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Many benchmarking initiatives are driven by an academic or government desire to understand the position of industry sectors relative to each other or to those of other nations. In contrast, for managers striving to compete and drive their businesses forward, this generalised approach is secondary to their need for tools which are applicable in their own company and which give them direct benefits. Observing that benchmarking has proved very powerful in manufacturing, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) invested in research to establish a similar approach in marketing. Benchmarking was defined as a system which incorporates three essential elements: measurement, processes, and a defined, measured, aspirational 'benchmark'. This paper describes a unique benchmarking tool designed specifically for marketing processes (CIMBA), developed by the CIM It enables both marketers and senior executives in non-marketing functions to identify the role of marketing in their organisation and to measure the processes which convert marketing strategy into reality. The system is driven by a model of best practice, tailored to each organisation's situation through their particular critical success factors. Analysis is software-based to provide easy manipulations of the data. CIMBA provides the measurements and the means to broker partnerships between carefully matched companies, even across sectors, if they have gone through a CIMBA assessment.