Have you ever looked back at that starting point for your business and wished you knew that “one” secret which could totally transform your business? Entrepreneurs from all over have valuable contributions to this discussion. However, amidst all the answers I’ve come across in my research, I’ve narrowed it down to three insights that the greatest ramifications in my opinion. E-commerce boom and the paradigm shift to digital Importance of mobiles and mobile responsive websites Branding and logo are as important as the brand itself #1. E-commerce boom and the paradigm shift to digital Almost every entrepreneur is familiar with conventional marketing channels such as television advertisements, outdoor billboards, print marketing etc. All these are extensively used marketing channels by most of the big companies. However, recently, we have seen a huge shift towards the digital marketing side where television advertisements gave way to online videos, billboards were ignored in favour of online image-documenting sites like Pinterest and Instagram etc. Similarly, conventional advertising gave way to Google Adwords. According to sources, small businesses spent between $9,000 and $10,000 on Google advertising. Hence, there are certain reasons why these conventional marketing channels may not be as relevant and convenient compared to their modern counterparts. Instant Recognition Digital marketing channels have a unique characteristic that most conventional marketing channels do not have. Social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram allow you to receive instant gratification. If this was an outdoor billboard, think of how many people need to pass it before your message registers with anyone. Less Spillage Costs One amazing feature about modern digital marketing channels is the specific audience targeting they offer. Based on interests, search trends and browsing behavior, online marketing platforms allow you to target your choice of audience. What’s more, you can even choose a cost-per-click method to make sure only relevant audience make it to your website. Interactive Engagement Another marketing tool that digital online marketers have at their disposal is using various engagement tactics. A simple Facebook gif image can spark interest from a number of followers. Similarly, you can rest assured that almost any image you post on Instagram is likely to be shared and commented upon multiple times. This type of engagement is not possible through conventional marketing methods. Can you imagine a radio advertisement doing this? Cost Effective The average cost for keywords on Google Adwords is between $1 and $2. Just try to compare this with the small fortunes the big brands spend on television spots. Similarly, paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram provides great value for money and offers specific targeting options as explained above. #2. Importance of Mobiles and Mobile Responsive Websites Gone are the days of using desktop computers or for that matter, even laptops. Mobile digital media time in the U.S is 51% as compared to desktops (42%). Majority of the internet users have smartphones and businesses would do well to remember this and target mobile users. These days, consumers prefer to do their shopping on the go. A quick search, selection and the subsequent store visit can happen in a matter of minutes if the search is “by location”. Similarly, the buying process takes even less time if there is an E-commerce website where consumers can sit at home and order anything they want. Any business which does not take the mammoth mobile market in its consideration is bound to lose out on a lot of customers. Similarly, mobile responsive websites also tend to make a lot of difference when it comes to customer response. Google trends show that with responsive websites customers are 67% more likely to convert. That is a huge impact on sales! Almost all big brands as well as small businesses pay extra attention to this fact. Premium companies even have their very own mobile apps because they offer an unparalleled level of personalization. Reasons why businesses should focus on mobile strategy: Mobile Data and WiFi zones With internet connectivity almost everywhere, be it mobile data or wifi, most users will use their mobile phones to conduct quick searches for almost any product. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in mobile optimization. Google Standards Studies have shown that Google prefers responsive design; which means that your search ranking will be impacted. Note that Google doesn’t create different URLs but rather a single one across all platforms. Convenient for Small Businesses Small businesses can get a mobile ready website for as low as $100. Pre-built themes are pretty popular and it is both easy and efficient to utilize this to your advantage. #3. Branding and Logo Are as Important as the Brand Itself Think of a famous brand. Try to visualize it. What is the first thing you see? Their logo or some specific elements of their logo, right? The Nike swoosh, McDonald’s M, Adidas’ stripes etc. Whether it is the colour or an iconic shape, logo design is almost always at the center of attention for big businesses. Obviously, your service is very important, but an iconic design helps you stand out from the competition. According to Su Matthews Hale from the design firm Lippencott: “A company’s logo is its shorthand, a visual cue that tells a story of the brand’s culture, behavior, and values.” Hence, a well-designed custom logo can turn out to be a unique feature which can portray the brand’s values, culture and identity. As you can see, in the interest of brand recall, the company logo will be present on all company collateral as the foremost visual cue for your brand. Hence, it is much more than just a creative piece of art to give your products some style, it serves the unique purpose of visually arranging all visible elements of your company under one umbrella. Companies who like to stay ahead of the curve usually invest a significant amount on their logo and branding. In the digital spectrum, your logo is virtually present everywhere. From a myriad of websites to multiple social media platforms. With that kind of digital publicity, you simply cannot ignore your logo design. In a Nutshell Small business owners, especially those who launched their business around the same time as the digital boom, would have seen many changing trends and hence, needed a swift reaction to cope and stay competitive. Knowing these aforementioned elements would have kept them ahead of the curve. However, entrepreneurs just starting out can take note and safely conclude that these trends are here to stay, at least for the time being!