Face-to-face meetings and phone calls are great relationship builders but are restrictive due to time, monetary, and consistency constraints.
Branding activities (typical of traditional media) are a good way to receive initial consideration for your product or service but are not relationship building tools due to their mass messaging.
Email is an incredibly powerful marketing tool because it is easy, cheap, interactive, and data driven.
Email is a great equalizer. Budget, organization size, or staff size mean very little. The most critical factor is the desire to leverage what you know about your constituents in order to drive targeted messages.