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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 image

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.

The Best Ad Agency Software List

Here are our top ad agency software choices:

  1. FunctionFox
  2. Intervals
  3. Mavenlink
  4. Admation
  5. Nifty
  6. monday.com
  7. Vogsy
  8. Hive
  9. Ravetree
  10. Paymo

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. FunctionFoxSimple 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. IntervalsRobust 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. AdmationProject 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
Visit Website
  • free demo.
  • free version.
  • from $8/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

90%

Usability

90%

Integrations

90%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

80%

Overall Score

88%

5. NiftyAll-in-one advertising agency software to plan, track and deliver campaigns effortlessly

Nifty puts your agency’s best on display by creating timeline clarity while managing files, copy, communications, and feedback. Combine your daily team collaboration with your client delivery by selecting which Tasks and Milestones are visible to your Guest. Cross-project overviews give portfolio clarity as your project milestone timelines are updated when corresponding tasks are completed.

Nifty screenshot - Advertising Agency

Nifty boast automated project status reporting based on task completion, built-in Google Docs, Sheets, and Presentations to integrate into your workflow as well as a time tracker to track time across members, tasks, and projects. Nifty also has a task list and Kanban view for added task management flexibility.

Nifty keeps your team and project stakeholders aligned as daily workflows update Milestone progress. Guests enjoy an immersive Nifty experience as they’re permitted to create and complete tasks to empower your client collaboration. This reduces the time spent hunting for transmissions or feedback across many communication channels.

While project stakeholders are able to track their projects’ statuses through Milestones, Nifty’s analytics dashboard will soon provide metric insight into your project costs and timelines. Nifty’s integration with Zapier connects Nifty with over 1000+ apps.

Nifty is anywhere from free to $12/month/user depending on the plan. Guests such as clients, stakeholders, or contractors are free and are available on any paid plan.

Overall Score: 8.8
Visit Website
  • free 14-day trial
  • from $17/month for two users

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

100%

Integrations

100%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

90%

Overall Score

96%

6. monday.comAward-winning, visually intuitive tool for planning, tracking, and collaborating on projects

monday.com is a great advertising agency 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 advertising 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.

monday.com screenshot - Advertising Agency Software

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.

Overall Score: 9.6
Visit Website
  • free demo and workshops
  • from $19/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

100%

Integrations

90%

Value for $

100%

Features & Function

90%

Overall Score

96%

7. VOGSYSophisticated 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
Visit Website
  • from $12/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

90%

Usability

80%

Integrations

90%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

90%

8. HiveHighly adaptable project management and collaboration software used by small teams of 10 up to Fortune 500s.

Hive is a creative 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 including creative teams.

Hive screenshot image - Advertising Agency Software

Hive’s time-tracking, analytics and flexible view capabilities allow for transparent understanding of other team members work and upcoming projects. You can organize your projects in a Gantt chart, Kanban board, calendar and easily switch between each layout. Custom designed automated workflows are also possible, along with resource tracking and team communication and collaboration.
Hive has a proofing and approval feature which simplifies feedback loops and approval cycles with the ability to assign approvals, share proofs and provide feedback. Forms can also be sent outside your organization to gather information about clients and customers.

Hive also has one of the first full email integrations in any project management tool, which allows you to send and receive Gmail and Outlook messages from the app.

Hive costs $12 per user per month when billed annually.

Overall Score: 9
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  • $29/user/month.
  • $20/user/month for non-profits.

User Interface (UI)

90%

Usability

80%

Integrations

90%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

90%

9. Ravetreeaward-winning project management system for creative and advertising agencies.

Ravetree is a full-featured advertising agency software platform used by agencies around the world. It includes best-in-class project management, resource planning, time and expense tracking, digital asset management, and CRM. Advertising agencies benefit from having a single source of truth from which they can optimize their operations and easily see the big picture.

Ravetree dashboard screenshot - agile tools project management software

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. Advertising teams can easily communicate and collaborate, share files, view burndown charts and much more. Organizations that use Ravetree benefit from having a single source of truth from which they can optimize their operations and see the big picture.

One thing that sets Ravetree apart is the highly intuitive interface that allows everyone to easily find information, whether it’s project managers, executives, or team members. Ravetree also has a great support system, which has given them excellent customer support ratings.

Ravetree costs $29/user/month (with annual agreement — $39/user/month if paid month-to-month) and $20/user/month for non-profits.

Overall Score: 9
Visit Website
  • 14-day free trial
  • from $9.56/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

100%

Integrations

90%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

80%

Overall Score

88%

10. PaymoPaymo is a work management software for creative and digital agencies, designed to help with planning work and projects, tracking time and invoicing clients

Paymo helps advertising agencies streamline the process of managing projects from start to finish, reduce the administrative work as much as possible, while offering a frictionless experience along the way. This means that both project managers and team members will know exactly what they need to do, when, and also collaborate better and transparently.

The dedicated account manager will make sure the onboarding process is smooth for everyone and learning curve is significantly reduced.

Paymo screenshot - Advertising Agency Software image

The features cover all of the process, from creating the initial project estimate, to adding and assigning tasks, setting up budgets, tracking work time, generating reports, adding expenses and invoicing the clients.

To keep everyone up-to-date and on the same page, Paymo allows commenting at the task and project level, along with real-time in-app and email notifications. The interface is modern, a bit crowded with features and options, but easy to navigate through. You can hide the modules you don’t plan to use.

Paymo integrates natively with popular apps such as Slack, Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Drive, QuickBooks Online, Xero, JotForm, Shift, to name a few. Other integrations are available through Zapier or by syncing with their fully-documented API.

Paymo starts at $9.56/user/month and offers a 14-day free trial. It also comes with a Free plan that is limited to 1 user. The Gantt Chart module is only available in the Business plan.

Overall Score: 8.8
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Best Advertising Agency Software Summary

Software Overview Trial/Demo Price Score Site
FunctionFoxfunctionfox logo - creative project management software Read FunctionFox features & functionality 14-day free demo.

30 day money back guarantee.

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

8.8 Check out FuncionFox
IntervalsIntervals logo - Basecamp Alternatives Read Intervals features & functionality 30 days free trial. from $2.50/project/month. 9.2 Check out Intervals
Mavenlinkmavenlink-logo-project management software tools Read Mavenlink features & functionality Free version.

Free trial.

from $19/month for 5 users. 9.2 Check out Mavenlink
Admationadmation logo - advertising agency software Read Admation features & functionality free demo. from $30/user/month. 8.2 Check out Admation
Nifty

Nifty logo - Advertising Agency Software

Read Nifty features & functionality free version.

free demo.

from $8/user/month. 8.8 Check out Nifty
monday.commonday.com logo - advertising agency software Read monday.com features & functionality free 14-day trial. from $17/month for two users. 9.6 Check out monday.com
VOGSYVOGSY Logo Read VOGSY features & functionality free demo and workshops $19/user/month. 9.6 Check out VOGSY
Hivehive logo - project management software tools Read Hive features & functionality free trial. from $12/user/month. 9 Check out Hive
Ravetreeravetree-logo-project-management-tools Read Ravetree features & functionality from $29/user/month. 9 Check out Ravetree
Paymo

paymo-logo-time-tracking-tools

Read Paymo features & functionality 14-day free trial. from $9.56/user/month. 8.8 Check out Paymo

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.
  10. Hubspot Ads – Use CRM and web analytics data to inform your ad campaigns and see exactly which ads are turning prospects into loyal customers.

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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