Business cards in the internet age: 5 reasons why you still need business cards
Everything is digital. The purchase of a car in 2000 was accompanied by seven physical contact moments. Now that is about 1.7 times, because looking up information and comparing is mainly done online. That makes those physical contact moments much more important, because you have to build up a personal bond in much less time. A typical part of the introduction is the exchange of business cards.
Business Cards in Japan
In Japan, the land of rituals and tradition, the exchange of business cards has its own name: meishi koukan (名刺交換, literally translated: exchange of business cards). The most senior person offers first. Giving and receiving is done with two hands, a bow and a short introduction. The business card is carefully studied and followed up with a small compliment. During the entire meeting, the received business cards remain in view.
Business cards in the Netherlands
This exchange is of course very different in the Netherlands, where we printing business cards, hand out everywhere and even write on it. It is according to the Dutch etiquette it is therefore not customary to give a business card immediately at the introduction. For some time, the 'bumping' or digital distribution of contact details was even a trend.
Why you still need business cards – 5 reasons
Unless you're doing business in Japan, a business card seems of little use. It only contains contact details, and you can find them just as quickly online. But business cards do have a role in the internet age. We give you five reasons:
- Tangible. Even Google sometimes fits direct mailing up. Because in a world that is becoming more and more digital, something tangible has more value. This ensures that you are better remembered, especially at a first meeting. That's also the reason why business gifts still work so well.
- Stand out. A thick, beautifully designed business card stands out. Certainly among a pile of collected business cards, most of which are paper thin with a free design. By creatively playing with the design, such as a special cutout, color, design or material, you can steer the conversation to your desired topic. And a very special business card? It is shared.
- Digital linking without mobile. Of course you also want to link digitally with that potential customer or partner. But “Jan de Boer” has 500+ profiles on LinkedIn. You can set your unique URL on LinkedIn and place it on your business card. You can also place it as a QR code. This way you keep those smartphones out of the conversation and you focus more on your conversation partner.
- core message. The back of a business card is perfect for your core message or slogan. At Bloeise this is 'It starts with content', which conveys our vision that social media and online marketing do not work without quality content. You can also create multiple variants, per role or per specific service you offer.
- To live up to expectations. It feels uncomfortable to give a business card but not get one in return. In Japan that is even very rude. If you want to do business in finance or with higher management, you will have to fit into the picture. So be prepared and always have your business cards within reach.
Digital means one + one
Physical channels also belong in the business model canvas from today. Because digitization adds a layer to the physical world, but does not exclude it. It is one + one. Yes, we email and use the internet, but we still use paper in the office. Yes, we do online recruitment and interviews by video, but the real acquaintance is always physical. It's the same with potential customers. And because there is less physical contact, you have to make sure that you look the best in that contact. A business card (and a good cup of coffee!) is part of this.