Advertising Age

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Frankly with my current endeavors, I am betting they are more important than ever, but when it comes to big company branding, I can obviously see the extension in value. At the end of the day everything is just a tool for establishing relationships. Building traffic to your site or to facebook or anywhere else must be about building a relationship with existing and prospective customers. Which tool works for you is up to you, but web sites are not going away, they are becoming mroe powerful relationship builders and integrated with more tools.

But before you start penning the “ditch the brand website” memo, hold your tweets for a moment. Websites are not going away — they might be more important than ever — but they serve a different and evolved purpose today, especially in this new “social” context.Think wholesale, less retail. Think distribution, less destination.

Think serving, less selling.At the end of the day, brands today live a decentralized, if not fragmented, existence. The brand “home” has line-extended itself into a network of smaller residences and rented apartments — or what we might call “brand stands” — all primed for meeting and interacting with the consumer at various stages in the purchase, loyalty or advocacy cycle. A Facebook fan page is a classic brand stand.

via Do We Still Need Websites? – Advertising Age – CMO Strategy.