Managing projects at an advertising agency is tough. You’ll often find yourself wearing many hats and balancing everything from client acquisition and scheduling to the review and approval process. If you want to succeed (and stay sane!), you have to find the right ad agency software. Let’s take a closer look.
Say hello to clearer, faster feedback
Get point-and-click feedback from teammates and clients with Filestage.
What is creative agency software?
This term refers to the all-in-one solutions that aim at helping full-service creative agencies manage every aspect of their businesses. Let’s take a look at the positives and negatives of these tools.
✅ Pro #1: Convenience
The best creative agency software puts everything in one place. This feature makes it easy for project managers to switch between tasks, and see how every element of the business is progressing.
✅ Pro #2: Power
The top tools are lovingly built by talented development teams, which are backed by significant investment and knowledge. But all tools aren’t created equal. Some fail to offer this powerful experience.
✅ Pro #3: Familiarity
Project managers and employees love being able to use the same creative agency software and know exactly how it works. If teams constantly have to switch between tools, it can be tiresome and jarring.
⛔️ Con #1: Price
Many project managers find that it’s more cost-effective (and productive) to pursue a best-of-breed solution. In other words, they find the best tool in each particular area.
⛔️ Con #2: Confusion
Lots of agency project management software tries to do too much, so it ends up spreading itself too thin. In other words, some tools are unwieldy and suffer from steep learning curves.
⛔️ Con #3: Inflexibility
After an agency has committed to a piece of agency management software, they become deeply ingrained within the system, so it can be difficult to abandon it. Since these behemoth tools are also less agile, it may be difficult to implement updates and changes.
20 agency software solutions
Looking to run your agency like a well-oiled machine and flawlessly manage every aspect of it? Here’s a look at the top solutions for agency software.
1. Filestage – best creative agency software for managing client reviews
Filestage is an elegant tool that helps you simplify your document, image, and video review and approval workflow with all your stakeholders. By adding harmony and efficiency during this critical stage of every project, Filestage helps you get the best final product you can while you keep your stakeholders happy.
The tool offers a range of show-stopping features, such as centralized feedback, in-context comments and suggestions, and support for all file formats. This makes it the perfect solution for creative agencies, marketing agencies, and any other company that needs to review content with clients.
If you’d like to learn more about our product and see its power for yourself, start a free trial today.
If you want to get the most from Filestage and develop a best-of-breed agency software solution, you might want to complement it with the following tools.
Meeting scheduling: Calendly
Calendly is a 100% free tool that helps agencies find the perfect meeting time without the headache of endless phone calls and emails. This tool does a great job of taking the work out of connecting with others, which frees up your time to accomplish more.
This tool also means that you can impress and delight your stakeholders. And it’s frictionless and simple to use, just like Filestage.
Business proposals: Better Proposals
Better Proposals helps businesses close more sales and get paid faster. The never-ending sales process can really harm the profitability of agencies, so this tool helps you craft high-impact proposals within minutes (instead of hours).
Many agencies often spend so long trying to acquire new clients and win bids that they fail to generate the revenue they need. This tool can really help you simplify and shorten your sales process, which frees up your time and allows you to focus on making money.
Slack is a communication tool that gives teams the power and alignment to do their best work. This tool is already incredibly popular, and almost every business will soon use it in some way or another.
This communication tool really offers everything an agency could need. Slack makes it easy to organize conversations with various teams and clients while facilitating the sharing of files and documents.
Slack also offers integration with a wide range of tools, and it supports high-quality audio and video calls with your entire team.
The goal of Pipedrive is to make salespeople unstoppable. This simple sales CRM focuses on clarity and usability above all else, in order to help salespeople achieve maximum output with minimum input.
The tool aims at helping agencies stop wasting their time on admin, and it makes it easy to automatically track emails, calls, and other interactions in one place. Likewise, this tool provides a streamlined view of the sales process, in order to achieve maximum clarity.
Time tracking: Hubstaff
Hubstaff is time-tracking software that helps agencies spend their time growing, rather than tracking. This software makes it easy for your team to track the amount of time spent on a particular project, complete with screenshots, reports, and automated payments.
Every manager knows that timesheets and time-tracking are some of the most frustrating parts of project management. It’s often difficult to track both, and team members struggle to effectively do so. So Hubstaff removes the frustration and complexity from the process, which gives you the power to focus on other areas.
Harvest was built on the belief that time-tracking shouldn’t slow agencies down. This tool makes it easy to track the amount of time spent on projects and quickly get payments from clients.
As a project manager, it’s important to assess the profitability of your projects, in order for them to run at maximum efficiency. In other words, you’ll need to get a detailed look at how long projects take you to complete, as opposed to how much you get paid for them. And Harvest can really help you accomplish this goal.
Say hello to clearer, faster feedback
Get point-and-click feedback from teammates and clients with Filestage.
ProofHub is a powerful PM solution—Powerful enough to accommodate all your project and team needs under one roof. The software places a heavy focus on eliminating the need for investing in too many tools to achieve a single business goal. Altogether, ProofHub is a project management software made to be completely customizable to fit the needs of different teams with different goals.
ProofHub users, manager or employee, have the ability to view scheduled tasks overtime in Kanban, fit each piece of a project together via Gantt chart, assign and collaborate on projects, tasks, and/or subtasks in one place, avoid missing files with centralized file management, review and approve work on the go, keep a track of the billable hours both manually and using timers, connect to the apps they already use (such as Google Calendar, Dropbox, or Google Drive), and more.
If you and your team are looking for software with rich task management and communication, ProofHub can be a perfect pick. And the best news is that you can get started today for FREE.
3. Agency Analytics
Agency Analytics is an all-in-one reporting platform that’s aimed at agencies. This tool helps agency professionals monitor SEO, PPC, social media, and email in one place.
Over 3,000 marketing agencies around the world trust the tool to monitor all their clients’ marketing campaigns in one place. Automated reports prevent digital agencies from having to create endless spreadsheets. Meanwhile, custom dashboards can be configured to get a full picture of what’s happening.
In addition, this platform is fully brandable, which gives it a touch of class. the tool.
Workfront is a project management platform that aims at bringing entire enterprises together in the digital age. This tool helps agencies build credibility and trust with their clients by eliminating roadblocks and keeping the entire team connected.
By providing an all-in-one place to manage workflow, the tool aims at helping agencies deliver quality work as quickly as possible, in order to boost profitability and stay ahead of the competition. This tool is very sophisticated and involved, so agencies must really commit to it to be able to unlock its maximum potential.
See more Workfront alternatives in our other article.
Podio helps agencies add structure and intelligence to their workflows. This tool is also trusted by leaders and employees, who praise its overall ability to consolidate processes in one place.
This tool adds value by facilitating easier admin capabilities, faster communication between parties, and creating custom project structures to boost efficiency and effectiveness.
The scope of the tool is very wide, which helps expedite everything from project management and social collaboration to automation workflows and meeting schedules. Since this tool is clearly aimed at larger agencies, it’s more cost-effective than best-of-breed solutions.
Productive bills itself as the only tool you need to run a profitable agency. It was specifically built for agencies and consultancies, which consolidates everything a business would need in one place. This tool also places a specific focus on liberating agencies from the grasp of ineffective, time-consuming spreadsheets.
This tool offers strong functionality in sales pipelines, which gives agencies the power to more accurately report their current progress and close more deals. Specifically, resource planning helps project managers manage their team and get the highest level of productivity possible.
Generally, this tool also helps improve project management, which empowers project managers to communicate with various stakeholders and move projects along. It also has time-tracking, which ensures that the entire team tracks their time. Finally, this tool helps project managers gauge the profitability of their projects and the agency as a whole.
SeedLogix is digital marketing software for agencies. This tool helps facilitate a wide range of areas, including production, marketing automation, sales, and ROI tracking.
This tool was specifically designed for agencies. From the beginning, its goals were clear: It exists to help marketing agencies increase revenues, expand services, cut costs, and reduce implementation times. Across the board, this focus on efficiency helps agencies deliver the best results possible.
The scope of this tool is impressive, but there is a danger that agencies will become entirely tied to the system. So in the future, they may find it difficult to adjust certain areas of their businesses.
AccountAbility is an easily scaled cloud-based solution for resource planning in agencies and enterprises. This tool offers a flexible, robust solution that’s catered to the workforce of each agency.
By giving agencies unparalleled insight into the state of their businesses, AccountAbility helps facilitate better decision-making that’s backed by transparency and visibility. This tool bills itself as an easy-to-use solution for everyone at an the agency, which also makes it is easy to deploy.
There are lots of ERP solutions out there for agencies, so it’s critical to make the right choice. A sophisticated ERP system can really help agencies take their efficiency and profitability to new heights.
Avaza is automation software that helps creative and digital marketing agencies super-charge their efficiency.
Thousands of agencies around the world rely on this tool to accelerate team collaboration, capture time and expenses, and dispense invoices to clients. Avaza claims that it can meet all agency needs in one place, which means that project managers don’t have to jump from tool to tool.
Avaza’s reporting tools are particularly robust, and they help give agencies a clear insight into their efficiency and profitability. This tool also interacts well with a wide range of popular apps, including Slack, Jira, and Dropbox.
Workamajig is aimed at both agencies and in-house teams. Its goal is to simplify processes and boost results.
This tool gives project managers and staff members everything they need in one place. Then the team can collaborate on one platform, access accurate data, and eliminate manual input.
This tool works on a wide range of devices, and it seamlessly integrates with a range of other apps. Workamajig is aimed at both agencies and in-house teams, but it may be starting to show its age, in terms of iUI. If you choose an all-in-one tool, it’s important for it to feel fresh and delight your team.
QuoJob is agency software that makes it easy for project managers to implement modern design processes throughout their projects.
The tool helps drive efficiency in agencies, which frees up time to win contracts. QuoJob saves agencies time by offering features like appointment management, time-tracking, task management, and more.
QuoJob works with an “intelligent modular system,” which makes it possible for project managers to put together a tailor-made versions of the tool. This modular system is also reflected in the pricing, which is a nice touch.
12. Deals & Projects
Deals and Projects help agencies manage projects, achieve objectives, and fulfill their dreams.
This tool focuses on these key areas to drive up the value of their agencies:
- Clean, clear CRM helps agencies win more profitable projects.
- Task management helps project managers effectively plan and execute projects while they’re managing their teams.
- Sophisticated reporting makes it possible for agencies to track timesheets, invoice clients, and analyze reports.
The creators also spent a lot of time making the tool attractive, as they were driven by the belief that a great UX encourages adoption and use among the team.
AgencyHub is a software solution that aims at helping agencies keep their clients more informed, engaged, and loyal.
This tool offers a simple, clear overview of each project on a single screen, which makes it easy for project managers to link tasks and generate effective management reports. It also helps facilitate notifications, task lists, collaboration, and document sharing.
AgencyHub suggests that it offers greater content capabilities and customization than Basecamp. It also prides itself on offering an enterprise-grade solution that’s complete with comprehensive security and access control.
Planscope gives agencies total control over their operations, in order to help them win contracts, create cohesion, and craft a better business.
This tool is similar to Deals and Projects, in that it focuses on three key areas: winning more lucrative contracts at a higher volume, driving more efficiency, and growing businesses through sophisticated reporting.
Planscope offers integrations with a range of popular applications, which gives agencies flexibility and the potential to cater the tool to their own particular needs.
WorkBook is a piece of agency management software produced by Deltek. This tool aims at helping agencies and in-house teams boost productivity and revenue, thanks to features that focus on project, resource, and financial management features.
This tool also makes it possible for agencies to integrate all of their end-to-end operations in one place. It has the benefit of giving them accurate, real-time data that can be used to make informed decisions about a project.
WorkBook also places a strong emphasis on simplicity and usability, which ensures that the tool fosters agency-wide adoption for maximum impact.
16. Clients & Profits
Clients & Profits is a tool that’s exclusively aimed at creative businesses. Specifically, its goal is to provide agencies with everything they need to manage people, projects, media, and money. It also helps agencies drive efficiency in key areas of their business, including projects, traffic, media, costing, billing, and finance.
This tool prides itself on the fact that it has been the tool of choice for agencies since 1986. And it definitely has an impressive pedigree, but you may find the UI and UX to be somewhat outdated.
Advantage is a tool that offers agencies a clean and simple experience that’s also flexible and backed by great service and support.
Whether you work for a digital-marketing, full-service, or in-house agency, this tool aims at providing you with real-time information that helps your business reach its full potential. Advantage achieves this goal by offering CRM, task management, accounting, and more.
Similar to Clients & Profits, Advantage is starting to show its age. You may find that an outdated UI and UX make it difficult for you to encourage adoption among your team.
ZenPilot is a tool that aims at helping agencies deliver clients results, achieve sustainability, promote a healthy culture, and achieve great profit margins.
The entire tool is driven by its Agency Freedom Manifesto. This statement begins with the assertion that it can provide agency owners with the freedom they were hoping for when they launched their businesses—which they often fail to achieve.
While this proposition is somewhat unclear, ZenPilot’s target audience is clearly smaller agencies.
FunctionFox is a simple software for timesheets and project management that presents itself as the leading choice for creative professionals.
Through a suite of sophisticated tools, FunctionFox helps agencies streamline internal planning, keep projects on track, reduce communication breakdowns, and meet every deadline. As such, this tool aims at becoming a valuable extension of your business that drives real value.
FunctionFox also provides agencies with a personal dashboard that can be customized to only include the features they use most. This goal helps reduce distractions and gives agency managers the power to keep projects on target.
Scoro is end-to-end software for business management that aims at helping teams manage projects, sales, and reports in one place.
This tool helps in a range of areas, including overall business management, time management, projects, tasks, and finances. As you can see, the scope is very large. And if you like Scoro’s UI and UX, it could become a very capable tool for you.
A range of companies from around the world trust the tool, and it has favorable reviews on the key software-review platforms (such as Capterra and G2 Crowd).
The success of your agency hinges on your ability to find the best agency management software for you. We hope that this look at the key options out there has been helpful, and we recommend considering a best-of-breed solution to maximize its value and flexibility.
Are you interested to read more agency-related articles?
- 20 best agency directories your agency shouldn’t miss in 2023
- How to set your agency fees: 5 agency pricing methods
- 16 pros and cons of working at an advertising agency
- The 9 pros and cons of in-house marketing vs ad agencies
- How to create a project status report for your agency (+ 9 templates and examples you can steal)
- The agency’s guide to client onboarding: how to give a warm welcome to your clients