Google. Point. Click. Pay. Ship. Receive. Repeat.

Do you know how much revenue is generated on the web these days? Well, do you? Here’s a little something to throw around the water cooler this morning – in advertising alone, the net grossed over $16 billion in 2006. That doesn’t factor in all the revenue generated by websites selling the latest iPod gadget, bolo tie, or “gently loved” Mazda 626.

So the real question is not is the net profitable, but what fraction of the billion dollar web tango does your company dance? If you’re doing nothing more than a cyber-sit-this-one-out-shuffle, perhaps you better rethink your Internet business acumen.

I’ve met many business owners who seem to think that if they’re not playing the e-commerce game, then they don’t have anything to sell. But ask yourself, what’s the purpose of your site? Is it just there to sit and look pretty, or does it have a deeper purpose?

Because even if you’re not touting the latest greatest shopping cart, you are selling something – you. What about you or your business should people want to buy? You must discover your own unique selling point and then deliberately differentiate yourself from the crowd.

Are you a retailer? What about your retail business is special? Are you a service provider? What do you and only you offer? Why is service better with you than with somebody else?

Good answers to these questions begin the process of realizing online success. Initiating cyber avenues for people to tap into your company’s selling point solidifies it.

Because the Internet isn’t becoming the new world marketplace, it already is. The Yellow Pages and the SUV no longer take people to what they want to buy. Today, it’s – Google. Point. Click. Pay. Ship. Receive. Repeat.

Realizing you’re a cyber midget? Then do something about it. And relax. You don’t have to know how to do it – that’s why interactive specialists exist – but you do need to know where to find one that will provide solutions to drive your internet earnings.

Here’s a hint to get you started – Google. Point. Click. Pay. Ship. Receive. Repeat.

John Rockwieler – Interactive Director
The Russo Group

A good ad is a great performance, or at least it should be.

Creating a great ad is a thing of beauty. Even today, in the world of multi-media and the web, a well-crafted ad is something to be appreciated. Unfortunately, we are beaten down each day with some of the worst ads known to man.

So, what makes a great ad? Good question.

I could say, great copy, excellent photography and solid design, but I won’t. I won’t because it takes more than these things to create an ad with staying power.

I could also talk about the rules – but rules are made to broken, so I won’t talk about that either. What I will talk about is the performance of an ad - the ability to connect with someone before the turning of the page. A good ad does this. It comes to life, capturing the imagination of those who come in contact with it.

The performance comes from a carefully crafted ad that helps dictate user experience. It has hidden cues that tell us what to read, and how to feel. And hopefully, it leaves us thinking about it once the curtain falls, and we move on to another experience.

In all honesty, this performance is not always possible. As advertisers, our primary goal is to communicate information, sell products and deliver messages. At times, it is what it is. But that does not mean we shouldn’t try. The effort alone to reach out and connect with a consumer means more than not trying at all.

A great headline can change the world, or at the very least, change the way someone thinks. A great image can liberate the soul and a great design can save us all.

Ok, I may have over done it with the last few sentences. A great ad is simply that – a great ad. In the big picture, it seldom means more than that. But for those who depend on that ad to sell a product or deliver a message – well, when it’s successful, it’s a work of art.

Michael Russo
Creative Director
The Russo Group