Why Receiving Brand Tracking Data in Spreadsheets Hurts Campaigns

Last updated: 10-13-2020

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Why Receiving Brand Tracking Data in Spreadsheets Hurts Campaigns

Marketing managers are starting to move all of their brand tracking data analysis from spreadsheets to dashboards. Find out how it's saving their campaigns.

Are you still receiving your brand tracking data via a spreadsheet? Or even worse, a PDF document? Oh no. Something is rotten in the state of branding.

OK, so there was a time when Excel was seen as a magical tool for almost anyone in the world of business! And although there still are a few people out there who love a good spreadsheet, there is no denying that they are starting to become quite outdated. They can be overcomplicated for newbies and even those with plenty of experience can still struggle with common stumbling blocks.

So, while we are not usually ones for following the herd, this time we recommend it.  Be like marketing managers who are now starting to move all of their data analysis for brand campaigns onto brand tracking dashboards.

If you are still a loyalist to the spreadsheet, we encourage you to read on. Here are a few ways these outdated processes might actually be damaging your brand campaigns.

We think it’s very fair to say that few people get on well with spreadsheets.

But why? The answer is because they just don’t know how to use them correctly. When you attempt to incorrectly use a spreadsheet, it can end up being a very frustrating task, especially if you aren’t already a numbers person.

Even those who need to use spreadsheets at work might try to do all that they can to avoid them. This can end up alienating an individual or a whole team, and that’s a problem that no workplace needs on its plate.

If the person or team that comes up with a fantastic campaign idea that has the potential to drive more growth for your target audience, their aversion to spreadsheets might prevent it from being implemented.

In order to grow using brand tracking data, you need to make sure the insights are accessible to all.

If someone in the marketing team is completely new to spreadsheets, they might find them fairly tricky to analyze. Even those who know a thing or two about spreadsheet data could still potentially misinterpret what they see.

There’s no kind of visualization with spreadsheets, and anyone who uses them needs to be eagle-eyed to spot important nuances in pages of raw data. Likewise, it is difficult to determine what is important data and what isn't. This means that important data can often be hidden.

Teams that stick with spreadsheets could ultimately make poor choices or take the wrong decision because of misinterpretation. Not only that, they run the risk of missing new chances for a growth campaign or might splurge more of their budget into campaigns that bring poor results.

Even spreadsheet whizz kids can find it difficult to draw comparisons between different spreadsheets. Just imagine the difficulty of the first two points multiplied by 100. Comparisons between target audience and competitors is hard enough at times without having to pinpoint important information across two spreadsheets. Not only that, comparing data over time is much tougher. After all, spreadsheets don’t store historical data.

Before you say it, creating one big database isn't really going to solve the issue. If you were to continually compile a massive database of every single piece of data that you ever receive, it will be extremely time-consuming. And it is likely that your computer would crash. No one’s got time for that, especially not in today’s busy workplace! Plus, you are very likely to lose historical data through the awful copy/paste task of having to keep your database up to date.

It will also end up being very messy. If you thought spreadsheets were already hard to analyze and quite alienating, this mess will make them seem much worse!

When you are paying for a brand tracking service, you want to know that you are getting plenty for your money. So, it’d be a pretty bad show if your supplier were entering data manually.

What if that were the case, though?

Manually entered brand tracking data could be littered with multiple errors (as already recognized in the previous point). We don’t really want to think about just how many there could be hidden in a spreadsheet. We especially don’t want to think about how these errors could negatively affect your brand campaigns! But maybe you should think about it if your brand tracking software is still presenting results via spreadsheets.

When you are analyzing data in a spreadsheet, you are restricted to looking at the categories and groups that are listed in it. There’s no chance to go beyond what you can see in front of you. Maybe you initially set up your brand tracker to track men aged 18-25 who play PS4. But now you want to track men aged 26-35 who play PS4. The data might be in the spreadsheet but good luck trying to narrow it down to find the answers you are looking for.

On the other hand, if you use a dashboard for that data analysis of your brand campaigns, then you can easily delve very deep into the data and find new insights. You’ll be able to easily segment niche audiences. Being able to do this is essential so that you don’t risk missing out on potential new audiences.

It’s not impossible to share spreadsheets with others. You’ll be able to grant access and send it to a select group. But that is not enough. Even with cloud computing solutions, how can you be sure that the data doesn't accidentally get deleted or changed?

As transparency and trust are important in building a strong team, though, it’s best to have the data accessible to everyone. Not just a small group.

Sticking with data on spreadsheets could lead to some team members feeling left out of the loop. Especially considering spreadsheets don't provide real-time data. The data they receive once a week may already be outdated. Eventually, this could lead to a very demotivated wider team. That could be very evident in the effort they put into all your future brand campaigns.

From reading this post, you should take away that spreadsheets are hurting your brand campaigns.

So why are you still using brand tracking software that provides them?

If you were to opt for a reliable brand tracker with modern data sharing functions, your whole team will then be able to enjoy:

A really good, advanced brand tracker will have a dashboard that your team can log into and use to collaborate. The main thing to note about these dashboards is that they are so intuitive even a self-confessed technophobe will be able to use them. With them you can instantly see your brand tracking results and perform the actions listed below in no time. This will build confidence in team members who are normally wary when it comes to numbers.

Data and insights can be brought up with just a click of a button. It’s easy to spot changes and any anomalies that might crop up in specific data sets. Why is this important? Because being able to see changes is the entire point of brand tracking. Your brand marketing campaigns will be so much better when you have precise data as to how your brand health is changing over time as a result of brand campaigns, and how you compare across target audiences and competition.

You’ll be able to split and organize your data however you want. Splitting target audiences and other sections of data makes it even easier to analyze and deep dive into every insight. Remember, great marketing comes from being able to connect with your target audience and, these days, target audiences are niche audiences. Therefore, knowing their perception of your brand is vital. Plus, audiences can change over time. You also want to be able to segment data in order to see if any possible new target audiences are performing well for you.

All of your team members will be able to log into the dashboard and have access to the exact same data. Amazing!

You aren’t limited by size and amount of data with a brand tracking dashboard as you are with a spreadsheet. You’ll be able to store large amounts of historical data, quickly sift through it to get to what you need, and segment to discover new insights - and each member of your team can do this easily and quickly.

Now do you get it? Do you see why brand tracking data via spreadsheets can do more harm than good? It's time to leave the stone age and get your hands on some advanced brand tracking software.

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