Are websites dead?

skittles I recently read a post from a blog by a website development company – 50 reasons why you need a website.

As I read it I realised that now all the reasons can be addressed by social networking and social media tools, widgets,  micro-sites etc..

For quite some time aI have told my clients they need to have a Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn etc presence as they can act like Yellow Pages in attracting interest from people outside their sphere of influence.

More recently we redesigned our website to look more like a blog… and then asked ourselves why do we need a site perhaps we should just focus on our blogs and other tools.

A couple of weeks ago US Giant Candy Company – Skittles – created quite a stir when they took this approach and turned their corporate site around dramatically .  As Michelle Wohl – VP Marketing at Sprout said “By removing all the junk we think a website needs and simply linking to the brands social media pages, Skittles is sending a powerful message:  Customers thoughts and opinions shape the brand”.

There is no doubt in my mind that companies need a very active Social Media strategy …. but is very strong doubt about the need for the corporate website to tell everyone how honest, reliable, hard working and ethical we are ……any more.

In line with our company mantra   “We don’t talk about organisations ….. we talk about the benefits we bring to people …. preferably told by those people.”.   … we are constantly trying to make websites conversational but should we just use the tools and tactics that are out there and stop wasting time and money on something we don’t really need but have been told we have to have?

But generally when a company decides they they need one they cant find the genuine and authentic words to describe who they are and what they do so just resort to marketing babble… because that’s what they think people want to see …. when in fact they would never read that sort of thing on another company’s site!!

So stop preaching, start actively listening, comprehending … and engaging in conversations with consumers.