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Discover The Best Advertising Agency Software of 2019

By 14/06/2019 No Comments

This will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best advertising agency software and other media planning software.

I’ll recommend some top creative agency project management software to consider for your company’s needs. I will also explain how different advertising project management software can help you automate some administrative tasks in order to increase productivity. You’ll find evaluation criteria for the best agency management system; along with easy-to-digest summaries to help you with your comparison.

Quickly Compare & Evaluate The 10 Best Marketing Agency Software

Advertising Agency Software Logo Soup

Advertising firms have a lot on their plate. From art directing to accounting, they are responsible for all aspects of the advertising and marketing plan. No wonder many digital ad agency companies are looking for media planning software to help ease the weight on their shoulders.

Often times, agencies get caught up in familiar problems, like too much reporting with not enough optimising. Or rebuilding credibility and fighting for space in a hyper-competitive market. Marketing agency software can help get your ducks in a row.

Without further delay, here is some of the best ad agency software on the market right now.

Advertising Agency Software FAQ

What does advertising agency software do?

Depending on the type and brand of software, advertising agency software can do many things: project management, resource allocation, customer relationship management (CRM), accounting and billing software, digital marketing tools, reporting software, and more.

Why use software to manage an agency?

Ad agencies have a lot of moving parts, a lot of clients and customers and a lot of internal needs. Therefore, using software will decrease the administrative burden on employees while increasing levels of organization, productivity and efficiency.

What types of tools do ad agencies typically use?

Ad agencies may need software for project management, resource allocation, CRM for advertising agencies, accounting and billing software, digital marketing software, and more. You will find that many ad agencies use software that covers two or more of these needs, like Oracle Netsuite, Wrike and Clarizen.

Looking for a different sort of software for your advertisement agency? Check out our other resources for top software to manage teams, resources, and projects:

  1. What does every ad agency depend on? Communication, communication, communication! If you need some communication tool recommendations, we’ve got you.
  2. Some teams forgo a robust planning stage because of hubris. But everything good project can benefit from come collaborative mind mapping to sync up the team.
  3. Doing agency agile? Check out these agile project management tools.

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Advertising Agency Management Software Comparison Criteria

What do we look for in marketing agency management software? The guidelines below will help you understand parts of our process.

User Interface (UI)

How well-designed is it? Does it offer clear displays and intuitive navigation? Multi-user interface: Enable numerous users on the same system.

Usability

Is this easy to learn and master? Are there tutorials and training? Does the company offer good tech and user support? Provide different logins for each user. Personalize the permissions and available functionality for different groups of users.

Features & Functionality

How many of the key media planning software features and functions does it provide, and how powerful are they? Specifically, I looked for:

    1. Project management: This includes task management both for your team and for client-facing tasks, project dashboards for quickly tracking progress, and easy file sharing and collaboration. It can also include time tracking (although some tools achieve this through a third-party integration).
    2. Resource management: Should enable you to easily search for resources and skills in order to assign them to allocate them to tasks and projects. Includes scheduling features that let you set milestones, deadlines, and dependencies between tasks.
    3. Client & prospect management: Includes communication, outreach, and reporting tools that let you manage your agency’s prospecting and clients. This may include a client portal as well as the ability to easily take snapshots of project data like time and expenses in order to deliver client reports.
    4. Finance management: Advertising agency billing software should capitalize on all your project and resource data to offer accurate forecasting and estimation. Can also include invoice and billing features to streamline your flow from first pitch to final invoice. In some cases, a module for managing media and procurement is useful, helping to manage things like purchase and insertion orders.
    5. Reporting: Do the media planning softwares have adequate reporting systems regarding time logging, finances, resource management and other options? Is data collection and organization easy and helpful?

Integrations

Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations?

Value for $

How appropriate is the price for its features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent and flexible?

The 10 Top Advertising Agency Software Overviews

Digital marketing agency software comes in all shapes and sizes. That’s because no two ad agencies are exactly alike. If you have ever tried to start an ad agency you’ll know this to be true. Each agency will have different strengths, a different style and different organization. That’s why it is important to consider all your options and look at problems from different angles.

You can use the simple overviews of each tool below to understand how each tool stands out from other advertising agency software.

  • Free 14-day trial
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • $35/m for 1st user + $5/month/user

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

100%

Integrations

50%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

88%

1. FunctionFox – Simple online PM tools created by an ad agency for ad agencies, creative teams, and PR, digital, and marketing firms.

Over 100,00 daily users—from advertising agencies, graphic designers, PR, digital, marketing firms and in-house creative teams—rely on FunctionFox for online timesheet and project management tools. This ad agency management software is ideal for creative professionals, FunctionFox allows you to customize your own dashboard so that the data you need daily is always front and center.

Some primary features include: timesheet(s) with a stopwatch timer, estimates and budget tracking, actionable to-do lists, availability and traffic reports, custom job intake forms, an advanced report builder and more. They also offer software add-ons like mobile app access for Android and iPhone, file exchange software, and additional invoicing/quoting software.

FunctionFox screenshot - Advertising Agency Software

FunctionFox dashboard with timesheets, to-do lists and calendars front and center.

User friendly UI makes it easy to onboard new staff and every subscription tier lets you take advantage of tutorials from their customer service technicians so no one is ever left in the dust. Their customer-first approach is proven by a help desk without obnoxious phone trees or long hold times.

External app integration has not been incorporated into the software yet, which is something we would hope to see in the future; the most you can do is download your data as a CSV or XML file and upload elsewhere if need be.

FunctionFox costs from $5/user/month on top of the very first user being $35/user/month and offers a 14 day free trial.

Overall Score: 8.8
Visit Website

  • 30 days free trial.
  • from $2.50/project/month.

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

100%

Integrations

90%

Value for $

80%

Features & Function

90%

Overall Score

92%

2. Intervals – Robust agency management tool with plenty of useful time, expense, and task tracking features for generating reports.

Intervals is a great tool for agencies that need to manage work, track its value, and quickly prepare invoices for clients to get paid for their time. It’s used by advertising agencies as well as digital strategy agencies, web design and development shops, QA teams in larger IT companies, and other use cases.

Intervals screenshot -Project Dashboard - Advertising Agency Software

Agencies using Intervals will find a trove of useful features including project management (detailed task management, scheduling, file sharing, time tracking), as well as resource allocation, client management tools like invoicing and client reports. Overall, while it doesn’t have live chat and its document sharing features are on the basic side, Intervals is a well-rounded tool for making agencies run more smoothly.

Perhaps the best part of this tool is the reporting features. Because the tool includes time and expense management tools, you can also generate a variety of meaningful internal reports to find out exactly where your team’s time and efforts are going. You can also get a higher-level view of your agency, providing answers to questions like, “Which client have we done the most work for this year?” or “Who is our most billable employee?” The idea behind intervals is that you can keep track of every detail on every job so you’ll never again lose money on a project.

Interval’s integrations include QuickBooks online for invoicing, QuickBooks desktop for time data, Xero, FreshBooks, Slack, and Google Drive.

Intervals is priced per project, and costs from $2.50 per active project per month ($59 per month for 25 projects, 25 GB, and unlimited users). They offer a free 30 day trial (no credit card required).

Overall Score: 9.2
Visit Website

  • free trial
  • free demo
  • from $30/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

80%

Usability

80%

Integrations

60%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

82%

4. Admation – Project management and workflow management software designed specifically for marketing teams and ad agencies.

Admation offers project management solutions, resource management, online proofing and approval workflow, marketing asset management, and more. A real-time overview on workflow with customizable notifications and alerts ensures a robust overview of any project. Admation works as a hub for project management, resource management, approval workflow and asset management all at once.

Features include briefing templates, project resource templates, project timelines, scheduling and assigning tasks, document approval, capacity planning, department dashboard & calendar, resource allocation, timesheets and time tracking, a complete brand archive, permissions & access levels, tags & keywords, a secure digital storage system for your finalized ads, and more.

Admation screenshot - Advertising Agency Software

Admation lays out in-progress projects, including deliverables list and metadata.

Integrations include email systems and Mediaocean, formally BCC, which is ad agency finance software.

Email integration isn’t optimized for the platform and much of the UX here and beyond isn’t as user-friendly as it could be. The comment and revision system on documents is clunky to navigate with frequent load times.

Admation costs from $30 per user per month and offers a free demo and free trial upon request.

Overall Score: 8.2
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  • 14 days free trial.
  • from $45/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

90%

Integrations

90%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

90%

Overall Score

92%

5. LiquidPlanner – Project management software packed with resource-driven and smart scheduling technology.

LiquidPlanner’s smart scheduling tools allows for real-time updates as your project changes scope, incorporating intelligent, resource-driven scheduling technology in order to do so. Features beyond the above include contextual collaboration (including @-mentions and hashtags), time and budget tracking, advanced analytics, workload and deadline updates,

With cross-project visibility, data and statuses are easily accessible to give a snapshot of a project’s current state. Estimations incorporate best- and worst-case scenarios for flexibility and rich resource management means that you truly have your fingers on the pulse of each live project.

LiquidPlanner screenshot - Advertising Agency Software

LiquidPlanner breaks down tasks, owners and hours used/remaining with intuitive UX.

Integrations with Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box let you upload files and link live documents. Access to a wider berth of integration options are also available through Zapier.

Invoicing and billing capabilities would make a world of difference in creating the perfect PM experience with LiquidPlanner. Onboarding is generally a bit time-intensive, although UX complexity is only partly to blame—the wealth of robust features plays into this, too.

LiquidPlanner costs from $45/user/month with a minimum of 5 users and they offer a 14-day free trial.

Overall Score: 9.2
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  • free demo
  • $30-40/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

90%

Integrations

80%

Value for $

100%

Features & Function

90%

Overall Score

92%

6. Workfront – Work management platform focused on connecting your teams and tools and automating your workflows.

Workfront helps you manage your work in a single location while also automating administrative busy work to free your creative team up for other tasks. Features include the ability to standardize and automate forms and tasks, automate the review and approval processes during revisions, standardizing processes and creating workflow templates with built-in compliance steps and more.

Workfront screenshot - Advertising Agency Software

Workfront’s colorful, straight-forward Gantt chart software takes a snapshot of a busy schedule.

Workfront sports quite a few integration options, from Slack, Jira, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Adobe Creative Cloud and more.

Building templates can be a bit of a time sink that may deter some users from taking full advantage of the software’s capabilities. Because the software is so customizable, it’s an attractive choice for anyone who wants to really track the minutiae of every project detail.

Workfront costs from $30-40/user/month and offers a free demo.

Overall Score: 9.2
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  • 30 days free trial.
  • from $45/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

90%

Usability

80%

Integrations

90%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

90%

7. Clarizen – Fully-featured, enterprise-grade software to manage your entire agency process with portfolio, resource, and workflow tools.

Clarizen is a collaborative work management system that offers everything from resource management, PPM, communication software, time management, task assignment and auditing, project tracking and more. Clarizen allows you to manage many projects and campaigns by interconnecting all aspects, from approval request to bug reports.

Some features Clarizen offers include an easily searchable interface, full reporting suite, real-time data combined with automated workflows, communication alignment between teams, a 360° view of resources and tasks, timesheet and estimate capabilities, and more.

Clarizen screenshot - Advertising Agency Software

Clarizen capacity planning chart, mapping Demand VS Capacity in various visuals.

Customizations to the dashboards and reporting tend to be a bit cumbersome and time consuming, same for the expense and invoice tools. However, what it lacks in ease-of-use it makes up for in sheer volume of customization slots: up to 10,000 custom fields, 500 custom actions, 100 custom pages and/or panels and more.

Clarizen integrates well with software like ServiceNow, Jira, SharePoint, Salesforce, Box, Google Drive, Oracle, Excel, Slack and Microsoft Teams. They also have their own apps marketplace where you can download free additional add-ons depending on your needs, like a Clarizen Bot, Android or iPhone App, and more.

Clarizen costs from $45/user/month and offers a 30-day free trial.

Overall Score: 9
Visit Website

  • free demo
  • from $50/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

80%

Usability

80%

Integrations

80%

Value for $

100%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

88%

8. Workamajig – Management tool for creative and marketing agencies as well as in-house teams in the creative industry.

Workamajig‘s responsive web design works on your phone, tablet and PC so that you can access CRM, team and vendor collaboration, project management, resource management and accounting with ease.

Additional features include collaboration platforms, elimination of manual data input, visibility of staff and managers, generate timely reports, qualify new sales leads, manage CRM initiatives and more.

Workamajig screenshot - Advertising Agency Software

Workamajig breaks down workflow schedule by hours, personnel, tasks, projects and more.

Workamajig integrates with Emma email marketing natively and more options through Zapier.

The UX is a bit complex and not so user friendly at times, particularly since their switch away from Flash with their new Platinum version. Privacy of posts—AKA having them not visible to those not on a particular job—would be preferable.

Workamajig costs from $50 per user per month and offers a free demo.

Overall Score: 8.8
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  • free demo
  • from $19/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

100%

Integrations

90%

Value for $

100%

Features & Function

90%

Overall Score

96%

9. Vogsy – Sophisticated but simple professional services automation built on G Suite.

Vogsy is professional services automation technology built on G Suite with plenty of tools for tools for project, resource and budget planning. Because it relies on the Google user interface, it’s intuitive to learn and makes for easy onboarding. This multifaceted platform is capable of project organization from estimate to invoicing and includes a robust view of each client engagement.

Features include team collaboration and document management; the ability to set milestones, deliverables and activities; revenue, cost tracking and projection; goal and KPI setting and tracking; customer & project health monitoring; full P&L Reporting; automated document management; and more.

Vogsy screenshot - Advertising Agency Software

Vogsy is a G-Suite partner app that advertising agencies can use for branding and beyond.

Besides the obvious integration with Google platforms and software, Vogsy works with Salesforce, Jiras, Hubspot, Quickbooks, Xero, Copper and more apps natively or through Zapier.

Without manually limiting notifications, you will soon find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer volume of them. This is particularly true if you manage multiple active projects. Standard charts are not customizable, which is a missed opportunity.

Vogsy costs from $19 per user per month and offers a free demo.

Overall Score: 9.6
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  • 60-day money back guarantee
  • from $49/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

100%

Integrations

50%

Value for $

100%

Features & Function

90%

Overall Score

88%

10. FunctionPoint – Agency management software designed specifically for creative teams.

FunctionPoint covers all aspects of PPM for ad agencies with features that include: a collaborative client information database, expense and time tracking, invoicing and billing options, briefs and proposal templates, reports for business intelligence and forecasting, and more.

Profit tracking and reporting lets you prioritize projects based on ROI while timeline and delivery date functions help to keep resource limitations in mind as you add additional clients. Budget management, client portals, and cost-to-completion tracking functions help you balance client expectations and your own internal resources.

FunctionPoint screenshot - Advertising Agency Software

The clean, simple FunctionPoint dashboard is a must-have for busy advertising agencies.

Quickbooks online and desktop integration will help you sync all accounting data to your FunctionPoint workflow. More integrations with common workflow and PM software would be an asset in future updates.

While generally satisfying in what it offers, this advertising agency software could benefit from streamlining the ways users can view data like hours scheduled or project tasks. Multiple entry points to the same data would also be great to see, especially if the platform prioritized being able to customize the final visuals.

FunctionPoint costs from $49/user/month and offers a demo and a 60-day money back guarantee.

Overall Score: 8.8
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Best Advertising Agency Software Summary

SoftwareOverviewTrial/DemoPriceScoreSite
FunctionFoxfunctionfox logo - creative project management softwareRead FunctionFox features & functionality14-day free demo.

30 day money back guarantee.

$35/month for 1st user + $5/month/user.

8.8Check out FuncionFox
IntervalsIntervals logo - Basecamp AlternativesRead Intervals features & functionality30 days free trial.from $2.50/project/month.9.2Check out Intervals
Mavenlinkmavenlink-logo-project management software toolsRead Mavenlink features & functionalityFree version.

Free trial.

from $19/month for 5 users.9.2Check out Mavenlink
Admationadmation logo - advertising agency softwareRead Admation features & functionalityfree demo.from $30/user/month.8.2Check out Admation
LiquidPlanner

liquidplanner logo - project scheduling software

Read LiquidPlanner features & functionality14-day free trialfrom $45/user/month.9.2Check out LiquidPlanner
WorkfrontWorkfront-logoRead Workfront features & functionalityFree demo.$30-40/user/month.9.2Check out Workfront
ClarizenClarizen logo - Creative Project Management SoftwareRead Clarizen features & functionality30 days free trial.from $45/user/month.9Check out Clarizen
Workamajigworkamajig logo marketing project management softwareRead Workamajig features & functionalityfree demo.from $50/user/month.8.8Check out Workamajig
VOGSYVOGSY LogoRead VOGSY features & functionalityfree demo.$19/user/month.9.6Check out VOGSY
FunctionPoint

function point logo marketing project management software

Read FunctionPoint features & functionality60-day money back guarantee.from $49/user/month.8.8Check out FunctionPoint

Other Advertising Agency Software

The world of ad agency software is bustling with healthy competition and plenty of options for the savvy buyer. I like to think beyond “top 10s” and give a shout out to other worthwhile products that are doing good work in the marketing agency software space. That being said, here’s my honorable mentions for this category:

  1. Wrike – Wrike’s features include a robust real-time reporting suite to see the status for all of your team’s projects; support, manage and track workflow items easily. Wrike boats specialized tools for marketing and creative teams, too, which could be just what you need to get started. Free for teams of 5 users or less and paid plans start at $9.80 per user per month.
  2. Oracle Netsuite – Netsuite includes features such as advertising agency accounting software, human capital management, analytics and more. A one-time cost of $999 will get you a general licence plus an additional $99 per user per month
  3. Hive – Hive offers basic tools for Gantt charts, Kanban boards and calendar layouts and advertising projects can be sorted by current status, team member or assigned labels. Over 1,000 Integrations with apps like Hubspot, Slack, Zoom, Dropbox and more.
  4. Ravetree – Ravetree sports a variety of PM functions, customizable notifications, work item checklists, resource planning, file versioning, kanban and scrum teams, client access, CRM, billing and more.
  5. Workbook – Access the work and portfolios of commercial artists in this comprehensive curated database. Find photographers, illustrators, designers and/or stylists for your advertising projects with ease.
  6. Synergist – A project management system for creative and digital agencies with a focus on time and resources tracking, job/project tracking, communication and sharing functions, reporting software and other management items.
  7. Robohead – In-house marketing and creative teams may benefit from this easy-to-learn and quick-to-implement software, which dives into services such as request forms, conditional logic, project approvals, project templates, approval tools and more.
  8. ClientFlow – Manage your team’s email conversations, tasks and timesheets on a single platform. This ad agency toolkit also incorporates a shared inbox, time tracking, templates, automated approvals, task delegation and plenty of other features.
  9. Workzone – More robust than entry-level tools like Basecamp, and less complicated than high-end tools like Microsoft Project, Workzone is the “just right” solution for most teams.

Want Help Narrowing Down the Options?

This tool is pretty useful. We’ve partnered with Crozdesk to give you access to their “Software Finder”.

If you input some of the details about your project and the features you’re looking for in a project management tool, it will generate a list of tools that match your preferences. You provide your email, and they send over a nice PDF guide with a summary of your best matches.

Any Other Marketing Agency Management Software Options?

Marketing and creative teams need ad agency software that fits their specific niche and use cases. Turning inspiration into a productive end result requires resources and tools like those listed above.

Do you consider yourself experienced in marketing agency management software? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you’d add to the list.

Ben Aston

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedigitalprojectmanager.com. I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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