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The Jeannette Expedition serves as a metaphor for this year's Marketing Performance Management (MPM) Benchmark study. After eight days of difficult progress, this US Arctic expedition was at the northernmost point of the entire journey... despite a steady march southward.

How—after so much effort to trek across the ice—had the group gone backwards?

It turned out the icepack they were traversing was drifting north faster than De Long's men were moving south.

That scenario reflects the state of marketing performance measurement progress for many marketers: Though marketers fervently forged ahead on their march to marketing excellence, the ground has shifted.

This year's MPM study, 15th so far, reveals that some progress over the past year was real, but some much more illusory.

One of the primary reasons was the intense focus on data without validating that the metrics were right. The hard lesson here is that marketing organizations that want to earn or keep their seat at the corporate leadership table must focus on both sides of the analytics coin: data and metrics. Failure to do so creates the appearance of progress without actual results.

The goal of the annual benchmark study is to reveal how marketing organizations can achieve best-in-class performance measurement and management, become recognized as a Center of Excellence, and experience the benefits that come with that.

This joint study conducted by VisionEdge Marketing and Demand Metric compares and contrasts best-in-class marketing organizations with those in the middle of the pack and with the laggards.

Check out the infographic to see what best-in-class marketers continue to do better and differently in their pursuit of marketing excellence. Use the study findings to reach the next peak in your journey.

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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 Jerry Rackley

Jerry Rackley is chief analyst at Demand Metric, a marketing advisory firm. Jerry brings over three decades of international marketing, media relations, and corporate communications expertise to each engagement.

LinkedIn: Jerry Rackley

MarketingProfs Partner