Spreadsheets Vs. Editorial Calendar Software- 3 Reasons to Switch Now

By: Chris Thompson on August 12, 2015 Categories: Corporate Communications

Everyday I talk with our customers and prospects about how they’re attempting to manage the ever more challenging landscape of content creation, and the feedback is pretty much always the same. A mix of spreadsheets, Google calendars, emails, file folders, and sometimes project management tools. This spaghetti mix of single purpose tools, manageable when teams are a few people, and when channels are minimal, can last sometimes a surprisingly long time- as long as people don’t want fast answers to timely questions, or as long as they don’t mind chasing down latest versions, conversations, email strings, files, etc.

Here are 3 reasons that drive their often inevitable decision to move away from that mess, and on to a purpose-built content marketing editorial calendar software framework like Marketing.AI:

1. Visibility

Spreadsheets are terrible at providing “at-a-glance” visibility into what’s happening in an organization.  I’ve reviewed numerous examples of multi-tab spreadsheets for marketing teams, each tab representing maybe a week, or a month, or a campaign, or a channel, or a region, or a division. Then try to mash these multiple tabs into a calendar view. Or build your own pivot table to easily sort numerous types of meta-data attached to each content item. (I know I LOVE building pivot tables…not!) Oh, and then quickly pull a nugget of an answer out of all those tabs to share a piece of insight your VP needs, for their meeting this afternoon.

Great Editorial Calendar Software provides INSTANT visibility to any user in the organization. View your content plans in a calendar, in a list, by user, by content type, by channel, or by any combination of elements that matter to the question at hand. If you can’t answer questions quickly and easily in your spreadsheets, then you NEED Editorial Calendar Software.

2. Alignment

Organizations spend significant time and effort defining their winning strategies, choosing what to do, and what not to do, with their limited resources. Plans, meetings, presentations, more meetings, changes, execution, hopes of detailed alignment, and then re-visiting what worked, and what didn’t. Is any of this easy? Of course not. Organizations succeed and fail every day, for any number of reasons, so why not take at least one pitfall off the playing field- misalignment of strategy with execution. Dare I say it- spreadsheets suck at alignment.

Great Editorial Calendar Software enables your team to capture your strategies, customer personas, customer journey stages, interest areas, and any other criteria that matters to your business- and link it to any of the activities that your team is pursuing. What good is strategy if its not connected to what you execute. If the strategic dots are not connected to your execution plan, it’s like jumping into a car without a steering wheel. You WILL crash.


3. Truth

When is that white paper, presentation, blog post, web page, eBook, newsletter, social post, new video, new product launch document, event brochure, due? Who is working on it? Do they have what they need? Who’s reviewing it? Does it need to be approved? By whom? Is it connected to our key strategy this month? Should we even be working on it? What do we have on file that can be re-used, saving us time and money? Where are those files? In what folder, share drive, or individual’s computer, or email string? Try getting to just a few of these answers in a spreadsheet!

Great Editorial Calendar Software is the holder of TRUTH. The one source of truth. The one place anyone in the organization can go to see what’s happening. When. And does it matter? When we started sharing our Editorial Calendar Software- and our vision for the future- with potential customers, they shared their doubts that any one solution could do so much, and could become the one source of truth for their content. Those customers are now believers, and our vision for where we can take our Editorial Calendar Software is just getting started.

Ready to taste the Kool-Aid, and leave your ugly spreadsheets behind? Start now with a FREE Trial of Marketing.AI.