Are business cards outdated? Are they really necessary? How Important is the business card in my marketing efforts, really? The answer is: It depends.
Business cards are a tiny 2″x3.5″ announcement to the world: ‘This is my company. This is where I work.’ Business cards can range in size, paper, printing, color, you name it you can do it but there are some unwritten rules when it comes down to it.
How important is the business card in my marketing efforts? The truth is I have never seen a business card gain clients but I have seen a card lose them. As with everything in branding, perception matters and often the business card is the first introduction to your company that a prospective client will have. If it’s tattered and poorly designed or printed on your printer or god forbid crossed out and written on, just kiss that business goodbye now. If you can’t take the time to design a halfway decent card for your own business why should someone trust you with theirs? It costs close to nothing to print business cards. No one is saying that they have to be embossed in gold and laminated with diamonds but they should at least be professionally printed and paid for. You’re not fooling anyone with those free cards from Vistaprint. That screams amateur, part-time business owner, hobbyist. Do yourself a favor and find a local printer to take care of it for you.
There are a couple of factors to consider when determining the importance of business cards for your business:
1. Know your industry – This is a big one. There are some industries (accounting and law for example) that are very rigid in the type of image you have to put forward. But the cannabis industry has the benefit of being both an emerging market and an industry less tied to social mores. This gives you much more leeway in your choices. People’s perceptions of how a lawyer should look and act are very much part of the social contract and as a result, those mores are a guiding force in branding for them.
2. Know your client base – Age plays a big factor in the importance of business cards. The younger generation, raised with computers and social media, are much more likely to connect in other ways, exchanging ecards, or connecting via Linkedin or social media.
The flip side of that coin is what happens after you exchange cards. I have boxes upon boxes of business cards sitting in my storage closet. And I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve looked at a card after I initially received it. You scan it in, add the person to your database and the card is all but forgotten. A pretty persuasive argument can be made for the idea that business cards are outdated and irrelevant on this basis alone. But traditions matter and not having a card – even intentionally – could backfire and send the wrong message.
Ultimately, it’s a personal choice. Information can be gathered quite easily without the use of business cards but beware how your brand is represented without them.
We Can Help
Bud Branding helps businesses grow their influence and their brands. As a cannabis marketing firm, we begin with a thorough analysis of your needs and partner with you to develop and execute a marketing plan that will help you navigate the complicated marketing waters of the cannabis industry. To learn more about how Bud Branding can help grow your business, visit us at www.budbranding.net or call 212-491-7318.
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