Ad agency software solutions

Ad Agency software solutions: Best of Breed vs All in One

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Ad agencies typically want simplicity when it comes to agency tools. They are looking for agency software that’s simple, has an easy-to-use interface, and makes their lives easier. That was certainly not the case until a few years ago. Many software solutions were designed and built for functionality and the user experience (UX) was secondary.

That is no longer the case, particularly when it comes to project management tools for agencies. The market has exploded and there are now a lot of choices when it comes to agency software solutions.

The case for 'All in One' advertising agency software

One of the problems that agencies face (other than feeling overwhelmed with all the choices) is that they manage lots of different software, so they end up rekeying the same information into multiple systems.

We find that the main reason that agencies select WorkBook as their software solution is that it provides them with all the functionality that they need in one solution. It’s the best all-around advertising tool on the market. It has:

  • CRM to manage leads, prospects, and opportunities.
  • Project management so that all projects are kept in order. All users know what they are supposed to be doing and when.
  • Resource Management so the agency can plan the teams effectively and ensures that it has the capacity to deal with upcoming work. Or bring in freelancers if necessary.
  • Collaboration is inbuilt so that all conversations (internal and with the client) are kept with the records that they relate to.
  • Finance so invoices, purchase orders, timesheets, and even revenue recognition entered in the PM module flow seamlessly into the financials. Creditor invoices and client payment information flow back to the Project Management module so project managers get real-time information relating to their projects.
WorkBook ad agency software solutions
The Case for "Best of Breed"

That all said, there are some agencies, who deliberately will choose the ‘best of breed’ when it comes to software for advertising.

These agencies deliberately go out and look for the best CRM solution on the market, the best marketing software for agencies, the best ad management platform, the best project management, the best collaboration tool, and the best finance system. They will then spend the time and money to integrate these to give them the best overall solution.

So, the question is: what factors should your agency consider when it comes to best of breed vs an all-in-one ad agency platform?

These are:

1. Buying ‘best of breed’ is expensive.

Your agency has to buy lots of different software packages and pay for them to be integrated. The agency probably also needs a ‘middleware’ tool that allows the systems to communicate with each other. The agency will need a dedicated team of system professionals to manage all these things together.

2. Requirements.

Does your agency have some specific requirements that will not be met by an “all in one solution”? If so, then you may need to go down the ‘best of breed’ route. Be careful, however, to make sure that these are genuine agency requirements and not some cool functionality that you think your agency will use.

3. Tech resources.

Agencies with a lot of technical resources/skills may be better suited for a best-of-breed approach to agency software tools. For example, the tech team will implement single-sign-on (SSO) so users will not have the inconvenience of needing to remember lots of different passwords.

All the above points to the larger ad agencies and or the networks. They have the economies of scale to buy the best software for each process. They have the most complex requirements in terms of meeting statutory and regulatory obligations. These agencies have large IT departments or business systems teams that can manage all the technical challenges associated with having different systems. These teams also create integrations to avoid staff having to enter the same data in multiple systems.

Ironically, many of these agencies also use systems like WorkBook because it:

  • Also has an open API (making integration simple.)
  • Supports SSO.
  • Has strong security and supports dual authentication protocol.

What about your agency?

Smaller independent or digital marketing agencies (who work with lower margins) tend to go for the all-in-one software platform. It’s simple to implement and easy to train and use so has a quicker adoption. After all, they are in the business of creating the best ads for their clients, not managing software.

The larger agencies have more complex requirements, larger budgets, and more technical expertise so will go for the best-of-breed ad agency software solutions.

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