Business Cards in the Digital Age
Given our ever-increasing reliance on technology and social media, business cards are becoming more of a thing of the past… or are they? Professionals everywhere are connecting on LinkedIn and communicating via text and email on their mobile devices. Are the tried and true printed business cards still needed in today’s business world? The answer is complex, yet ultimately simple. In some situations, handing over a physical card is still appreciated and needed. Other situations lend themselves to digital forms of connecting. While there are many different schools of thought on business cards in the digital age, the following insights offer a variety of options for staffing firms.
Evaluate Your Current Business Cards
Although the lure of technology and digital options is exciting, it is important to note that there are some situations where handing out a printed business card is still appropriate. Trade shows and networking events lend themselves to printed business cards, especially in situations where multiple conversations are happening in a short period of time. It is imperative that whatever card you are handing out is updated and above all, memorable. Business cards printed on high quality stock make a great impression on people and companies such as MOO have become known for their unique, stand-out business cards. Ensure that your cards are consistent with the personality of your staffing firm and project the image that you are trying to convey. Business cards now come in a variety of formats, so spend some time considering the size, shape, colors, fonts, images, and materials you use when designing your next business card.
If there is one thing that professionals never leave at home, it’s their mobile phone. LinkedIn has recently partnered with Evernote to allow for members to scan a business card through their mobile app and seamlessly connect the information to their LinkedIn network. Users are also able to enter comments and geo-tag the location where they scanned the card to help them associate a name with an event or a particular business. Evernote, WorldCard, ScanBizCards, and ABBYY are just a few of the many business card scanning mobile apps on the market today. Scanning apps allow users to create a digital rolodex and keep contact information organized and easily accessible. Keep in mind that applications all have their pros and cons, so make sure to do your homework to determine which ones are optimized for your mobile device(s).
It’s in the Cloud
Services such as CloudCards, CloudContacts and CogniCard, are designed to enable professionals to optimize their work stations and eliminate stacks of business cards in the digital age. You might be thinking that these sound just like mobile apps, but the additional benefit of this type of service is that professionals are able to access the information from any computer or mobile device. As you scan in the contact information, the data is uploaded to your cloud storage. Traveling to an out-of-state conference? Cloud-based services allow you to locate important contact information and not have to worry that it is trapped in your Outlook address book on your office computer. Did you just find out that a candidate moved or changed his phone number? Easily update relevant contact information from your mobile device using a cloud-based service. No more hastily written notes and scraps of paper to lose!
Do you want your staffing firm to stand out from the crowd at your next trade show? While 3-D business cards are definitely not as cost-effective as a traditional printed version, they are a great way to make a statement at an event or leave a memorable calling card after a really outstanding business meeting. Companies such as CallingCube produce 3-D objects that are inscribed with text and graphics. Deliver your company’s branding message on one of these creative conversation starters as a way establish credibility and showcase the personality of your staffing services.
Any discussion on business cards in the digital age would not be complete without including information about augmented reality. The exchange of business cards is a great way to start a discussion, but in order to build a relationship there needs to be additional interaction between the two parties. Augmented reality cards contain a “marker” that requires the recipient to use a digital reality app or hold the card up to their webcam to participate in the experience. Unique design tools allow companies to use holograms, avatars, video, and audio to deliver their marketing message. This addition of digital content enables you to make your printed designs come to life and provides an interactive way to connect with your clients and candidates.
- Make sure your staffing firm’s business cards are updated and designed to make a great first impression
- Consider using a mobile app to upload pertinent contact information into a digital rolodex
- Cloud-based services offer immediate access to client and candidate information from any device
- Use 3-D novelty business cards in those situations where you want to stand out from the crowd
- Include an augmented reality marker on your printed business cards to create an interactive experience for the recipient
About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.