IMCOT: Google Sheets Formulas Explained

Have you ever found yourself staring at a Google Sheets document, completely lost on how to perform a certain calculation or function? Trust me, I've been there too. But have no fear! In this article, I'll break down some of the key formulas that every marketer should know, making your life a lot easier and your spreadsheets a lot more effective.

The Basics: Sum, Average, and Count

Let's start with the basics: sum, average, and count. These three formulas will come in handy more times than you can count (pun intended).

  • SUM: This formula does exactly what you would expect it to do -- it adds up a series of numbers. For example, if you want to add up all the revenue from a certain campaign, you would use the sum formula.
  • AVERAGE: Want to know the average click-through rate of your email campaigns? The average formula is your friend. It adds up a series of numbers and divides it by the total number of values, giving you the average.
  • COUNT: This formula counts the number of cells within a range that contain numbers. For example, if you have a list of email subscribers and you want to know how many people are on it, the count formula will give you the answer.

VLOOKUP: Look Up Data with Ease

Now, let’s move onto VLOOKUP. It’s one of the most useful formulas out there to look up data from a table. With VLOOKUP, all you need to know is the value you want to look up and where it's located within a table. From there, VLOOKUP will fetch and display the value from another column in the same row. Pretty magical, right?

Here’s an example: Let’s say you have a spreadsheet containing a list of customers and their contact information. One of the columns lists the customer’s region (North America, Europe, Asia, etc.). You want to run an analysis on the number of customers in each region, but the information isn't all in one place. VLOOKUP can come to the rescue. With a simple formula, you can quickly look up the region for each customer and create your analysis.

IF: Create Conditional Logic

IF statements can be immensely helpful in making sense of complex data. This formula allows you to create conditional logic within a spreadsheet. For example, if you’re interested in analyzing email open rates for a particular campaign and want to know which contacts have opened the email versus those who haven’t, IF statements can do the trick. Here’s how it works:

  • The IF function tests a condition to see if it's true or false
  • If the condition is true, it performs one calculation
  • If the condition is false, it performs a different calculation

Let's say that you want to see which customers have opened an email and which haven’t. You could use the following formula:


Here, the formula states that if B2 (the cell containing the open/closed status of the email) says "Open," the formula will return "Yes." If B2 says anything else (such as "Closed"), the formula will return "No."

CONCATENATE: Combine Data with Ease

The CONCATENATE formula makes it easy to combine data from multiple cells into one. Let’s say you have a large spreadsheet containing customer information, including first names, last names, and email addresses. You want to send a personalized email to each customer, but you don’t want to manually type out each name and email address.

This is where CONCATENATE comes in handy. With this formula, you can easily combine the first name, last name, and email address into one cell. Here’s how it works:

=CONCATENATE(B2," ",C2," ","<",D2,">")

In this example, the formula combines the values in cells B2, C2, and D2 (the first name, last name, and email address), separated by spaces. It also adds angle brackets around the email address to make it a clickable hyperlink. The result is a personalized email greeting that you can copy and paste directly into your email marketing platform.

Pivot Tables: Analyze Your Data like a Pro

Last but not least, let's talk about pivot tables. Pivot tables are essentially a way to summarize large amounts of data and create reports from that data. Here’s how to create one:

  • Select the range of cells you want to include in your pivot table
  • Click on the "Data" tab in the top menu
  • Select "Pivot Table" from the dropdown menu
  • Drag and drop the fields you want to include in your analysis (such as campaign name, clicks, and conversions) into the Rows and Columns boxes
  • Choose the calculation you want to use (such as sum or average) to summarize the data within each cell of the pivot table

Once you’ve created your pivot table, you can easily change the way the data is displayed by dragging and dropping fields around. For example, you could switch the rows and columns around to analyze your data in a different way.

And there you have it -- some of the most essential Google Sheets formulas that every marketer should know! Now go forth and create some killer spreadsheets.

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