There have been several conversations on the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook recently about why businesses should join the chamber. In keeping with the personalization trend in marketing, it’s important in answering this question to be as specific as possible. Member benefits for your local bistro are different than those your insurance agent cares about. Yes, they both want more revenue through an increase in customers/clients but they will see different features as more important than others. Don’t talk to them in the same way. They have very different needs and ways in which they will participate.
Restaurants have some large opportunities with chambers, after all, everyone has to eat. Their target audience probably includes the greatest percentage of your community. While a vet will only be targeting pet owners (or future pet owners), restaurants have the ability to appeal to anyone with an appetite.
What a Restaurant Gets from Becoming a Chamber Member
Restaurants need diners, which means they need to make people aware they are open. Most chambers have access to a large audience. It’s a natural fit. Chambers can also provide:
- Catering, sponsorship, and event hosting opportunities
- Taste events
- Tourist eating suggestions (if you have any stats as to how many dining recommendations you field annually, this is important to include)
- Discounts on valuable services such as insurance and credit card processing
- Member spotlight and other social media sharing opportunities (these are very effective for restaurants because of the visual nature of their offerings. A picture of a cheesy pizza with the caption of “Hungry?” sent out right before lunch with a link to their menu or ordering info is one of the most effective member spotlights you can do)
- Flash deals, member-to-member discounts, and coupons
- Cash mobs
- Social media and other learning opportunities (while restaurant owners are rarely able to get away for your networking breakfasts, webinars and video learning opportunities can help them soak up the information on their own time, even if that’s one in the morning). Social media is one of the most effective tools they have at their disposal because the medium is extremely friendly to their business. Again visuals go a long way.
Pitching specific businesses should be done with their needs and fears in mind, not a blanket statement of why everyone should join. If you’re not sure what benefits a particular industry needs, talk to your existing members. Your talks may even inspire a way to fit their needs in a stronger, more efficient fashion.
By Christina Green