Benchmarketing is a little known term, but it has been used appropriately since the 1980s. This article will highlight the concept of this marketing strategy or management tool and, consequently, will develop some aspects related to the processes and strategies that a company can perform.
What is Benchmarketing?
Benchmarketing is a marketing process that originates from the concept of benchmarking. It is a technique that involves taking as a reference point the best practices that are working in other companies to implement them in the organization itself, adding added values that are convenient for the institution.
It is important to recognize that Benchmarketing must be constant, since the market is variable, thus companies will respond to this type of activity in the best possible way. Nowadays it is not very easy to generate new things, that is why it is better to start from benchmark companies, with this premise you will optimize knowledge, experiences, practices and you will acquire better results.
It should be noted that benchmarketing does not consist of faithfully imitating the competition, but of learning from their ways of doing things, introducing the necessary changes, translated into new improvements for the company.
Nor is it a methodology to save costs, on the contrary, this digital marketing strategy involves economic, technological and human resources to acquire the information you need. However, even if its implementation is not very economical, in the future you can make your working capital bear fruit.
It is also necessary to clarify that benchmarketing should not be strict. If you apply half-baked rules, you will fail. It is necessary to be flexible, to give the gap to new and creative ways in obtaining information.
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Why is it so important?
This marketing strategy is very profitable for companies, because by using it, you can identify your real and potential customers, as well as discover new ideas that can be applied in the institution.
Also through it, you can recognize the strengths and weaknesses of your company and the competition. You will be able to develop actions to improve your practices in the space of time you wish. Finally, you will be able to optimize your work performance, taking as a starting point the strategies of your competitors.
This technique turned into a digital marketing strategy, is important in SEO positioning, it is a very good idea to make it extensive in web pages, social networks, even if you manage to use keywords that your competitors normally use, you will be able to position yourself in your websites.
How to do Benchmarketing?
This Benchmarketing process is developed through correctly specified stages, where order and organization must be key to achieve great improvements in the processes and in the digital marketing strategy of your company. Among the stages are:
✅ Establish clearly the points you want to improve: You must first define the type of Benchmarketing to be developed, it can be internal, external or functional. Also determine the objectives you want to carry out, taking into account a SWOT matrix analysis.
✅ Form a work team: Select the people prepared to develop this activity in your company, those involved can be: employees, external or internal specialists, superiors, among others.
You must assign to each of them functions that are in line with their capabilities, of course, bearing in mind their skills and experience. At this stage you can create a calendar with the sections of benchmarketing
✅ Select the competition: This is the time to identify the companies to be studied. Here you will unhurriedly investigate the brands that win you over, consider those that you would like to resemble in a certain way. Also select the ones that you don’t like very much, but have market acceptance and are popular. These models will help you to perfect your company, as you will have good results in the plans you want to optimize.
✅ Examine the competition: You must choose the key performance indicators that you are going to compute. The metrics must be in line with the objectives you want to achieve. Analyze and classify the data and in this way, you will also be able to implement it in your company.
✅ Accurately research the information obtained: Establish a comparison between graphs and indicate the strengths of your competitors with respect to your own. Through this analysis, pay attention to practices that will help you optimize your company and position it in the industry.
✅ Determine the improvements and implement them: At this stage, you have identified the improvements, it is time to implement them, but how? Well, create a timetable that indicates the time to implement the transformations and changes identified.
However, to know if the improvements are working you must calculate and study the results frequently, it is fine if you do it on a weekly and monthly basis. This is the best way to know if your company is progressing in the right way.
Advantages of benchmarking
Benchmarking is the process of analyzing, creating and measuring fundamental indicators that give as a result the conditions in which the current operation of a company is. These indicators are called Benchmarks, and they are the ones that in the long run are considered reference points to be used to obtain business success.
That is why the application of this tool has its advantages, among them are the following:
- It gives you an objective view: The guarantee of being up to date in metrics and analysis helps the company itself to keep up to date with the competition and adapt strategies to them.
- It favors productivity: The comparisons and evaluations made through the different indicators make it possible to identify weaknesses in the company’s processes, which can be optimized, thus improving performance.
- It promotes different ways of doing things: That is to say, it enlivens a culture of change. Sometimes many companies get bogged down by their archaic processes, which prevents them from moving forward. This strategy will allow you to implement good practices for the progress of the business.
- Avoids business risks: If the company thoroughly analyzes the possible risks in the environment, it is more aware of the danger posed by threats, makes plans to face the situation and emerge victorious from it.
- Optimizes the company’s competitiveness: Benchmarketing collects information that will help to improve weaknesses and strengthen the points that can make us stand out in the market.
- It is a low-cost strategy: Performing a complete benchmarking study requires no expense, only time and resources.
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Practical examples Benchmarketing
💪 The creator of the benchmarketing concept was the CEO of the firm Xerox and had his problems when companies such as Canon, Ricoh or Minolta started to arrive in the US market in the field of photocopying and printing, offering lower prices than Xerox actually spent on its production.
Consequently, the company designed a digital marketing strategy where they examined the various methods and processes of materials in their company, coming to the conclusion that they were lagging far behind in the areas investigated. They defined new objectives and success was not long in coming. They adopted benchmarketing as a tool for optimizing their practices.
💪 Another company that stood out in the use of this technique was Starbucks. It had economic problems and decided to increase the sale of its coffee through companies dedicated to fast food, in this case, McDonald’s. Thus, Starbucks began to implement benchmarketing, adjusting the time they had to prepare their coffees, a key process in the business. In this way, they were able to improve their strategies with respect to their competitors.