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IS THIS THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS CARDS?

Jan 24, 2014 12:00 AM


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BY KATHERINE O’BRIEN

ALL-STATE LEGAL goes mobile in a big way with its Vizibility acquisition

How do you breathe fresh life into a 500-year-old process? Don’t look now, but a 67-year-old company is updating the humble business card for today’s text-happy world. If an old-school engraver can make its mark on the mobile world, there’s hope for the rest of us!

WELCOME TO THE THIRD SIDE

James Alexander, President of the Vizibility Division of ALL-STATE LEGAL, explains that all printed business cards have two sides: the front and back. “The vizCard is the mobile piece, the third side. You can go to a landing page and really flesh out your professional profile. What we do is create a mobile experience—it’s not [giving someone] 14 paragraphs about why you are the best IT or patent attorney. It’s about having the next level of engagement.”

A FRESH ACQUISITION

Alexander founded Vizibility in 2009; ALL-STATE LEGAL (Cranford, NJ) acquired it in August 2013. ALL-STATE’s business card customers receive a vizCard Pack for no additional charge. These “basic mobile cards,” as ALL-STATE describes them, offer a branded tool for engaging customers and sharing contact information that can be downloaded on any smartphone, tablet or computer. Customers get an unlimited number of vizCards as well as a firm directory of vizCard users. 

“It’s a reward for choosing us,” says Susan Jacobs, ALL-STATE LEGAL’s director of marketing and client services. “It gives us a platform to communicate all of their business card information in a digital form. And with the premium version, we’re giving clients a tool that can help their business development efforts.”

MERGING PRINT AND PIXELS

ALL-STATE began working with Vizibility in 2011 and was the company’s largest reseller prior to the acquisition. Joe Fuzak, President of ALL-STATE LEGAL, says his company thought the time was right to marry print and pixels. “This is an example of how ALL-STATE LEGAL is redefining the traditional business card.”

The vizCard mobile business card platform is a natural fit; with its online print portal, customers can easily create and update mobile business cards and choose to add QR codes to their business card templates.

BEYOND THE QR CODE

To the casual observer, it may seem as though ALL-STATE’s customers are merely getting “free” QR codes printed on their business cards. Alexander stresses the benefit isn’t in the QR code. “ALL-STATE really understood it was more about the mobile experience,” he says. “Previously, without vizCards, it was up to the customer to determine where the QR code pointed. ALL-STATE saw Vizibility as a way to provide a turnkey capability for those in professional services industries.”

Fuzak echoes Alexander’s sentiments. “We didn’t buy Vizibility because we love QR codes; we bought it because we love the product offering. Now our customers will never run out of business cards. There’s always a way to get business cards to clients: paper, digital or both.”

MOBILE MICROSITES AND MORE

Vizibility lets ALL-STATE offer branded, personalized and optimized mobile microsites for each professional with complete tracking and data analytics. Its premium package, vizCard PRO, is a personal mobile hub that connects people’s business social networks to their business cards. It includes information on the individual’s firm as well as his or her contact information, bio, online content, hand-picked Google results (via a “Google Me” button) and social networking connections.

“You can download vCards, view common LinkedIn connections, set up appointments and share hand-picked profiles, videos and other online content right from the printed business card,” says Alexander. “We can even connect all of your professionals’ mobile business cards into a mobile directory.”

As Fuzak says, with vizCard PRO, users never have to worry about running out of printed cards. Premium users get a unique URL they can embed in email signatures, text messages and other online sites that will bring up their digital business cards on any device. A dashboard delivers metrics that let users gauge marketing campaign and networking effectiveness. Law firm rainmakers can quickly set up client meetings with other team members. Real estate agents can instantly refer a home buyer to a contractor, landscaper or other contact from their personal databases.

SMALL-SCREEN EXPERIENCE

“Chief marketing officers are clamoring for a way to show they are technically savvy,” says Alexander. “But very few professional services firms actually have mobile websites. That’s one reason this solution has really resonated with them—we are creating an experience for smartphones and other mobile devices.”

With a vizCard, each person in a firm can have a personalized landing page. “Each page looks the same—it’s branded—but an individual’s page consists of details specific to that person,” he says. “It’s a prebuilt landing page that makes it easier to engage with someone after you’ve met them. The printed business card is a fantastic leave-behind piece. If you have a QR code on the business card, that’s just a conduit to an online mobile website.”

BUSINESS CARDS WILL ENDURE

Alexander insists that businesses cards will never fade away. “The printed card is always on. It never requires a battery or rebooting,” he says. “This is the thing we’ve always printed and handed out; it’s how we market ourselves. What we have with vizCard is a natural segue for the printed card to be a conduit for delivering Google results, your LinkedIn connections and e-cards with a single click.”

Just like ALL-STATE LEGAL, the New American Printer creates a unique user experience. We’re taking reader engagement to the next level, too. Key B2Me.me/C43 and let us show you how.