Why It's Time to Ditch Spreadsheets for Managing Marketing Projects

By Jodie Byass


In an increasingly digital world, where technology has revolutionized the way businesses operate, it might come as a surprise that a significant number of creative teams and marketers continue to rely on spreadsheets like Excel or Google Sheets to manage their projects, tasks, and resources. Spreadsheets have been a staple in offices for decades, offering a simple and familiar way to organize data. However, as the landscape of project management evolves, it becomes evident that spreadsheets are ill-equipped to handle the complexities and demands of modern marketing projects.

While spreadsheets can be incredibly useful for individual task tracking and basic data management, they prove to be inadequate for managing marketing projects on a grander scale. The dynamic nature of the marketing industry demands a more comprehensive and tailored approach to project management. As businesses strive to stay competitive and streamline their processes, it's crucial to recognize the limitations and common pitfalls of relying on spreadsheets.

In this blog, we delve into the reasons why spreadsheets fall short in the realm of marketing project management and highlight the need for a more efficient and specialized solution. We will explore the various challenges that marketers and project managers face when attempting to use spreadsheets for complex projects and introduce a better alternative: marketing project management software like admation.


Why Do Businesses Stick with Spreadsheets?

  1. Familiarity Breeds Reluctance to Change: Many creative teams and marketers have been using spreadsheets for years, becoming comfortable with their basic functionalities. The idea of transitioning to new software might seem daunting, and some may perceive it as an unnecessary disruption. However, clinging to familiarity can stifle progress and hinder efficiency, leaving teams grappling with outdated tools and inefficient workflows.

  2. Misconception of Cost and Complexity: Some may assume that marketing project management software is expensive and complicated to implement. In reality, many modern solutions offer user-friendly interfaces and cost-effective pricing models tailored to businesses of all sizes. The benefits of streamlined project management, improved collaboration, and enhanced productivity far outweigh the initial investment.

  3. "It Works for Now" Mentality: For small or straightforward projects, spreadsheets might seem sufficient. However, as marketing campaigns grow in scope and complexity, using spreadsheets becomes increasingly impractical. The lack of automation, collaboration features, and real-time tracking can lead to bottlenecks and missed deadlines, impacting project success.

Despite these reasons, it's essential to recognize that as business and technology adapt, project management practices must also evolve. The creative industry demands agility, collaboration, and transparency to thrive in a competitive landscape. Specialized marketing project management software offers a comprehensive solution designed to address the unique challenges faced by creative teams and marketers.


The Pitfalls of Using Spreadsheets for Marketing Project Management:


Customization and Set-Up Hassles:

Each marketing project is unique, and setting up spreadsheets for different campaigns can be time-consuming. Whether you use copied templates or create them from scratch, it's an inefficient use of your project manager's time. Moreover, the quality of your spreadsheet's setup depends on how much time your manager has available. Using marketing project management software allows for greater customization without the manual effort, saving time and ensuring consistency.

Inability to Assign Tasks and Deadlines:

Managing marketing projects begins with clear task assignment and deadlines. Spreadsheets lack the capability to assign tasks to individual users effectively, often relying on complex notes and comments. As a result, tracking task progress and approvals becomes cumbersome. In contrast, marketing project management software streamlines the approval process and provides real-time visibility into task status, ensuring efficient collaboration.

Difficulty in Tracking Time and Managing Resources:

Spreadsheets are clunky for workflow management and resource allocation. When someone fails to update their information, the entire project's balance is affected. Additionally, tracking time spent on tasks becomes manual and challenging, leading to inefficiencies. Marketing project management software offers streamlined resource management and real-time tracking, enabling efficient allocation of resources and better project monitoring.

Inadequate Asset Management:

Managing marketing projects often requires storing essential information in a centralized location, such as client briefs, project estimates, artwork, and presentation strategies. Spreadsheets cannot handle this effectively, often requiring external organization. This opens up opportunities for errors and potential data loss, especially if using shared servers. Marketing project management software provides secure central storage with controlled access, minimizing the risk of accidental alterations to critical files.

Collaboration Woes:

Collaborating on spreadsheets with multiple data, images, and files across various worksheets can be confusing and frustrating for team members. Losing work, accessing outdated versions, or accidental alterations are common issues that hinder collaboration. Specialized marketing project management software offers smoother collaboration with streamlined access to relevant files and better version control.

Limited Scalability:

As businesses grow, spreadsheets become increasingly burdensome and outdated. Structural changes or new team members can strain the capabilities of spreadsheets, hindering productivity. In contrast, marketing project management software like admation allows for seamless scalability, adapting to growing demands and changes in workload.

Manual and Difficult Reporting:

Creating regular reports spanning several months can be challenging with spreadsheets. Lack of insights in spreadsheets for managing marketing projects makes tracking roadblocks, time management, and team workloads a manual process, resulting in fragmented overviews. Marketing project management software provides automated reporting, offering a comprehensive and actionable overview of project progress.


Spreadsheets might have served their purpose in the past, but for modern marketing project management, it's time to make the switch to dedicated software solutions. Admation offers a comprehensive suite of features, from campaign brief to final approval, empowering businesses to manage their marketing projects efficiently and effectively. Embrace the future of marketing project management with admation and experience improved collaboration, streamlined workflows, and better project insights. Together, we'll unlock the full potential of your creative team and propel your marketing projects to new heights.

If your team is still dependent on outdated tools to manage your projects, it may be time to embrace a new approach. Begin by taking our Self Assessment, which serves as an excellent starting point for evaluating your current practices. Get started today by Downloading our free Checklist here!

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