No Need for a Business Card anymore! But you may want to carry a small marketing card.

No Need for a Business Card anymore! But you may want to carry a small marketing card.

Something Different Companies Log from J.R. AtkinsI have been conversing about the importance of business cards for years. It started in 1993 with the forming of the Aggie Roundtable and the Aggie Job Network. My friends and I would help young graduates and those in transition connect with others, teach them about informational interviews, how to use the telephone and the importance of having a business card. I’d tell them “There are three things that make you a professional: 1) Education and Experience 2) your Attitude and 3) a Business Card.” But as technology has become more pervasive in our society, the reasons to carry business cards have diminished. Some say you don’t need to carry business cards; if that is true, then what might you choose to carry instead of a business card? 

First let’s look at all the ways in which we can connect without a business card. Here are just a few you might want to try out: 

Bump – The Bump App allows you to bump your iPhone or Android phone with another phone and exchange information. You can exchange your contact information, pictures, videos, files, and almost anything. (This App requires an internet connection to work & both parties must have the App.) 

Beam Me – The Beam Me App, available only on iPhone is similar to the inferred beaming of the Palm Pilot of the late ‘90’s. Although this App was popular for a while, it appears to be abandoned by the developer. (This App requires an internet connection to work & both parties must have the App.) 

Card Munch – Available only for iPhone, the user takes a picture of a business card with the App. The App then sends the image to a real person to key in the data. You get a notification when the transcription is complete. If it is incorrect, you can have it re-transcribed with the click of a button. Once you accept the transcription, you can send the person an email, text, or invitation to connect on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Although the App is free now, LinkedIn purchased it and could change it to a paid App. (This App requires an internet connection to work.) 

Text & Email – No Mobile App required, just ask the person for their mobile number or email address and send them your contact information from your phone. (This non-App requires an internet connection to work.) 

LinkedIn App – In addition to accessing all of your LinkedIn contacts on the fly, the LinkedIn Mobile App will allow you to connect with others and exchange information. This App is not available for the Android yet but is available on the iPhone, Palm Pre and BlackBerry. (This App requires an internet connection to work & both parties must have the App.) 

Twitter & Facebook App – These Apps are more like the Text & Email from above. Just get the users ID, send them a message and you are off to the races. (This App requires an internet connection to work & both parties must have the App.) 

With all of these technologies, you can facilitate the exchange of information without a business card. Yet, that is the one of the main reason why so many people have business cards. In addition to these Apps, on-line profiles provide a great deal of information about someone before we meet in person. So again, what do I need a card for? Here are few reasons or ideas on why you might want to carry something like a business card. 

  • In The Moment Marketing – The card shows or tells something about your business
  • Marketing For Later – The recipient remembers you and your business later
  • Something To Remember You By – A lasting impression
  • A Gift – As in Japanese culture, you exchange cards like they are gifts
  • A Conversation Starter – A little something unique about you and your business


I have used a unique card for the last 3 years and it stimulates a variety of conversations. People come up to me and say “oh yea, you’re the guy with the cool card”. Now granted I am in marketing and social media business but aren’t we all in the business of marketing for ourselves? Thus I suggest you still carry a business card, it’s just for different reasons. 

What about students and retirees, I suggest you carry a personal card with your contact information and maybe a title or statement that says something about you. This way you can make a better impression on people you meet and you have something to exchange when they offer their card.

There are few people who are “off the radar”; they do not need to build a network due to the private nature of their work. But remember, even James Bond carries a business card, though it does say “Universal Exports” and that is a rather misleading company name.

Maybe there is a point to be reached, that you are so well known, that you don’t need cards. Right, I’ll probably still carry unique cards just because I like them so much and the results they generate.

Noteworthy Events 

11-28-11 Knowledge Management Association Inaugural Event

11-29-11 Last Tuesday Happy Hour at The Ritz-Carlton

12-01-11 The Jingle Mingle

12-05-11 DFW-World Affairs Council presents Wang Jiarui

12-06-11 Social Media and your Career in 2012

12-06-11 Dallas Aggie Business Luncheon Honoring the Aggie 100

12-06-11 The Dallas Business Club Annual Holiday Party

12-07-11 N Texas Crime Commission Membership Breakfast

12-08-11 NTCAR – Virtual Tour – Uptown/CBD

12-08-11 Networking Luncheon – DFW IT Professionals

12-08-11 Dallas Safari Club Holiday Party

12-15-11 Using Facebook to Market Your Business with J.R. Atkins

12-27-11 Last Tuesday Happy Hour at the Ritz Carlton


About Author


As an Author, Speaker & Consultant on Social Media, Mobile Apps, Sales & Marketing, I help individuals and companies embrace social media and mobile Apps as communication tools, then use marketing to drive results. I enjoy connecting to others using these tools to grow their business.



November 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm

From Trisha Abadilla:
“Instead of Card Munch I use CamCard where you take a picture of the cars and it uses OCR to create an entry in your contacts. It isn’t always accurate depending on the card.”


November 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Froom Ralph Tucker:
“Couldn’t agree more. One of the first things I did when I retired last year was get business cards. A box of 250 ran about $16.00 at I have given out abought half so far. Actually more than I did for my company. It saves having to grab that odd napkin and pen, that most people will discard.


November 21, 2011 at 6:08 pm

From Ben Soderquist:
“JR, One of the most important new business card supplements is QR codes. Printed on the front or back of your card, the QR code can lead your cell phone to a landing page with your contact info, Facebook page, web site, e-card, etc.
Separately, we are adding a fantastic QR code concept to our mass mailing capabilities. It gives every a recipient a unique QR code leading to custom landing page, plus the system can let the advertiser know the identity of everyone who responds, even if they do not interact with the landing site. Look forward to explaining it to you.”


November 21, 2011 at 6:13 pm

From Anonymous:
“Hey JR,

I just wanted to let you know the real impact you had on me with this. I have been unemployed for a couple of months now. I am making some progress. Still, it ain’t over ’til… well you know the rest.

Anyway, I have been handing out a card at networking events, and that really has helped me expand my exposure and it is a conversation starter. I tell people it is my “night card.” Still, it doesn’t have all that a “networking card” would have. In fact it has nothing of it. I have had an uncomfortable feeling not having a “real” business card to hand out. Immediately after reading your email last night I went onto Vistaprint, which I use for a lot of personal/business print and Wed-media purposes, and designed a business networking card that I am having shipped asap so that the next event I attend, I will be ready with them in hand.

Thanks and keep up the good work.”

Don Williams

December 22, 2011 at 9:13 pm

J. R.

Rave reviews as always on your presentation at Coffee Break on Main Street. We appreciate you investing time in our small businesses in Irving. I know that our members gained information that they will be using to help them grow their businesses. Thank you for a great program.

We want to wish you all the best this holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012.

Don Williams
Director – Business and Visitor Services

Irving Economic Development Partnership
Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce

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