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Home   Membership   Conference/Expo   Publications Feb. 1, 2012

Culture & Commerce News Brief

2012 MSA Conference: Last chance to register at the lowest early bird rates since 2006!
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Time is running out — the biggest registration savings will end on Friday, Feb. 3, 2012! Get the most for your money by taking advantage of our super-low, members-only early bird registration rates. For only $399, MSA members can enjoy three days of networking, learning and product sourcing. But you have to register now — these rates will expire after Feb. 3, 2012! Don’t miss out on these incredible savings! More

Minutes from the MSA Florida Chapter meeting posted
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Minutes from the winter meeting of MSA's Florida Chapter, held in Orlando, Fla., have been posted to the MSA website. More

1 new position posted to MSA's Job Source
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One new position has been posted to Job Source, MSA's online resource for the most up-to-date job listings in the cultural commerce industry. More

Social media helps big retailers drive traffic during the holidays
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Some of the largest players in e-commerce found ways to increase the number of consumers who clicked from social media sites to their retail sites during the holiday season. In part, that growth was thanks to holiday promotions on social media. When consumers see a message that resonates with them, they are more likely to share that message with their friends, which can vastly multiply the number of impressions that a post receives. More

25 percent of in-store shoppers use phones to comparison shop
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More than half of consumers used their mobile devices during the holiday season to aid in purchase decisions while looking at physical products in stores. Of the 1,000-member survey group, 38 percent used their phones to call a friend while in a store to help make a decision, 24 percent used a phone to access product reviews, and 25 percent used a phone to look up the price of a product to see if they could get a better price somewhere else. More

Transformation of aspiration
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Leo Burnett Chicago recently released its 1st annual study of people and behavior, highlighting six key consumer trends it says will have a lasting effect on American brands and marketers in 2012 and beyond. The study, "HumanKind 2012: The Transformation of Aspiration," says brands and marketers should embrace the following in order to successfully engage with today's consumers. More

Women influencing more purchase decisions
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Women, who have long been considered the CEOs of the American household, are exerting more influence than ever before on the purchases they make for themselves, and they're exerting greater influence over their friends' purchases as well. More

Smashing shopping stereotypes
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Retailers may think they have a firm grasp of all there is to know about the 18-to-25-year-old shopper, but a new study finds they may not be as tuned in to this young consumer as they think. The study finds the use of technology for shopping by young people is overrated. More

For customer service, shoppers are going social
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Twenty-seven percent of U.S. online consumers sought help through an online community in 2011, up from 7 percent in 2009. The rise was even sharper among younger shoppers, as 41 percent of Generation X and 39 percent of Gen Y consumers turned to online communities for help with customer service issues. More

Tourism seen adding $850 billion with new visas
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Bloomingdale's Chief Executive Officer Michael Gould is a fan of President Barack Obama's efforts to speed up tourist visas for Chinese and Brazilian shoppers. Doing so would create an immediate surge in retail sales as foreign shoppers clamor for Marc Jacobs and Kate Spade designs. The department store chain is preparing for a potential boom by tailoring merchandise assortments to Brazilian and Chinese tastes and advertising outside of the U.S. for the first time. More

Florida's tourism gets a boost from a Brazilian invasion
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"Oi — Sejam bem-vindos!" — meaning "Hi, welcome!" — is a Portuguese phrase heard more and more these days at Florida's tourist spots. That's because Florida is the top U.S. vacation destination for Brazilians, who are taking advantage of a favorable exchange rate and low prices. More

Essential USA publication reaches growing Chinese inbound tourist market
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The premier issue of Essential USA was launched in December 2011 and already is being well received by the Chinese public. It is distributed free to successful visa applicants, a number which is expected to be in excess of 1,000,000 in 2012. The Chinese on average spend in excess of $7,200 on their trip to the United States and tourist numbers from China are increasing at over 20 percent per annum. Currently the Chinese tourist will be worth over $4.5 billion to the U.S. economy. More

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A Facebook welcome like no other
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Want to take your Facebook page to the next level? Consider a custom "welcome" page. Customizing a welcome page with your brand can appeal to new fans and help promote your business. Here are some great examples to spark ideas for your welcome page and some steps to get you started. More

Don't let employee feedback depress you
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How to make the most of negative suggestions your staffers make and improve your company. Here are four ways to get the most out of your employee surveys to make your business better. More

How best to implement a mobile bar code campaign
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Over the past 18-24 months, more and more companies have been hopping on the mobile bar code (e.g., QR Code, Microsoft Tag, SnapTag, Data Matrix, etc.) bandwagon, and have been doing so without fully understanding the technology behind the various code formats and how best to develop and implement an effective mobile bar code-based campaign. More

11 deadly social media sins
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Most brands are trying really hard to succeed with their social media initiatives. They are trying new ways to engage — from receipts at checkout to advertisements in newspapers; brands are trying their best to connect with consumers on social networks. In the pursuit of trying to get things done, some "top" brands have made mistakes. Here are some things to avoid, with no exceptions. More

Creating synergy between social media and email marketing
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The rise in popularity of social media doesn't mean the demise of email marketing. In fact, social media has the potential to elevate the effectiveness of email when the two are integrated wisely. Each channel has a valuable role to play. Social is an ideal tool for informal, organic "conversations," lead generation, branding and content sharing. Email, on the other hand, is well suited for one-to-one business communications and targeted marketing messaging. Social's value lies in opening the door to new relationships, while email's value lies in nurturing relationships and closing the deal. More

The biggest retailers are driving web prices
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When it comes to the sophistication of a retailer's pricing strategy, size matters. The 20 most-trafficked retail web sites changed their prices nearly 30 times more often than their less-trafficked peers. "The top retailers are being very strategic in how they approach pricing," says Rodrigo Carvahlo, the CEO and founder of BlackLocus. "They're using loss leaders to draw in customers, while increasing prices on other products to ensure that their margins are there." More

Amazon notifies South Carolina shoppers of sales tax owed
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Amazon is putting customers in South Carolina on notice that they are responsible for paying sales taxes on purchases they made with the online retailer last year. Amazon does not collect sales taxes on merchandise shipped to South Carolina, as it does not in most states. Instead, residents are obligated to keep a record of their online purchases and remit the tax with their annual income return, but in practice, most consumers are either unaware of the requirement or ignore it, a condition that has led to billions of dollars in uncollected revenue and sent state government officials in search of new measures to recoup the money. More

Utah lawmakers aim to resolve online sales tax issue
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For more than a decade, one Utah lawmaker has wrestled with the dilemma of how to collect tax from online sales. Utah residents are required to self-report and remit their uncollected sales tax on their annual state tax returns. However, few do because there is no enforcement mechanism. More

Clever content gives retailers a competitive edge
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Retailers are increasingly turning to editorial content to drive customer relationships, establish the voice of their brand and encourage repeat visits. The verdict is in — brands that use editorial content to foster a community-driven and intimate environment on their websites have a higher chance of beating out rivals and driving traffic. More

New Brooklyn Museum Shop to open in New York in April, first in planned renovations
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The newly renovated and expanded Brooklyn Museum Shop will open on April 4, in a space previously devoted to temporary exhibitions. The new shop is 1,600-square-feet larger than the old shop, and is the beginning phase of a transformation of the museum's first floor. More

San Diego: Pass offers half-off museum admissions during February
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A Valentine's Day idea for those who love to save a buck: museum-hopping. In San Diego, tickets to more than 40 museums will be half-price for the month of February. The 23rd Museum Month in San Diego County offers half-off tickets to venues such as the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Oceanside Museum of Art and the USS Midway Museum. More

Smithsonian reports dip in visitors and increase in donations
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Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough reported that the number of visitors to the Smithsonian had declined by 2 percent. That meant only 29 million people had visited the museums, still making the complex bulging with visitors. At the same time donations from the private sector had exceeded the Smithsonian's own goal for last year and brought in $182 million. More

The articles that appear in the MSA Culture & Commerce News Brief are chosen from a variety of sources to reflect important news relevant to the cultural commerce industry. An article's inclusion in the Culture & Commerce News Brief does not imply that MSA endorses, supports or verifies its contents or expressed opinions. Factual errors are the responsibility of the listed publication.


MSA Culture & Commerce News Brief
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