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5 Ways To Use Competitors as a Benchmark

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Last editedAug 20222 min read

Your business doesn’t operate in a vacuum. No matter what products or services you offer, or whether you operate in the B2B or B2C space, your company has competitors. The temptation to ignore your competitors and concentrate on your own operations is understandable. However, it can prove perilous to your business and your brand. 

Competitor benchmarking is a useful way of measuring how your brand performs compared to competing businesses operating within the same field. Using competitors as a benchmark is absolutely vital in maintaining your USP and ensuring that you stay ahead of the crowd.

What is competitor benchmarking?

Competitor benchmarking uses a series of pre-established metrics to compare your company to others in the same space. It can be used to establish a system of best practice for these metrics, and yield insights that can position your brand ahead of the crowd in the eyes of your target audience. This approach has its caveats (potentially slowing your market strategy, a potential lack of actionable insights, and the inherent challenges of manual data collection). However, it can give your brand a leading edge in its marketing and its operations. 

Using competitors as a benchmark: 5 key strategies

The key to effective competitor benchmarking is keeping your eye on the right metrics. Here we’ll look at some marketing and operational strategies that businesses should keep a close eye on if they want to out-perform their competitors and refine their practice. 

Social media performance

Social platforms are a great place for brands to interact with their customers and prospects. Indeed, according to Sprout Social 80% of customers expect brands to interact with them on social platforms. Measuring your competitors’ reach, impressions and customer engagement can help you to measure your performance on social media against that of your competitors. Doing that manually, however, would be extremely time-prohibitive. Fortunately, there are a wealth of social listening tools that enable brands to track competitor performance across multiple channels. 

Content strategy

Content marketing is vital in lending a voice to your brand and directly addressing the needs, frustrations and aspirations of your customers. By leveraging AI solutions, your company can monitor how consumers react to your competitors’ as well as user-generated content from their customers and partners. This involves the tracking of keywords, hashtags, product mentions and influencer endorsements.  

Influencer and partner strategies

Ever wonder how the ROI on your influencer marketing stacks up against your competitors’? Competitive insight and benchmarking tools can help you to track the performance of their brand partnerships and influencer marketing campaigns in real-time, enabling you to emulate their better practices and improve relationships with your own partners. 

Crisis management

The past few years have proven how unpredictable the world of commerce can be. You may wonder how your infrastructure for crisis management makes you better prepared for the unexpected than your competitors. Brand monitoring helps you to measure consumer sentiment for your competitors as they adapt to changes in their chosen market. This can help you better prepare to be there for your customers through thick and thin. 

Customer experience and care

Social monitoring can reveal how responsive brands are to customer queries and complaints online. But it’s also worth using their websites and / or physical premises with a view to gauging the intended customer experience. Is it quick and easy for users to access the products and features they want? Do they have flexible payment options? Do they make it easier and more manageable for customers to make payment by offering Buy Now Pay Later services? 

This can provide a potential goldmine of insights that could enable you to refine your customer experience. 

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