Office365 for marketing: magical or pitfall?

Peter Desmyttere
January 24, 2020
⏱ 5 min. read

Excel is without doubt the most frequently used tool by marketers to plan projects, actions or campaigns. And with the arrival of Office365, Microsoft offers a cloud-based marketing suite in which you can seamlessly combine Excel with Outlook, Sharepoint, OneDrive, Teams, Planner, Word and Powerpoint. You have all the tools you need to write your marketing strategy, plan, manage tasks, manage budgets, write briefings and monitor results. No wonder the IT department puts the heels in the sand when marketers want to get a marketing planning tool in-house. In this article I sketch the differences between Office365 and a specialized planning tool, but I also outline the complementarity between the two systems.

First the need, then the system

Before comparing software, let's zoom in on the 10 most common needs of marketers, regardless of the sector they operate in:

  • they want a good overview of all current schedules (campaign planning, media planning, communication planning, project planning, ...).
  • they want to filter schedules according to theme, colleague, project, group, time, ... (zoom in and zoom out on the schedule
  • they want to be able to assign their tasks to the planning (e.g. an e-newsletter from the planning contains 5 concrete tasks for 2 marketing colleagues)
  • they want to set out workflows for recurring actions, campaigns or projects
  • they want to share the planning and tasks with colleagues
  • they want to attach files to the schedule and, if necessary, comment on files (ifv approval or proofing)
  • they want an overview of the distribution of the marketing budget and the progress of the budget 
  • they want to set up and share strategic documents with colleagues
  • they want to report all information from marketing projects to sales, management or board of directors
  • they want to be able to comment quickly on elements on the schedule (chat or discussions)

In the diagram below, I have translated these 10 needs into 7 themes. For Office365 I immediately mentioned the right feature. For an integrated planner like Husky there is a separate module for each theme, but they are all integrated in one application.

So, we now have a better understanding of the most diverse needs of marketers. But we can also start comparing 2 software approaches. The crucial question is: which of the 2 approaches is best suited to meet the needs of marketers? Office365, which offers an integrated experience of apps and services? Or an integrated marketing planner like Husky?

What does 'integrated' mean in both systems?

First zoom in on Office365. This offers an integrated experience of different apps and services. In other words: for many of the above needs an app or service exists within Office365. Without leaving the suite, you can perform various marketing activities. You can quickly hop from a planning in Excel to a briefing in Word, a task list in Outlook or a team discussion in Teams. That works fine for solo marketers or teams with a maximum of 2 to 3 marketers. The last will, certainly within a complex or demanding planning environment, quickly run up against the limits of Office365. The biggest disadvantage of Office365 is the false sense of integration. After all, the separate apps or services do not integrate with each other the way marketers want them to. Here are a few examples:

  • Different sub-plans in Excel cannot be merged into one 'master planning' in Office365 - a lot of marketers complain about the fragmentation of schedules in a multitude of Excel sheets.
  • You cannot apply filtering to different Excel sheets such as 'Show all social media ads in the different schedules' or 'Show all actions for which team ABC is responsible'.
  • In an Excel planning you can't 'hang', hide, filter, finish, assign, assign, comment, ... 
  • in Office365, it is difficult to give external parties (such as freelancers or digital agencies) secure access to the planning, let alone collaborate on the same Office documents.
  • Workflows or processes that have an impact on planning, tasks and budget at the same time are not possible in a fragmented planning environment like Office365.
  • Office365 does not offer the possibility to work with several colleagues on one integrated planning (e.g. a participation in a trade fair) where the planning, tasks, budget, results, strategy or briefings can be seen in one project.
  • Office365 does not have an integrated proofing module to approve or comment on files
  • If you want to follow-up budgets from the planning, or a status of costs in relation to budget, Excel will be able to do a great job - if you want to compare the budget with the results at a glance, or with the planning itself, you will have to switch between different apps in Office365.
  • Word, Powerpoint and Mail are widely used tools for strategic notes or briefings - unfortunately in Office365 they are usually stand-alone and not integrated within the right project or campaign.
  • If your manager requires a report on specific campaigns or projects on a regular basis, in Office365 you will need to combine data from different applications into a PowerPoint report, an Excel dashboard or a specific report in dashboard software such as PowerBI.
  • in Office365 you can set up perfect conversations with Teams with colleagues, management, colleagues or stakeholders - unfortunately those conversations are separate from the discussed planning item.

An integrated marketing planner like Husky is built entirely around meeting the above needs or requirements. Integrated here means that you integrate all functions within a single app. Do you want to merge 2 campaign plans? Do you want to filter different plans? Do you want to see 'your' tasks for different schedules? Do you want to give external parties access to one project with planning, tasks, budget, results and strategy? Do you want to roll out a workflow that has an impact on different themes? Do you want to generate project reports? Do you want to discuss in the planning itself? Then integrated marketing planners like Husky are the only good solution.

Can Husky be integrated with Office365?

Yes, it can! And that's where the solution lies. After all, Office365 is indispensable in companies with medium to large marketing teams. With Office365 and Husky you work in the best of both worlds.

  • Office365 is your basic toolbox for your own organisation, but also for managing collaboration with colleagues, management, external parties and stakeholders.
  • Husky bundles all your operational and strategic marketing data in a single application, perfectly shareable with colleagues, management, external parties and stakeholders.

The diagram below shows some common examples of marketing planning managed in Husky and Office365. Here you can clearly see that it is not an either/or story, but that one and/or a starting point is the most professional approach.

What's that look like in Husky? You can see that in the screenshots below.


Office365 is indispensable in a modern office environment and offers marketers indispensable tools such as Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Mail or OneDrive.

However, Office365 does not solve the problem of fragmentation of marketing data in different apps and services. The risk that marketers lose overview or insight into the multitude of operational or strategic marketing data remains high.

Husky Marketing Planner and Office365 are very complementary. Husky centralizes all operational and strategic marketing planning data so that marketers have an overview and insight into projects or campaigns at all times. Thanks to smart links between Husky Marketing Planner and Office365, marketers can get the best out of both worlds.

Marketing planning with Husky

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