The first chamber of commerce ever was established by merchants, traders, and craftsmen in Marseille, France in 1599.
It provided them a forum to discuss and tackle common challenges. Throughout the centuries, this representation of common interests has become the foundation of chambers of commerce worldwide.
Chambers today are as diverse in name as the business communities they represent. Every chamber is unique, with different benefits, resources, and opportunities. However, their common goal remains to support their member businesses. Chambers primarily depend on membership fees paid by businesses to join. They often have different membership packages to keep doors wide open for all types of businesses. In order to support the administrative work and planned activities, chambers can also receive private donations. Or they can charge entry fees to anyone who desires to show up at their public events such as trade fairs and exhibitions, business breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, or other networking events.
Chambers Becoming Digital
Is it worth it for you to get involved with such a brick-and-mortar group in the digital age? Well, the best way to spread the word about your business is by making connections, right? Whether you are a new kid on the block or a veteran company that has been around for decades, your reputation grows as you engage in other influential entities within your community.
Chambers still provide numerous networking opportunities. But the world has changed. And the most successful chambers have changed alongside it and have become digital platforms. It keeps them relevant in the age where people spend nearly a few hours a day on their mobile phones and networking is as likely to happen in online forums as off. Mobile phones allow us to stay connected, shop, and stay informed.
Digital Membership Cards
The digital membership cards can be quickly shared with members in multiple ways such as text message, email, or QR Code. They can be then simply added to Apple Wallet, selected Android wallets, and Google Pay by members without downloading another app. Beyond simplifying the entire distribution into just downloading them directly to a member’s mobile phone, they provide a cost-effective and environmentally friendly, easy membership card management, issuing new cards, and on-the-fly changes with a few clicks.
Many chambers already understand that people go to websites for information using their mobile phones. So the websites must be mobile-friendly and the information there is to be quick and easy to find. The digital membership cards can work in line with the websites serving as smart bookmarks to a chamber on the mobile phones of its members. They can be updated at any time allowing the chamber to keep the information always relevant and up to date.
The digital membership cards are dynamic with clickable links on the backside. This feature allows members ﹣ in a convenient way directly from a mobile phone ﹣ for viewing and downloading information the chamber wants them to have at their fingertips. That information might be anything from the chamber’s membership directory helping business owners locate other businesses that might work with them, to special member-to-member discounts.
New Communication Channel
I believe the chamber should offer the right information to members by using the right communication channel to stay relevant in the digital age. The digital membership cards are interactive and allow the chamber for sending push notifications directly to the lock screen of its members.
Instead of assuming the members will search their mailboxes for a correct email, pay a visit to chamber websites, or even pick up the phone to find a piece of information, the chamber should act pro-actively and use this powerful feature. The chamber can keep members in the loop of news and issues that are happening within the community, or spotlight for them featured or new businesses. It can also send notifications on the benefits of membership, and reminders to visit chamber events or renew membership.
Push notifications are a great way for the chamber to stay connected with its members as they are on the go. They also create a new business opportunity for chamber partners and sponsors. The chamber can promote them directly on the lock screen of the mobile phone of every member.
Ladislav Poledna inspires readers to “Become Digital” by publishing materials about digital marketing in his Prague Monitor column and aptly named blog. He has built a career around developing successful customer relationships for the past two decades. At present, Ladislav manages the Power Solutions division of the world’s leading producer of engines, batteries, and outdoor power equipment in Central and Eastern Europe and also oversees operations of the company’s regional office in Prague. Recently, he co-founded a B-to-B software service company making mobile marketing affordable and easy to use. Ladislav’s philanthropic contribution consists of a long-term relationship with a charity focused on funding dreams for people with muscular dystrophy.
Mobile phones are long becoming the main “screen” in peoples’ lives. Mobile marketing is no longer an innovation but a part of important decisions. Read articles on mobile marketing to get inspired on how to connect with people where they spend a lot of their time. Become Digital.