A beginners guide to benchmarking

By Katrina Bio February 8th 2022 Benchmarking
Time to read: 3 mins

How do you benchmark your hotel’s performance if you aren’t sure where to start? We take you through a short guide that provides answers to the questions we are most frequently asked by new users helping you get to grips with hotel benchmarking and uncovering insight that can make a real difference to your direct channel performance.


You may think you’ve had a bad month, but not realise that your competitors had a much worse month than you. The real power of benchmarking lies in the context it offers around your performance – good or bad. Data in any shape can really help you understand your hotel’s performance. Digital marketing expanded the scope of the customer journey, giving marketing teams’ access to all the data that customers are searching, helping to untangle your direct channel results. The real value however comes from understanding and comparing your hotels results against the market or your competitors. This is especially true of an independent hotel, that does not benefit from an exchange of information and data between hotels within a group or chain. Tools like Hotel Benchmark, provide invaluable, free insight that allows hoteliers to observe their own direct channel performance within the context of the marketplace and their competitors to gain a holistic view and identify areas for growth and opportunity.


A post-pandemic examination of the market tells a story that more traditional competitive conditions have altered. Now more than ever it is important to widen the scope of your traditional competitor sets when benchmarking. Limiting yourself to your direct competitors (commercial comp-set) or hotels in the same destination does not provide all of the same learning opportunities that would be afforded by looking beyond your traditional competitors. Think beyond your city or country borders and consider properties with a similar profile in other parts of the globe or consider adding aspirational properties to your comp set for even greater insight around what they are doing better.


Deciphering data from your hotel website’s Google Analytics account can be confusing and a little overwhelming especially if you aren’t an experienced digital marketer. Knowing which metrics to focus on adds even further dilemma. Besides bringing the most important metrics from Google Analytics right into your Hotel Benchmark dashboard, our reports make understanding how your hotel’s direct channel is performing against the market or your competitor set easy with a very simple traffic light system which illuminate the areas on which to concentrate. Critical to success is monitoring your performance over time and crafting marketing strategies that address consistently under-performing areas of your direct channel. In our next blog we will take a deep dive into all of the most important metrics to compare.


Using an interactive platform like Hotel Benchmark allows you to compare historical results as well as current performance data to support forecasting future results. Never has this been more important with hotels recognising 2019 as the baseline of recovery from the impact of Covid-19 on the industry, but just as important is closely monitoring today’s performance, using more frequent reports to monitor any new trends emerging. Using benchmarking data as part of an overall strategy will really help your marketing team make informed decisions. Tackle the areas of your website and digital marketing performance where the biggest gaps between you and your competitors exist, and use the areas where you continually outshine your competitors to take advantage of further opportunities for growth. 

Join our growing community of hotels and stay ahead of your competitors. Hotel Benchmark is a free service for hoteliers that would like to begin benchmarking their direct channel performance. Sign up here and receive your January report.


Katrina Bio

Katrina has been working in the hospitality industry since 1993, more recently at Hotel Benchmark, uncovering insight from a wealth of data.