Page Loading

Evaluation of the marketing advance programme – Section 1: Report


The Marketing Advance Programme (MAP) aimed to help companies: develop well-researched, workable marketing plans; enhance the strategic marketing skills of their key staff; improve their ability to manage and deliver marketing activity; enhance their understanding of new and existing markets and customers; and develop a network of contacts with other Lothian companies. The evaluation aimed to: find out whether there is still market failure in strategic marketing in SMEs; assess the success of MAP in addressing this; make recommendations regarding the future of MAP; and provide suggestions to improve the programme.


The methodology consisted of: desk research; interviews with Brilliant Red consultants, six SEEL (Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian) account and client managers, participants in MAP, other LECs using MAP, and RDAs; an examination of other strategic marketing programmes; and analysis and reporting.


Finds that there is a critical gap in marketing skills among many SMEs and that MAP is a high quality and effective programme. MAP has had varying degrees of success in influencing the behaviour of participants. Limited quantitative data means it would be misleading to extrapolate the economic impact of MAP. Concludes that MAP has a good strategic fit with Smart, Successful Scotland and should appear in the market development framework of SE.


Notes there should be no fundamental change to the course structure. Recommends that the quality of slides and materials should be improved and Keith McDermott should take more responsibility for critiquing companies’ marketing plans. Concludes that there should be systematic and on-going support from SEEL and follow-up networking sessions should be re-introduced. Recommends that SE should: set up an online forum for MAP graduates; plan courses over a longer time period; consider the critical role of Keith McDermott; not seek to license MAP from Brilliant Red; consider alternative programme (‘Strategic and Tactical Marketing’, Iain Fraser) as possible substitute for MAP; and collect benchmarking data on sales and employment.

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