. Long term: reinventing your marketing organization, which enables dissociative identity marketing. Short term: using social computing tactics to reach the personas as identified.
I think the tactics need greater mainstream adoption = validation
before making a call on fad vs. not (particularly if they are able to
survive an economic downturn). If we see a recession and still see blue
chip marketers launching WOM campaigns at espresso bars in Second Life
– then you know it’s for real. More than can be said for fat boy shoelaces and