Benchmarking pays when used strategically

It's not uncommon for prospective subscribers to the Beaton Benchmarks to inquire whether and in what ways benchmarking pays. In other words, Beaton Research + Consulting is asked to explain the cost-benefit of one of flagship market research products. This post shares a case study that proves beyond doubt that benchmarking pays – at least for this professional services firm.

We invite you to read on – and judge for yourself.


The case study features a real – but disguised firm – its strategic challenges and the central role that having hard, independent data played in the turnaround of its fortunes.

The Jobs + Gates leadership team took a three-step approach: [1] Understand the causes of our problems, [2] Convert these insights into strategy and [3] Execute.

Jobs + Gates' experience shows benchmarking pays

The results speak for themselves. Central to their success was securing partners' buy-in to the need for change and a mandate for management to drive the new strategy with confidence.

In summary, the Beaton Benchmarks report revealed:

  • Price, i.e. fees, was not a very important factor in winning work.

  • Service responsiveness and demonstrating the firm’s understanding of the client’s business and industry were more critical to existing and new clients;

  • Jobs + Gates was one of a group of three ‘leading’ firms in the governments sector;

  • Opportunities existed for improving the Firm’s pricing outcomes in key industries where the market regarded Jobs + Gates as a ‘leading’ firm;

  • Jobs + Gates was amongst the weakest in its competitor set in demonstrating ‘cost consciousness’ to clients (cost consciousness is one of the most important drivers of clients’ perceptions of value); and

  • Jobs + Gates rated below average on performance in some client industries, but was rated highly in others compared to its close competitors.

Little wonder the Chairman asked the management team “How are you going to guarantee the partnership that we won’t fall back into the bad old ways and days?"

He and the Firm had learned that benchmarking pays.

Jobs + Gates benchmarking case study

Further reading

If you found this post of value, you can find more on related topics here:

+ 10 best practice principles to make benchmarking pay

+ Selection Bias and the Perils of Benchmarking (Harvard Business review with paywall)


Dr George Beaton is the Executive Chairman of Beaton Research + Consulting and may contacted at You can also find George on Google+ at +George Beaton.