Will commercial agent’s business cards become a thing of the
The humble business card, it’s probably the first thing
you had printed when you started in business. Wherever you are,
chances are you’ve got one with you. But then there are
other people’s business cards, littering your desk, filling
your pockets and spoiling the line of the Austin Reed.
They’re easily lost when they are needed and then easily
found as a disintegrated pocket full of confetti when your clothes
return from washing.
Perhaps they are simply not compatible with the technology age.
Whenever I return from a seminar or exhibition, it takes me (or
hopefully someone else) best part of a morning typing the contact
information into my contacts.
So will technology and to be more specific the Smartphone, make
the humble business card obsolete?
The Tech Solutions
The problem with finding one universal solution to the business
card is that despite the fact that we have a number of different
Smartphone platforms; it requires everyone to use the same App.
Yet, a few months ago LinkedIn launched their CardMunch App,
which simply digitizes a business card. Once the App has captured
the cards image via the iPhones camera, it saves the information to
your contacts and as you would expect, integrates information from
the persons LinkedIn profile as well.
CardMunch is a great idea, but it doesn’t dispense with
the business card, for a start you’re reliant on your contact
having the same App, let alone an iPhone and a LinkedIn account
(hang-on, what fool wouldn’t
have a LinkedIn account? Nevertheless CardMunch works as a
great tool for you to collect and collect business cards. It will
certainly save on the time spent updating your contacts and the
need to walk round with a pocket full of cards.
The thing is, the App was born out of LinkedIn’s
realisation that the business card wasn’t going to be going
away any day soon. Interested Chartered Surveyors can download the
App for free from the iPhone App Store.
Cardcloud on the other hand, does potentially dispense with the
need for a traditional business card. Launched a few months ago it
enables you to create a digital card, which you can share with new
contacts whether they have the App or not. It works on iOS and
Android platforms, records the geo-location of your meeting and
even enables you to write little notes on the ‘back of the
card’. Problem is, its not much good if you don’t have
Not going anywhere soon
All this technology does make you wonder whether one day in the
near future, we’ll all have barcodes on our arms. People will
just scan the barcode, get our contact details, Facebook and
LinkedIn profile, likes and dislikes, inside leg etc. and then a
short video introduction so we never have to speak to a stranger
The fact is, 10 billion business cards are still printed
annually and we have a social protocol about exchanging cards. And
the humble business card marks the first physical connection with
your brand. Any of these Apps may be useful, save sometime or be a
point of conversation, but they don’t replace the business
card just yet.
Philip Burrows, Marketing Consultant
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