Competitive benchmarking is a powerful tool that businesses can use to gain insights into their industry and maintain a competitive edge. By comparing your company’s performance with that of your competitors, you can identify areas where you excel, as well as areas that need improvement. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of performing competitive benchmarking within your industry on a regular basis, the different ways of conducting it, and the appropriate metrics for various industries. We’ll also provide some tips on how often you should perform this essential analysis.

Why Regular Competitive Benchmarking is Essential

There are several reasons why you should conduct competitive benchmarking on a regular basis:

  • Stay informed: Industries are constantly evolving, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements is crucial for maintaining your competitive edge. Regular competitive benchmarking ensures that you have the most current information available.
  • Identify gaps: By comparing your company’s performance against your competitors, you can quickly spot any gaps in your products, services, or processes that need to be addressed.
  • Monitor competitors: Regular benchmarking allows you to keep an eye on your competitors’ strategies, enabling you to anticipate their moves and respond accordingly.
  • Establish goals: Setting realistic and achievable goals is essential for driving business growth. By understanding your industry’s benchmarks, you can set targets that are both challenging and attainable.
  • Measure progress: Benchmarking on a regular basis allows you to track your company’s progress over time and make data-driven decisions to improve your performance.

Methods of Competitive Benchmarking

There are several ways to conduct competitive benchmarking, each with its own advantages and limitations. The most common methods include:

  • Product benchmarking: This method involves comparing your products or services against those of your competitors in terms of features, quality, and pricing. This can help you identify gaps in your offerings and provide insights into potential improvements.
  • Process benchmarking: Process benchmarking focuses on comparing your business processes, such as manufacturing, sales, or customer service, with those of your competitors. This can help you pinpoint areas where your processes can be optimized to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
  • Performance benchmarking: This approach looks at how your company is performing compared to your competitors in terms of financial and operational metrics. By understanding how your company stacks up, you can identify areas for improvement and set appropriate performance targets.
  • Strategic benchmarking: Strategic benchmarking involves analyzing the strategies and practices of industry leaders and adapting them to your business. This can help you stay ahead of the competition by implementing proven best practices.

Before we delve into the specific metrics appropriate for different industries, it’s important to note that you should tailor your benchmarking approach to your company’s unique needs and objectives. This means selecting the most relevant metrics and methods based on your industry, goals, and competitive landscape.

Appropriate Metrics for Different Industries

While there are countless metrics that can be used for competitive benchmarking, it’s crucial to choose those that are most relevant to your industry. Here are some examples of industry-specific metrics:

  • Retail: In the retail industry, key metrics may include sales revenue, gross margin, inventory turnover, customer acquisition cost, and average transaction value.
  • Manufacturing: For manufacturing businesses, you might focus on metrics such as production efficiency, capacity utilization, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), and first-pass yield.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare organizations could examine metrics like patient satisfaction, readmission rates, average length of stay, and medical error rates.
  • Software development: In the software development industry, relevant metrics may include defect density, time to market, customer satisfaction, and code maintainability.
  • Finance: Financial institutions might consider metrics like return on investment (ROI), net interest margin, non-performing loan ratio, and customer churn rate.

Remember that the choice of metrics will depend on your specific industry and company goals, so don’t be afraid to modify or expand on this list as needed.

How Often Should You Perform Competitive Benchmarking?

The frequency with which you should perform competitive benchmarking depends on a variety of factors, including your industry’s rate of change, your company’s strategic objectives, and your resources. Here are some general guidelines to help you determine the right frequency for your business:

  • Highly dynamic industries: In industries that are rapidly changing, such as technology or e-commerce, it’s crucial to conduct competitive benchmarking more frequently – at least quarterly, if not monthly. This will help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and maintain your competitive edge.
  • Stable industries: In more stable industries, such as manufacturing or healthcare, you may be able to perform benchmarking less frequently – perhaps every six months or annually. However, it’s still important to monitor the competitive landscape and make adjustments as needed.
  • Resource limitations: If your company has limited resources, you may need to prioritize your benchmarking efforts and focus on the most critical areas first. In this case, consider performing a comprehensive benchmarking analysis annually, with smaller, more focused benchmarking efforts conducted throughout the year.


Regular competitive benchmarking is essential for maintaining a strong position within your industry. By comparing your company’s performance with that of your competitors, you can identify gaps, set appropriate goals, and track progress over time. The key is to choose the most relevant metrics and methods for your specific industry and objectives, and to conduct benchmarking at a frequency that keeps you informed and agile in the face of change. By incorporating regular competitive benchmarking into your business strategy, you’ll be well-equipped to stay ahead of the competition and drive long-term success. Managing Director - Chris Barnard

Chris Barnard has spent over 15 years delivering exceptional digital marketing performance for leading businesses in the UK, Europe and North America as an independent business consultant.

FeedbackFans provides a unique next-generation managed technology and marketing platform that delivers outstanding and outsized results for businesses in sectors such as finance, retail, leisure, and professional services.

With our unparalleled expertise in creating cutting-edge solutions and environments, we empower our clients and users to thrive in the digital age.

Chris Barnard is Managing Director of FeedbackFans