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 what tools can you use to produce better work and stop people getting tied up with painful project administration?
Looking for a project management solution to help you manage projects in your marketing department, digital marketing agency, or creative studio?
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.
Criteria For The Best Marketing Project Management Software
The perfect marketing and project management software tool should be more than just a one trick pony—it should help replace the slew of other SaaS tools you rely on.
Think about how many 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, Hubplanner or 10,000ft
- and finance tools like Quickbooks.
You’ll pay thousands of dollars a month for these tools—and they often don’t work together well, requiring copying and pasting of the same data across different tools. Having one tool might be a good idea—but are any of them any good? If you’re looking for one project management tool to rule them all, you need a tool that you can use for everything.
So, when I reviewed the marketing project management software out there, I not only looked at their user interface, usability, and integrations, but also for 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
Note: if you’re looking for marketing software (tools that help you manage your marketing campaigns themselves) instead of marketing PM software, I’d look here: 15+ Best Marketing Software for Your Small Business (2018).
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10 Marketing Project Management Software Tools
The Best Marketing Project Management Software Overviews
Below, we review the best marketing agency project management software that we’ve come across.
1. monday.com – Award-winning, visually intuitive tool for planning, tracking, and collaborating on projects.
monday.com is a great marketing project management software because of the way the tool has done away with a lot of the trimmings of typical management tools and focused on simple, visually intuitive layouts that help clarify the sequence of work.
monday.com features for managing marketing projects include resource and project management modules with some great collaboration tools. For example, users can upload and attach files to cards, make comments, mention teammates, and more. It also offers a great project reporting dashboard that can collect data from multiple boards, allowing better tracking abilities of progress. And while monday.com doesn’t offer a complete set of tools for project accounting and invoicing solution as other tools, you can use monday.com to track hours, timelines, and invoices.
Overall, it’s a highly customizable tool that lets you work in whatever methodology—Kanban or otherwise—that fits your project and team. You’ll also find some useful workflow tools for automating parts of your process.
monday.com’s integrations include project management apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more, accessible via Zapier.
monday.com costs from $17/month for two users. The company’s customer support is available 24/7 by phone or email.
2. FunctionFox – Simple online PM tools created by an ad agency for ad agencies, creative teams, and PR, digital, and marketing firms.
FunctionFox Simple online timesheet and project management tools created by an ad agency for advertising agencies, graphic designers, PR, digital, marketing firms and in-house creative teams. FunctionFox offers an affordable and powerful way to stay on top of essential administrative activities – one that is simple to set up, easy-to-use, and highly effective. Track all your projects accurately from concept to completion, collaborate on work, increase profits, and best of all – free up more time so you can stay creative.
FunctionFox is loved by small firms and Fortune 500 companies worldwide for being easy to use – and the 5-star service and free expert advice. Easily manage and track multiple jobs, budgets, and resources with on-demand, actionable reports. Boost your productivity and profitability. FunctionFox has a free 14-day free demo and starts at $5/user/month.
3. Paymo – Collaborative marketing project management software to track your team’s progress, collaborate in context, and make smarter decisions.
Paymo is a collaborative work management platform that allows you to track your marketing team’s progress and collaborate in context. It does so by acting as a single source of truth, where several modules like planning, resource scheduling, time tracking, and invoicing feed into each other and co-exist under the same roof – without messy integrations.
Customizable workflows, project statuses, and notifications help you stay alert and spot bottlenecks way ahead of time. Clarity is further guaranteed by the resource scheduler that informs you about your team’s current and remaining workload, leave days, and project budgets. Along the way, you can track your time in various ways (web app, desktop, mobile), then pull it into an invoice to get paid accurately for your services.
Paymo works with the creative tools you use, like Adobe CC, Slack, Jotform, Google Suite, QuickBooks Online, Xero to name a few, so you can work where you feel most comfortable.
There are two paid plans, the lowest one starting at $11.95/user/month – no seat cap. Yearly subscribers are also eligible at a 20% discount. Free trial available.
4. Ravetree – Award-winning project management system for creative and digital agencies.
Ravetree is a full-featured work management software platform used by agencies around the world. It includes best-in-class project management, resource planning, time & expense tracking, digital asset management, and CRM. Agencies benefit from having a single source of truth from which they can optimize their operations and easily see the big picture.
A full array of advanced features are offered including granular permissions roles, customizable notifications, automated alerts, project budgeting, Gantt charts, custom fields, custom tables, powerful filtering, and much more. One thing that sets Ravetree apart is the highly intuitive interface that allows users to easily find information, whether it’s project managers, executives, or team members. Additionally, Ravetree has a 5-star customer support rating, and takes pride in being a customer-focused company, as opposed to being sales-driven.
5. Hive – Highly adaptable project management and collaboration software used by small teams of 10 up to Fortune 500s.
Hive is a project management and collaboration platform that powers companies like Starbucks, Uber, WeWork, and IBM. With AI-based analytics, thousands of integrations, flexible project views, and more, Hive streamlines your work in one centralized platform. Used by teams of varying sizes, from 10 people to 1,000, Hive is a great option for a diverse range of companies and work styles.
Hive’s time-tracking, analytics and flexible view capabilities allow for transparent understanding of other team-members work and upcoming projects. Choose Hive if you’re in the market for a well-laid-out, comprehensive tool that can be scaled up or down based on team needs.
6. Clarizen – Fully-featured enterprise software to manage your entire agency process with portfolio, resource, and workflow tools.
A lot of marketing teams with the best of intentions have not experienced digital transformation success. That’s because marketing projects are difficult to manage and often plagued by issues that include: misaligned teams, a lack of visibility and working in multiple ad hoc systems. Overcome these obstacles, manage work and collaborate across the enterprise—all from Clarizen’s single, intuitive cloud-based solution.
Clarizen’s leading work management solution offers a 360-degree view of projects, greater efficiency through automation and the ability to adapt to your business processes.
- Real-time Control: Control your marketing project management, business systems, and processes
- Business Intelligence: Centralize all activities and gain real-time status on the status of marketing campaigns and projects
- Enterprise-wide Transparency: Give your team a “single source of truth” so they can make smarter, faster decisions
Up your team’s game and stay competitive with modern work management that enables a successful marketing digital transformation.
7. VOGSY – Sophisticated but simple professional services automation built in the Google Cloud, a natural extension to G Suite.
VOGSY helps marketing teams and agencies take control of their projects with a single, accessible platform. Built for Google’s G Suite, VOGSY’s intuitiveness helps teams get the job done without weighing them down. You can plan projects and resources, manage milestones and deliverables, communicate across teams, track time and expenses, manage contractors, automate invoice creation and more. With clearer visibility, you can deliver more projects on time and on budget.
VOGSY brings all project fundamentals under one roof and provides real-time insights across the business. It’s a breeze for executive, finance, operations, sales and project teams to get a 360-degree view of the business, streamline project management and drive desirable outcomes. At only $19 per user per month, VOGSY can transform your projects without driving up your costs.
8. Smartsheet – A work execution platform with content collaboration features, forms to collect data, multiple permission levels, and dashboards to keep marketing teams in sync.
Smartsheet’s online project management tool checks off a lot of the boxes I’ve laid out in the criteria for an advertising agency project management software. It doesn’t really offer much in the way of expense or invoice management features, (check out other tools if you need those features) but it does have a ton of content collaboration features that are especially useful for marketing teams, as well as customizable dashboards that can be made to display specific project data for each of your marketing clients or campaigns, which is pretty cool.
Let’s start with the “Forms” feature, which offers the ability to create and customize forms to collect essentially any data from anyone in a structured format—you could use it for collecting information, including images and files, from clients in order to make briefs, for example.
Team collaboration features are great—members get notified of critical changes in real-time, and the tool provides shared views, detail history, activity logs, automated alerts, reminder, and status reports to keep everyone aligned and informed. There are content collaboration features like pinned feedback, approvals, and annotations that make it easier to collaborate on creative work.
There are lots of project management and resource management tools, which I consider to be fairly standard among marketing project management software—it’s a good set of tools for scheduling, assigning resources, tracking work, tracking budget, etc.
Finally, reporting is a strong feature of this tool, with editable summary reports that you can easily export to Excel.
The one thing this tool is missing for an advertising agency setting is client management features, such as prospect management, billing and invoice features. While there are ways to manage clients and share your portal with clients through various permission levels and dashboards, there isn’t a way to manage the full client management process, so you’ll want to integrate with another tool like Salesforce (see below) for that.
Smartsheet integrations include Microsoft and Google apps, as well as development essentials like Jira, and useful business apps like Salesforce, servicenow, Slack, Box, and Tableau. The platform is extensible through a REST API and webhooks.
Smartsheet costs from $14/user/month and offers a 30-day trial.
9. DoneDone – Simple issue tracking tool wrapped up with a customer support help desk, task tracking, and workflow management features all in one.
DoneDone is the no-nonsense marketing project management app for teams that want to get things done.
Users access a sleek dashboard that displays all projects, tasks, docs, files – and most importantly – statuses and due dates. Marketing teams can keep track of ad campaigns, website projects, SEO campaigns, video creation, events, and just about anything else you can dream up. You can even create Custom Workflows and Statuses to save you time and energy while creating recurring tasks.
You can assign and reassign tasks to anyone within a project. DoneDone also has a mobile app and pre-built integrations with other applications such as Slack and Glip.
Create projects and unlimited tasks manually in a few simple steps. Tasks can also be automatically created by external parties via DoneDone’s “Mailboxes” feature. Mailboxes automatically create tasks in DoneDone when your customers submit web forms or send emails to an email address of your choice (such as email@example.com). This is great for gathering external feedback.
The app has just about everything most teams need for day-to-day marketing management, yet DoneDone is still known for its simplicity. It’s robust enough to handle complex projects and simple enough that it can be used by non-technical employees.
DoneDone starts at $5/user/month. They offer a 20% discount for annual plans.
10. Workfront – Work management software designed to streamline workflows in agencies and marketing, service, and IT teams.
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.
Summary Of The Best Marketing Project Management Software
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the baffling array of marketing project management software tools out there. Below, we’ve put together a reader-friendly table neatly summarizing basic info about the tools described in this article. We’ve investigated the pricing and availability of free trials and demo versions for you to make a side-by-side comparison that much simpler.
Other Marketing Project Management Software
If you’ve checked out the list of marketing project management software above and not found anything that works for you, we’ve found a few other agency project management software solutions you might want to check out.
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.
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.