Benchmarking or competitive search?


Created in the early 1980s by Xerox, benchmarking is now widespread in the corporate world. It’s a marketing technique that involves studying and analyzing the methods of other companies in order to learn from them and to get the best out of them. While remaining clear on the limits of these sources of inspiration, benchmarking makes it possible to be more competitive and to position oneself in relation to direct competition. It is a continuous process of research, comparative analysis, adaptation and implementation of best practices to improve its performance and be responsive to market developments.


Why do a benchmark?
A company should always be in benchmarking to be aware of what is happening in a constantly changing market. It provides a vision of the competing or best-performing strategies. If it is a process to be renewed regularly, benchmarking can be carried out for various occasions : improve your customer relationship, your website’s SEO, or change your communication strategy.


Steps to follow to make a benchmark:
Step 1: Self-assessment
It’s time to critically review your performance.
Ask the right questions : How far behind do you think you are? Where do you think you need improvement? It is essential to properly frame and define your benchmark so as not to be overburdened with information and spread.


Step 2: Identify your competitors
Make an exhaustive list of your competitors by trying to identify those who excel on the chosen points. Do not hesitate to list your direct competitors but also competitors more distant in their field of intervention or those who would compete with your activity only on certain product ranges for example. However, be careful not to choose too many so as not to have too much information.


Step 3: Compare your strengths and weaknesses
Once your list has been drawn up, you will be able to compare your strengths with those of your competitors but also identify the main weaknesses of each one in order to have an overall and objective view. This is a fairly repetitive job but it is essential for the proper functioning of your competitive analysis.


Step 4: Find opportunities
After completing Steps 1, 2 and 3, try to identify what needs could be met and what strategies could be put in place to position themselves differently in the marketplace.


Step 5: Communicate the benchmark
The benchmark is made, it is now necessary to circulate it in your company and especially to make accept the changes to be implemented.