For every business, the end of the year is a time to evaluate the past year's strategies, assess prospects for the coming year and build a strategy for a more successful 2013. In particular, your business may need to update its marketing strategy to include new and different forms of visual communication. Remember, your competitors are taking advantage of the latest technologies and techniques to bring in more sales leads; you need to evolve to stay competitive. Consider the changes you'll need to make to stay relevant. Mobile Online marketing has played a key role in visual communication, as people spend significant portions of each day on their computers. However, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices are starting to replace desktops and laptops as ways for people to stay connected. The rise of mobile Internet access means that mobile marketing should be an increasingly large part of your company's marketing strategy. For instance, you absolutely should have a dedicated mobile website optimized for those devices. No matter how great your online content is, if it is in a format that users cannot see easily on their smartphones, a significant portion of your potential customers will just glance at your website and move right along. Related: Find the best Mobile Marketing Vendors at Business.com Visual communication through mobile marketing is about much more than just having a mobile-compatible website, though. The great strength of mobile advertising is that anyone who views a mobile advertisement has a communication device right in his or her hand. Take full advantage of this by putting your phone number at the end of every advertisement, giving customers the chance to call or text immediately. Quick Response One of the most powerful marketing features of modern communication technology is the ability to access information at the user's own pace and on the user's own schedule. Car dealerships, for instance, have started using Quick Response (QR) codes in the windows of vehicles to give users information about the cars for sale. For customers who are apprehensive about talking with sales representatives directly, scanning a QR code can be an easy, low-pressure way to learn more about the car. Furthermore, these codes allow customers to walk around the lot and investigate cars for sale even while the dealership is closed or while all of the employees are busy working with other customers. Related: Small Business Technology: Keeping Up with the Joneses Many companies are finding new and creative ways to incorporate scan codes into their business operations: A QR code on a business card can give customers instant access to the representative's online profile, including contact information and customer reviews, thereby building relationships that could lead to future sales. QR codes can also be incorporated into newspaper, magazine and storefront advertisements Retail businesses, restaurants and other local businesses can put scan codes on their business signs to tell customers about their establishments in general or promote special deals and upcoming events. Regardless of your industry, there is almost certainly some way for incorporating scan codes to help your business connect with customers and make your marketing strategy more effective. Interactive Even more powerful than the ease of use that comes with QR codes is the potential to create interactive visual content. Businesses that operate in large, complex facilities can make use of digital kiosks to show customers exactly where they are and exactly how to get where they need to go, improving customer satisfaction and allowing employees to focus on work tasks instead of giving directions. Restaurants can use interactive digital menus to put all of their offerings on display in an easy-to-use format. The best thing about digital communication is that the message can be changed instantly at no cost. Now that 2013 has arrived, it's time to take a long look at how well your business is using visual technology to communicate with current and potential customers. Whether you presently have a great customer base or are still having trouble finding sales leads, using effective visual communication will help your business build and maintain a strong foundation for success. Photo credit: 21stcenturyinnovationmarketing.com Bio: This post is from Brandon Serna on behalf of FASTSIGNS, a leader in business signs, banners and many other visual communications around the world.