Category Archives: Blog With BEB

Facebook’s AI Research

Facebook is focused on advancing the field of machine intelligence.  They are creating new technologies to give people expanded ways to communicate. As Facebook puts it; they’re trying to solve AI.
Facebook Artificial Intelligence researchers seek to understand and develop systems with human-level intelligence by advancing the longer-term academic problems surrounding AI. Their research covers the full spectrum of topics related to AI, and to deriving knowledge from data: theory, algorithms, applications, software infrastructure and hardware infrastructure. Long-term objectives of understanding intelligence and building intelligent machines are bold and ambitious, and they are approaching this research in a very collaborative way.  They are actively engaged with the research community through publications, open source software, participation in technical conferences and workshops, and collaborations with colleagues in academia.

Facebook AI researchers work from offices around the globe.  Check out this very interesting video by FB.

Helping the Blind to See


Direct Mail Basics

With Easter just around the corner, many of you are putting your direct mail campaigns together now. We’re sharing some basic tips to ensure your campaign is a smashing success!

The digital world is filled with constant change, complexity and instability. Many audiences want a return to simplicity.  In 2019, minimalism is the way to attract attention.  An image with a clear purpose will prevail every time. Keep your text short and on point. Maximize white space and find a layout that’s simple, clean and authentic.

When picking up mail from the cluster box, don’t forget that large pieces command attention. It doesn’t cost any more postage to mail a 6X11 postcard than it does a 6X9 and the difference in paper cost is nominal. The only real differences are that you get more real estate to promote your message and your piece will stand out in the mailbox.

Create a fun mail piece by adding folds.  These go beyond touch by requiring people to manipulate the piece. It creates an urge to see more by building up people’s curiosity. BE CAREFUL THOUGH!  Make sure you don’t lose your automation rates by placing a fold or an open part of your mail piece in the wrong spot.  Have your creative team contact us for guidance.

Storytelling is a crucial aspect of direct marketing. Think about using strong and compelling visual images to convey your narrative. Combine your images with precise and well written copy.

Color is key. Your choice of color can make or break a good print design. Colors have the power to change moods.

Red – This color typically used to create a sense of urgency, which may be why you often see this color used during clearance sales. Red is also associated with movement, excitement, and passion.

Blue – This color is often used by brands to promote trust in their products and services because this color is associated with security, peace, and reliability. Blue is also the preferred color of male consumers.

Green – Brands sometimes use green within their stores to relax customers because this color creates harmony within the brain and encourages balance. This color is also often associated with power, nature, and tranquility.

Orange and Yellow – These colors are more cheerful colors that promote a more optimistic attitude while also creating a sense of urgency that can cause more impulsive buyers to act.

Purple – This color has been known to stimulate problem solving and creativity within the mind.
Purple is also associated with respect, intelligence, and royalty, which may explain why it’s often used to promote beauty and anti-aging products.

Mail Professional Certification

This year, in an effort to better serve you, our operations managers, client services
representatives and executive staff are becoming Certified Mail Professionals from the
program provided by global think tank and industry giant, Idealliance.

The Certification requires 11 hours of classes covering 28 modules that focus on postal
compliance and regulations. This comprehensive training has been challenging and spawned a lot of lively discussions.


Ink Jet Operator Position

We are in search of an Ink Jet Operator.

Business Extension Bureau has been serving our clients since 1949. We are independently owned, family operated, and centrally located in the heart of The Museum District of Houston. The average tenure of our employees is 12-years as we have very low turnover.

This position requires setup and operation of inkjets according to job specifications as well as maintaining quality standards of jobs produced.  Ensure every order is produced to specification while meeting delivery deadlines.

Knowledge of standard set ups, adjustments and operating characteristics of the equipment and skill to perform standard adjustments and operate the equipment is preferred and Insert Operator knowledge very helpful.

HOURS: Mon thru Fri 8am – 5pm

Some Overtime and weekend work required, seasonal

We offer:

Health Insurance

401(k) w/company match

Credit Union

1-week paid vacation after 1 year

8 Paid Holidays

Salary to commensurate with experience.



2018 A Stormy Year for Social

2018 was somewhat of a stormy year for social media in general.

In January Facebook users complained that posts from businesses, brands and media were crowding out personal moments on their Newsfeed. Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed, reported that FB would change their algorithm and would prioritize posts from friends and family over paid advertisers.

Then, the Cambridge Analytics (CA) Scandal came to light in March. CA was a British political consulting firm that combined data mining, data brokerage, and data analysis with strategic
communications during the US Presidential elections.

CA used information from Facebook and others to build psychological profiles of American voters by using an app that appeared to be a personality test. The app collected data on tens of millions of people and their FB friends, even those who didn’t download the app themselves.

Facebook share prices dropped more than $100 billion in days and politicians from the US & the UK demanded answers. The scandal eventually led FB President Mark Zuckerberg to testify in front of Congress.

The scandal incited public discussion on ethical standards for social media companies, political consulting organizations, and the war on false news heated to new levels.

May of 2018 brought the launch of the GDPR- General Data Protection Regulation. This
European Union law gives individuals more control over how and what data is collected by third parties and forces companies that collect data to be more transparent. That includes expedited notification of breaches. Though not in effect state-side (yet), the law and penalties apply to companies that collect data from EU residents, even if the company collecting isn’t part of the EU. Many expect similar legislation to follow here in the US.

Lastly, FB removed their Partner Categories in August. Partner categories were demographics available when creating audiences for paid FB & Instagram ads. These demographics derived from third party giants such as Axciom, Epsilon, Experian, Oracle Data Cloud, and Quantium. They provided game-changing personal information such as household income, parents with children (you pick the age), or what kind of car an audience drives.

Removal of these demographics left many marketers wondering what kind of returns to
expect in the future.

All was not blustery for digital platforms in 2018. Communicating through video apps and stories became front runners and are defining new ways marketers need to spend their advertising dollars.

In June, Instagram launched IGTV. Unlike Instagram, it allows users to upload vertical videos up to 10 minutes in length. Up to 60 minutes if you are verified or “popular”.

China based TikTok became the most downloaded app in the US. This app is for creating and sharing 15 second videos. (See our blog, ‘Six Wildly Popular Social Sites That You (probably) Never Hear Of“).

One thing is for certain. Social Media marketing landscapes will continue to change at lightning speed and we’ll do our best to keep you abreast of the latest trends.



One of the most talked about trends today is where to place your packaging print.

Many fulfillment companies have taken a fresh approach and have decided to start printing INSIDE THE BOX.

Porch Poachers
As package delivery increases, so does package theft. One high-end jewelry maker brands their box on the inside instead of the outside. The outside stays plain to avoid attracting attention to its expensive contents while the inside delivers a beautiful message that reinforces the brand.

A Picture is Worth More Than One Thousand Words
Unboxing content matters. A brilliant white interior can set off beautiful photography within the container and be sure to add other branding or messaging on the inside lid for added bang of your printing bucks.

Further Instructions
Some makers are including instructions for reusing a box as a handy
household item or a kid’s craft idea. This added value contributes to overall brand love and it keeps a brand around for a much longer period of time.

United Socialist Suds Republic

In the interest of increasing the viability of post offices and attracting additional money to
modernize their network, the Murmansk post department, located in far north Russia, reported that it started selling low-alcohol drinks.

Northern Russians aren’t the only ones who can enjoy a chaser with a purchase of a stamp. The Saratov Region (located to the south) has also experimented with sales of beer and the fermented bread drink called kvass.

Post press secretary Daniil Skidan told Russian radio that they plan to roll out beer sales at 3,200 post offices across the country with the main focus on rural branches.  Russian Post has come under government pressure to modernize in recent years, given frequent complaints of
inefficiency and even mail theft.

Comments about beer sales via the Post on Russian Social Media has been mixed with  exasperation and humor.  Some noted that it was comforting to think that at least they “won’t get bored in the queue anymore”.  Others think it is only a matter of time before the post office starts selling kebabs too.

Celebrating 70 – Feb

As we celebrate our 70th Anniversary we will share some of our history with you throughout the year. We decided to start by sharing a BEB newsletter that was published in February 1963. Click the link below to see a digital copy:


Our company has always practiced what we preach. That means we use the products that we sell and use them to communicate with our clients. It is often amazing to see the dramatic changes that have taken place over long periods of time. What is equally amazing; is how many things don’t change.

For example; if you read the DM Short piece entitled “HOUSEHOLD INCREASE”, you’ll see that in 1963 the number of households in the US reached 54.65MM. An increase of 2 million based on the previous Census from 1960. That number today is 128 million and is an increase of 234% over a 56 year period!

Another great example of significant change comes when reading the feature story on the front page entitled; “How To Cut Costs and Improve Efficiency With Simplified Addressing.” This article talks about some new and cutting edge technology (a Scriptomatic Model 101-S) that uses tab cards with holes punched out to drive the select feature. Be sure to read the article as it’s an amazing trip down memory lane and we even found a picture of an old machine but we think it’s a Model 1,000.

On the other side of the equation, the basic fundamental principals of marketing have not changed at all. A good example is the first DM Short feature entitled; “GOOD MAILING LISTS”. It talks about the importance of good and accurate data/mailing lists. Knowing your audience and using data correctly remain the most important factors of any marketing campaign today.

We hope you enjoy the scanned copy of this “oldie but goodie”. It’s a bit beaten up, but it’s legible and a treasure to read; even if you’re not a postal geek. Though we postal pontiffs did break out in a smile when reading about the “new” Zone Improvement Plan that was about to be implemented in July 1963 by the USPS. That plan, also known as ZIP, was the first time the postal service started using 5 digit zip codes for expedited delivery. If you look at the return address on the newsletter; you’ll see it reads; 719 Anita St., Houston 6,
Texas. Not a 5 digit zip code in sight!

Be sure to watch for our blogs and posts on social media as we’ll be sharing more of our newsletter archive treasures throughout the year. We hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane!