It is the little things that make a difference when marketing campaigns win. Having the right tools for your team to maximize performance in each task is crucial. This article will help you select the right campaign management software system for your needs.
We discuss what to look for in campaign management software and review the top options on the market. Finally, we compare the solutions head-to-head so that you can make an informed decision.
What are we looking at with this article?
This article will help you select the right campaign management software for your company. We are a technology-driven business and have spent a lot of time testing different software options to ensure we find the best setup for our company.
Although it’s been a long road and we will continue to improve our tech stack, we have learned a lot about choosing and testing software tools over the years. We want to share this knowledge with you to help you select the right campaign management software.
Here’s a summary:
- What should you look for?: The attributes and features to look out for in campaign management software.
- TrueNorth review: All-in-one campaign management and planning system.
- ActiveCampaign Review: The best email marketing platform.
- HubSpot reviews: Multichannel campaign software.
- CoSchedule Review: Campaign Management for Content Marketing Teams.
- ClickUpReview: Project management approach to marketing campaigns.
- Comparison: This is a head-to-head comparison of the pricing, features, and usability of these tools.
This article is primarily about product reviews for our top picks. However, we will first go over the key features and qualities that you should be looking for in campaign management software. Next, we will review each product, examining the key features, pricing, plans, pros and cons, and our verdict.
We then compare all of our recommendations in a “head-to-dead” comparison section. This includes comparing the pricing details, features, and usability of each tool.
What do we look for in campaign management software?
Although campaign management software can reduce inefficiencies when managing marketing campaigns, it is important to keep in mind that every marketing team is different. Some people work in traditional offices with fixed teams, while others use agile, flexible frameworks that allow for remote working, rotation of staff, and deep collaboration (e.g. marketing and product development).
Some companies invest more in certain marketing channels than others. Your company might rely heavily upon content marketing, SEO, and email marketing. However, others may prioritize paid media, account-based, affiliate programs, and other strategies.
It is important to understand what campaign management software you require. You will almost certainly be able to benefit from some features that are only available on certain platforms. If you are heavily invested in email marketing features such as subject line optimization tools and email automation could be the best decision for you. However, companies who prioritize other channels will benefit from a different platform.
We can’t give you specific features, but we can show you the essential features that every company and marketing team needs in campaign management software.
Look out for platforms that offer a lot of campaign planning tools if you feel generic project management platforms lack the necessary features to manage campaigns. If you take campaign planning seriously, providers are more likely to offer the features that you need to manage marketing campaign campaigns.
Other than that, campaign planning tools will increase the quality of your campaigns. It makes sense to access these features through the same platform that you manage them.
These are the key features of campaign planning that you need to be aware of:
- Campaign goals and milestones: Establish goals and milestones for your campaign by setting marketing KPIs and metrics that you can track as the campaign progresses.
- Idea: Tools and features that will help you and your team come up with better marketing ideas.
- Campaign simulation: You can predict the outcome of campaigns before you spend any money.
- Timeline: Sketch out the campaign activities and team members’ work schedules.
- Budget Management: Data-driven tools that help you to allocate a marketing budget for each campaign.
- Campaign templates: Templates that make it easier to plan campaigns. This is especially important if your campaign management system uses Project templates.
- Campaign Tracking: Built-in features for tracking campaigns and the ability to import data from platforms such as Google Analytics.
These campaign planning features are key to distinguishing campaign management software from standard projects management systems, which often lack the depth and marketing tools you require.
Marketing schedules and timelines
Project management systems often include multiple “views” that allow you to visualize your data in various ways. These views can be used to view your data in different ways, such as timelines, Kanbans, Kanbans, workloads, and lists. The timeline view is essential for managing marketing campaigns. It can be used to plan and manage your campaigns.
You can use the timeline view to visualize all marketing activities within your campaign. This will ensure that you have sufficient time and resources to complete them all within your timeframe.
Although most project management systems offer a timeline view, they are often reserved for more expensive plans. So make sure to check before you sign up.
Project management software’s timeline view is not designed for marketing campaigns. The TrueNorth Timeline view can be viewed again. You will see columns that show marketing spend and a hover tab that shows data points for expected spending, leads, and ROI. These are compared to the actual marketing figures.
This timeline view is not intended to be used for general project visualizations, but for planning and managing marketing campaign plans. Generic timeline views have a problem. They offer limited visualizations and data that is more focused on task management. Because campaigns are just one of the many types of projects TrueNorth has to offer, they can’t offer as much marketing functionality as TrueNorth.
Although task management is essential to running campaigns, it is also an area that requires compromises. Project management software will provide the best features for managing your tasks and workloads. This is in contrast to platforms that are geared towards marketing campaigns. All of the platforms that we have reviewed offer tools and features to help you manage your marketing tasks. However, not all of them are equal.
Some of our suggestions will provide task management features that are similar to what you would expect from project software. Some software recommendations offer a simpler set of features that allow you to assign tasks to members of your team and change statuses. We’ll evaluate each recommendation.
Predictive technology makes use of your data to predict future outcomes and make better marketing decisions. Instead of reacting to past events you can predict future events and create strategies to maximize opportunities.
While most of the platforms that we are looking at offer some predictive features, there is a lot to choose from. A few of these platforms include predictive lead scoring features that help you predict the likelihood of prospects converting, so you can concentrate your marketing efforts on the most promising leads.
Another tool uses predictive technology for calculating how long certain tasks take your team. TrueNorth also has its own campaign simulator, which predicts the outcome of the campaign ideas so you can go with your best ideas and optimize live campaigns against projected outcomes.
A dedicated campaign reporting feature is another important characteristic that you should look for in campaign management software. Campaign management software must be able to track performance and collect the data needed to gain insight. It should also be capable of visualizing data efficiently so that you can optimize campaigns.
All of the platforms mentioned in this article offer campaign reporting capabilities to some degree. Apart from native reporting options, it is important to pay attention to data import capabilities and integration options on each platform.
Also read: 10 Types of Digital Marketing Campaigns
Marketing campaigns are not something you can just set up and forget. They require constant analysis and optimization. It is important to have adequate reporting capabilities in your campaign management software. You should also consider campaign experiment features to allow you to make changes and maximize performance.
We explained earlier that project management software usually has the best task management features. Campaign experiments are a similar story. While dedicated CRO software will offer the most testing capabilities, some platforms that we are looking at today have advanced tools to run campaign experiments.
Campaign management software was created to make your campaigns run more efficiently, as we explained in the introduction. Automation features can automate repetitive tasks and save you time to improve your marketing process.
While automation is an essential component of modern marketing software systems, the quality and depth of automation features can vary widely between products. The campaign management systems that we are looking at today also reflect this. Although all the products in this article have their own automation features they can also be used to automate whole marketing campaigns.
TrueNorth is a platform for marketing planning and campaign management that helps you create better marketing strategies and manage them more effectively. TrueNorth is built around a marketing track system that gathers all your data in one place. However, reporting and analytics are just the beginning.
TrueNorth’s predictive simulator allows you to forecast campaign results and project outcomes. This allows you to test your strategies before you risk your marketing budget. You can also use this feature for prioritization and to create campaign briefs.
TrueNorth is a powerful planning tool that allows you to create better marketing strategies.
This feature is also valuable for marketing management. You can run campaigns against simulations to identify performance issues and fix them before you spend too much budget. You’ll also be able to identify high-performing campaigns quicker, which will allow you to allocate more budget for top-performing campaigns, maximizing your ROI.
TrueNorth is a better alternative to campaign simulation. TrueNorth allows you to track performance over a period of days or weeks in order to get a true picture of the performance.
You can also use the platform’s predictive technology to predict potential fixes to underperforming campaigns, and adjust campaign settings to assess their impact on your campaigns. Based on your conversion rates, you can determine how much traffic you will need to generate enough revenue for a campaign that isn’t producing enough revenue.
This information will help you decide whether to spend more on inbound strategies to increase traffic or if to prioritize other strategies (e.g. conversion rate optimization) to reach your goals.
- Campaign planning: Create winning marketing ideas quicker with built-in tools that allow you to manage every stage of your creative process.
- Marketing timeline: Create a marketing plan and assign tasks to your team.
- Campaign Tracking: Keep track of all your campaigns from one place. All campaigns, whether they are upcoming or in the present, can be tracked across all channels.
- Growth projection: Help your team make the right decisions using data-driven forecasts
- Simulate campaign results: Use this tool to predict the outcomes of campaign ideas and choose the best strategies.
- Milestones: Establish milestones for campaigns based on data-driven projections and optimize campaigns to meet targets.
- Campaign reporting: Compare campaign performance with simulations, adjust and restimulate in order to identify the improvements that will maximize campaign performance.
- Campaign ideation: Create winning campaign ideas quicker with simulation and collaborative ideation.
- Idea Capture: Gather ideas from your team outside meetings to help you develop the best concepts immediately.
- Prioritize ideas: Use the Impact, Confidence, and Ease framework to prioritize campaigns and strategies. This framework is supported by data-driven campaign simulations.
- Historical Comparisons: Use your past experiences to compare new ideas and build campaigns that are based on the best practices, not gut feelings.
- Analytics: It’s easier than ever for you to quickly adapt when a campaign isn’t working, or double down when it does.
Also read: Top 10 PPC Tools for Advertising Campaigns
ActiveCampaign is a marketing automation platform that leverages your customer data to help you develop growth marketing strategies, is called ActiveCampaign. TrueNorth uses marketing data to improve your strategies. ActiveCampaign, however, uses customer and website data to help leads move through the sales funnel. This is primarily done via automated email marketing strategies.
You can send automated cart abandonment emails to customers who leave the session without completing their purchase. You can also create an automated customer onboarding process to help new customers set up and follow up on any prospects who do not complete the onboarding process.
- Email Marketing: All you need to manage winning emails marketing campaigns – email builder and templates, campaign workflows. Reporting.
- Marketing automation: ActiveCampaign offers some of the most powerful marketing automation features.
- Lead nurturing: Nurture leads through the purchasing process to turn them into paying customers.
- Customer Cycle Management: Manage customer campaigns at all stages of the customer lifecycle, from lead capture through to the first purchase.
- Predictive technology: Use predictive technology to predict lead scores and customer value, and then send predictive content to your email.
- Website monitoring: Create hyper-relevant campaigns through tracking website activity and automated email delivery.
- Personalization: Provide personalized customer experiences through multiple channels.
- Built-in CRM: Manage all your customer data with ActiveCampaign’s built-in CRM.
- Marketing reporting: Monitor campaign performance and optimize results.
Although HubSpot shares many similarities with ActiveCampaign, it places more emphasis on inbound marketing strategies such as blogging, social media, and account-based marketing than email and automation. The platform also includes a CRM to manage your customer data and merge sales and marketing processes.
A landing page builder, chatbots and live chat, web forms, email marketing, and multichannel campaign management tools are all included.
HubSpot’s automation technology may not be as sophisticated as ActiveCampaign’s, which can have an impact on how many email marketing campaigns HubSpot can create. HubSpot’s automation builder is more restricted than ActiveCampaign’s drag and drop. However, ActiveCampaign allows you to automate virtually any sales or marketing process.
HubSpot’s marketing tools are excellent. For example, the form builders and landing pages are much easier to use than those in ActiveCampaign. The HubSpot marketing software is easy to use, although it does require some setup and onboarding.
- Campaign Management: View and manage your campaigns from one place.
- Ad management: Create audiences using your HubSpot contacts list, and see which ads generate customers.
- Chat technology: Add chatbots and live chat to your site for customer support and lead capture.
- SEO Tools: Find SEO problems on your website and learn how to optimize your pages.
- Social media tools: Manage terms, schedule posts and analyze performance across social channels.
- Email Marketing: Send bulk email messages that have been optimized and tested for different devices and mailboxes.
- A/B Testing: Use A/B testing on emails and landing pages to identify the most effective copy and design variations.
- Predictive Lead Scoring: Automatically rank and score lead based upon hundreds of factors, so you can concentrate on the people most likely to convert.
- Campaign reporting: Access in-depth, customizable data about your marketing performance. This will allow you to see how well you are doing and where you can improve.
CoSchedule is a marketing management platform that focuses on content marketing, which is called CoSchedule. Although there are some limitations, the platform is an excellent choice for teams and companies that engage in content marketing.
CoSchedule, like HubSpot, breaks down its software ecosystem into multiple product lines. But that’s about the extent of the similarities.
CoSchedule’s main product is the Marketing Calendar. It offers both a limited plan (free) and a paid plan that includes all the features. You’ll also find CoSchedule’s Marketing Suite which contains the company’s four main products.
- Content Organizer (Content Calendar)
- Content Organizer
- Work Organizer
- Asset Organizer
You can see from the product names that CoSchedule organizes various aspects of marketing campaigns. You have the content calendar, and then the Content Organizer, which allows you to create and schedule content. The tool allows your team to collaborate on content and manage their schedules. You can also save pieces for automatic publication on specific dates.
- Content Calendar: Use CoSchedule’s trademarked content calendar to map out your content marketing strategy.
- Content Organiser: Manage, publish, schedule and promote your content all from one platform.
- Marketing projects: Manage marketing tasks with workload management, collaboration and task assignment.
- Automation: Perform repetitive tasks to accelerate planning and project management.
- Social Management: Manage all your social media accounts and publish content automatically across them.
- Asset Management: Index, store and collaborate on content assets within CoSchedule.
- Integrations: Many integrations with WordPress and Zapier, Google Docs. Mailchimp, and many other services.
ClickUp is unique among the many platforms that are available for managing marketing campaigns. This project management system is more competitive with Asana, Monday.com, and Trello than TrueNorth or other marketing management platforms.
The problem with project management software is its inability to provide marketing-specific features such as email automation, campaign reporting, and forecasting. It must support many different types of projects, including marketing campaigns, sprint runs, product development, recruitment, and so on.
Because project management software doesn’t have the ability to provide specific features for every type of project, it tends not to offer them. Instead, it focuses on the essentials of task management and team reporting.
ClickUp offers specialized features for many types of projects, including marketing. ClickUp’s native Docs software allows you to set campaign or project goals, import data into your analytics tools, visualize campaigns with marketing maps and manage tasks.
You will also find a Sprints App to plan and manage marketing sprints. There are also a variety of agile templates that can be used to quickly plan campaigns.
- Project Planning: Create campaigns and other projects using ClickUp’s collaborative platform.
- Sprint App: Manage and plan marketing sprints using the native Sprint App. Available on all plans
- Task Management: Manage tasks for individuals and teams.
- Spaces: You can organize teams and departments in Spaces, where you can group your projects into folders.
- Views: Manage your campaigns in 15 views including boards, lists, calendars, and more.
- Collaboration: Manage and plan projects at all levels as a team using email, chat, and comments.
- ClickUp Docs: Create and manage documents within ClickUp.
- Reporting: Track progress and set goals with built-in reporting
- Time Management: Keep track of time, estimate task durations, and analyze team performance.
- Marketing templates: With ClickUp’s templates library, you can plan campaigns and market projects more quickly.
- Automation: Automate repetitive tasks with 50+ actions, triggers, and conditions using pre-built, customizable recipes.
The right campaign management software can eliminate bottlenecks in your day-to-day marketing activities. Productivity is about prioritizing time and other resources for high-impact activities and not getting bogged down with admin tasks and meetings.
We’ve reviewed a variety of campaign management systems, each with its own unique features. Although no one system is perfect, we hope to have covered enough information to help you select the right software or combination of tools for your team.