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Evaluation of the Marketing Advance Programme: a report to Scottish Enterprise Grampian


The Marketing Advance Programme (MAP), launched as a pilot in Grampian, and developed for the SE Network by Brilliant Red Consulting aimed to ‘provide a way of filling the gap in SMEs’ understanding of strategic marketing’. The programme aimed to: encourage a customer-led philosophy; establish a pragmatic approach to their strategic marketing based growth; develop objective-led marketing plans; enhance marketing skills; increase sales profitability and customer satisfaction; increase participants’ understanding of their business capabilities; and increase selling confidence. The evaluation aimed to assess: the effectiveness of MAP; its outcomes and impacts; value for money issues; and the presence or otherwise of market failure as justification for public sector intervention. The evaluation also aimed to inform Scottish Enterprise Grampian’s (SEGr) decisions on tendering for MAP’s future contractor.


The methodology consisted of: a review of contextual documents, monitoring and prior evaluation information; face-to-face interviews with key stakeholders; telephone interviews; and a postal survey (overall, feedback was received from 16 companies – 35% of client population contacted).


Finds that the MAP has proved to be a successful intervention and its content and delivery are regarded highly. The MAP’s influence on respondents’ marketing strategies has been substantial. A good level of additionality has been achieved by public sector intervention in support of the MAP and there is some confirmation of an element of market failure. The MAP is fulfilling its prime objective of improving respondents’ strategic marketing know-how. Suggests there is no justification for continuing with Single Tender Authorisation. Estimates that new repeat sales have supported 32 jobs in Grampian and 36 in Scotland with the potential to support 85 and 95 FTE jobs respectively. NB the economic impact calculations in this report do not wholly adhere to the Scottish Enterprise Economic Impact Assessment Guidance launched in 2006, therefore please treat these figures with caution. Please use the "Contact Us" button if you need more information.


Recommends that SEGr should review: Account Managers’ workloads as a potential factor in Account Managed Companies being referred to the MAP; the content of the course around promotion, selling and cost accounting for quality and sufficiency; and the potential for a more customised approach to the course material and delivery. Cautions against simply adding more content to a single course. Suggests that attention should be given to ensuring that companies do not drop out of attending workshops before receiving support with respect to the implementation of their marketing plan.

Author SQW Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses