Benchmarking whether it be in business or sport, is a process of comparing yourself with your competitors. A champion swimmer in the making will only know how far they need to keep progressing, by looking at the best swimmers whom they are competing against.
In business, it is vitally important to assess your current situation against your competitors periodically. That is because, to succeed in business, just like in sport, you need to be able to match or exceed the best in your industry. You need better practices and procedures, and you will possibly need to adopt new systems, that will work better than your existing ones.
Often Businesses make a Fundamental Mistake.
They judge their performance, based on previous performances within the same company. While this inward self-assessment can be helpful, it can lead to complacency. Companies should be looking at their strongest competitors and aiming to surpass them.
Comparisons between your competitors can help you identify gaps in your operations, and reveal specific weaknesses that need improving.
In the digital world, potential clients often compare your offering, with what a competing brand or website is offering. Benchmarking allows you to view things from a customer’s perspective. It provides you with insight on where things need improving, and it also gives you ideas about many aspects including design, user experience, content or propositions.
If you are serious about optimizing your opportunities from your digital channels, if you want to be the best in your industry and get the most from your online media, I believe benchmarking is essential. Benchmarking can stipulate a baseline, to evaluate marketing efficacy against your competition.
How Often Should You Benchmark?
Benchmarking is crucial when you are updating a website or launching a brand new site for the first time. However, it can also prove even more beneficial to conduct benchmarking more frequently, to measure your competition and discover how their marketing changes over time.
Benchmarking should be done regularly, as trends are continually changing and companies who can identify opportunities within their market, and are fast to adapt, can often capitalize on those opportunities afforded to them by having effective online communication and proposition.
Some Important Tips for Benchmarking.
Look outside your industry. Inspiration can come from anywhere, so it is important to not focus solely on your competition for great ideas. You cannot surpass your competitors if you are only looking to them for inspiration.
Online is by far the easiest way to start benchmarking. Here you can check out your competition’s website design and functionality and see how it compares with your website in its current state. It can help you to identify areas on your site that perhaps need improvement, to bring it up, or even better, surpass the standard of other players in your industry. Feedback from your competitor’s customers can be collected on social media pages, chat sites or forums, where people discuss their favourite brands and letting others know what makes them either good or bad.
After doing some of your own research, it would be wise to consult with experts in the UX field. By reaching out to UX experts, you will be able to obtain critical insights which are specifically designed to increase your website current position in the marketplace.
TestMate can help you gather comprehensive benchmarking data, organise and analyse all of the relevant information, while not getting bogged down with systems or processes that should not be replicated. Extensive and strategic digital benchmarking will make it impossible not to come up with new ideas and construct new and improved systems. Benchmarking done right, builds and multiplies ideas and concepts, that any one person could produce. It enables the chance to cooperatively syndicate a wide variety of innovative concepts, and turn them into positive results.