OrderZone starts $14M ad campaign

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In a move to capture the "indirect services" market -- those products and services a business needs in order to operate, including office supplies and maintenance equipment -- Grainger Internet Commerce, Vernon Hills, Ill., officially launched last month.

The W.W. Grainger division, in conjunction with its OrderZone partners, is committing $4 million to the site's marketing campaign through August, with $10 million allocated from that point through the end of the year.

OrderZone provides a "one-stop shop" for a company to acquire a variety of business supplies and services, and is designed to streamline a company's procurement and supply chain.

The site offers about 200,000 products. Registration is required, but the service is currently free of charge.

OrderZone's partners are Cintas Corp., Cincinnati; Corporate Express, Broomfield, Colo.; W.W. Grainger, Lincolnshire, Ill.; Lab Safety Supply, Janesville, Wis., a wholly owned subsidiary of Grainger; Marshall Industries, El Monte, Calif.; and VWR Scientific Products, West Chester, Pa.

2-step plan

The marketing campaign is targeting purchasing managers and procurement managers.

"The marketing plan consists of two steps," said Jim Roots, director of marketing, Grainger Internet Commerce. "First, we are using traditional direct mail to reach our target audience to drive registrations and first-time trial. Second, we are using e-mail, electronic newsletters and other relationship marketing devices to cement registrations into high-order-frequency customers."

Advertising is being placed heavily in magazines serving industries likely to use OrderZone and on business-focused Web sites, including Netscape's Netcenter business and small-business categories. In addition, direct mail will be dropped to 750,000 businesses this month.

The campaign features the purchasing manager as hero for using OrderZone. By using the site, he saves time and money for his company, so his company will reward him for his heroics, vs. the person who does things the old way and is stuck working long hours at the office.

Four Points Digital Communications L.L.C. is handling the print and online portion of the campaign, Blank & Associates the direct marketing and PR21 the public relations. All agencies are based in Chicago.

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