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5 Reasons You Should Stop Using Spreadsheets to Manage Your Influencer Campaigns

Updated: Oct 21, 2022

Useful but impractical, handy but unwieldy, and trusty but untrustworthy, spreadsheets can be a polarizing tool for marketers.

On the one hand, most marketing leaders have always used spreadsheets—it’s understandably what they’re accustomed to using, so why rock the boat? Investing in and learning the nuances of an unfamiliar product can be intimidating, especially when there’s a learning curve. It’s also important to note that spreadsheets can, indeed, get the job done just fine if there isn’t a ton of moving parts within the marketing organization.

However, the reality is that spreadsheets aren’t the most useful tool for every marketing organization—particularly the complex ones. Simply put, it’s tough for marketers to keep track of so much data and not end up frustrated when information either gets lost in the shuffle or takes an inordinate amount of time to load.

Whether you’re an Excel friend investigating potential new ways to go about managing your marketing data or an Excel foe who’s had enough and wants to do away with spreadsheets once and for all, here are five reasons you should consider making the move.

1. Spreadsheets are full of errors.

Sure, errors occur in any kind of software. But in spreadsheets, one tiny error can throw off your entire work.

The internet is chock-full of horror stories of someone making one mistake in a spreadsheet and unintentionally wreaking havoc.

2. Spreadsheets are disconnected silos.

As much as we’re able to stay virtually connected nowadays through real-time messaging, video conferencing and other forms of communication increasingly flourishing in the past year alone, we’re still physically disconnected on separate computers and systems no matter what, whether we’re back in the same office or on different continents.

We recently spoke to a client who gave us a firsthand account of how things used to be during marketing planning season when the process was based on spreadsheets.

With Excel, regional planning managers would manually enter data and send different versions of their spreadsheets back and forth among teams in 40 countries. However, they found it nearly impossible to bring together all their respective information, which they centrally collated annually for the upcoming year’s planning season.

Calling the “highly manual process” essentially “a nightmare,” the marketing performance manager detailed some of the problems they’d face because of their disconnected silos: data inaccuracies, time delays and out-of-date numbers, preventing clear visibility of plans and how they tied to budgets.

When everyone is working off separate records of data, there’s no central source of truth.

3. Spreadsheets don’t support workflows.