Understanding what benchmarking is to master one of the marketing strategies that aim to increase the efficiency of companies when it comes to digital marketing.
It is, what we might call, a “good practice” of marketing. After all, it demands a thorough research process on the part of managers.
So, a question, it’s important to know how your company is doing before the direct competitors in the area, right.
Because you understand this need, the benchmarking strategy is important. It is used by organizations that want to grow and always be a reference in the segment in which they operate.
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It is through this that companies are able to understand who they are and where they are.
It is through this that the successes and mistakes made are evaluated and it is possible to optimize internal processes in order to improve the solution offered to the market.
This article is intended to explain the definition of what benchmarking is. We will talk about its function and how it can be applied – regardless of the business segment.
After all, every entrepreneur wants the best for his business, doesn’t he? So there’s nothing better than keeping an eye on the competition so you don’t get left behind.
Come on? Good reading!
What is benchmarking?
Benchmarking, in a free translation from English, means “point of reference”.
This strategy refers to the survey carried out by companies to compare products, services, processes, methodology and any and all practices employed by the segment in which it operates.
This is, in fact, a practice used by industries for a long time. It is through it that we analyze, interpret, evaluate and plan based on the collected information.
It is a way of making companies “think outside the box”, leaving the comfort zone.
After all, it is necessary to be able not only to identify and understand the market and the competition, but also their own virtues and defections.
Hence, the so-called benchmark, a reference position on what to do and where to go.
And the marketing sector needs to take advantage of this to develop strategies, whether inbound marketing or outbound marketing, to make the company more present and stronger.
And then, to apply benchmarking, it doesn’t matter the size of your business.
It doesn’t matter if you are the CEO of a multinational or the owner of a small establishment – or even a self-employed professional.
If someone who does the same thing performs better than you, you need to analyze him and understand why.
But for that, organization and method are important. And a little self-criticism doesn’t hurt either, right?
An important addendum: Benchmarking and benchmarking are not the same thing. In fact, this second term does not officially exist.
It is just a derivation without a definite meaning.
- Internal – seeks to improve practices and processes within companies. The aim is to standardize work in branches, develop innovative methods, among others.
- Functional – comparing in a simpler and more direct way the work between companies, from the same segment or from different ones;
- Competitive – to carefully and carefully analyze the competition. The idea is to map the strengths of rivals and overcome them after optimizing marketing processes and strategies.
- Cooperative – partner companies that share practices and processes. One organization (model) teaches another.
What is the importance and benefits of this strategy?
It is unthinkable to be successful in the medium and long term by isolating oneself from the best market practices.
There is no company that, isolated in a “bubble” and that acts the way it wants to, has good commercial results and manages to grow.
Quite the contrary.
This strategy serves to meet each and every business with what customers really need. After all, customer success is the success of the entire company.
Therefore, the correct use of benchmarking brings important benefits, such as:
- Identify trends and anticipate the competition;
- Know successful practices that competitors already apply, improve and put into practice in their business;
- Analyze your current approach to marketing processes, map and put changes into practice;
- Have a base of knowledge to improve the delivery that your company makes in relation to the product and/or service;
- Reduce costs, optimize time and be assertive in processes;
- Be seen as a reference, an example to be followed within the segment by other companies;
- Between others.
How to benchmark? Check out 5 steps to implement the benchmark!
More important than understanding the concept is knowing how it is possible to put the benchmark into practice.
For this, organization and discipline are needed, as there are steps that need to be (well) fulfilled.
So, to be assertive in this analysis, follow a few steps, such as:
1 – Internal analysis
The first point is to look inside your own company, talk to your employees and analyze the internal environment.
It is necessary to understand who your company currently is, how everyone feels and what is the collective and individual desire of each one.
This is crucial to knowing whether you are working on the small details well or poorly. After all, without getting the micro right, how will it be possible to improve the macro?
2 – Identify the main competitors
This is the time to identify who your main direct competitors are and start tracking them.
Try to understand well who you are to understand well who your rivals are.
It’s a crucial time within the benchmarking strategy to ensure you’re choosing the right companies to look after.
3 – Choose analysis indicators
After mapping your competitors, it’s time to choose which indicators are important to track.
Which ones your company deems essential to be optimized. To help with the mission, create a table and fill in the aspects you want to analyze, with strengths and weaknesses of competitors.
Some KPIs you can see from companies you consider rivals:
- Quality of the work environment;
- Quality of generated content;
- Presence and performance on social networks;
- Presence in segment events;
- Trade marketing strategies (if the segment is retail);
- Promotional actions;
- Between others.
4 – Analyze what was mapped
After defining the important indicators, it is time to analyze the data obtained. Compare how the competition is and how you are on each item.
Understand the relationships that the data have, know how to identify the contexts so as not to conclude anything hastily.
Also identify what is relevant and what is not and what can be changed and what cannot.
5 – Implement and monitor improvements
Once you’ve identified what needs to be done, it’s time to get your hands dirty! Define actions with your marketing team, implement agile methods and improve internal knowledge.
In addition, keep constant feedback meetings to monitor what is being done and, if necessary, improve processes.
For this, create reports where everyone can consult and evaluate what is done.
How not to apply this strategy
The misuse of the benchmark strategy can bring some problems for managers.
If the mapping does not take place correctly, this will make the actions meaningless and, consequently, a result well below expectations.
There, companies will have wasted their employees’ time and, fatally, resources unnecessarily.
So be careful. The misuse of benchmarking often occurs when companies:
- It doesn’t have well-defined goals and objectives;
- They see the strategy as something punctual and not as a constant improvement process;
- Do not use tools either to record collected data nor to document planned actions;
- Stop midway and do not implement what was agreed, nor do the actions halfway.
Benchmarking is an ally of digital marketing
As we said, the benchmark strategy serves both large companies and micro-entrepreneurs and even self-employed professionals.
After all, everyone has competitors and settling down, even if you currently have good results, is not recommended.
But, speaking of larger companies, it is essential that your marketing team is in tune with the application of this strategy.
Both need to be allies. Everyone wants better results for the company they work for. How to achieve the much-desired growth?
After analyzing the competition and defining actions, the first step is to optimize the online lead generation strategy.
The acquisition of customers is the fundamental first step to have good results and, when this happens, the sales leader needs to have a clear and optimized commercial process within the sales management.
Always keep optimizing your actions, always seek improvement and maintain a good relationship with the customer.
Thus, it is possible to have insights to always ensure the best delivery.
With this, it is possible to sell more and better, positively impact the CAC and LTV of your business and, of course, grow and always be a reference in your segment.
So, how can we help you?
Enjoy and read two articles that may be useful for you.
The first one talks about why your company needs to do Facebook marketing.
The second deals with how innovative marketing technologies expand sales management formats.