Benchmarking and competitive intelligence are like two peas in a pod,
Benchmarking and competitive intelligence are like two peas in a pod, or two sides of the same coin, or two dogs chasing their tails. Whatever metaphor you prefer, the fact is that these two business practices are quite similar in nature.
Both benchmarking and competitive intelligence involve studying your competition to gain insights that can help you improve your own business. The only difference is that benchmarking is a little more structured, while competitive intelligence is a little more, well, sneaky.
With benchmarking, you're looking at your competition's performance metrics and comparing them to your own. You're basically saying, "Hey, they're doing better than us in this area, let's see how we can improve." It's a little like looking over your neighbour’s fence to see what kind of car they drive and how many TVs they have, and then going out and buying a better car and more TVs.
With competitive intelligence, on the other hand, you're trying to gather information about your competition's business practices, marketing strategies, and anything else that might give you an edge. It's a little like hiding in your neighbour’s bushes to listen in on their phone calls and see what kind of secrets they're keeping.
Of course, I'm not suggesting that you actually hide in your neighbour’s bushes or engage in any other shady business practices. The point is that benchmarking and competitive intelligence are both legitimate business strategies that can help you improve your own business. And if you do them with a little humour and a lot of self-awareness, you can have some fun with them too!