26 Project Management Tools For Creative and Marketing Agencies

29 Project Management Tools For Creative and Marketing Agencies

In this evolving digital world, having the right project management software is a crucial advantage. Ironically, as per the findings of the 2018 Agency Growth Report, more than 40% of creative and marketing agencies still manage their projects on Excel spreadsheets and are dissatisfied with the results they get using a project management tool.

It’s sad, but the only reason these agencies don’t feel happy with the current implementation of their project management tools is that they picked the wrong tool or failed to understand how it works. This brings us to an important question – Which project management tool would work best for your agency? Well, the answer to this question is right here.

In this post, we’ve compiled a list of tools that are known for helping creative and marketing teams stay up-to-date on their to-dos, tasks, and projects. Every project management software or tool listed here has an easy-to-use interface, is packed with unique features, and offers regular updates. Just go through the list and see what tools are likely to address the challenges you face at your agency.

1. ProofHub

Online Project Management Software Loved by 85 000 Teams

ProofHub , an all-in-one project management software that is designed to overcome all the challenges that are faced by a growing organization or team. With users like NASA, Disney, Netflix, Taco Bell and more, ProofHub surely stands out as an amazing tool for creative and marketing agencies who are looking to make managing work simpler.

Top features:

  • Ultimate control over projects and time collaboration
  • Better task management with Kanban boards and Gantt charts
  • Better work satisfaction

2. Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project is a tool used by more than 20 million users for project management, resource management, and portfolio management.

Top features:

  • Better project scheduling & costing
  • Reporting and business intelligence
  • Built-in project templates to save time

3. Asana

Use Asana to manage your team’s work projects tasks online · Asana

Asana is a web and mobile application that combines all the elements of project management, file storage, and collaboration to help teams manage projects better.

Top features:

  • Projects with multiple users, tasks, and subtasks                       
  • Smooth communication between teams                                               
  • Custom calendars and views for better scheduling

4. Basecamp

Basecamp Project Management Team Communication Software

Basecamp is a go-to project management tool for teams that are looking for a simple, easy-to-use tool for effective communication and task management.

Top features:

  • Assign to-do tasks to multiple people
  • Message boards for project discussions
  • A chat function for better team collaboration

5. Trello

Trello is a creative tool that allows teams to visualize tasks and everyday assignments on a cardboard-like dashboard.

Top features:

  • Better task management
  • Creating multiple task lists
  • Organizing and filter task lists by date or priority

6. Workzone

Workzone is a tool designed to help experienced ad executives and creative teams to bring more visibility into their work process.

Top features:

  • Personalized to-do lists
  • Set permissions to access projects, tasks, and files for certain users
  • Monitor project statuses with Gantt charts

7. Redmine

Redmine is a free and open source, web-based project management tool that is designed to help teams smoothly run multiple projects and associated subprojects.

Top features:

  • Gantt chart and calendar for better project planning
  • Centralized files and documents
  • Better project estimation management

8. Float

Float is a versatile tool that allows creative and marketing agencies to keep track of everyone’s schedule.

Top features:

  • Better project planning on a visual interface
  • Setting individual availabilities
  • Efficient project reporting

9. Workbook

Whether it’s projects, customers, or budgeting, Workbook is the kind of tool that outlines everything associated with your creative or marketing agency.

Top features:

  • Client portal for collaborating with clients
  • CRM with activities, follow-up lists, and pipeline forecasting
  • Comprehensive accounting features and reporting

10. Harvest

Harvest is known as one of the best time tracking tools with timesheet and invoicing features. It’s the kind of tool you need to keep your business ticking.

Top features:

  • A simple and intuitive user interface
  • Clear insights for projects with powerful reporting
  • Create and send accurate invoices online

11. FunctionFox

FunctionFox is known for its simple user interface and power-packed project management features. This tool offers everything you need to create a successful marketing project.

Top features:

  • Comparing estimated budgets for projects with actual figures
  • Calendar view for better scheduling
  • Interactive real-time project reports

12. Hub Planner

Resource Management Scheduling Timesheets Planning Hub Planner

Hub Planner is a tool designed to help project managers successfully plan and schedule their team’s time across multiple projects.

Top features:

  • Time tracking and timesheets
  • Team dashboard with project reports
  • Flexible workflow with admin approvals

13. Workamajig

Workamajig is a tool that brings all the departments in an organization(and their tasks) under one collaboration platform.

Top features:

  • Templates for accurate estimating
  • Clarity over team’s availability for resource planning
  • Track time and tasks per retainers

14. FunctionPoint

FunctionPoint is a productivity tool built for creative agencies. It’s an all-in-one solution that helps teams gain better visibility into projects and budgets.

Top features:

  • File sharing and workflow approval
  • Scheduling/assigning tasks and managing individual workloads
  • Project and task dashboard for better project management

15. 10,000ft

10,000ft is a project management and planning tool with an easy, interactive user interface. The tool provides features that make it easy for teams to plan, execute, and course correct projects on-time and on budget.

Top features:

  • Drag-and-drop interface
  • Dashboard with each project’s status based on time, fees, and expenses
  • Visual reporting for how teams, clients, and projects are doing against goals

16. Teamwork

Teamwork is a team project management, help desk and chat software that is known for helping project managers manage remote teams like a pro and achieve a goal in the most efficient way possible.

Top features:

  • Customizable navigation
  • Gantt chart for visualizing milestones and changing project timelines
  • Private messaging to individuals or a group

17. Zoho Projects

Finance, HR, sales, marketing, and project management, Zoho Projects is the kind of tool that provides features to match a variety of different business functions. With this tool, creative teams and agencies get an easier way to track progress and manage communication when working on a project.

Top features:

  • Ability to track the time it took to complete specific projects/milestones
  • Public and private project chat rooms
  • Employees log billable and non-billable hours

18. WorkflowMax

WorkflowMax is a full-featured project management system that provides agencies with the ability to manage finances, sales, and productivity from one central place.

Top features:

  • Reporting feature to track inefficiencies and profits in projects
  • Ability to create customized fields to match the individual needs of the agency
  • Ability to create and send accurate quotes to prospects

19. Brightpod

Brightpod is a project management software with easy-to-use board interface, providing teams an easy way to track projects, ideas, and tasks.

Top features:

  • Custom workflows for projects
  • Individual dashboards for team members
  • Ability to log time per task and create recurring tasks

20. DoInbound

DoInbound is a project management tool that provides a framework for creative agencies and focuses on improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of their teams.

Top features:

  • Manage projects by campaign, task, deadlines, and deliverables
  • Share files, track time and streamline communication for a specific campaign or task
  • Ability to create templates for a more predictable work product

21. Workfront

Workfront is a customizable project management solution that allows creative agencies to organize, prioritize, and manage projects better. It also streamlines the feedback and approval process, thereby making it easy for teams to get their content/product approved and delivered.

Top features:

  • Built-in approval paths for getting work done quickly
  • Working backlog for organizing creative requests
  • Ability to mark teams as Agile and organize work into stories/points

22. Podio

Podio is a project management tool that brings all project communication into one central place and allows teams to customize them as per their specific needs.

Top features:

  • Tons of integrations and the option to build custom integrations
  • Automated workflows that are triggered by task completion
  • Custom web forms for managing data to be sent directly to the tool

23. LiquidPlanner

LiquidPlanner is a tool that practices a different methodology for project management. It gives teams a clear view of both best-case and worst-case scenarios in a project. In addition to that, it provides them with the ability to schedule projects better and get everything completed and delivered on time.

Top features:

  • Time tracking integrated with rate sheets
  • Note features for getting projects done faster
  • Task-specific communication boards

24. TrafficLIVE

TrafficLIVE is a project management tool that works to give creative agencies and teams the ability to serve their clients better and be more productive.

Top features:

  • Visual dashboard representing over-runs, deadlines, deliveries, and more for each project
  • Custom rate cards for new client projects
  • Utilization charts for staffing needs 

25. Advantage

For creative professionals or teams that seek in-depth training and support services, Advantage is the best project management tool available.

Top features:

  • Preset templates for creating schedules
  • Change schedules and tasks for multiple projects at the same time
  • Burn rate charts and risk analysis summary

26. Clients & Profits

Clients & Profits is software for creative businesses. It’s designed to help creative businesses and teams better manage people, projects, media, and money.

Top features:                                 

  • Jobs 360 project dashboard
  • Web portal for job status, calendar, and reports            
  • Cloud-based database (The C&P MAINFRAME)

Wrapping up

If you are looking for a project management tool that will help you run your agency better in the coming year, you will definitely find the perfect tool for your creative team from the above list.

In case you are already using a project management tool/app and you believe we should include it in our list of the best project management tools for creative and marketing agencies, tell us about it in the comments!

Guest author: Vartika Kashyap runs the marketing team at ProofHub – a project management software for teams of all sizes. She is a seasoned marketing professional who is an expert in digital marketing and entrepreneurship.

The post 26 Project Management Tools For Creative and Marketing Agencies appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

Measure for Success: 7 Secrets of Actionable Content Marketing Dashboards

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Hey, content marketers. Imagine this: You’re sitting in a marketing meeting and you hear the following:

  • Our conversions are up 50% year-over-year!
  • Our blog Traffic is down.
  • We saw a big spike in Traffic this month to our primary service page!
  • Our bounce rate is all over the place.
  • This blog post about “X” had 2,000 page views last month!

What are the first thoughts that come to mind? For many, the first thought would likely be: Why? Followed by a: Is that good or bad? And then finally: What do we need to do next?

If you’ve ever experienced a similar scenario, you’ve come face-to-face with insight famine. The statements above simply relay data points and lack the insight needed to take any sort of action. And this is why an actionable Content Marketing dashboard is so incredibly important.

When properly set up, an actionable dashboard marries data and insight, helping you quickly see how you’re performing against your benchmarks, goals, and key performance indicators (KPIs), and where you have opportunities to improve results or need to dig deeper.

What makes a dashboard actionable? What key data and insight elements should be included? Let’s dig in.

What Makes a Marketing Dashboard Actionable?

For a Content Marketing dashboard to be actionable, it has to answer two simple questions:

  • Is what we’re doing working?
  • Why is it (or is it not) working?

In order to answer those questions, there are specific metrics to include based on your overall objectives. For example, if your objective is to drive qualified leads for your sales team, you might measure the amount of inquiries that resulted from a piece of content, how many of those inquiries turned into MQLs, then SQLs, then ultimately customers.

If you apply those metrics to each piece of content, you’ll quickly see which content is hitting the mark, and what needs to be adjusted. And if your objective varies by topic cluster or funnel stage, you’ll need different sets of KPIs for each.

7 Essential Elements of an Actionable Marketing Dashboard

So, how do we answer those two simple questions posed above? There are several key components to consider including in your dashboard:

#1 – Content Benchmarks

Benchmarks are essential for understanding how different types of content have performed on average over a specific period of time. Your benchmarks can and should be different based on the content type and its objective.

For example, a top-of-funnel blog post meant to drive Traffic will have a different benchmark than a middle-funnel infographic meant to engage. By keeping these front-and center in your marketing dashboard, you can compare at-a-glance.

#2 – Goals

More than likely your goals are to beat your benchmarks every single time. But it’s important to document your goals so you can gauge success. By adding your goals to your marketing dashboard, you can quickly determine whether you’re on pace to hit your goal and if you’ve been able to surpass it.

And ultimately, keeping that data within your dashboard will help you course-correct where needed and celebrate wins as they occur.

#3 – Real-Time KPI Monitoring

Depending on your objective for the content you’re creating, there could be any number of KPIs to watch. Automating those reports in a dashboard will help you report to your internal team and leadership in an easily consumable way.

For example, if your KPIs are pageviews and asset downloads for a specific campaign, pull those into an executive summary that’s easy to digest with an option to drill down into more specific sources of Traffic and conversions.

#4 – Traffic Trends

While measuring specific pieces of content is helpful to enhance performance, it’s important to keep your eyes on overall performance as well. Knowing whether overall website or blog Traffic is trending up or down versus the previous year or month will help you inform the types of content you need to create next.

For example, if you notice your organic Traffic is trending down month-over-month, you will want to dig into your content report to determine why that is and what needs to be done to repair the situation on a more granular level.

#5 – Performance by Topic and Persona

If you’re trying to reach a specific persona, or increase visibility around an important topic, segmenting your data within a dashboard can be hugely valuable. You’ll be able to tell if your content is more or less visible for your target, or if your content marketing strategy needs to shift to meet a different type of demand for that topic.

#6 – Engagement Metrics

All of the Traffic in the world won’t mean a thing if would-be customers are bouncing off your site immediately. Make sure you’re monitoring your bounce rate and time-on-page for each post to determine if the content is resonating and adjust as needed. While these are often bucketed as vanity metrics, that doesn’t mean they can’t provide meaningful insight or should be forgotten.

#7 – Proof of ROI

To be fully actionable, integrate your sales team’s data sources into your dashboard. With the right analytics strategy, you can pull in performance by page or post from visit to sale. This will help you prove the value of your content, and understand which kind of content converts the prospects you’re looking for.

As a bonus, your sales team will be able to share that kind of converting content as a follow-up from an initial meeting or as a pre-meeting email with their prospects.

Take Action to Spur Action

An actionable Content Marketing dashboard is a pivotal piece to a data-informed Content Marketing strategy. If your data is accurate and your dashboard is actionable, you’re in the right place to start creating and marketing incredible content that has proven ROI and helps your sales team meet their goals. Talk about a win-win!

And before I go, I’d like to leave you with a few rules for measurement mastery:

  • Setting up a custom and integrated dashboard takes time and patience. You may set it up in one way and realize that the KPIs and metrics you have aren’t the ones you need, and that’s okay. Looking at the data in different ways can tell you different parts of the same story. Edits aren’t rework, they’re character development.
  • Don’t be afraid to spend some quality time with your data. As you create the dashboard, it’s important to dig in and manipulate data from different sources to understand how it’s best pulled in to complement the rest of your data set. Sometimes this means changing the way you have forms or tags set up. The more time you spend digging into data up front and understanding the finer points, the better equipped you’ll be to answer questions and provide insights into remaining questions.
  • If you find yourself asking why, look deeper. Sometimes you’ll put all the data together expecting answers, and you’ll encounter more questions. Questions are good, it means the data is telling you something you need to investigate. Don’t be afraid to dig deep, and ask other departments or SMEs for their perspective.
  • Always, always, always annotate. Did you run a really great campaign that showed a spike in Traffic or conversions? Make an annotation. Did you lose tracking for a little while? Make an annotation. Did you implement some major website changes, or do a migration? Make an annotation. Those kinds of anomalies in the data seem major at the time, but easily get lost in the day-to-day management of your world. Annotations will save you from having to dig into your notes, emails or previous campaign data every time it pops up in a report.

Don’t forget: You can’t achieve goals you don’t set. And you can’t optimize performance without measurement. Your Content Marketing dashboard can hold you accountable to both and more.

Are data challenges holding your Content Marketing dashboard or other initiatives back? Check out our post covering the five top marketing data and analytics challenges, complete with tips to start solving them.

The post Measure for Success: 7 Secrets of Actionable Content Marketing Dashboards appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Meet Netflix, NPR, and The New York Times at MarTech

The New York Times, NPR, Adobe, JP Morgan Chase, Nordstrom, Netflix, and Zillow have all mastered the three pillars of martech success: marketing, technology, and management. And what’s more — they’re eager to share their knowledge, experiences, and lessons learned to help you overcome your…

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.