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Why a Business Card Template Is Important | Business Express

Let’s get physical: businesses cards are back and booming

Let’s get physical: businesses cards are back and booming

By Sabine Leveiller, Marketing Director, Europe at Vista.

Marketing efforts can be traced all the way back to the Roman empire when traders began to stamp personal branding onto their products. Of course, over the decades, centuries and millennia this evolved greatly as businesses witnessed firsthand the power of marketing. Leading us eventually to business cards which themselves have originated from visiting cards in 15th Century China – left to show someone’s intention to visit. 

Despite evidence of a long- standing history of physical marketing, many commentators have been quick off the mark to claim that in the new digital era the business card is destined for the marketing graveyard. Instead, the business card has been fighting back, bolstered by its grounding in history and tradition, however it is now embracing our increasingly digital world.

The traditional business card

The business cards we know and love today truly started to take the form in the 18th and 19th Century. More recently however, the digital age, came along and posed a significant threat to the historical yet effective piece of physical marketing. Through social media, video platforms and email businesses could reach hundreds, thousands and potentially millions of people. All that you need is an account, some time and a decent eye for design. With such high potential, at such little cost and effort, the digital age seemed to present an end to the business card. 

But this could not be further from the case. Instead, the meaning of the business card has deepened as people look past the non-stop social posts and seek meaningful engagement with their most loved businesses and brands. Our small business community sees the power of physical marketing in the form of business cards with 62% disagreeing that traditional business cards are outdated. Moreover, 51% disagree that social media and digital ads are replacing the need for business cards. Instead, small business owners understand the emotional value that a physical business card can elicit. With community being such a significant element of a small business owner’s values, building brand loyalty through physical marketing deepens the owners’ links with their customers.

Business owners are also seeing the importance of strong branding and personalisation of their business cards, seeing greater results from uniquely designed cards. As a result, the appetite for shaped business cards has increased from 6% of all business cards in 2018 to 22% in 2022. Ensuring that you engage with customers on a meaningful level through physical marketing efforts is evidently proving, once again, to be a successful business strategy. 

Sometimes it’s good to keep a bit of tradition.

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Moving into the digital space

Combining a marketing practice steeped in tradition, proven time and time again to be successful, with new digital approaches can be the ultimate way to get the best of both worlds. 

Our small business network knows all about fighting on these two fronts, using digital to expand their customer base and recognition whilst physical marketing allows them to more deeply connect with their community. 78% of our small business community agreed that print and digital are equally important to acquire new customers, reinforcing the need for this one-two knockout.

Our internal data also shows that QR codes have become a key component for many business owners’ business cards, whilst 46% of those using digital business cards today were not using them a few years ago. Clearly, business cards have evolved to bridge this physical and digital divide in order to maximise the results from marketing efforts. 

Merging both the physical and digital has led to a resurgence in the trusty business card, in all of its new and various formats. When we first  introduced digital business cards (physical cards with a digital element) in March 2022, it became our fastest growing new product introduction in the category. Plus, 46% of small business owners currently using digital business cards were not using them a few years ago, revealing just how quickly people began to re-understand the value of business cards in the modern, digital age. 

The business card is back, and it’s getting bigger and better than ever. As people seek more meaningful engagement with the businesses they purchase from, businesses must respond in kind to build a genuine relationship and community around them. Marketing in both the physical and the digital brings around great opportunities and success for business owners, however when you look at these two worlds and see how they can work in tandem with one another then you can begin to realise great results. The new age of the business card exemplifies this. 

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