I think we are a long way off of the “end”, and brand websites and microsites will still have a key role in most marketing plans for some time to come. After all, millions of people are still visiting these sites.
However there is a definite trend away from destination websites that has major implications for brands and agencies.
As an exercise, pick any of the top 100 brands from the Millward Brown or Interbrand list. Then go to Google Website Trends and enter that brand’s URL (i.e. bmw.com), selecting “websites” above the resulting graph to get unique visitors.
For each brand you should find that visitors between 2007 and 2009 are trending down, or flat at best.
If you look at Quantcast, which gives data going back to 2006, the decline is even steeper.
Here’s a set of examples across a diverse group of industries and audiences to help illustrate the point.
Where are the people going?
At first, this doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. More and more people are spending more time online. So where is all that time going?
Here’s a big clue from the new 800 pound gorilla on the scene:
And it’s not just Facebook…