Let's do the math. Because there are 26 letters in the alphabet, the computer industry has a maximum of 17,576 three-letter acronyms (TLAs) available. At a rate of one per day - and the folks who make up these things definitely work weekends - they would all be used up in 48 years. However, all letters are not created equal; think of poor overworked "M," which starts both "management" and "measurement" and is consequently present in approximately half of the TLAs that matter. A certain amount of acronym duplication is inevitable. Although the intended meaning is usually clear from the context, the meanings of some TLAs are similar enough to cause genuine confusion.

Marketing systems vendors and the analysts who love them have analogously promoted MPM as marketing process management and marketing performance measurement, and sometimes marketing performance management. What makes things even worse is that many marketing process management systems have a marketing performance measurement component. (Or maybe it's the other way around.)

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