The DTI Marketing Initiative: the experience of 35 young Scottish companies

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This paper reports on the results of empirical research undertaken among small Scottish companies who participated in the DTI’s Marketing Initiative. This scheme enabled many small firms to take advantage of expertise in all areas of business through a grant‐aided programme. The key objectives of the research were to understand better the attitudes held of marketing in the small firm sector in order to identify if there were perceived barriers in accepting marketing techniques to aid a firm’s development. Secondly, the research focused on the specific benefits derived from the Marketing Initiative in an attempt to identify the educational benefits of participating in such schemes. The research findings indicated that there were considerable attitudinal barriers to implementing marketing among the sample firms. They key issues were marketing being perceived as a costly, time consuming to manage, lacking relevant skills to implement marketing and lacking understanding of the relevancy of marketing to development needs. This was in addition to a general misconception of what being “marketing oriented’ actually meant. This general lack of understanding and misconception highlighted the need for such schemes to help in part overcome such perceptions. As for the benefits of the Marketing Initiative, the results were more encouraging, with all respondents perceiving the scheme and its aims as very worthwhile and relevant to their needs. Main benefits derived by participation in the scheme included a greater understanding of marketing and its relevance in the small firm, new market opportunities identified through expert research advice and a detailed plan of action to follow for future development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Small Business and Enterprise Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Marketing


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