Many marketers call upon benchmarks to see how they are performing. Several companies and associations publish them, and often they are interesting to look at. When you are analyzing them or using marketing tools that enable you to compare how you do in comparison with other users of that tool, caution is at its place. It's important to always realize what benchmarks are: benchmarks.
You find benchmarks for nearly all marketing tactics and activities: conversion, lead generation, email marketing and, yes, also social media marketing. Even if the data you happen to stumble upon look at 'best of class' performers versus less performing businesses, it's crucial to understand that there are no universal conversion benchmarks.
It's not because the average conversion average in your industry is x % that you have to go for that percentage. Every business and customer are different. And so is every marketing campaign or program.
Conversion in cross-channel marketing
Moreover, in a multichannel consumer reality, attribution is a challenge and the impact of cross-fertilizing campaigns should be taken into account. There are no benchmarks for that, simply because most businesses are just starting to look at integrated conversion marketing whereby the customer is at the centre of the campaign or program.
If your marketing is customer-centric and cross-channel, you have the possibility to perform better than the average. The buying journey is not linear and although we can track much more than ever before, there will always be a part that is harder or impossible to track.
The problem with many benchmarks is that they are channel-centric. And that's OK, you need to know the impact of your channels. However, it's a cross-channel world out there. So, conversion marketing is a life cycle-based and customer-centric process that is really channel-agnostic.
Another danger of benchmarks lies in the fact that it might lead to a sense of satisfaction about your performance because you do the same or better as the "others". Remember though that conversion marketing is a never-ending exercise and that your goal is not to do like the others. Your goal is to do better. And the path to your goal is the relevance and value you offer people with whom you interact with, regardless of their purpose.
Today's customer is cross-channel and he/she is at the centre of sales and marketing.
Communication channels depend on the consumer and marketing is about engaging the cross-channel customer and prospect throughout integrated dialogues that are driven by his/her buying journey, preferences, triggers, signals and behaviour.
Discover why your business should move to an integrated marketing approach step by step and how.
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