- CD BUSINESS CARDS, USEFUL OR NOT?

You've likely seen them by now, multi-media CD ROM discs that are shaped like ordinary business cards. While it would seem that there might be problems running these card-shaped CD presentations on some older computers, I still believe that they have a place in your marketing tool kit.

While these special CD's may be relatively expensive in small quantities, in large numbers you can find them for as low as .80 cents to $1.50 a piece, depending on whether you create the presentation or have someone else do it for you. At this price range they may be worth the investment, and will certainly help you stand out from your competition.

However, a few special precautions do need to be taken into consideration before you make a large investment in this marketing technology.

First of all, before ordering multimedia business cards from any source, be sure to carefully inquire as to whether or not any "special" software needs to be present on the recipient's computer in order to run the presentations.

Ideally, you would want some assurance from your vendor that any computer manufactured within the last five years could properly view the presentation right out of the box, and without requiring the user to download or install any special "plug-ins" or software programs.

Secondly, as you will typically need to purchase these CD's in large quantities in order to have a reasonable price-per-unit, you'll definitely want to carefully consider what information is appropriate for inclusion in the presentation.

Any material that might be subject to frequent change should probably be avoided so that you're not faced with the situation of holding hundreds of CD cards that are "out of date" for some reason, and therefore useless in your personal marketing efforts.

Lastly, and of most importance, you'll want to make sure that your web site and email address are both prominently, and frequently, hyper-linked from within the presentation itself. This feature would allow a consumer to link directly to your web site or email address by simply "clicking" on the appropriate link.

Along these lines, you should go out of your way to specifically tell the viewer exactly why they should follow the links to your web site and what they can expect to find once there.

By taking this approach you can use your multimedia business cards to present static information about yourself and your services that doesn't change often, (such as your name, services you provide, your company and contact information).

At the same time, you can drive consumers closer to you through your web site, where they can review information that is subject to frequent change, such as your current listing inventory.

Carefully considering and planning should allow you to promote yourself both effectively and uniquely as these multimedia cards can have a very impressive impact on potential customers and clients alike.

Just as magnetic business cards, those with calendars, financing information or any other unique business cards can help you market yourself, so too can multimedia business card CD's.

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Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale