Reporting and Analytics

Digital Marketing Terms to Know: Benchmarks

By Christine Kent Apr 16, 2021

If you’re looking to understand how your brand’s customer engagement efforts stack up, you need benchmarks—the basis points used to measure and compare performance of digital marketing campaigns. While any goal you set for a campaign is in effect a benchmark, valuable insights can be gained from comparisons with other sets of marketers. Smart use of benchmarks can help you set goals, better understand your vertical, and strategize across industries to impact the bottom line.

Say you’ve sent out 2,000 emails, and received 100 clicks and 10 conversions. How will you know if it was successful?? It comes down to this: What’s reasonable to expect?

In a situation like this, it would be useful to know how the competitor across town is faring, or how similar businesses perform across the region or nation. To make these comparisons, you need accurate, up-to-date knowledge about other campaigns to use as benchmarks for comparison.

Benchmarks can be defined with the same array of parameters that define the campaign, such as:

  • Historical benchmarks. These benchmarks are defined by using past results from your own campaigns. They’re very useful for measuring growth, or assessing changes you make to campaign strategy.

  • Competitor benchmarks. These benchmarks are defined by results of campaigns by specific companies. This data is available either publicly through platform interfaces (i.e., how many shares does a competitor’s blog post receive on social media) or from third-party data vendors.

  • Industry benchmarks. These are defined by the specific industry, with data coming from a variety of sources—including the Braze platform’s own Benchmarks tool, which lets you screen for industries and operating systems while assessing average push and email performance, among other relevant benchmarks.

  • Regional and geographic benchmarks. These benchmarks provide insight into results associated with a specific country or region, allowing you to assess, say, how your Australia-specific email campaigns stack up to other brands in that nation.

To get the full benefit of benchmarking data, it’s important to take a critical look at what feeds into the data you’re using, the way that information is being represented, and how you should be using it. As a rule, try to focus on variables that will have a direct impact on your business and campaign decisions, not those that provide “interesting to know” factoids.

For example, to set goals, focus on what your direct competitors are doing. To measure campaign effectiveness, use your own internal benchmarks. If a competitor has more growth than your business, either in sales or in campaign KPIs, choosing the right benchmark can provide necessary insights.

Final Notes

Benchmarking data can provide immediate value for a brand, allowing marketers to make meaningful comparisons, determine criteria for improvement, scope out the industry landscape, and make smart what-if projections. To learn more, download the “Understanding Customer Engagement Benchmarks and Metrics” Guide.

Christine Kent

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