Benchmarking is a process involving organizational comparisons of processes or performance and particularly comparisons with organizations considered to be following best industry practices or setting the industry standard, with the aim of identifying and implementing process and performance improvements within the organization.
The process of benchmarking involves examining how the organization or some part of the organization is performing in comparison to one or more organizations or parts of organizations of strategic interest to the firm and learning from the findings. Whether the comparisons are solely within the firm, with competing firms, or only with those firms or firms considered to have superior performance or that are implementing best practices within the industry for certain processes, the ultimate aim of benchmarking is to identify and adopt methods for improving the performance of the organization.
Marketers have many opportunities to benchmark an organization s marketing processes and performance with similar or best-performing organizations. Although the process is time consuming and not without development and maintenance costs, the benefits of benchmarking, particularly for organizations in search of new ideas for process and performance improvements, may be such that the gains exceed the costs involved. At the very least, marketers should recognize how their firm compares with others of strategic interest to assess the extent that actions should be pursued for further improvement.