Want to do better with your marketing strategy, marketing execution, and more? Do you strive to do better than your competitors in the industry?
Trying to build your business from the ground up could be a futile exercise since you don’t have a way to gauge just how well you are doing. At the same time, running on rails following your competition blind also doesn’t do you any favors.
Each business is unique (your business included). Instead of trying to grow your business in a silo or depending on your competition for inspiration of any sort, it’s smart to find a middle ground by embracing benchmarking.
What is Benchmarking?
Strictly in terms of business positioning, branding, and marketing strategy, where your business stands at the moment, the data you have available to you, and the metrics you use to measure growth are a great starting point to know how well your business is doing.
To truly grow your business (and to beat your competition goodbye), however, you need benchmarking.
As far as business is concerned, Shopify defines benchmarking as follows:
“Benchmarking is a process of measuring the performance of a company’s products, services, or processes against those of another business considered to be the best in the industry, aka “best in class.”
Benchmarking -- applies to everything, but we are focusing on the marketing and growth aspects of business for now -- relates to defining a set of metrics, growth slabs, conversion rates, KPIs, and other measurable aspects to help yourself grow.
Why do you need benchmarking?
If you don’t know where you are going, you might as well be anywhere.
Benchmarking is crucial to go beyond the normal growth trajectory, to position your business for success, and to give you a set of varied goals to beat (consistently, every time).
Modern-day benchmarking depends on not just data, information, deep knowledge about your competition, and the general state of your industry but also your own business, your metrics, your KPI, and more.
Software & Tools Needed For Benchmarking
To start benchmarking, you first need data in two distinct buckets:
- Your business data (across the board)
- Competitor analysis, competitor data, and the averages that are usual for your industry.
Your data comes in through a robust analytics and tracking setup for your business. Competitive benchmarking involves a few strategies including competitive intelligence, competitor analysis, knowing and understanding the industry averages (including industry practices, product information, and more).
To do this effectively, you need the help of software (also called Marketing stack, in marketing parlance). Using software for benchmarking cuts down the time needed to gather essential data you need. It helps you position yourself in the market appropriately, and take the necessary steps to align yourself (poised to beat your competition) in terms of strategy and execution.
Here are the tools and software you’ll need to get started with Benchmarking the right way:
SEMRush For Content Strategy & SEO Benchmarking
When it comes to search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media monitoring, paid ads competitive analysis, and more, you’d seriously benefit from the SEM swiss army equivalent that SEMRush is.
With SEMRush , it all starts with a comprehensive SEO Audit and content marketing audit. You’d also get an instant snapshot of the overall health of your site, how you are positioned amongst your competitors, the keywords you rank for, the traffic you get, and more. You also get to monitor your social media feeds, schedule your social media posts, get an instant view of the keywords your competitors rank for, etc.
With a total of more than 16+ different tools inside the SEMRush platform, you get a wealth of data on not only your SEO, SEM, social media efforts but also keep your ear to the ground on what your competition is doing when it comes to content marketing, content strategy, search engine optimization, paid advertising, and more.
Panoramata For Email Marketing Benchmarking
Most of your competitors' content strategy (along with content that’s performing well, the keywords they rank for, traffic analytics, and social presence) along with paid ads strategy (including their ads and landing pages) are accessible with SEMRush.
However, email marketing campaigns are mostly hidden from view. With email marketing in particular though, competitor emails are mostly opaque.
Unless you use Panoramata.
Panoramata is one of the best email marketing benchmarking tools -- built by marketers for marketers and businesses. Let’s say you wanted a surefire way to benchmark your email marketing campaigns to do better than your competitors. Normally, you’d have to subscribe to hundreds of email campaigns (those that your competitors roll out) and see how they are doing.
Instead, you can use a single dashboard to keep track of email campaigns, check out their email marketing content by using Panoramata. Keeping an eye on the email marketing strategy of your competitors (broken down to the last element) to make your benchmark efforts easy.
Similarly, you can also track the changes your competition makes on their respective websites, grab your hands on competitive insights, competitive reports, intelligence analysis, industry insights, and more.
You can also use Panoramata for advanced competition analysis, competitive growth scoring, advanced monitoring, and even get inspired for your own marketing campaigns.
SEO Mangools For SEO Benchmarking
Mangools is a comprehensive set of SEO tools (much like SEMRush, but much more affordable) to help you get that SEO booster shot for your SEO strategy and also to keep an eye on your competitor’s SEO strategy overall.
With Mangools, start your SEO strategy with high-volume but low-competition keywords and keep track of your SEO work which includes on-page SEO strategy, off-page SEO execution pathways, and more.
Further, you also get to track your own SERP results, track high-ranking keywords (you aren’t showing up for) and SEO rankings, find powerful backlinks and also check your competitors’ website authority.
While Mangools isn’t as comprehensive or as well-known as SEMRush is, the tool is powerful if you are just starting with competitive intelligence, search engine optimization strategy, and getting a foothold in the industry you operate in.
Which of the software for benchmarking would you use?