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What distinguishes excellence among marketing organizations? What do best-in-class marketers do better and differently that enables them to achieve marketing excellence at their organizations? In many instances, the differences are subtle.

Since 2001, VisionEdge Marketing and a variety of partners have been evaluating the quality and merit of marketing organizations in terms of their ability to measure Marketing's impact, value, and contribution. The purpose of this research is to understand the often-subtle differences that distinguish best-in-class (BIC) marketers from the rest of the field.

A key aspect of our research for the past 16 years has been the grade the C-suite gives Marketing. Survey participants rate their marketing organizations using a 100-point scale, where 100 is the highest achievable score. The scale is 90-100, 80-89, 70-79, and 69 or lower. Those marketers who receive 90 and higher are rated an A; those 80-89 are rated a B; those 70-79, a C; and those 69 or lower, a D.

This year, as in previous years, the percentage of marketing organizations earning an A remained at 23%, or just slightly more than 1 in 5 Marketing groups. The number of Value Creators or BIC marketing organizations seems to have stalled out, whereas D-rated marketing organizations continue to increase.

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image of Laura Patterson

Laura Patterson is president and founder of VisionEdge Marketing. For 20+ years, she has been helping CEOs and marketing executives at companies such as Cisco, Elsevier, ING, Intel, Kennametal, and Southwest Airlines prove and improve the value of marketing. Her most recent book is Metrics in Action: Creating a Performance-Driven Marketing Organization.

Twitter: @LauraVEM