Although it seems extremely difficult, the use of versatile spreadsheets reduces and optimizes planning time, in addition to keeping everything much more organized..
Working with digital marketing requires professionals to have knowledge of several areas, always paying close attention to content and information. To plan online campaigns, it takes a high level of strategic planning and tracking the results for future analysis and drawing conclusions about that strategy, if it is effective, where it should be modified, what kind of modifications should be made for the next edition.
Planning these campaigns is neither easy nor simple, it takes a lot of study and adequate tools to facilitate and speed up planning. Among these tools, spreadsheets stand out, as their versatility and computing power are essential for the development and monitoring of a marketing strategy with fewer errors, less rework and easy access.
In addition, an advantage that talks a lot with marketing is precisely the visualization of tasks, activities and priorities. In a table, it is simpler to follow all the processes in a single space and at once, with editable and customizable spaces for each type of need.
Excel is not an impossible riddle
Although the program seems scary for those who are not used to it, with many rows and columns without guidance or even without a tip on how to start planning the worksheet, just start using the program and the ease that the software provides is soon noticed. The purpose of the program is to help compute data and assemble complex organizational schemes without being an obstacle, it is enough to know the basic principles of how formulas, tables and graphs work and their applicability becomes basically infinite.
There is also an advantage of this tool to the others: although its formulas are difficult, there are a number of free tutorials scattered around the internet — and each of them meets a different and specific need. Therefore, anyone who thinks that to use Excel is necessary to master all of its formulas is wrong: knowing at least some of them (arrayed in very simple tutorials) is enough.
To help elucidate how spreadsheets can help in strategic marketing planning, we have separated some examples and their applications. Check out!
Any online marketing campaign needs a clear definition of its editorial calendar so that all contributors can follow it efficiently. This calendar must contain the posting dates, on which social network, what subjects will be addressed in each post, including the time the publication should be made (certain times generate more engagement than others), whether the post should be crossed with other networks, etc.
That's where the use of the spreadsheet comes in, which can compile all this information and provide a broad and clear view of all the steps over the duration of the campaign. There are even several ready-made templates available in the program and other downloadable templates made by experts in the field; these models are usually accompanied by an explanatory document or video for each section of the table.
Creating checklists just got easier
A digital marketing campaign without a good organization can become in a few moments a chaotic situation, with conflicts of agendas and information, and the amount of data and information that must be observed is immense. That is why one must not rely on memory to proceed with all the steps; with a versatile spreadsheet, it is possible to create daily or weekly checklists with all the actions, information and procedures that must be performed over a given period. An easy-to-access checklist that contains all the tasks helps to optimize the time of each collaborator involved in the campaign, and the Excel program has exclusive tools to create dynamic checklists for shared tables. Thus, if an employee performed a certain task and marked it in the table that was completed, the respective lists of other employees are also marked with the name of the person who performed each procedure; this avoids unnecessary rework and messaging to determine who did each task.
Good financial planning is essential for the marketing campaign to be completed efficiently, without obstacles or unforeseen expenses; for outsourced companies, this means a lower profit margin. The important thing here is to ensure that the worksheet is filled in with as much detail as possible and in an organized way by sectors, so that the manager has a complete overview of the expenses involved in the endeavor. It is necessary to have dedicated sections for spending on art for social media, camera, location, if there is an actor or actress hired to make a publication, purchase of publicity spaces, etc…
Learn about some basic Excel tools that can help with planning
To carry out all this planning, it is necessary at least to know the basic tools of the program to be able to use it in a more agile and efficient way.
The first basic formula is Sum (SUM or SOMA). This formula is used, as the name implies, to add information from the chosen cells. To execute, just type in the desired cell, where the result will be displayed the expression “=SUM(X; Y; Z;)”, where X, Y and Z are the cells that contain the values to be added.
The second formula, which is extremely useful for planning, is the Average (AVERAGE or MEDIA). As the name says, this formula automatically calculates the average of the values in certain cells. The way to use it is the same as the sum, explained above, just type the formula “=AVERAGE(X:Y)”, and the program will calculate the average between the values in cells X and Y.
For those who are not so confident in writing formulas, there are numerous ready-made spreadsheet templates made especially for marketing planning, and many of these templates are even free. In addition to Excel, there is also Google Sheets, Google's own spreadsheet program that is already linked to Google Drive, making it easier to share spreadsheets, but essentially the programs are equivalent, and their formulas are the same following the same logic; the choice between one and the other is at the discretion of the manager and personal taste.