Interline Creative Named Agency for Sloan

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Sloan Valve Co., Franklin Park, IL, has solidified a seven-year relationship with Interline Creative Group, Palatine, IL, by appointing it agency of record.

The company, which sells pressurized flushing devices through a network of 3,500 distributors, mainly uses direct response print ads that are sometimes supplemented by direct mail or telemarketing to reach its target audiences of distributors, architects, builders and building owners and managers.

"It's what I call a closed-loop system, where we take 1-800 number in-bound calls from ads, and then we also follow up with some outbound calls to inquire and get some more information," said Jim Nowakowski, president of Interline, a direct response and list brokerage agency serving primarily business-to-business clients.

In some trade magazine ads, the agency uses bingo cards through which readers can order directly from a magazine by circling a number. The agency may advertise seven products in a one-page ad but arrange for each product to carry a different identification number, to allow for more careful profiling of respondents.

Sloan Valve's system of selling through a distributor network means that different advertising messages must be created to target distributors and end users.

"Architects are interested in the product specifications and how it fits with their design. The distributors are more concerned with getting it in, moving it, availability, so it's not the same message it's completely different," Nowakowski said.

Within end users, ads also vary, with different products advertised depending on the industry the ad is targeting. Ads are placed in 20 different magazines ranging from Architectural Record, to reach architects, to Supply House Times, to reach distributors.

Although direct response print ads are used more frequently by the company, a variety of other direct marketing methods also are periodically tested. Recently, Interline received the go-ahead to create a direct mail campaign targeting hotel owners, Nowakowski said. The campaign, still in the early stages of development, would send product samples to a group of hotel chain CEOs.

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