Volatility within the stock market and the instability of the global economy can be very unsettling. Planning long-term becomes quite challenging and no one is certain how long the trade and possible currency war with China will last.
In July, the Federal Reserve Bank reported that the Houston business-cycle and leading indexes pointed to a growing economy. Employment accelerated, particularly mining-related jobs, but the U.S. rig count and oil prices continue to fall. Manufacturers reported negative impacts from tariffs, while measures of global manufacturing show signs of slowing. Nonetheless, the Feds still reported that the outlook for Houston remains positive.
Meanwhile, we spent the first half of 2019 diving deeper into wide format and providing our clients with more signage and promotional products. A 6-foot horse cut-out and flip flop bags were only a few of the items produced this summer.
We also upgraded some of our equipment and software. We have been busy educating our existing staff on the new systems and have hired some new talent to help take us into the next decade.
As I often mention, our staff is very involved with local and national trade associations and we have had a busy first half of 2019. We were invited to speak about social media at The Printing Industries of the Gulf Coast Women in Print Luncheon in February, in May our friends at Mailers Hub invited us to conduct a session on direct mail marketing for nonprofits at the National Postal Forum, and we co-hosted the sold out Graphic Excellence Awards in April.
Both of our Marketing for Local Business series sold out and we met some fantastic entrepreneurs while hosting great guest lecturers from across Texas. We had to turn away students for the summer series, and as a result we decided to offer the classes again, beginning in October. It will be the last series of this year and it is already half full, so register soon if you’re interested. Click here for details and registration. Use promo code BUREAU at checkout and receive any two classes FREE.
2019 has also been extremely busy with the celebration of our 70th anniversary and once again, we are including a scan of a newsletter that we created and mailed from the past. In September of 1965, BEB featured a wooden postcard from Cutter Lumber Products of
California as the Mailing Piece of the Month. We shared “Direct Mail Pointers” (most are still applicable today), and talked about how to serve the growing population across the nation. In so many ways, things have really changed. For instance, only 38% of the workforce in 1965 were women, and are seldom mentioned in any of these early articles. In other ways, things have not changed at all. For example, the most important part of a direct mail campaign remains data. We hope you enjoy the peek from the past.
In contrast, this edition of The Bureau features several articles about new technology including artificial intelligence and how it is impacting our industry. We have a story on the successful driverless trucking test the USPS conducted between Dallas and Phoenix over the summer, and information on Informed Address or IA. The outgoing piece doesn’t have an address at all, just a barcode.
Fall is only a few, weeks away and the holiday marketing season will soon be upon us. Please keep us in mind for any and all of your marketing needs, and as always, thank you for your business and partnership.
CEO, Business Extension Bureau