August 15, 2005
Volume I Issue 13
What is it? How do you do it? Why should you do it?
Benchmarking is nothing more than measuring yourself against others. This
includes others in your industry, as well as some of the best anywhere.
Benchmarking lets you know where you stand versus the competition. This
will help you promote and sell your strengths, fix your weaknesses, and be
prepared to defend attacks against your areas of weakness, whether real or
You can benchmark anything and everything: advertising spend, brand
awareness, production cost and efficiency, number of sales reps, customer
satisfaction, financial results, product specifications, product performance,
All of this information is available.
Companies who are not your competitors may well be willing to share
information. This may permit you to get “best in class” benchmarking data
from industries other than your own. This can provide insight into areas like
customer service, manufacturing efficiency, or supply chain performance.
Your sales team can get an amazing amount of information from customers,
particularly if you direct them to ask the right questions. You can do this by
sending them into the field with a professionally designed survey. Your best
market intelligence is in the heads of your sales people. Do you manage this
priceless resource effectively?
Of course, lots of information is also available on the Internet, at company
websites and through 10k’s and other sources. How do your returns
compare with your competitors? Which of your competitors have the best
returns? Why? What does this say about your strategy? If you do
competitive analysis on a regular basis, much of this information will be
right there in your own library.
If you don’t do regular competitive analysis, maybe you should – see the
June 30 MarketIntellibits, Why The Need For A Competitive Intelligence
Function? If you don’t do regular competitive analysis, go ahead and
benchmark. Once you complete your benchmarking, you’ll be well on the
way to having a solid competitive intelligence library.
Product benchmarking is perhaps the easiest. Go out and buy your
competitors products and test them. For paper, this means that you need to
test the specifications of the paper, of course, but it also means print it or
run it through a copier, and let your customers evaluate the results. For
packaging, it means test performance under various conditions and see how
it holds up to weather, transport, and other stresses. MarketIntell can help
you develop and manage an effective product benchmarking program.
You may also need brand awareness and perception, and customer
satisfaction. These can be readily measured through market research.
Again, for help in these areas, contact MarketIntell.
If you need further help with any area of benchmarking, MarketIntell can
help. We can help you with customer satisfaction surveys, product
evaluations, and other aspects of benchmarking, and can help you put it all
Click here to contact Jack Miller by email, or call 203 925 0326.
Look for the next issue, which will be a corollary to this issue:
© 2005 MarketIntell. All rights reserved.
MarketIntellibits is published semi-monthly by MarketIntell, a Market
Intelligence consultancy founded by Jack Miller, a long time sales and
marketing executive in the paper industry.
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