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overview
how it works

Scores of categorized marketing ideas to help develop your own unique strategy.

AAA

ideasite home page

marketing idea shorts:
customer service
print marketing
packaging
planning
pr
prospecting
sales
networking
seminar
signage
teaming
thank you
unusual
email
web
ezine

marketing idea articles:
customer service
print marketing
packaging
planning
pr
prospecting
sales
networking
seminar
teaming
thank you
unusual
email
web
ezine


creative idea
shorts:

ad
annual report
brand
broadcast
brochure
captioned cart
oon
caricature
chart
comic strip
cover
exhibit
graphic standards
icon
illustration
logo
magazine
map
masthead
newsletter
photography
poster
presentation
web site
writing

creative idea articles:
ad
annual report
brand
broadcast
brochure
captioned cartoon
caricature
chart
comic strip
cover
editorial
exhibit
graphic standards
icon
illustration
logo
magazine
map
masthead
newsletter
photography
poster
presentation
web site
writing








E


Useful ideas, effective tools and lots of know-how for creative business people.
By Andy Attiliis

ere's our chance to mention everything found on Idea Site For Business and to summarize how it all works. In the briefest terms, from more than 65 years of combined experience, Mary and I have found that it takes only two good ideas to ensure an effective communication.

First comes the marketing idea. Should your upcoming message be delivered in a magazine ad, an email, a Web splash ad or banner, a tv spot, a combination of communication vehicles, something totally unexpected, or what? From which media(s) would a specific audience be most likely to respond? This is the marketing strategy that must be considered before thinking about an actual message. For a most efficient start, we suggest you review the marketing ideas on this site and in our newsletter. more

Second comes the creative idea.

Learning how to develop your own unique solution is the ultimate goal.

This is a good place to involve a pro.

Why get so involved with the exploration of ideas if it's necessary to hire a pro anyway?

Much more than the value of one concept could be at stake.

How to find out if your offering has an enthusiastic audience?

Idea Site also offers the means to target and deliver public relations.

Who likes us?

Focused ideas

About Mary Gillen and Andy Attiliis.

Second comes the creative idea. That is, the core communication concept or message which will be delivered. A headline supported by an image is usually the essence of any creative idea. Design, image, writing and quality of delivery are the elements that will make your message memorable. This is the creative direction which must work hard within a budget, mold your brand and produce results from the selected marketing platform. For this kind of inspiration, please review the creative ideas on this site and in our newsletter. For more focused insights, read the hands-on experiences described in our Creative Process section. Another free resource, the information found here is categorized according to specific creative process challenges and functions.

At Idea Site, learning how to view both kinds of ideas with a mind for developing your own unique solution is the ultimate goal. While it will take some time to shake the feeling that you are using someone else's work, don't be discouraged. Because this gathering of inspirational parts is only intended as a first step– the initial means to an original solution. It is the same method for warming up problem-solving creative juices that most ad pros have used for decades. So long as you remember that blatant plagerism, such as the direct copying of images and text is improper and anti-productive, you should be fine.
AAAAs progress is made, look forward to finding that concept customization and originality will kick in automatically. Their whisperings will begin as you select and combine the marketing and creative ideas that you like into possible pairs. And as you gradually record the specific intent of your marketing goals along with your creative sensibilities in both written and visual form, the transformation will further emerge. Suddenly, you'll be gratified to find you've developed two or three favorite solutions that are fresh, compelling and yours. Now's time to distill the notes on your best efforts into thumbnails. In each case, a headline supported by an image will be enough to confirm their viability.

This is a good place to involve a pro. From your direction and while rendering the thumbs they'll come to understand your thinking. Be prepared for some great suggestions, but remember that it is you who must live with the creative outcome. Once the thumbnails are complete, give yourself a few days before revisiting them. If after all is said and done, your first choice still makes sense and wins your approval from every perspective, it is time to consider media scheduling and creative production a go.

So why get so involved with the exploration of ideas if it's necessary to hire a pro anyway? To protect and grow the value of your investment. Without a polished, professional execution of the concept, all your efforts could be for naught. It would infer that you aren't very serious about what's being said or the quality of what's being offered. In essence, your message's credibility could be badly jeopardized.

Further, once you've come this far, much more than the value of one concept could be at stake. Due to your close involvement and satisfaction in the development of a marketing / creative direction comes the distinct possibility that you've begun to realize the great advantages of using only one approach from now on. Just maybe, hard work and intense focus on a winning concept have got you thinking, "Not a bad ad, why would I ever want to change it?" Clap hands when this happens, because with such knowledge your odds of initiating long-term branding momentum will increase immensely. Overwhelmingly, we've found that clients who understand and like their solution are best able to stay on course long enough to fully reap its rewards.
AAAIn truth, achieving a new marketing / creative idea is easier than learning to believe in the value of consistency (or branding, as many ad pros like to call it). That's because doing more creative work feels much more responsible than just building on old fashioned creative consideration. The kind that allows people to know you and your product better and better without ever changing stripes like the mega-budgeted advertisers can afford to do. Could it be that the vast majority of us should never try to mimic the incredible variety found in the best recognized advertising on earth?
AAAThat's our opinion as you'll find it consistently reiterated throughout this Web site and beyond. Next to understanding how to create a message, we think it's the most valuable communication lesson that we could ever share.
AAAGenerally speaking, at this point in my explanation, readers have one of four reactions to what's been written:
(1) They see the logic of what's been said and are enthusiastic about its tremendous potential for their business situation. (2) They see the logic but have questions. (3) They see the logic but need much more than a Web site and /or consultation to be convinced. (4) They see the logic but would rather use Idea Site as an informational benchmark to compare with the advice of their ad agency.
AAAIf you're ready to start developing your own ideas, or just want to review the information more thoroughly, there are over 600 pages herein that are intent on helping. To ask some specific questions, anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes of consultation can answer a great deal. Should you want to understand every aspect of each creative function to fully appreciate the importance of branding and enhance your message making abilities, please consider our creative training class.

How to find out if your offering has an enthusiastic audience? Entrepreneurs will sometimes test this tough question by running a message in the newspaper classifieds or on the Intenet. In addition to being a viable form of advertising, this can also be an inexpensive way to take the pulse of potential customers. If your plan allows for the time to experiment in some smaller publications, before making a major committment, there are such options available here on Idea Site. That is, if your product and / or services would be of interest to an audience which is largely made up of business people with an interest in marketing.
AAAIf so, our choices are well worth your consideration. Especially in a new venture business situation where you'll probably want to start with a small investment. For example, a software company selling a unique marketing product could find our 60,000+ monthly visitor average a worthwhile audience to approach with a message link ad. Or, for more lengthy messages we offer solo emails that reach over 23,000 opt-in newsletter subscribers. Also available are newsletter sponsorship opportunities to the very same readers.

Idea Site also offers the means to target and deliver public relations. Once your best ad message has been defined, imagine having the ability to further it with public relations. To that end, we offer ClickPress. This is an Adobe PDF file that enables efficient delivery of your press releases and article suggestions to over 6,700 editors and reporters. By way of active links to email and URL addresses, the newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations of your choice will be just a click away.

Who likes us? From all indications, Idea Site's offering is proving worthwhile for the vast majority of advertisers. That is, all of us who aren't competing in the ultimate ad arena of a Coke, Ford or Walmart. In large part, we believe it's because our advice often differs with the strategies of mega-budgeted advertisers that millions have visited since 1996 when we launched. In addition, we're most honored to mention scores of testimonials from the business community, years of top rankings from Google and good reviews from high profile publications such as Enewsweek and Entrepreneur Magazine.
AAAIdea Site for Business was also chosen for inclusion in Microsoft's "America at Work" videocassette series (release date: February 1997) as a sample of quality design and marketing on the Web. In addition, it was featured in the L.A. Times and PC Novice Magazine as a Web resource that small business people should study and bookmark.

Focused ideas. Our next planned site upgrade will be the periodic additions of idea collections related to specific business types. Such enhancements shall be announced in advance on a regular basis in both Idea Site and in appropriate trade publications. Knowing the marketing / creative approaches that have been used to advertise a given business should be of special interest to those who participate in that business. While they are guaranteed to be thought provoking, their descriptions will also help prevent the duplication of a marketing / creative idea already used by one of your competitors.

Andy Attiliis and Mary Gillen strongly believe it is the creative community's responsibility to provide clients with specific reasons for messaging decisions. With this knowledge, they are more likely to stay on course long enough to get results.

Mary Gillen is one of the founding partners of Jacobs/Gillen, Inc., a creative marketing agency located in Mason Neck, Virginia.
AAAMary has over 19 years experience as a copywriter, graphics artist and Internet web page designer. Before establishing Jacobs/Gillen, Inc. in 1981, Mary worked for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) as the primary marketing copywriter for EDS' Washington, D.C. headquarters.
AAAMary has written promotional copy and designed marketing materials for Merrill Lynch, The City of Fairfax, The Allergy Supply Company, SoftwareAG, Adroit Systems, Data Systems Hardware, Whitman-Walker Clinic, B'nai B'rith, The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA), The American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA), Research Publications, MacNair Travel Management Inc., J&A Industries, Rapid Patent Service, Rock Creek Technologies, Houck & Associates, Delta International, Chemtech International and many more.
AAAIn addition, Mary has teamed with Andy Attiliis to found Gill Inc. Together, they offer a high level of creative Web site development which is exemplified by their first project, Idea Site For Business
AAAShe also advises clients on Internet and World Wide Web marketing strategies. Mary writes, designs and produces Web sites for a diversity of businesses. Since April 1995, Mary has written, designed and produced over 59 Web sites for organizations, including The World Bank, The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA), Allergy Supply Company, Training Solutions, and All-in-Chocolate Shoppe/Jo's Kandy Kitchen.
AAAMary has also developed Beginners/Advanced HTML and Web Site Design courseware. She has taught over 3500 individuals how to create Web sites for organizations such as The World Bank and EEI Communications. Mary has also presented Internet-related seminars and workshops for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), American Society of Training & Development (ASTD), the National Association of Women in Hospitality (NAWH), and other organizations.
AAAMary holds a BA in English from the University of Massachusetts at North Dartmouth and is a candidate for a MFA degree in Creative Writing from George Mason University.

Andy Attiliis is the founding partner of Attiliis & Associates, a creative services agency located in Vienna, Virginia. Attiliis is a hands-on creative director who has provided creative direction, art direction, writing, design, and illustration for over 36 years. He has also developed Internet content architecture and designed Web pages since 1995.
AAAAttiliis & Associates was first established as a part-time freelance service in 1972. Between 1970 and 1981 Andy also filled a variety of advertising agency positions. He was associate creative director for Henry J. Kaufman & Associates, creative director for Weitzman & Associates and Designer for Earle Palmer Brown & Associates. In 1981 Attiliis & Associates became his full-time endeavor.
AAARecent assignments include: creative direction, re-design and illustration for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's Making Waves magazine; creative consultation and design for the U.S. Department of Labor's Web site home page; an illustration for Bell Atlantic's All@once Videoconferencing Services brochure; art direction for an ad and accompanying brochure for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America; creative direction, design and photo montage for Success Marketing Incorporated's Web site; creative direction, design and illustration for Columbia School of Broadcasting's direct mail brochure; creative consultation and art direction for Washington Post ad targeting media buyers; logo design for Nixon & Vanderhye; and, design, illustration and copywriting for a combination ad/postcard campaign launched by Technical Dynamics, Inc. In addition, Andy has co-developed with Mary Gillen, the content Web site called Idea Site For Business.
AAATo see a much broader showing of Andy's career experience, you can go to his portfolio and/or Creative Process which contains over 180 descriptions of work categorized under the following headings: Creative Direction, Art Direction, Design, Illustration and Writing. He developed this work and a supportive creative training class to show how the creative functions can best be used to accomplish communication goals.
AAAAndy holds a BA in Communication Arts and Design from the Virginia Commonwealth University. He's a member of the Illustrators Club of Metro Washington DC and an alumnus of the Art Director's Club of Metropolitan Washington DC. His awards include ADDYS of Washington, DC(4), CLIO(Runnerup) and Illustrators Club of Metro Washington DC(2) and Southern Creativity Show(1). more




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