Do you benchmark your company against "the best ones"?
Tough the analysis of competition is important, it’s just as important to choose the examples to fallow. You’d be amazed to discover that others before you have been facing, 90% of the time, the same challenges you have to overcome, the same problems you come across, and some dealt with them successfully. Thus, all you have to do is find out what their success formula was, adjust it to your specific situation, and watch the results! Easier said then done…
Not a barrier to your innovation and creativity! On the contrary, if you know how many ways of dealing with a situation there are, you will always know which parts to simply apply as they are and which parts to improve.
What is the final scope in b2b benchmarking?
The goal is to save time and effort by using a solution or success formula that has already produced results. First of all, you have to clearly determine what the situation you are dealing with is, and then you have to fallow the benchmarked steps.
How do you choose the ones to benchmark yourself against?
You have to relate your benchmark to the goal or scope. If your goal is awareness, then you benchmark against the most famous brand or company name. If your goal is to raise a certain number of clients, then you benchmark to businesses that are successful in their business development activities, and so on. What’s important is that you clearly set your goal or scope for benchmarking. Sometimes, the one you choose to relate to can not and should not necessarily be in the same branch, as long as the situation or scope is similar.
What are the criteria for benchmark?
First of all, you need clarify your purpose. If your goal is, for instance, to become notorious, then you will consider brand related criteria, and the branding means trough which it became famous. For example, their marketing communications, the targeted audience, and the communication channels explored as well as the analysis of their brand evolution in time are some of the criteria.
How do you use the benchmarking data you have collected?
There are tools, including software ones, for benchmarking. But benchmarking is a far more complex and vast process, and we are trying to simplify the matter with this post. The easiest way to do it is to register all these aspects in a map describing the benchmarked situation. Then, map your situation against it. You will notice some critical discrepancies between your map and the one that’s benchmarked against. You should start working on the parts which show major or critical discrepancies and commit to a program to mediate the important ones.
Does this mean you have to copy?
There is so much “noise” around buzz such as “innovation” and “creativity” that people forget that we’ve learned to write, for instance, trough copying! Kids develop themselves tremendous by copying and modeling whatever they see in their environment. So there would not be any progress without copying and imitation. Imitation does not have to be a bad thing! Some successful companies have elaborate “follower” strategies meant to help them fallow the example set by market leaders in order to quick start or fast advance to a certain level on the market. This works better in some stages against the chaotic strategies used in order to advance. But no, just because we relate to others it does not mean we have to imitate, but apply their effective solutions in our own specific way, or simply use the example they set in order to determine what we need to work on regarding our company.
Many times we’re so caught in the situations we’re facing, that any extra management tool that will get you out of this loop will be helpful. Apart from viewing it as just another management tool, here are some of the benefits:
· You will identify your niche for market success. By comparing your company to the successful ones, you’ll notice their weak points also. What are your company’s strong points to channel the efforts in covering those niches?.
· You’ll become more organized in your marketing efforts. Sometimes, the things that concern us the most are not the critical or major ones. This process will automate your priorities when it comes to further development.
· You’ll have confidence in your marketing efforts, knowing that your efforts have already been validated in a successful model. You’ll receive more support from the company, the team, and even from the market, for already validated plan easier to fallow.
· You know that you’re not reinventing the wheel and that you’re focusing on the correct aspects.
· Last, this process costs less.
The process of benchmarking itself is far more complicated and laborious, but the steps described above are easily applicable immediately!