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Best Project Management Software for Creative Marketing Agencies

Best Project Management Tools for Creative, Marketing Agencies

gaAt a creative marketing agency, typically account director, brand specialists, copywriters and graphics designers along with other team members work hard for weeks or even months to create marketing campaigns that will work wonders for their client or at least make him happy. Getting everyone onboard, collaborating about finer aspects of creative deliverable, keeping deadline in mind is arduous tasks. Most traffic managers struggle with planning and tracking of client deliverableHaving the right tools in place and in use, is absolutely essential to keeping everybody on track, tp set individual team member’s accountability both from internal as well as external stakeholders point of view. Creative marketing agencies get applaud only when they deliver awesome work on time.

[2]

 

How effective is project management software for creatives & marketing agencies?

Agency Growth Research Report 2018 [1] was published by Hubspot. It surveyed more than 1000 marketing agencies of different sizes about various aspects such as strategies, tools, solutions used to overcome the growth challenges. Can you guess, of all tools used by 1000+ marketing agencies, which was the highest priority tool they needed? Yes, that’s right. It is Project Management Software. I am pretty sure, agencies who have indicated 40% need of project management software, are not dodging PM tool. I think, they are either using some age old methods/tools (like MS Excel, MS Project) to manage projects or unhappy using their existing PM tools.

Now that also means, these creative marketing agencies would like to explore better options in project management tools available in the market in order go grow. Creative marketing agencies need right PM tools to set lean delivery process, tracking client change requests, planning activities, assigning those activities to staff members, tracking project progress, keeping a tab on cost as well as billing.

There are mainly five aspects/use cases of project management software for your agency.

  • Flexibility –  to plan and track activities
  • Clear visibility – through dashboard and reports
  • Smooth workflow/processes
  • Ease of use for team members
  • Client-team Collaboration

Is your creative agency, marketing team looking for the best project management software? You should evaluate project management tools considering above use cases.

Worry not, we have just made your research task real quick and easy. We have compiled nearly 100+ tools and shortlisted those. Here is the list of the best project management software and tools for marketing and creative agencies.. For each tool in the list, you will find the purpose it serves, notable features, pricing, and what to watch out for. We are sure, going through this list you will be find the tool fit for your business.

ZilicusPM

Pricing

$ 25 /user/month

Rating

Website

ZilicusPM is a complete project management solution that provides comprehensive features you will need in project management software: projects & tasks, time tracking, resources, budgeting, expenses, issues, risk, team collaboration, billing, executive dashboards and reporting.

Top Features

  • Unlimited projects, takes, sub-tasks and milestones
  • Gantt Chart, Kanban board with drag-n-drop functions
  • Interactive executive dashboard
  • Time tracking, expense management and billing
  • Project budgeting, cost management
  • Team collaboration: calendar, discussions, meeting management
  • Project Issues, risks, change requests management

 

How Does ZilicusPM Help You?

ZilicusPM helps you to bring order to entire project work be it schedule, resources, changes, budget, cost, billing so that you do not need to use different tools for each of these activities. Agencies have flexibility to decide which PM processes, features to use. ZilicusPM gives you a single, central project management tool where managers can clearly track health & status of client projects and team members can remain top of their things & clearly know things they have work on. Designed for team-client collaboration, ZilicusPM is also the preferred choice of customers in FinTech, insurance, healthcare, engineering services, food processing, hotel industries. And we think ZilicusPM’s ease of use, visibility for clients & other stakeholders makes it the best project management software for creative and marketing agencies.

Teamwork Projects

Pricing

$ 9 /user/month

Rating

Website

teamwork.com

Teamwork is online project management software improves teams productivity, collaboration and helps designers and creative teams organise project tasks.

Top Features

  • Project tasks list, sub-task, milestones
  • Time tracking and billing
  • Calendar and events
  • Projects files sharing
  • Message boards
  • Configurable user access permissions

 

How Does It Help You?

Teamwork is simple to use tool with plenty of features and configuration settings. It offers integration with many other tools such as Harvest, Box.com, Freshbooks, etc. Plus there are APIs also. It is also aided with collaboration product named TeamWork Chat an TeamWork Desk.

Asana

Pricing

$ 9.99 /user/month

for 15+ users

Rating

Website

asana.com

Asana is web based as well as mobile application that provide good mix of task management, team collaboration and integration with other tools.

Top Features

  • Create notional projects to add tasks, milestones
  • Visualize tasks as card boards
  • Arrange projects tasks as a part of roadmaps see those along timelines
  • Track milestone and progress of the team assignments
  • Review milestones, and check on your team’s progress
  • Check project activities on a calendar
  • Simple dashboards to report project progress

 

How Does Asana Help You?

Asana is a tool to organise personal or team work wherein the work is broken down to individual tasks and assigned to team members. Asana was created to replace the use of email for workplace collaboration which it does nicely but also relies on email to send task assignment, progress status update information. 

Note: Asana is a really simple to use tool with simpler UI. It does not allow you to have more than one assignee per task. Hence if you’re a small team and smaller projects, do give it look.

WORKetc

Pricing

$ 78 /user/month

Max 2 users

Rating

Website

worketc.com

WORKetc offers integrated project management, CRM, invoicing, customer support, reporting, and collaboration software.

Top Features

  • Task dependency, recurring tasks, triggers and alerts
  • Set companywide billing, charge rates for people, project, activities
  • Track times against project activities, track expenses
  • Team collaboration with documents sharing, discussions, notes
  • Manage products and quotes, project budget
  • Live support, web forms, and email to manage helpdesk

How Does WORKetc Help You?

WORKetc is not a pure project management play but it offers an integrated business management tool with simpler scheduling integrated with billing, invoicing, CRM and helpdesk tool. It is useful for agencies to manage their business with clients..

Basecamp

Pricing

$ 99 /month

Unlimited users

Rating

Website

basecamp.com

Basecamp has been a pioneer software for and preferred choice of thousands of small businesses like creative agencies, marketing teams..

Top Features

  • Create projects to organise team’s work and deliverable
  • Message boards to discuss projects ideas
  • Distinct dashboard for clients
  • Check-ins, email and in-app notifications
  • Also integrates with Dropbox, Slack, Box, Google Apps

 

How Does Basecamp Help You?

Basecamp is a nicely designed ToDo list management & team communication software. It is pretty popular among creative agencies and small businesses. It puts tasks, discussions, documents in one place with social media like interface. It has been created with minimalistic design in mind and hence is the reason of its popularity..

Zoho Projects

Pricing

$ 20 /month

Free plan available

Rating

Website

zoho.com/projects

Zoho Projects is part of the apps suite Zoho offers. It is well known as simple project management tool that helps project team to organise its work, track time.

Top Features

  • Gantt chart with task lists and milestones
  • Time, expense tracking and issue tracking
  • Document and file management
  • Chat, forum, calendar and feed for collaboration
How Does It Help You?

Zoho projects is also offered as a part of Zoho suite, hence it can be integrated with Zoho CRM , Zoho Invoicing, Zoho Books, ticketing , etc applications and other tools to manage almost every aspect of your agency business using one tool.

LiquidPlanner

Pricing

$ 45 /user/month

Min 5 users

Rating

Website

liquidplanner.com

LiquidPlanner is an online project management software that provides algorithmic resource assignment and scheduling estimation.

Top Features

  • Task scheduling
  • Document management
  • Time tracking
  • Project budgeting and cost management
Note: It looks certainly effort-saver when you build schedule initially but as your schedule gets more complex, resource keeps changing, so are the deadline. It may become hard to understand what is causing change and whether/how to prevent it. Since the system is driven by parameters, multiple-parameters changing at the same time will just make it difficult to manage schedule – realistically. Also users review indicate very steep learning curve of the tool.
How Does Liquidplanner Help You?

Liquidplanner has proprietary scheduling engine which claims to calculate ‘realistic’ estimation of task schedule based on task priority, best and works case efforts as entered by user. Project managers can also manage document, resources and team members can track time (which also get accounted for rescheduling of task).

Smartsheet

Pricing

$ 25 /user/month

For business users

Rating

Website

smartsheet.com

Smartsheet is an excellent tool to manage and automate collaborative work. With a spreadsheet-like interface, Smartsheet to help teams in task management, sales pipeline management, crowdsourcing, etc.-software-for-creative-marketing-agencies/.

Top Features

  • Project schedule, tasks, Gantt chart
  • Kanban board
  • Workflow rules and approvals
  • Resource management
  • Budget and billing management

 

How Does It Help You?

As the name indicate, it is a smart SHEET, it is not a pure project management play, one can use it as CRM, HRMS, etc tools as well. Positioned as a tool to get-from-Idea-to-Impact, Smartsheet is essentially online spreadsheet designed for team collaboration as well as reporting. It offers executive dashboard as well as individual dashboard for PMs, team and users. With whole host of application integrations and Smartsheet is certainly lot better version of Google Sheet when it comes to communication and collaboration. Basically for project managers if you are already using spreadsheet, switching to Smartsheet will be easier but be aware that there are also drawbacks to managing business with online spreadsheet.

Wrike

Pricing

$ 9.8 /user/month

For business users

Rating

Website

wrike.com

Wrike is an online work management software to simplify planning, streamline workflow and gain visibility.

Top Features

  • Project request management
  • Gantt chart
  • Time tracking, budgeting
  • Document sharing and collaboration
  • Resource workload management
  • Online proofing and review approval

How Does It Help You?

Wrike is an online project management software that gives you visibility and control over project tasks.

Looking for full project management features, Take a look at an alternative to Wrike.

Airtable

Pricing

$ 10 /user/month

For business users

Rating

Website

airtable.com

Airtable is the all-in-one collaboration platform with drag & drop file uploads facility and spreadsheet like interface. It provides realtime collaboration, calendar views, gallery & card views and integration with more than 350 App.

Top Features

  • Spreadsheet meets database
  • Checklist, images, select buttons, texts as fields
  • Configurable views
  • Real time team collaboration
  • Email reminders and other notifications

How Does It Help You?

Airtable is a versatile online spreadsheet, improved version of Smartsheet that allows sheet creator to create project activities, assign those activities to team members and track for status. It’s simple for team members to use and intuitive to collaborate. What one should remember, Airtable is not a pure project management play rather like online spreadsheet or Smartsheet, it can be used for any purpose imaginable like sales, com, HRMS, etc.

 

For full featured project management software, take a look at an alternative to Airtable

Trello

Pricing

$ 9 /user/month

Free plan available

Rating

Website

trello.com

Trello is pretty well known for visual task management. It offers card-style dashboard which is very suitable for small project or day-to-day activities.

Top Features

  • Easily create to-do list as cards
  • Image, file storage and sharing
  • Comments and collaboration
  • Check list for each card
How Does It Help You?

Trello is popular among solo users, startups as well as Fortune 500 companies. Conventionally it can not be termed as project management software but it is very flexible, incredibly easy to use as a to-do list software. It keeps track of your to do list in a card format and allows you to collaborate with your team.

JIRA

Pricing

$ 10 /month

Upto 10 users

Rating

Website

jira.com

Jira is a issue /bug tracking software that also offers project management capabilities intended for IT/software development team.

Top Features

  • Create user stories, plan release and springs
  • Visualise delivery work with Scrumboard, Kanban board
  • Team collaboration platform with activity stream, mentions, etc
  • Agile reporting such as burndown, velocity chart, bring report, etc
How Does It Help You?

JIRA is mainly designed for and used by IT teams to plan, track, manage agile software development projects. It helps users adhere to agile principles – ship early ship often. It offers customisation to design your own workflow. The maker of Jira also provide additional solution such as Confluence, Bitbucket, Bamboo, Service desk to effectively work as a agile software development team.

Bitrix24

Pricing

$ 10 /month

Upto 10 users

Rating

Website

bitrix24.com

Bitrix24 is a social collaboration, communication and business management platform for small businesses

Top Features

  • Enterprise social network
  • Instant messaging
  • Video Conferencing
  • CRM
  • Task management
  • Document management
How Does It Help You?

Bitrix24 is pretty feature rich software that offers capabilities, ranging from customer relationship management, human resources management system to project management to intranet tools. It offers an unified workspace to handle the many aspects of day to day work and tasks. You can create your own social intranet pretty fast.

Tools You Can AVOID

1. Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project - Project Management Tool

Microsoft Project is one of the oldest project management tool offered in the market and for decades it used to be the most popular choice of project managers for task scheduling.

Notable Features

  • Project scheduling: tasks, sub-tasks, milestones
  • Gantt chart, Task dependency, task split, critical path, baseline
  • Resource assignment and planning
  • Project cost estimation
  • Project templates

How Does This Tool Help You?

Microsoft Project so far has been used by 20 million people. It enjoyed massive popularity and leadership because of the limited choice available to its users mainly project managers. Like many enterprise tools, Microsoft Project has become a legacy tool because of lack of collaboration and limited features. However Microsoft has started offering MS Project Online as a new offering to address collaboration issues.

Pricing

From $55 /month/user for cloud platform, from $940 for on-premise software (for one PC)

Must explore Alternative to Microsoft Project

 


 

 

ZilicusPM All In One Project Management Software

Note: Logos, screenshots used in this post belong to respective brands and companies.

[1]. Agency Growth Research Report

[2]. via GIPHY

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ABOUT
Dhan

I am a co-founder of Zilicus Solution and I write about project management, collaboration, productivity, project management software, cloud computing, requirement management and business empowerment.