Not Another Pie Chart or Excel File for Marketers

Marketers need to break their Excel file habit and focus on the solution that drives results with PIM.

Not another pie chart or Excel file please for modern marketers. There are thousands upon thousands of marketing tools available today. In fact, the latest marketing technology landscape supergraphic was just released and the current number of solutions has now reached 7,040.

However, even though the options for marketers are staggering, there happens to be one system that is predominately used across all industries and business lines globally: Excel.

No matter what your role may be in your current organization, the likelihood that you’ve used Excel for budget tracking, project management, analyzing data, or constructing charts is fairly high.

Sure, Excel can help you get the job done if you work in a financial based role. But for marketers, Excel is a pretty gruesome process and not something teams typically look forward to jumping into every day. Spreadsheets may help to get simple tasks done, however, it’s simply not enough in today’s real-time, automation-driven market. Especially if you work in e-commerce and are responsible for getting products to market and care about driving a positive customer experience.

1.  Time – there’s just not enough of it

Excel does not allow for the flow of real-time data which has become part of the problem. Having to configure spreadsheets and populate specific formulas that talk to one another is extremely time-consuming. We spend hours upon hours in Excel creating reports and incorporating data from different outlets to analyze and track KPIs, run reports for departments within marketing, or measure how specific campaigns are performing.

It’s just not a great tool for managing product information.

That is best left to a product information management (PIM) solutions. By implementing a proper PIM solution, marketers can get back all of those hours spent in Excel and focus on delivering a winning customer experience. No more rows and columns with Excel. Modern marketers need more.

2. Human error is inevitable

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Excel is that it is used to house and manipulate vast amounts of product data. Where the inefficiencies lie is with the person inputting the data itself. Yes, we are all human. And yes, we all make mistakes from time to time. It’s human nature. But when it comes to analyzing data and putting it to use to make more informed, real-time decisions, there is little room for mistakes. Having a PIM solution in place helps decrease errors in data, streamlines collaboration across an organization, and enables enrichment of data at the same time.

Excel? Not so much.

3. Visually hard to consume

As if Excel isn’t frustrating enough for marketers, presenting vast amounts of data in an easy-to-consume way is impossible. Excel falls short when it comes to being able to easily identify trends or opportunities. Is it user-friendly and collaborative in nature?

You better think twice before diving into Excel for that.

Although Google Sheets do help slightly when it comes to being able to edit and collaborate in real-time when working with other colleagues, it is only a small step up from Excel. Functionality is still limiting and does not scale.

Selecting the right martech solution is essential for teams to remain agile and responsive to evolving consumer demands and market requirements today.

Teams working in e-commerce need a solution to enable:

  • A user-friendly experience
  • User-specific dashboards for data manipulation
  • Ability to glean insights easily
  • A central hub for data storage and enrichment

Today’s marketers need a solution that helps them use data to make better decisions and run a business.

Without a PIM solution, marketers, product teams, and creatives are using Excel sheets to manage enormous amounts of data. It’s ineffective at best. In a rapidly moving, tech-driven market, Excel has quickly become an antiquated solution for modern marketers and e-commerce teams alike.

Top performing teams need improved efficiency, better business results, and a platform that is risk-averse to error-prone processes. It’s time to take the next step and assess how you can put your data and your team to better use. Avoid Excel for managing product information because modern marketers don’t need another pie chart, they need a solution.

Want to learn more about the benefits of PIM for managing product data? Read the Building the Business Case for PIM by Ventana Analysts.

Written by

Erika Goldwater, CIPP

Erika Goldwater is the director of global communications for inRiver. An industry veteran, Erika lives and breathes B2B marketing, content, public relations, and data privacy. She's a Boston marketer who hails from Baltimore.