As technology continues at its torrid pace of development, software companies are doing their part to contribute to the enhancement of classic business staples such as the business card.
In fact, the latest version of Adobe Scan uses artificial intelligence to enable users to keep track of and update contact info from business cards. But Adobe Scan is far from the only tech provider that’s advancing the business card. Evernote, FullContact, CamCard, and more provide many similar capabilities that are revolutionizing the way we use print products. These handy applications are just one instance of how technology is enhancing the business card staple.
Read on to see what we mean.
OCR Provides a Digital Backup to Your Physical Business Card
As mentioned, there are a variety of applications you can now leverage to scan business cards and parse the information so phone numbers, email addresses, and other pertinent details are immediately added to your contacts. This is made possible with Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which gathers data by scanning your business card, then converting that data into a PDF and/or sending the info to your contacts.
In this way, users no longer have to worry about losing business cards; instead, OCR provides a digital backup, so you can make sure an important business card doesn’t get lost at the bottom of your bag.
QR Codes Make Business Cards More Connected
Too often, companies who rely on prospects to make the jump from one channel to another start to lose potential leads. This is especially true when you’re trying to guide customers from print channels to digital channels. Fortunately, QR codes can help bridge that gap.
Unless your prospects don’t have a smartphone, you can use QR codes on your business card to send prospects to any webpage you like. This is very powerful because instead of forcing prospects to type in your business’ URL, they can simply use their smartphone to scan the QR code. From there, they’ll be sent to the webpage you specify. Even better, you can track these prospects with URL parameters. That way, you know exactly how effective your business cards are at generating engagement.
NFC Integrated Business Cards
Although near field communication (NFC) is still in its infancy in terms of widespread adoption, the technology has some interesting capabilities. With this technology, an NFC chip is inserted into the business card itself. Then, anytime your business card is tapped against a device that is NFC enabled, an event is triggered, such as opening a webpage. Since most smartphones are enabled with NFC, it’s clear that adoption of this technology could take off soon.
The true innovation here is in the events that you can create for prospects and business contacts. For example, a creative professional such as a designer could use an NFC-enabled card to show off their portfolio to prospects who tap the creative’s card against their phone.
Intelligent Search Makes Digital Storage a No-Brainer
As anyone who has digitized a significant number of files that were formerly stored as paper documents knows, transferring the information to digital storage often just creates the same problem in a new place. After all, just because you transfer all your contacts’ business card information to your phone doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to find it.
Again, technology can help you solve that problem. Many of the apps we’ve mentioned in this article (and others that we haven’t) have strong search capabilities. That means your smartphone is equipped with what is essentially the equivalent of a search engine. In this way, you don’t have to worry about losing your digital content. In fact, just by typing in a few keywords, you’ll be able to quickly pull up whatever information you need.
Conclusion: The Many Applications of Technology and the Business Card
Business cards are here to stay. No matter how fast and far technology takes us, the value of face-to-face human interaction will hold strong. Of course, that’s not to say that technology can’t help us enhance our use of this timeless business staple.
Scanner apps help us connect faster and QR codes ease our transition from print to digital. It’d be a shame to not continue to seek out ways in which the business card can be enhanced even further. So, given your new knowledge about technology’s enhancement of the business card staple, be sure to think of new ways you can use technology to enhance your marketing materials as well as your interactions with customers, prospects, and colleagues.