National Productivity Week 27th January 2025 | Visit Website

A diverse community of
leading experts, policymakers
and practitioners

The Institute’s key research themes
are led by ten academic partners
spread across the UK.

We’re a UK-wide research
organisation exploring what
productivity means for business

Businesses are crucial to solving
the UK’s productivity problems.


Digital marketing productivity: assessing what SMEs do and demonstrating how they can improve efficiency

The project addresses The Productivity Institute’s aims by exploring what productivity means for a business and its workers. More specifically, it illustrates how marketing audits can become more efficient and effective in supporting strategy development. A key output of this project will be the publication of a “step-by-step how-to-guide on mapping the digital landscape as a situation analysis to facilitate strategy development and investment”. It should help businesses across the UK.

Marketing audits are designed to help organisations better understand their business environment and marketing situation. Studies have shown that such audits facilitate more effective strategy design and execution. Most marketers strive to utilise new tools to support their productivity. Current academic literature has identified that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the exception. These SMEs have a poor understanding of how to map their internal and external environments.

As a result, they need to improve and be better at identifying and exploiting new opportunities. This research project will establish how SMEs in the UK embark on the strategy development and investment process. A qualitative methodology will be used to identify how six SMEs in the Yorkshire and Humber region complete a situational analysis (if at all). Each will receive a consultancy report on their current position; they will also be educated in mapping their digital touchpoints (i.e., reviewing the internal and microenvironments) using inexpensive, existing web tools.

Lead Researcher Dr Alan Shaw, Leeds Beckett University