30 August on ARTICLES
There was a time when every meeting and professional interaction involved the exchange of business cards. It was a greeting and sign of courtesy just as much as it was a way to expand one’s professional network, and thus it was one of the most useful marketing tools in the day. However, we live in a world where fads come and go in a matter of weeks, where technology is developed and becomes obsolete in months, and where print media may someday lose relevance if it can’t keep up.
Knowing these facts, the question is: Are business cards still relevant?
Dead or Alive?
A more morbid wording of the question is “Are business cards dead?
” It is an undeniably significant question, however, because there is growing concern that advancements in technology are slowly making older marketing practices irrelevant. There are still millions of business cards being exchanged at any given moment, but is there any point to this or are people simply going through the motions? In the end, it may just be a matter of tradition, because one thing is for sure, and it is that human interaction is constantly changing.
Just a couple of decades ago, everything was entirely different. “Getting mail” actually involved getting out of the house and walking towards a mailbox. “Chatting” was meaningful face-to-face conversation between at least two people. “Marketing” was about commercials and posters, and people took a more hands-on approach in getting to know customers and clients. These days, these words can still mean the same thing, but at the same time they now hold new meanings with the development of computers and the internet.
So why should people still bother with printed posters when you can just broadcast it through email or through social media networks? Why should you make the effort to call up someone when you can just instant message or even text each other? Why should you still keep a stock of business cards when it can be just as easy to get someone’s email address or cell phone number?
At the same time, why not?
Merging the new with the old.
The digital age does not necessarily have to completely replace the more traditional practices such as printing. There is a way for both eras to coincide with each other and form a strategy that would work that much better. For example, placing a QR code in your business cards
is one way of merging printed and digital media
. As it is, there is nothing wrong with using new technology in order to reinforce old practices.
To answer the question, business cards are still very much relevant. It all depends on the person; a great tool in the hands of someone who doesn’t know how or want to use it won’t be of any use.