Put Down The Excel Marketing Calendar

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Unless your marketing team consists of one person, it’s time to put down the Excel marketing calendar.

Excel Marketing Calendar Template

If you are a retailer with a large marketing team, you are probably guilty of having several Excel marketing calendar templates floating around on your shared drives. Those of you with Excel ninjas on staff will likely have several spreadsheets linked to one central marketing calendar. Sure that seems like a good idea, but then there are probably a couple of folks on staff whose sole job is keeping up with updates and changes to the files.

Even with dedicated staff, it isn’t possible they can capture every single change being made to events across the files. The lack of an audit trail is frankly scary; who changed the main offer on the email from 10% to 20% off? Change logs that come from audit trails are immensely useful when it comes to driving workflows and notifying team members of edits. The impact of having this is even more apparent when you work with multiple agencies.

If that didn’t convince you, what happens when you need to pull up all the events you ran in week 33 last year? Let’s dust off that Excel file from last year. Now, let’s compare it with what you’re planning on doing this year. Switching between spreadsheets is awfully annoying isn’t? Okay, maybe we can copy over the data into this year’s file, perhaps just the circular and website events so the marketing team isn’t scrolling forever to find their info. That’s terrible; now you aren’t playing with a full deck of cards by not allowing complete access to your historical marketing data.

We haven’t even touched on the greatest failure of Excel marketing calendars: their inability to show the linkages between events and campaigns. Drawing arrows on your spreadsheet doesn’t count!

Integrated Marketing Calendar

How is the modern retail marketer supposed to visualize their carefully crafted integrated marketing campaign with Excel? Let alone the associated reporting and media review as the campaign is built and executed over a period of several months.

To be honest we aren’t sure how marketing executives cope with reviewing their marketing calendars in this format. Printing them out doesn’t make it any better, squashing that much data on to 11×17 makes retail veterans shudder, and then, squint as they attempt read it. Reviews need to be online in a collaborative setting, or better yet on everyone’s iPad.

The future of your marketing calendar isn’t just about seeing it on the iPad, it’s about tagging and storing all your marketing activity for reporting and reference. It’s about pulling up an integrated marketing campaign with a single click, and being able to actually see all of your media in a single place. It’s about taking a step into 2013 and using what some of the largest retailers in the world are already leveraging to their advantage.

Find out more about the retail marketing calendar software of the future.

More About Marketing Calendars

Checklist for Rolling Out a Marketing Calendar

Filling in the Blanks…The Empty Retail Marketing Calendar

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