mobile phone

The 2014 Business Card

How the mobile device is the new face of your business.

Smartphones are amazing tools. Communication, commerce and a limitless database of knowledge is now always within an arm’s reach. 

For the business community, the opportunity is huge. From search, social media or a number of other avenues, a consumer can find his or her way to a company’s website. It is in that instant that he or she can either become a potential customer or be turned off immediately.

This make-or-break moment is known as “the business card test.” It is the idea that at the moment of receiving a company’s business card, an individual will immediately form an opinion of the quality that business can deliver. This perception, based solely on design and presentation, will either help or hinder the company’s efforts at gaining a new customer. The company will either pass or fail this test.

The fundamental key to passing “the business card test” is great branding. Coupling design with functionality, a great brand is integrated across every marketing channel with ease, making sure that perception remains both positive and appropriate. Thanks to the smartphone, companies get that same business-card-sized window of opportunity to control perception. However, the potential is exceptionally more powerful if they can employ a responsive web design.

When consumers visit a company website by mobile device, the success of the interaction will harp on whether or not it is easy to navigate. If navigating through each page is a pain, consumers will simply lose interest and leave. Not only will they leave unsatisfied, but they will leave with a lower perception of the company than before they came to the site. The opportunity for shares, likes, retweets or favorable reviews has just been crushed.

To make sure that doesn’t happen, companies need a responsive web design. Whether on tablet, desktop, smartphone or a new device that’s yet to come out, a responsive web design adjusts the presentation of a website to be viewed appropriately on the particular device used. Since search by mobile device is set to outpace that of search by desktop computer, small businesses need to start getting serious about making their websites responsive to the small gadgets.

From there, the quality of a company’s branding is what will continue to drive leads and help close sales. Promoting a message through both digital and print mediums is where companies will stand to gain the greatest results. Passing the “business card test” at every touchpoint should be made a continual priority in a company’s marketing efforts.

A multi-screen, device-driven advertising strategy is hardly something a typical small business is able to afford. However, a great brand identity and a responsive web design are two tools that can grow to pay for themselves.

About the Author: Dan Antonelli is the CEO and creative director of New Jersey advertising agency Graphic D-Signs, Inc., The Small Business Advertising Agency, and the author of Building A Big Small Business Brand.