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The beginner’s guide to competitive benchmarking and how to get started

Colton Wright

October 7, 2021  •  6 min read

What is competitive benchmarking, and why do you need it?

Competitive benchmarking measures where and how your organization stands against your competitors. By using a set of predetermined metrics, benchmarking allows you to compare your company’s performance against your competitors and other best-in-class brands.

Competitive benchmarking is not a new concept; in fact, Xerox first began the practice in 1979 to analyze unit production costs in manufacturing operations. Today’s competitive benchmarking is an entirely new opportunity. The proliferation of digital channels combined with the right technology lets you explore data and insights about competitors in ways you couldn’t before. Competitive benchmarking allows your marketing team to:

  • Rank brand performance of your competitors

  • Identify industry trends and top-performing content

  • Gain visibility into competitors’ audience behaviors

When you understand your competitors’ performance, you can pivot your strategy to what is working for them with the insight and the knowledge that it will work for you as well. Competitive benchmarking can give your organization the edge to capture additional market share, increase customer retention and engagement, and provide an excellent customer experience (CX).

The challenges to competitive benchmarking

To stay relevant in a complex social landscape, brands need to know how they stack up against the market and gather information on other brands’ strategies. And without an efficient way to contextualize the data, you’re trapped analyzing data in a vacuum. This can leave your social strategy lagging and ineffective.

We know that traditional competitive benchmarking is a slow, arduous process that is extremely time consuming for teams to execute and often fraught with human errors. Today’s marketing teams face a multitude of common challenges around competitive benchmarking:

A lack of actionable insights

You need actionable, data-driven insights. Otherwise, it is difficult to quantify what success looks like compared to others in the market or to gain clarity on best-in-class trends. And without real-time data, you cannot effectively inform strategies to your customer care, paid media, social media, and digital marketing teams.

Slow adaptations to strategy

If you don’t know what is working well in the market, you will lose the agility to pivot when the market shifts or when competitors change their strategy or tactics. This can slow your strategy and create missed opportunities to gain market share and grow your customer base.

Manual data collection

The volume and complexity of unstructured data is growing exponentially and brings new challenges. Spending time on manual data collection means less time for analysis and insights and creates delays in communicating those insights to key stakeholders. And with anything manual, there is always a risk of human error and poor data quality.

Get started with competitive benchmarking

Competitive benchmarking brings tremendous value to your marketing strategy, and the time to begin is now. The benefits of competitive benchmarking can only be realized once you choose a reliable social listening tool that meets your needs and aligns with your organization’s competitive benchmarking goals. Once you get started, you will immediately have the tools necessary to analyze the performance and understand the tactics of competitors and other brands across social channels in real time. The benefits of social listening for competitive benchmarking help your organization compare and inform:

Brands’ social performance

When you benchmark across brands and channels, you can rank brand performance against the competition on dozens of metrics, automate hundreds of hours of competitive intelligence analysis, and score based on rates that adjust for audience size in reach, impressions, and engagement.

Content strategy

Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps you understand how competitor content is resonating with their audiences and allows you to use that information to improve your own content strategy. You can keep track of product mentions, influencer endorsements, hashtags, keywords, and more across social media.

Executive strategy

By comparing executive accounts, you can understand the sentiment and engagement of brand leaders, identify top executive posts, visualize the social accounts of executive contributions, and be alerted to potential executive crises.

Influencer strategy

When you analyze the effectiveness of brand influencer and partner strategies, you can monitor their performance in real time, share the value of influencer and partner involvement, and discover new opportunities to improve those partnerships.

Customer care strategy

Understand how brands interact with their audiences and know when, where, and how competitors reply on owned channels. You’ll gain visibility into competitors’ fan behavior and uncover strategic competitive opportunities through overall performance across multiple social accounts.

Paid strategy

With AI-powered machine-learning models, you can determine if competitor posts are likely to be paid or organic. You’ll have insight on engagement trends, reach trends, and the performance of potential promoted content for your competitors.

Crisis management

Brand monitoring is an important element of competitive benchmarking. It allows you to monitor content for current trends, brand sentiment, and brand followers, while also gathering insights into potential crises of other brands and competitors.

Learn more about Sprinklr’s competitive insights and benchmarking tools

Competitive benchmarking brings value to your business

Competitive benchmarking differentiates your brand from competitors. Social listening driven by AI-powered insights allows you to monitor and measure your company’s performance and inform your performance and social strategies across the business. When choosing a partner for competitive benchmarking, you’ll want to ensure the tools will meet the needs of your team and bring you immediate value. You can be more efficient by monitoring, measuring, and marketing in a single, unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform.

Get started with competitive benchmarking for free today!

Sprinklr Modern Research Lite

Sprinklr Modern Research Lite is a free to try, lightweight, and self-service version of our Modern Research enterprise solution. It allows you exclusive access to Sprinklr’s AI-enriched reporting and insights specifically calibrated to your brand and objectives in just minutes. During your first 30 days, you can try out the rich features without commitment or any investment on your part.

Sprinklr’s Modern Research Lite offers you:

  • Zero configuration, self-service onboarding with customized reports specific to your role

  • Omni-channel customer, brand, and competitive intelligence across social, news, forums, TV, and more

  • AI-enriched smart-trend data that goes beyond mention and engagement metrics to give you quality insights for brand monitoring

  • Real-time, reliable reporting with standardized and curated use-case reports specific for brand safety and crisis detection

  • Listening topics that allow you to customize your data and insights based on your own keyword knowledge

  • Automatically turn dashboards into presentations to better inform leaders and internal stakeholders

Modern Research Lite is part of Sprinklr’s unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform for modern enterprises. Sprinklr is committed to helping understand your competitors with proven results and reliable support. When you try Sprinklr’s Modern Research Lite, you’ll gain exclusive access to Sprinklr’s AI-enriched reporting and insights. The trial allows you to experience the solution quickly, easily, and efficiently with your brand and objectives in mind. And because there is no commitment, you can explore how social listening can help competitive benchmarking. Get started today with no obligation.

Colton Wright is a Product Marketing Manager at Sprinklr and is based in Austin, TX. He primarily focuses on our Modern Research product and innovating the latest and greatest social listening strategies. Away from the office, he enjoys traveling, gardening, and playing fetch with his pup.

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