A few years back, the standard business card had basic contact information printed in one color, usually black, on one side of plain vanilla paper stock, sometimes with two-color printing to kick it up a bit. Today you can easily print on both sides of a BC in four-color process with a laminated, glossy finish. In regard to cost, it's about fifty dollars for 500 cards. This is a fraction of what it cost a few years ago. Now that's a bargain.
"BCs are becoming mini-brochures that can make a colorful impression. The second side can be just the logo if you are after an 'I am very cool' effect, or you could print a mission statement if you want people to know what you stand for, and, at the very least, a short list of special things your company does. Whatever way you chose, you can captivate interest and provoke discussion. This is a great little marketing tool," according to John Howlett, President of AvizaGroup, an ROI consulting business specializing in advertising and marketing.
After you have grabbed their attention and jump started a conversation, you can deliver your elevator pitch, which is a salespersons dream. In the most optimistic view it might even circumvent the dreaded statement that ever business salesperson fears: "I didn't know your company does that".
The BC may appear to be a rather insignificant item. It is not. Especially if you believe first impressions are lasting impressions. Some people reading this article might say "give me a break, a business card as a marketing tool?" Think about how many times you found a BC, a month or more later, and had absolutely no recollection of who they are and what they do. How unfortunate for the person who handed you their card. They missed the opportunity to leave a memorable message in a potential prospect's hand and mind.
Millions of dollars are spent every day to establish brand recognition in advertising, in pursuit of building a positive, memorable recall about your company, product or service. Want to improve your ROI in advertising? Take a good look at your not-so-silly little business card. You can start by re-thinking about it as a powerful marketing tool.
John Howlett is president of AvizaGroup. He can be reached at John.h@AvizaGroup.com