It is natural to compare and rate yourself, whether competing in business or sport. You need to compare yourself with others and identify areas where you can improve. This is essential if you want success.
I believe that benchmarking the maturity of digital marketing capabilities is essential for businesses serious about making the most of digital communications/channel opportunities. It would help to establish a baseline for comparing your marketing performance against others to be considered the best-in-class in your industry’s online marketing.
Then, you can show your colleagues the gaps and argue for the need to change. This is especially useful for digital marketing, as it is still a new field, and the people responsible for it need to demonstrate the benefits it offers to others.
This is how benchmarking, and scoring capabilities can be helpful:
To identify areas of improvement, audit current digital marketing approaches
Benchmark against competitors in the same market segment
Find the best practices from more experienced adopters
To improve capabilities over time, set goals and create strategies and roadmaps.
Communicate the current situation with budget holders and colleagues. Highlight investment priorities for different activities.
What benchmark should we use?
Digital marketing can use benchmarking in many ways. It can be used for digital marketing and key channels such as email, search and social media.
Start by reviewing your digital marketing capabilities and how you manage all of them. This summary of key issues for marketers to keep in mind can be downloaded from Smart Intelligences. Similar benchmark visuals can be found for other strategies as well.
Rows A through D of this visual benchmark highlight how the business manages its digital transformation. E focuses on technology and systems management, while F and G examine the communications offsite and the digital experience for mobile and desktop.
The US Carnegie Mellon Institute provides a simple 5-point scale for the benchmarking system. This scale was initially developed to assess the maturity of software development processes. Industry standards have since adopted it. This simple breakdown and labeling are also useful in digital marketing due to the growing role of technology in marketing. I created capability benchmark spreadsheets when working with brands such as Barclaycard and BP. I interviewed stakeholders to determine their digital capabilities. This version was later referenced in the Econsultancy Managing Ecommerce Teams Reports.
Interactive benchmarking tool
After creating many digital benchmarking spreadsheets and marketing strategy audits, my goal was to create an interactive tool that could help businesses assess their digital marketing capabilities and make suggestions for improvement. Smart Insights’ Interactive Benchmarking tool is available. It provides a comprehensive assessment of the customer’s digital marketing capabilities within each of the five areas of the Smart Insights
This tool will give you a better understanding of your organization’s current state. This will assist with your digital transformation efforts. Your results will also be compared to all other results, so you can see how your company compares.