Aspects of competitor scrutiny & benchmarking performance
Benchmarking is a measuring process that allows companies to compare their performance with another business that is considered the best in that industry. The purpose is to identify what internal aspects make a company superior and then establish a comparison. Benchmarking could be explained in 5 simple steps:
- Select a service, product or department to benchmark
- Define the “best-in-class” company you will benchmark against
- Collect relevant information about their metrics and performance
- Compare all data, to identify the aspect your company needs to improve
- Implement the new policies and processes to increase your performance
The aim is to gain a level of insight that permits you to develop your digital marketing approach based on your competitors’ insights. It's not that you should be committed by what you learn about your competitors because being too responsive to their insights can be worse than doing nothing. Our logic tells us that knowledge is power and so by getting to know how you associate to competition, discover quick wins, and describe your medium to long-term approach, gives you more control and power.
When you are not sure of what you are benchmarking and why you are doing it, you might get confused and lose time. Consider that proper benchmarking requires time and capital, so you need to have specific objectives and know precisely what you need to improve at your company.
When doing analysis, also consider that there are a lot of free tools and trial-based products, and knowing what option to use, and when, will result in saving of time and resources.
Remember that benchmarking should be a consistent procedure, not a duty that you do once a year. Evaluating your online opponents is the same. For instance, when competing for traffic in Google, remember that publishers, blogs, and other associates are all competitors, and you need to have a continuously improved method and a plan to know how to work with or against each of them.
As with all evaluations, if a report parks itself on your virtual shelf, it was a waste of time. You need to line up actions through a SWOT and then analyze whether your efforts are working by evaluating the KPIs through analytics.
Digital marketing benchmarking is best done as part of a broader context for strategic development, for instance, using the RACE framework. After detecting all the factors which significantly affect the commercial performance of a business, found metrics can be established for the key performance indicators of the company or marketplace. These actions or "benchmarks" are then utilized to develop new initiatives for the marketing team to improve the company’s overall competitive position.
Procedures shown below are recommended for managing competitor assessment and benchmarking efficiently:
- Client buying actions
- Client inquiry and scrutiny
- Digital marketing rules
- Macro environment search
- Partner evaluation
- SWOT evaluation
Read more about digital benchmarking in an article written by the firm's founder and CEO, Paulius Stankevicius on Forbes.