Measure up: The importance of benchmarking

For brands that are serious about boosting their performance, it is imperative that they benchmark themselves against the competition. The best way to find out how you can improve is by comparing your business to your competitors, and work out what needs to change relative to them.

If you want to be the best in your sector, digitally speaking, you’re going to need to analyse the digital performance of the competition. You will need to establish a baseline to work from and constantly review your marketing effectiveness with.

Key benefits of benchmarking

One of the key benefits of benchmarking is that it can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, which will allow you to maximise on what you’re good at and increase your chance of winning in the digital marketplace. A benchmarking exercise can help you improve effectiveness of search, social and email marketing campaigns. Benchmarking will give you insights into how well you brand is doing, enabling you to make changes so you can improve. Also, benchmarking can help you understand the behaviour and demographic of your competitor’s website and make a comparison to yours. You can then implement some of the ‘quick wins’ employed by the competitor into your own marketing strategy.

What should we benchmark?

The key is to figure out which performance metrics are most important to you. Don’t waste time benchmarking areas if you never plan on taking action. It requires time and effort but there is a real payoff at the end. Companies should be measuring the performance of various aspects related to their digital marketing, competition, customer service and financial returns. Use spreadsheets to break these aspects down, see what needs to be improved and create a new strategy to achieve your goals.

Successfully benchmark your business

To be successful in your benchmarking exercise; clearly set goals and performance expectations. When you have measured your performance, ensure you lay out a concise plan of actions and continuously monitor the results. Remember to always look at trends in your industry to keep up with the competition, and so your business stays in tune with your customer’s needs.

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