Seeing yourself compared to anyone else is tricky. Here's what you need to understand...
Note: This article is a follow-up to our article on Benchmarks-- Check that out as well!
Have you heard the phrase "compare apples to apples?"
It is inevitable that we all want to know how we are doing compared to everyone else, but we always have to take these comparisons with a good amount of perspective. We all know that there is no such thing as "normal" because none of us, and none of our destinations are completely alike. As a destination, you are unique, and a comparison to another destination will always be at least a little more like "apples to oranges."
Even though we're all different, there are benefits to seeing ourselves against an average.
While we are in meetings with them many of our partners ask, "How does my data look compared to other partners' data?" To help with this, we have added Benchmarks to the ZDOS for certain charts. Benchmarks are a way for you to see the average for a typical Zartico partner so that you can see what your data looks like by comparison. This is incredibly valuable to have in addition to your own data!
What is a benchmark?
A benchmark is the ability to view your data against aggregated performance data of other ZDOS destinations. Benchmarks are intended to help to provide context against the numbers you’re seeing and to generate discussions about strategic and tactical decisions against an external point of reference. They aren’t intended to be a “right” answer or the only course of action for a destination to follow. You can read more about Benchmarking in the ZDOS here.
The benchmarks in the ZDOS were created because they met a sweet spot of criteria for what would be helpful to you.
In developing our initial list of benchmarks, we looked to develop benchmarks where the performance was:
Independent of DMO budget, staff size, or marketing budget
Reflective of the DMOs performance on a key decision or set of decisions
Consistent across most, if not all partners
Benchmarks are intended to provide context. They aren't meant to be your only source of truth about your destination's performance.
Here's what Benchmarks are: A way to look at the data for your destination as compared to an average destination to gain perspective when needed. They are intended to help to provide context against the numbers you’re seeing and to generate discussions about strategic and tactical decisions against an external point of reference.
Here's what Benchmarks aren't: An objective way to see how you are tracking against other destinations in a competitive way that should cause you to take immediate action. They aren’t intended to be a “right” answer or the only course of action for a destination to follow.
Benchmarks found in the ZDOS are provided as a requested piece of the puzzle in your strategic decision-making.
Take a look at the benchmarks that you can find in the ZDOS and what insight you could gain from them that could inform your strategic decisions! Talk with your advisor about what you notice about benchmarks in the ZDOS and how they relate to your data, and any action it could inform. And, most of all, remember that your destination is unique and nuanced in a way that you understand more than anyone else.
Need more help? Talk to a real human.