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What grade would your CEO give your marketing organization for its ability to demonstrate its impact on the business?

For more than a decade, we at VisionEdge Marketing have been examining that question and asking what it takes to make the grade. Over the years, our annual study has provided insight into what marketers do better and differently. The marketers receiving a grade of 90 or higher on a 100-point scale have been classified as "A" marketers.

This year, VEM partnered with ITSMA for its annual survey, and more than 400 business executives and marketers participated in the 2012 Marketing Performance Management Study. In addition to best-practices identified over the years, new ones emerged.

Today's "A" marketers demonstrate six best-practice competencies: alignment, accountability, analytics, automation, alliances, and assessment. We call these the Six A's of Marketing Performance Management.

By mastering the Six A's, your marketing organization will be able to better measure and improve its performance and demonstrate how marketing is helping the business achieve its strategic objectives. (The full report, The Path to Better Marketing Results, can be purchased from VisionEdge Marketing or ITSMA.)

To help highlight the findings of the survey, we created the following infographic.

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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

image of Julie Schwartz

Julie Schwartz is senior vice-president of ITSMA, a research-based membership organization that helps B2B companies market and sell services and solutions more effectively. Julie writes at the B2B Services Marketing blog. Reach her via

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