Stop looking in the wrong places for best practice

Jason Sumner. Jason is a white man with very short dark hair, a short beard and glasses. He is wearing a light jacket and shirt. Jason Sumner

When you want to see how you’re doing in life, it’s natural to look at your next-door neighbours

The same goes for business. We all keep a close eye on the big names in our industry and market to benchmark performance. Sometimes that is enough.

But if you manage the corporate digital presence, you need to set your sights wider, and here’s why.

You are not benchmarking yourself against the best

If you are a US bank, and you limit yourself to comparing your digital presence with other US banks, you are missing out, literally, on a whole world of best practice. The same goes for companies in any sector or sub-sector, from biotech to microchips. I see this a lot, especially with new clients who are looking to improve effectiveness. One client in the UK had a new chairman who had spent her career at a competitor, so everyone looked at the boss’s previous corporate website and asked themselves, “Why aren’t we doing it like that?” This is really limiting. Your closest competitor may do one or two things brilliantly, but not everything, and quite possibly nothing that can be considered gold standard in terms of corporate digital.

You are not getting any new information

When you only look at competitors, you are always on the back foot, because that’s where everyone else in your organisation is looking too. What if the next time your boss asks why you don’t have this or that trendy new feature on the website, you can say, “Because the very best digital communicators in the world don’t do it that way.” Or, “Good idea, but here are 10 better examples from other corporate sites and we should do it like this.” You can’t say either if you don’t know.

You won’t stand out

Over time, your digital presence will start to look the same as your rivals, and that isn’t good when you have a unique brand, message and culture to promote. You may all fall behind global best practice together, but you are still falling behind.

Learn from anywhere

Corporate digital communication is a practice that cuts across industry and location. Most of the issues and problems are the same, and there is rarely anything truly proprietary because it is so public.

Regular and rigorous benchmarking allows you to be confident that what you are doing is the best, and if not, what you have to do to get there. It gives you fresh inspiration and demonstrates your expertise.

You want your competitors to be the ones asking, “Where did they get that idea, and why aren’t we doing it like that!”

To discuss how Bowen Craggs can help you address this, and other challenges, please get in touch.