Print’s Last Stand: A Business Card That Excites ConversationBy Burkey Belser
March 19, 2018
Your business card is about the only printed marketing tool that remains in your arsenal. That’s unfortunate because well-designed print promotions speak more loudly than they ever did with such little competition in your mailbox. The canny marketer ought to take a look at the humble card that almost always carries only the firm’s logo and your contact information.
Here are some ideas for all of you:
For those whose work extends beyond our borders or whose clientele primarily speaks another language, replicate the card in the appropriate second language on the flip side of the card. Paul Westbrook, a former dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Northeastern State University, in Oklahoma, has business cards in English and Chinese and English and Japanese. Law firms with international operations have translated the verso for more than 20 years. Okay, this is not rocket science, just good business practice.
At Finn Partners, market-facing partners can elect to print their portrait on the back of the card; that is, they will when all of our portraits have been taken professionally (we’re halfway there), and individuals make their selections, and we get them all sorted and organized, and…
Politicians often put portraits of their lovely families and springer spaniels on the backs of cards. If this idea is appropriate for you, just follow that thought to the work that you do; for example…
Relevant Professional Imagery
I supposed Stormy Daniels could put her image on the back of her business card. That’s a scary thought but...
—The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that at the Moore College of Art & Design, faculty and staff members choose student artwork for the backs of their business cards, says Joshua Wilkin, dean of students.
—An estate planning lawyer or tax lawyer or accountant could lift a snippet from the new tax law to print on the reverse of their card. It would even be fun to print this in unreadable four-point type and fill the back edge to edge. You get the point: we can decipher the new tax code for you.
—An association lobbyist could put an iconic image of their industry on the back to bring those they represent to life.
—An electrical engineer could print circuitry on the back of his or her card.
Honestly, the possibilities are endless if you just open yourself up and recognize that precious little you say about yourself has its analog in print.
This doesn’t require my imagination to fire yours. Products just naturally tag along for the ride on the back of your card.
You have three goals when marketing hand-to-hand. Start a conversation, be memorable, make a friend—all of which happens in pretty much that sequence. Branding is not just top-down; it is also bottom up.