Digital selling is moving to the forefront of sales. Now, more than ever, businesses are operating online. The digital transformation has not discriminated. Unless your business embraces the digital selling agenda and all it has to offer, competitors will gladly fill that void. Companies with the better employed digital strategies are winning with their customer base and pushing ahead of their competitors.
Companies wishing to remain relevant in their industry need to aim to not only meet the best industry practices and strategies but to exceed them. Comparing your business to that of your competitors is not a new practice. Succeeding in your industry is dependent on meeting the demands of customers and offering something unique to competitors.
What is a benchmark?
A benchmark is a comparison of one company versus other companies that are competing in the same industry.
Making comparisons with competitors helps in identifying gaps in your own digital strategy. Measuring against these benchmarks can reveal weaknesses in your website, social media strategy, customer experience, etc.
The main agenda behind benchmarking is to gain insights on what your competitors are doing successfully. Understanding what is working for your competitors can give you a starting point when developing your own strategies.
How can benchmarking guide your digital transformation?
First thing’s first, benchmark your digital strategy. Your competitors more than likely already have one in place. If they don’t, great news for you. If they do, you need to catch up.
Metrics and measurements of your digital strategies in relation to your competitors can be used as guidelines to highlight your downfalls. Prioritize and focus on improving these issues. You should not use these insights to completely design your digital strategy, however. Knowledge is power. Understanding your position against that of competitors in your industry provides you with valuable insight into your own strategy, and in-turn, greater control over your own strategy. Using these metrics as an aid is a great starting point, but you must build beyond that of what your competitors are doing.
Monitor the trends and traffic changes to each of the adjustments that you make. These metrics can guide you in understanding which alterations are working and those that are not working. Not all changes will affect your strategy positively. Monitoring these changes allows you to identify the negative impacts earlier rather than later.
Identify the latest digital trends that are relevant to your industry and keep up to date. What trends are being used by your competitors? Do you have the capabilities to implement these trends into your digital strategy? What is needed in order to implement them?
Benchmarking can also be used to weed out the ‘competitors’ that aren’t on your level, and therefore, not really competitors. Identify who in your industry is worthy of emulating and who is not. Using these benchmarking metrics can be extremely useful when ranking your competitors. A great way of identifying your direct competition is to compare your products and services to the products and services offered by fellow businesses in your industry.
Are there negatives to benchmarking?
Insights are valuable metrics to have. While analytics rarely go wrong, it is important to not waste time gathering useless metrics.
Ensure you have a well-defined purpose for analyzing your competitors. Don’t go in blindly. Defining your end-goal will ensure that you use the right analytic tools and that you are analyzing the correct variables.
Benchmarking is an ongoing process so ensure to do it on a regular basis. Regularly analyzing competitors is the only way you can be successful. Digital trends and strategies are ever-changing and alongside it the strategies of your competitors. Remaining up-to-date with your competitors’ digital strategies and the current trends of your industry can ensure your digital strategy continues to evolve alongside it.