The age old adage that you shouldn't compare yourself to others rarely rings true in business. After all, while internal improvements are all well and good in their own right, it's the performance of your industry peers that will really dictate your success or failure. Why? Well, simply put, clients don't really care for how an organisation has bettered its inward-facing processes and will always be more interested in where they can obtain a superior quality product or service. This, in turn, ultimately gives greater exposure and engagement to brands that outperform competition.
So, what can you do to outmanoeuvre organisations that share your market and capture more of your target audience?
Competitor benchmarking can give you an edge over your industry peers.
Using benchmarking to stay ahead of the competition
In years gone by, staying ahead of the competition might have meant designing new and improved products in a bid to win over an audience, without any real understanding of whether your efforts would prove to be successful.
Thankfully, those days are long behind us, and now media monitoring analytics can provide you with competitor benchmarks, which can reveal a veritable treasure trove of data about your peers. This information can be used to learn more about audience sentiment within your sector and enable you to intelligently reshape your strategies as a result.
Naturally, the success of your efforts hinge on your ability to carry out benchmarking effectively. To achieve this, the Victoria government's Business initiative recommended that organisations should follow five steps:
- Establish an aim for the benchmarking
- Determine competitors
- Identify trends within their sector
- Define an action plan
- Monitor results
The final step can be a time-consuming process, so making use of media monitoring tools may help you stay on top of the data without dedicating all of your resources towards it.
As touched on, competitor benchmarking can lead to very tangible results, but let's have a closer look at three ways it might help your organisation in the real world:
1. Learn what your competitors' audiences are talking about
Social analytics can identify what your competitors' audiences are talking about in the social space.
Alongside traditional channels such as TV, radio and newspapers, social media has quickly become a force to be reckoned with. In Singapore, for example, people spend an average of 2.1 hours per day on various social platforms, according to marketing agency Hashmeta.
Benchmarking can help you extract information from this valuable space. Find out what your competitors' followers are talking about and engaging with, and use this information to restructure your communications strategies in the digital space.
2. Understand winning strategies that your competition is using
Use media monitoring tools to work out what goes into creating a winning communications strategy.
Nobody likes a copycat, but there's no denying that taking inspiration from other successful organisations in your space can be fruitful. Media monitoring services can reveal strategies that your competitors have carried out in the past and help you identify the effective elements that went into crafting them.
With this information in hand, you can implement a strategy that shares some of the characteristics you've identified. Remember, you don't want to recreate the work of your competitors. Rather, you're determining the ingredients that go into a strong campaign and reinventing them for your own purposes.
3. Detect niches
Competitor benchmarking can help you set new targets.
Another benefit of using competitor benchmarking is that it can identify gaps in the market that your organisation may be able to enter. Frost & Sullivan surmised that this ability to detect niches within a competitive space can help smaller organisations compete with larger and more established rivals.