Part 1 – From Sketch to International Distribution.. in 5 months!


I specialise in marketing… internet marketing to be exact and my company PIMdesign is now some 19 plus years old according to my LinkedIn profile.

Often in chatting with all sectors of commerce I am told how tough business is or how difficult it is to get the next sale.

Now that’s interesting.. We all know that when everyone sells the same products and services, prices are competitive and you have to fight for every bit of business.

In my discussions with many clients we discuss the merits, often, of social media, adwords, SEO, PR and other manners of marketing a business, its services and products.

However, often I am confronted with a challenge of a new product or service .. totally unheard of and asked the best method of marketing.

So one day in December 2014 I decided it was time to test what worked when marketing a niche unheard of product. To do this… I created one!

So I set about inventing a place to put my pen. All too often I would lose it under a pile of paper, leave it in a bag or jacket pocket and faced with the fact that I actually like my fountain pen I decided to set about designing a Pen Rest. This was so obscure, marmite, niche that this would make an excellent test.

So before I could get to the marketing stages what follows is a series of articles that will take you through the entire concept to consumer and businesses.

My first challenge certainly not being a designer was to draft what I wanted.

My main focus when thinking about the product were the following criteria;

  • not perishable
  • no sell by date
  • modular
  • shows off the pen, not just somewhere to put it
  • premium feel and look
  • small desktop foot print
  • function-able
  • smooth lines

A sketch was not enough and I did try to make some clay models which clearly demonstrated the flaws in the design, space between pens, centre of gravity and design flexibility to allow for different styles of writing instruments.

Speaking to manufacturers, they all said they would need 3D CAD drawings of my design to be able to give me a cost. So, the next stage was to find a 3D Cad designer… someone that could take the idea and concept and create a 3 dimensional drawing that manufactures could use and create some photorealistic images.

From this I was in a position to shop around for manufacturers.

I was on a mission now .. I needed prices, prototypes and needed to think about marketing.

Manufacturers I found were reluctant to give me prices here in the UK. When I did find companies willing to give me a price they quoted individual costs that would end up being 7 times the price found elsewhere.

So I approached China. I did this by researching Alibaba. I wanted a responsive company, excellent feedback and references that might assure me.

Out of the three I approached, only one responded. As a result I entered into negotiations with them .. mostly between 6-30am and 9am and late at night often after midnight…. although in fairness they were available in the mornings generally until just after lunch.

I knew that in order to create a momentum I would need a price for 1000 units.

My plan was to crowd fund it.

Check out Part 2 to see how I get on.

Profitable Internet Marketing Super Forum – Wednesday 7th March 2012

We’re really excited with the news about a Profitable Internet Marketing Super Forum event on Wednesday 7th March 2012 at the Village Hotel in Ashton.

If you have any interest in the Internet and most people do, then this could be the seminar you’ve been waiting to attend. If business is slow on the Internet… You’ll learn how to speed it up, if you lack a mailing list…. You’ll learn how to build one, if you need to just step up your Internet presence you’ll find that this event will fill you with ideas to achieve just that.

This is not your regular run of the mill, standing in front of a power point lecture…. This is the real deal!

You’re going to get the opportunity to attend a live event that dispels the myths and shows you techniques used to bring genuine traffic to your website and sales. the event is interactive with the chance to discuss with fellow delegates your Internet challenges and successes.

This is a full one day event that includes unlimited tea, coffee, cold drinks, pastries and of course a carvery lunch…. And to top it all off you can even go for a swim at the end of the day to help you relax.

This is a workshop with a difference but you can read all about it here

I hope you’ll be as thrilled as I am. I run my own online mail order business and you’ll get to see tricks and tips from that and from the hundreds of clients that my hosting company looks after.

This is a no nonsense event, dealing with the real hard day to day issues that we all face.

There will be web critiques, live conference calls, training on Adwords, analytics, keywords, email marketing, social media and much much more.

The event is live and engaging, by that I mean that you will see real live techniques that I’ll show you directly over the Internet using the hotels wifi.

Oh by the way the wifi is free to use at this venue and the cost for the full day with free parking, beverages, lunch and materials is just £149 plus VAT per delegate, but if you book right now the event has an early bird discount of £30 plus VAT making the delegate cost to you of just £119 plus VAT, just use the code PIM30DSF when making the booking. The early bird offer ends at midnight on 9th February 2012.

There are limited places to this event so you need to make a note in your diary now and book your place to guarantee that 2012 is a better year than most people are expecting.

To book just go here

Any questions please call 0161 766 1742.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Internet World and what was on offer…

Well once again I found myself visiting Internet World 2011 held at Earls Court in London.

This is a fascinating exhibition where those offering the latest thoughts on Internet Marketing and activities can be found.

Of course there are more No1 SEO companies in this one room room than anywhere in the world! Everyone has the answers, everyone has their take on what you should do, what you shouldn’t do and why what you’re currently doing is wrong, not enough or even in one case too much!

Internet Marketing is without doubt one of the most fascinating subjects on the planet right now with regards to improving bottom line profits and ROI (return on investment).

So who is right. And how do you know if what you’re being told is correct.

Well if I wanted to know which was the the best and most recommended oil that I should use in my car, I would go to the manufacturer and ask.

There are times of course when new solutions come along that improve on old thinking, but in these cases you should look for what is tried and tested.

In the case of SEO all the No1 companies had their own take on what should and shouldn’t be done, but what they all failed to say to me was simply do everything that Google says is good practise and you’ll get good listings.

Even Googles own Webmaster tools give you guidance about your site, the problems experienced and which keywords the site is found under.

Of course if you’re selling apples and only talk about pears you have a problem, so picking the right words and phrases is critical.

Had lengthy one to one discussions with Facebook about business use and integration. Including discussions on advertising.

Discovered where we can do free credit checks.

Also take a look at this website called they demoed the most fascinating analytics software I have ever seen. Take a look.

A lot of people pushing email marketing at very high costs but very clever tracking and many SEO companies including services from India.

Quite a lot of companies offering hosted solutions like Rackspace, but overall not interesting but not overly stimulating.

Would I go again…. Yes.