Marketing executive makes bold move to target women

When Julia Fitzgerald of Arlington Heights took over as chief marketing officer at a Skokie company less than a year ago, she spent time researching the brand, asking questions and talking to people buying the company's products.

What Fitzgerald found sparked her to drastically alter the marketing efforts at CPG International, a company that manufacturers several brands of engineered building materials for residential and commercial markets designed to replace wood, metal and other traditional materials.

While talking to dealers, contractors and retailers, Fitzgerald asked, "who makes the decisions when purchases are made?" She found that 90 percent of the time, women made the decisions when it came to home remodeling and upgrades. However, most ads are male-focused, she found.

"If women are making the decisions, we should connect with them," Fitzgerald said.

She launched a campaign using the Azek brand that looks like wood, but lasts longer as it is made with recycled materials. Decks, pavers, railings and trim are the main products part of the "brand that lives at the intersection of science and style," Fitzgerald said.

In an effort to market to women, Fitzgerald took a bold step and used fashion models holding a purse that looked like a house. The company went to traditional home magazines and "Real Simple" magazine to target the female-oriented ads beginning in February.

"It was a nervous moment when we launched," Fitzgerald admitted. "It was an experiment. But we are getting great response from the campaign," which has also been launched on social media and through digital ads. "It's about finding ways to connect with women," said Fitzgerald, who worked in marketing at Sylvan Learning and Sears, Kmart before joining CPG.

"We're bringing the brand to the person deciding what the outdoor space looks like," Fitzgerald said.

The brands are connecting technology and style, she said. "It has to aesthetically work with the buyer's style," she said.

Soccer and logistics

After selling a 44.5-acre land site within the Laraway Crossings Business Park in Joliet to logistics company Cadence Premier Logistics, Ryan Companies US Inc., with offices in Naperville, started construction of Cadence's 143,560-square-foot corporate headquarters and warehouse facility at 2250 Chicago St.

When the build-to-suit construction project is completed by the end of 2016, Cadence will relocate and expand its operations and transfer about 120 employees from Alsip. The company expects to add about 100 new jobs at the facility over the next two years.

One of the distinctive features of the warehouse facility is an indoor soccer field, in which Cadence Premier will host clinics and special events for the community.

"As a former professional soccer player in Germany, I learned three of the most important leadership principles and traits that have remained with me in business: teamwork, leading by example, and giving back," said Tom Maciulis, chairman and founder of Cadence Premier Logistics.

Deal complete

Rosemont-based Lee & Associates negotiated the sale of a 36,000 square foot industrial building at 730 N. Baker Drive in Itasca.

Jeff Janda and Michael Plumb, both principals at Lee & Associates, represented the seller, Elite Companies.

The buyer, Baron Manufacturing Co., was represented by Jay Farnam, vice president at Lee & Associates.

Draft style

Cool Mountain Beverages of Des Plaines launched a line of drinks called "Chicago Draft Style" made only for the "Chicagoland" area.

Described as "the champagne of craft sodas," it comes in five flavors that are all made with recipes carefully formulated to best represent the spirit and lifestyle of this great city, according to Bill Daker, president and owner of the brand.

While on the market for only a short time it already can be found in retail outlets, restaurants, wholesalers and hotels all over the city and suburbs.

The line includes root beer, ginger beer, black cherry, cream soda and ginger ale.

Pizza pies

Aurelio's Pizza of Arlington Heights will celebrate its first anniversary on Thursday, June 16.

The eatery is part of the renowned family pizza chain located primarily in the Midwest with franchises all over the country. Founded in 1959 in Homewood, Aurelio's now has 42 franchise locations in six states and three family-owned pizzerias near Chicago.

"We wanted to celebrate our anniversary by thanking the community for their continued support," said Aurelio's Arlington Heights Owner George Vassos. The restaurant, at 2944 W. Euclid Ave., will hold a variety of drawings and specials from 5 to 8 p.m. on June 16.

CPG International, a Skokie company that manufacturers engineered building materials, is targeting the female buyer with ads like the one above. At left, the marketing executive behind the campaign, Julia Fitzgerald of Arlington Heights. Courtesy of CPG International
Cool Mountain Beverages of Des Plaines launched a line of called "Chicago Draft Style."
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