I remember it like it was yesterday: A small box arrived at my desk, and it was the sign I had truly arrived in the world of business. I had my own, personalized business card.
And back in the day, it really was the ultimate inexpensive marketing tool. Go to networking events, share your business card and get other people’s business cards in return. With the advent of ubiquitous internet access, social media and the like, many feel that the business card as a marketing tool is outdated – but I would have to disagree.
Business cards, even a relatively good stack of them, don’t take up much space so they are easy to keep in a purse or wallet. This makes is easy to always have a few with you regardless of the activity of the day. You never know when you might meet someone in a casual, social situation that could also be a good business contact. A quick exchange of cards won’t disrupt any festivities, but it does facilitate a meeting at a later date.
Even though they tend to be small, business cards are a great source of critical information. Not only do they have the best methods for contact, there is almost always a spot or two for a quick note or reminder. This is particularly useful when a quick transaction occurs that needs to be followed up in the future.
Create an Impression
With the availability of so many online printing options, it is very easy to create a very personalized card that reflects both your personality as well as your business image. It is also a vehicle for expressing your creativity, unique style and in some cases your product.
Each card, even when purchases in relatively small quantities, is only pennies a piece. Although there are other types of marketing that may seem cheaper, most cards are given out to someone who has reasonable potential to be a future customer or business contact. Even when the card is just a reminder of an encounter, that may be all that is required.
No Technology Required
When batteries are dead or cell service is non-existent, business cards still facilitate a sharing of contact information. Even when technology is functioning at 100%, it is not always convenient to try and record all the pertinent data on the technological appliance of choice.
Why do I know all this to be true? Because in the past few weeks I have had a number of new opportunities come my way simply because I had a business card handy. In each case, if I hadn’t been able to give the person a business card, I am fairly certain the opportunity would have passed me by. So the business card as a marketing tool is old-school, but it still gets the job done.