How Technology Is Transforming Business Cards
10 billion business cards get printed in the United States every year, but 88 percent of these get thrown out after the first week, according to CNN. This might lead some to wonder whether business cards have become a wasteful relic in an age of smartphones and social media when everything is going paperless. The fact is that business cards still have a role to play, though that role is changing. Here’s a look at how today’s technology has spawned digital and high-tech alternatives to business cards and how this is transforming the traditional business card.
Digital Business Cards
With 433 million registered users, including 13 percent of all people aged 15 to 34, LinkedIn has become one of the most popular digital alternatives to the traditional business card. 40 percent of LinkedIn users check the site daily, spending an average of 17 minutes a month browsing. LinkedIn enables you to include all the same contact information you would put on a business card, along with additional details about your work-related history, education, professional credentials and other items that would traditionally go on a resume. You can also use the site to network and promote yourself and your business by publishing content, making LinkedIn serve not only the function of the traditional business card but also serve as a means for prospecting.
Another popular digital alternative to business cards has been apps that enable smartphones to serve as means of exchanging contact information. The first of these was Bump, launched in 2008, which enabled iOS and Android users to exchange contact information as well as photos and other files. Bump gained enough popularity that it was acquired by Google and then shut down in 2013.
However, Bump spawned a series of similar apps, all of which aimed to replace the traditional business card. These have included Prestoh, CardFlick, CardCloud, SnapDat and Intro. One of the more recent apps, Haystack, allows users to scan in physical business cards as well as create digital business cards.
High-Tech Business Cards
Other alternatives to the traditional business card embed technology in physical cards. Some cards have QR codes that can be used to direct people to your LinkedIn profile or a page on your website.
Other business cards from providers such as MOO have embedded near-field communication (NFC) chips that enable you to transmit information from your card to another NFC-equipped device by simply tapping your card to the device. With more and more smartphones such as the LG G5 coming equipped with NFC capability to support mobile payments, NFC alternatives to traditional business cards are bound to grow in popularity.
The Role of Paper Business Cards
However, just because digital and high-tech business cards have arrived, that doesn’t mean traditional business cards are going away any more than digital advertising and email have brought an end to physical junk mail or sales calls. Traditional business cards remain a powerful tool in the business owner’s arsenal because they are effective. For every 2,000 business cards a company hands out, sales increase 2.5 percent.
In fact, today’s printing technology makes it easier than ever to print business cards, with designs more creative than ever before, making it likely that business cards will simply change rather than being replaced. Digital printing providers such as Avery have begun offering on-demand business cards that can be printed by business owners in small quantities rather than in the large amounts traditionally required. Other providers such as Overnight Prints let you create business cards from online templates and have them physically delivered to you.
With the arrival of high-tech printing and 3-D printing, business cards can also be printed from an increasing range of materials in a growing variety of shapes. For instance, Paper and Packaging Board provides its staff members with business cards made from textured, corrugated, and paperboard paper with a colorful font on one side and stamped foil on the other. Today business cards can come shaped like business charts, yoga mats and even LEGO figures. Now more than ever, business cards can be customized to make your brand stand out.
If you would like more information about selling a business, buying a business, buying a franchise or a related service such as valuing a business, please visit my webpage Services and choose from the drop down menu the information you would like.
For more immediate help, you are welcome to send an email to Andrew Rogerson or give me a call on 916 570-2674.