Your marketing or creative agency can only grow so much without the right tools in place. You’ve likely been using some basic applications since day one—like a task management system, time-tracking software, and file-sharing app. These are all essential for early-stage agency growth, but they’re not the tools intended to help your agency scale.
Whether you run a digital marketing, ad, or creative agency, there are five types of software that agency leaders use to run more efficient and profitable businesses.
- Proposal Software: Streamline the proposal process so you can get stunning proposals out to prospective clients within minutes.
- Review and Proofing Platform: Facilitate effective review processes to share, discuss, and approve files with teammates or clients.
- Client Reporting Tool: Automate client reporting and allows you to build customized analytics dashboards.
- Sales and Marketing Software: Empower you to run effective marketing and sales programs to consistently grow revenue.
- Resource Management Software: Gives agencies complete workforce visibility, as well as the ability to schedule resources, optimize project planning, and forecast workload.
We evaluated the top solutions in these five categories to identify the best tools for digital agencies. Read our recommendations to understand the:
- Types of tools that digital (marketing, creative and ad) agencies need
- Best software for digital agencies to use
- Key software features that are most valuable for agencies
1. Proposal Software for Agencies: PandaDoc
Typically, creating proposals for prospective clients is time-consuming. Between the executive summary, project scope, deliverables, budget, team overview, and relevant work, it can take days to complete a proposal and get it out the door.
If you’re looking for creative, marketing, or advertising agency proposal software to streamline this process, we recommend PandaDoc.
PandaDoc lets you create, send, and sign client-facing proposals from a single interface. You can assemble proposals within minutes and monitor what happens after you hit send.
Best PandaDoc Features for Agencies
- Drag-and-Drop Proposal Builder: Build a library of on-brand modules to create custom proposals within minutes.
- Real-Time Notifications: Get notified the moment your proposal is opened, viewed, commented on, or signed.
- Document Tracking and Analytics: See how long clients spend on each page of a proposal and how engaged they are.
- A/B Testing: Test different template modules and monitor the performance metrics for each so you can improve close rates.
Why Agencies Choose PandaDoc
- Saves sales executives hours of time
- Gets more proposals out the door
- Increases number of deals closed
2. Review and Proofing Platform for Agencies: Filestage
Whether you’re running an ad, creative, or marketing agency, chances are you’re producing various types of multimedia content for your clients. And you likely have an internal review process to make sure deliverables are on point before you send them off for client approval.
This process inevitably results in dozens of emails back and forth for each asset as well as comments sent through email and instant message, embedded in PDFs, or even sent in text documents. Feedback is often unclear and sometimes overlooked, resulting in unnecessary extra production cycles.
Enter review and proofing platform Filestage.
Filestage lets creative or marketing agency teams share, discuss, and review all types of files—videos, images, graphic designs, documents, websites, interactive content, and audio files—all in one place.
Best Filestage Features for Agencies
- Project Dashboard: Quickly create approval processes and stay on top of review workflows.
- Annotations: Keep feedback in context with markup tools that allow teammates and clients to add comments within files.
- Version History: Maintain records of all versions and review rounds to ensure that all feedback has been addressed.
Why Agencies Choose Filestage
- Speeds up approvals
- Produces higher quality deliverables
- Reduces scope creep
3. Client Reporting Tool for Agencies: AgencyAnalytics
If you’re running a marketing agency, your clients likely expect to receive some type of report each month that analyzes their marketing spend and results. Most agencies spend a few hours per client per month preparing these reports. Once you have more than a handful of clients, client reporting becomes an impossible task to manage manually, eating away precious team resources.
This is why marketing agencies often have a client reporting tool like AgencyAnalytics.
AgencyAnalytics helps you scale your agency. With a white-labelled reporting platform to track and report on SEO, pay-per-click campaigns, calls, social media, email marketing, and more.
Best AgencyAnalytics Features for Agencies
- White Label: Add your marketing agency’s logo and branding to all reports and dashboards.
- Automated Reports: Build a report once and send it automatically on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule.
- 70+ Integrations: Pull in data from more than 70 marketing channels to get a unified performance view.
Why Agencies Choose AgencyAnalytics
- Eliminates countless hours of manual reporting
- Makes it easy to set client reporting benchmarks
- Delivers more effective campaign results
- Increases client retention
4. Sales and Marketing Software for Agencies: HubSpot
At some point, every design or marketing agency needs to employ some proactive strategies to drive growth. There are thousands of marketing and sales tools to choose from. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when evaluating the best tools for creative, advertising, and marketing agencies. That said, you can’t go wrong with HubSpot.
HubSpot Marketing and Sales Hub
HubSpot offers an all-in-one CRM, marketing, sales, and service platform built with the single goal of helping businesses grow better.
Best HubSpot Features for Agencies
- CRM: Manage all of your contacts in one place and see every action from the time they first discover your marketing or creative agency, all the way through service fulfillment.
- Marketing Hub: Plan and execute all of your marketing campaigns including email, social, and ads from your HubSpot dashboard.
- Sales Hub: Set up your deal flow and access numerous tools to manage your entire pipeline from discovery to closed-won deals.
Why Agencies Choose HubSpot
- Drives awareness for their agencies
- Builds a sales pipeline and enables improved conversions of prospects to clients
- Grows business through the Solutions Partner Program
5. Resource Management Software for Agencies: Mosaic
A bigger team and more clients typically mean more time spent planning, scheduling, tracking, and reviewing projects and people. These efforts gobble up hours every day—time that could be spent on revenue-generating activities.
That’s where resource management software comes in. These tools help you track and optimize workload, capacity, demand, and priorities across all team members and projects within your creative or marketing agency so you can maximize productivity, proactively hire, and increase profitability.
Mosaic is the best resource management software for digital, marketing, advertising, and creative agency teams.
Mosaic provides AI-powered resource planning and workforce intelligence so you can build a more efficient and profitable business.
Best Mosaic Features for Agencies
- Resource Planning: See who is working on what and when, manage capacity, and get AI-powered suggestions to efficiently allocate people to projects and projects to people.
- Workload Forecasting: Get workload under control and strategically plan for the next quarter and beyond.
- Demand Analysis: Know exactly when to hire and when to bring in more work.
- Profit & Loss Analysis: Identify which proposals to pursue and which ones to pass on.
- Budget and Time Tracking: Track project time, fees, billing, and profit all from one place.
- Project Management: Integrate with existing task or project management software to improve project visibility, or use Mosaic's project management features.
Why Agencies Choose Mosaic
- Optimizes and forecasts workload
- Reduces burnout by eliminating overscheduling and minimizing overtime
- Provides complete workforce visibility
- Enables collaborative planning and productive communication across the entire organization
- Identifies talent gaps and enables proactive hiring
- Increases productivity and profitability—guaranteed