By MARTIN PURMENSKY
In our modern age, the speed with which new technology emerges and integrates into our lives is nothing short of impressive. Each year products evolve, fly off the shelves and in no time, we adopt them and can't imagine our lives without the latest and greatest products. If you know what it means to "ask Alexa", then you fully understand our current state of techno-addiction.
Just as new technology impacts our personal lives, it also totally changes the way companies promote their products and services and communicate with their customers. This is evident when it comes to promotional products for marketing. As our lives revolve more and more around visual content, the market for static printed pieces has declined. However, businesses still encounter situations where a printed promotional product is ideal to give to their customer as a takeaway. The question remains, how has new technology influenced this traditional marketing technique?
A Digital Upgrade for Print Products
The answer is a logical conclusion - give the printed product a digital upgrade. This is currently happening with technology that integrates video into the printed piece. Companies are using this inexpensive technology to create custom video business cards, video brochures, and video displays to replace static print that customers traditionally throw away.
These promotional products are perhaps the latest evolution of the not so long-ago novelty of receiving a birthday card that actually sang Happy Birthday. The enhanced version of this technology has given rise to custom video cards and video brochures, which are quickly becoming the go-to tools of marketers and salespeople alike. Their application is flexible and practical for use in many industries, including various fields within the medical world.
What is the Video Card?
The video card is a simple electronic unit with a small LCD screen, speaker, battery, a few buttons for use, and an electronic board with installed software. All this is wrapped in a custom printed package that includes a company's brand and contact information. Videos are loaded with ease from a computer, and when the end-user opens the card the video starts playing. When the card is closed, the video stops.
This simple electronic device is available in a variety of sizes and achieves a powerful goal: deliver video content to the eyes of potential customers without the need for wires, Wi-Fi, passwords, or cell phone connection. For this reason, video cards appeal not only the young, video-hungry Millennial audience but, thanks to its ease-of-operation, to a more mature audience as well.
Application in the Medical Industry
In the medical industry, the potential use of video cards is quite vast. When loaded with appropriate content, video cards can explain a procedure, help prepare a patient for surgery, or introduce a new service, facility or medication. In addition, video business cards are typically used as a tool to introduce new physicians at conferences and symposiums.
Perhaps one of the most interesting uses of video cards is in an Obstetrics and Gynecology practice with Ultrasound exams for pregnancy. While moms-to-be look forward to receiving videos and photos of their unborn child, the use of that content is limited when provided on a DVD. In today's culture of sharing content instantaneously across all social media accounts, it's an outdated practice to offer a DVD with zero means for immediate viewing.
Modern parents want instant access to the images of their child, and OBGYN offices benefit from updating their services with a new technology. This demand was recently met with the creation of Ultrasound Video Cards. Launched last year in Orlando, Florida, photos and videos from ultrasounds are uploaded by the technician to the Ultrasound Video Card. The complete package with all video and images is handed to the parents at the end of an appointment.
The parents can instantly watch their video, share it with their friends and colleagues wherever they go, and send it to family anywhere in the world. Some moms even send the video cards to their military spouses stationed overseas so they too can enjoy the views of their son or daughter. When it comes to sharing the content online, the video and photos are easily downloaded to a computer for use on social media.
The Value to the Business
Besides the instant emotional value to the parents, the video card technology provides a promotional value to the OBGYN office. The card is custom designed to highlight the logo, contact information and other elements of the practice. As the card is shared, it provides the OBGYN office cost-effective advertising directed to their target demographic.
Development of this technology has not stopped. The video card product is evolving to offer a better experience for the parents. The upcoming edition of Ultrasound Video Cards will also have the capability to record the baby's heartbeat as an added feature.
Using the video card technology for pregnancy ultrasound is just one application that has multiple benefits to the patient and the practice. As a sales and marketing tool, video cards provide businesses and professionals with a memorable promotional product that gets noticed. Due to the novelty of video cards in the market, new and effective uses will continue to emerge within the medical industry and as the technology advances.
Martin Purmensky is the owner of Arrow Studio - a photography, videography, and creative business in the Orlando area. He has more than 20 years' experience specializing in the digital arts for the vacation ownership, hospitality, entertainment, and medical industries. In 2016, Martin started theVideoCards LLC, a company producing video cards. Visit www.thevideocards.com