What is the best marketing project management software to keep your agency running smoothly? Creative agencies, in-house digital teams and studios all have one thing in common – pumping out the best creative work. But how do you manage the workflow efficiently? What tools can you use to help the process and produce better work, and stop people getting all tied up with painful project administration?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could find the perfect marketing project management software that can handle everything in your agency? The perfect marketing project management software tool is a more than just a one trick pony, it does everything, replacing the slew of other SaaS tools you rely on.
Take a moment to think about how many project management tool subscriptions you’re paying out each month. I bet you’re using time tracking tools like Toggl or Timedoctor, project management tools like Basecamp or Asana, project communication tools like Slack or Hipchat, reporting tools like Forecast.it, resourcing tools like Resource Guru or Hubplanner, and finance tools like Quickbooks. You’re probably paying thousands of dollars a month for all your different tools – and they’re probably not all working together very well, requiring copying and pasting of the same data across different tools. It’s easy to see why just having one tool might be a good idea – but are any of them actually any good?
We decided to take a closer look to find the best creative agency project management software and agency project management tools on the market, and see which ones deliver the goods. If you’re looking for one project management tool to rule them all, you need a tool that you can use for everything – from brief to final invoice, you want everything to be contained within the same system so that you don’t need to worry about disconnected data points. To enable this holistic view of projects and process, to be included on this list, the marketing project management software that we reviewed had to cover at a minimum, the following functionality:
- Time and expense tracking – from quoting to keeping track of hours spent on a project
- Project management – enabled with task management and team collaboration tools
- Reporting dashboards – easy to see where a project (and the agency) is at with budget, timelines and invoicing
- Resource management – making sure you’re not understaffing or overstaffing one area of a project
- Invoicing – turning project reports into invoices and estimates
- Integrations – easily able to work with third-party applications, like accounting software
10 Marketing Project Management Software Tools
- Trial: Yes
- Price: $25 – $65/user/month
- Score: 9/10
Synergist is a UK based end-to-end agency management system used by leading agencies / in house departments of between 15 and 600 users. Synergist is renowned for its outstanding customer service and its ability to deliver total project visibility and control. It delivers on all the core needs of an agency, but has particular strengths in staff scheduling and work planning. Coupled with Synergist’s flexibility it ensures work flows smoothly through all departments. Project financials are also a strength with clever drag and drop reporting tools along with visual dashboards. Available in the cloud or on premise, it has an intuitive browser UI, native Android / iOS apps, integration to many accounts systems and an extensive API. Choose Synergist if you want a comprehensive and flexible agency management system that will quickly meet your core needs, but scale to support your growth.
Trigger is a very affordable and powerful agency project management tool. Trigger tracks time, manages projects, helps analyse results, and then make sure you get paid with integrations with different accounting tools. This one ticks all the boxes, including project planning and resource allocation, budget and expense tracking, time tracking, collaboration and quick and easy invoicing. Choose trigger for it intuitive and easy-to-use design – and if you want to integrate with other tools like Slack, Zapier, Dropbox, Google Apps or Xero (among many others). The tool is designed to help improve productivity and streamline your agency’s workflow processes, especially when it comes to collaboration, allowing both clients and agency staff to communicate on projects via the platform. It integrates well with other platforms and, because it functions online, can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. Trigger is provided as free marketing project management software for teams of up to three – so if you’re small, it’s a great choice.
- Trial: No. But they offer product demo’s and a 60-day money back guarantee
- Price: $34/user/month
- Score: 9/10
Function Point is a project management software tool built primarily for the needs of digital agencies and the creative industry. Function Point is used by more than 600 agencies including Ogilvy and gives you a good overview of what’s happening across your team and tasks. Function Point covers off all of our functionality requirements fully with a tool that includes an all-in-one cloud based workflow for project and task management, traffic and resourcing, project accounting, analytics and insights, and collaboration tools, making it a complete all-rounder. The collaboration tools are excellent, with creative project management, comments and changes happening directly on the platform. Choose Function Point for its slick interface, full features and simplicity of use (including mobile apps) but beware that it doesn’t support integration with other systems.
- Trial: Yes
- Price: $100/user/month
- Score: 8/10
Workfront is online project management software designed for agencies, IT teams, service teams, marketing teams and for collaboration between these, internal and external clients. The software allows for full project management, client service, task tracking and prioritisation. The platform also provides for use of custom data to track projects and related information. Workfront is quite layered, and takes some time to explore all the various aspects. This complexity, however, gives it incredible flexibility. Choose Workfront for an all-in-one solution.
- Trial: Yes. Free 30-day trial
- Price: $25/user/month
- Score: 9/10
Projector’s cloud-based professional services automation software is not just designed for creative agencies, but for all professional services organisations. The software is available in various standalone or integratable modules – project accounting, resource scheduling, advanced analytics, and project management. It’s an easy to use platform, although the interface can be somewhat complex and takes some time to fully appreciate. The company offers a range of customer support options, and the software integrates easily with several platforms, including QuickBooks, Salesforce, Intacct, Dynamics GP and MS Project. Choose Projector PSA for its easy integration with other platforms.
- Trial: No. Product demo only
- Price: $50/user/month
- Score: 9.8/10
OpenAir from Oracle and Netsuite is another cloud-based professional services automation software that incorporates timesheet, expense, project and resource management, reporting, invoicing and budgeting. One of the largest players in the industry, the software is used by over 40,000 organisations around the world, and is built on a reliable and solid platform. OpenAir integrates seamlessly with a range of enterprise applications, including NetSuite, SaesForce, MS Dynamics CRM and Oracle through its OpenAirCONNECT service. It’s suitable for everyone from small agencies to large corporates. Choose OpenAir for its quality and the years of experience backing its development.
Workamajig offers both agencies and in-house teams a platform for managing projects, teams and workflow. The Workamajig solution is available as a web-based on on-site solution, and the company takes pride in its customer service and on-site transition support. Workamajig can feel somewhat complex to use, and the interface is not the most user-friendly one here. Choose Workamajig for its budget management capabilities.
- Trial: Yes. Free 10-day trial
- Price: $19/user/month
- Score: 8/10
Mavenlink’s fully integrated project management software gives agencies the power to manage resources, project accounting, business intelligence, team collaboration, and multiple projects simultaneously. The software is suitable for digital agencies, IT services, professional services and consulting services, and it ideal for in-house use by marketing and IT teams. The fully web-based platform doesn’t require any installation and can be accessed anytime, anywhere; customer support is available through live chat and email, and the company offers video tutorials to help you get to grips with the product. The only real concerns about Mavenlink are the availability of customer service, and the frequency of updates. Choose Mavenlink for its instant accessibility and ease of use.
LiquidPlanner is agency software that’s designed for teams from a minimum of five members, to as many as need it, and works as a fully integrated, dynamic project management, budget and invoicing, resource planning and time tracking tool that also provides advanced analytics and contextual collaboration. Customer support is readily available to help teams transition to using this dynamic online project management software. We recommend using the 14-day trial and taking the time to get used to working on the somewhat rigid, but well designed platform. Choose LiquidPlanner for its robust platform and flexibility.
10. Active Collab
Active Collab provides users with task management, team collaboration, time tracking and project accounting solutions that are fully ccustomizable and that take a range of add-ons that suit your specific needs. It is available as a cloud-based, installed and mobile app and comes with a user-friendly interface. Add-ons include reporting, cost estimates that can be converted into live projects, and even customisable themes. This is one of the more affordable products available, offering options for teams from five members to an unlimited number. Choose active.collab for its affordability and individual dashboard functionality.
From simple tools that provide a few quick solutions, to complex products that take some time to fully explore, marketing project management software options are plentiful, which can make choosing one complex. Our suggestion? Look carefully at each product’s features and work out which one has the Goldilocks factor for you. Where there is a demo or trial available, we recommend booking it to make absolutely sure the product works for you.