This being my first blog on researching U.S. Chambers of Commerce, I hope to follow up with more information and cumulative data regarding my findings along the way.
My research is identifying technology trends utilized within the Chambers Of Commerce offices across the U.S. In particular, I’m interested in the marketing and communication efforts employed by these Chambers It has been a difficult process due to the fact that most large chambers (those with over $1M in operating budget) do not give out their email distribution list of their members. So, I couldn’t ask members directly about the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of the technology their Chambers of Commerce were using. Instead, my research has shifted to asking the Chambers of Commerce organizations directly.
A few questions in the survey were deliberate in asking about whether the Chamber of Commerce leadership (typically the President/CEO of the Chamber) used social media as a means to communicate with a younger demographic. I created a short survey consisting of ten questions to complete in 2-3 minutes. It has been very time-consuming in gathering the emails of these entities. My initial goal was to send out surveys to 200. I reached that goal and sent out; however, the anticipated response rate has been lower than I planned.
I am working with DelPhi Communications, Inc. as they have a concern that with a growing younger workforce and younger entrepreneurs and business owners springing up every day, there may be less interest in this demographic to join up as a member of their local Chamber of Commerce.
My research will shed some light on the current circumstances across the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their respective current leadership. Identifying the demographics of the Chamber’s leader, and the marketing and communications strategy used by the Chamber of Commerce, will hopefully, show a correlation between the two factors (leadership style and type of technology used). The questions in the survey asked ranged from: what size of their Chamber is, identified by their operating budget to to what age range and demographic their leadership is. (Gen X-er, Baby Boomer, etc. )
To determine the size of the chambers, I gave them pulldown select options: For example, small Chamber of Commerce typically has a <$500K budget, whereas a medium-sized Chamber of Commerce is $500K- $2Million, and a large Chamber of Commerce is > $2 Million +
What I’ve learned regarding surveys is that scheduling out surveys needs to be done strategically. For example, certain days of the week, certain time of day, etc. to receive better open and response rates. The typical response rate seems to be between 19%-21%, so you have to send out hundreds to get a handful of responses.
I’ve also learned the wording of the survey questions are very important. You don’t want too many ‘lead-in’ questions, and you need to be as general as possible.
Also, when sending out a survey, I’ve learned the subject line is very important. You want to grab someone’s attention immediately and entice them to commit to 2-3 minutes of their time for you! I included a chance to win a $50.00 VISA gift card for anyone who completed the survey.
Although I wish I was getting more response rates, I do get excited when I see some coming in because of the data I’m collecting. More to come with the results!