Establishing benchmarks in order to track progress and plan for the future is nothing new. But new tools and methods may make it easier and more effective than ever before. Thanks to tools made available through the data behemoth Google, companies can now use detailed benchmarks to gain insight into what their company is doing right and how they can improve.

Google Analytics and Benchmarking

The benchmarking feature is available through Google Analytics — a tool every company should already be using. In order to turn on Benchmarking, you’ll need to activate it within your administrative settings. You can do this by clicking on the Admin tab then selecting ‘Account Settings”. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see a box for “Benchmarking”. Check it, click Save and you’re good to go.

Now that Benchmarking is turned on and active you’ll have access to a whole new world of tools that can enhance the business intelligence you develop. You’ll also be able to create benchmarks that serve as company-wide goals.

Historical benchmarks, for example, give you a way to use sales figures from the past to create goals for the future. Develop these goals by looking at past sales and purchases through your ecommerce inventory management app, as well as taking into consideration current marketing programs or expected popularity for specific products.

Benchmarking and Marketing

Benchmarking also delivers quality business intelligence to marketing departments. Your marketing team can use benchmarks as a way to gauge the success of specific programs or even to compare how two different approaches work. If last year you focused on direct customer contact through your website, shift gears and be more social media focused this year. Establish benchmarks based on last year’s performance or comparable industries and see how it turns out.

Benchmarking as a way to set goals may be a tried and true way to set goals, but today’s tools also make it an important part of business intelligence. Learn how this approach can help you plan for the future and develop smarter marketing strategies to grow your business effectively.