Benchmarking occurs when a firm sets its own marketing performance standards based on prior actions by the firm itself, the prowess of direct competitors, the competence of the best companies in the industry, and/or innovative companies in other industries anywhere around the world.
Benchmarking may be divided into two main categories.
1. Process benchmarking is often most appropriate and deals with the more easily measurable aspects of a company’s operation (such as flexibility in the use of resources, fast new-product introduction, reduced defects, quick delivery time, and lower distribution costs).
2. Strategic benchmarking is more difficult and deals with conditions identified by a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis.