We went on a mission to find the best marketing planning software and tools in 2022. In this article, we are going to go over a few that we’ve used and what we (really) think about them.
With so many options open to marketers these days — email drip campaigns, social media, phone calls, online advertising, print and billboards, content marketing, and more — it’s more important than ever to plan your campaign.
Fortunately, there are more tools and apps to help marketers plan than ever before. In this article, we’ve tracked down 10 of the very best, from Google’s free offering to deluxe enterprise systems.
But first we need to decide upon our essential criteria, by asking…
What makes a good marketing planning tool?
Many marketing planning tools fold lots of functions into their product offering. However, there are a few components which we would consider mandatory. These include:
- A space for tracked collaboration on documents.
- Communication features for remote teams.
- A marketing planning function.
- Templates to help you get up and running.
- Good integrations with CRM and sales platforms, and other tools.
- Some sort of calendar feature for tracking workflows.
- Content creation and testing tools.
Although not all marketing planning platforms will feature all the above, the best of them will include most of these features. Given how many companies are moving to hybrid or remote methods of collaboration, tools which make that easier and more effective are highly prized.
Let’s now look at some of the best platforms for marketing planning available in 2022.
10 best marketing planning software of 2022 (free + paid)
Here are our top picks for the best marketing planning software:
Now, let’s look at how each one can help you plan out your marketing efforts.
- Best for: Major campaign oversight
- Price: $0-$20 a month per seat
Everyone plans differently — some like a calendar or project-planner; others prefer to work from spreadsheets or to do lists. Airtable lets you do a bit of everything, displaying your marketing campaign in whichever way you’d prefer and allowing you to build custom dashboards so you can collect various metrics in one place.
It’s one of the leading project management tools, used by such household names as Expedia, Netflix, and Time magazine. Popular features include a campaign tracker, a range of colorful metrics, and a host of automations to help your campaigns run smoothly — without errors or missed deadlines.
There are facilities to create polished, branded content, monitor current, and scheduled ad campaigns and gain an overview for each product.
Airtable boasts over 1200 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Capterra with users reporting great features for managers and for sales and marketing collaboration. Some users have expressed frustration with its iOS version but overall, the feedback is overwhelmingly positive.
As well as a free basic version, there are packages for $12 and $24 a month, plus enterprise pricing on request.
- Best for: Collaborative brainstorming
- Price: $0-$20 a month per seat
Miro describes itself as an “online collaborative whiteboard” and although it’s not focused on marketing teams specifically, this collaboration tool is ideally suited to suit the time-pressured, distributed workforce of 2022.
The platform’s features for brainstorming and research make this a great resource when in the early planning stages of a campaign. However, it also has a task-based calendar view where you can have oversight of the whole team plan, with individual employees’ roles clearly delineated.
There’s an easy flowchart building tool, to help shape and share your workflow. Miro has some big technology and communications clients including Cisco, Deloitte, Kaiser Permanente, and Dell. The website boasts that they have 30 million users.
The innovative “infinite canvas” allows you to view all materials in one expanding plane, and collaborators can easily tag comments and share documents. More of a project planner than anything else, Miro has integrations with Slack, Trello, Zoom, Monday.com, and a host of other helpful tools and features, including loads of readymade templates.
Miro also boasts a 4.5 Capterra rating, with more than 600 reviews. There’s a generous free version, then tiers at just $8 and $16 with enterprise pricing available.
- Best for: Task management and distributed team oversight
- Price: $0-$30.49 a month per user
This marketing project planner has a real marketing focus, with the ability to track multiple creative workstreams in real-time. There are also functions which help you brief content creators and optimize marketing calendars. Asana has a range of readymade templates for web production, event planning, an editorial calendar and more.
Asana has many digital clients including G2, Autodesk, Sophos, and Voxmedia. It lets you set marketing objectives and easily assign individual responsibilities to task, then track results, making this a useful platform for distributed campaign management.
There’s a strong focus on streamlining processes to save time and retiring legacy methods like email. It’s also one of the best platforms for integration, with hundreds available including Adobe Creative Cloud, Salesforce, Canva, and Microsoft Teams.
Reporting and data visualization is colorful and impactful, and you can build Gantt charts for project planning with ease. It’s one of the top performing platforms on Captera, with over 10,000 reviews and a 4.4 score.
There’s a free version, then four paid tiers ranging from $10.99 to $30.49, with enterprise quotations on request.
- Best for: Cross functional task management
- Price: $0-$29 a month per user
ClickUp aims to be all things marketing-related at once, including campaign, document, and client management. They boast one of the widest ranges of templates, offering everything from A/B testing and SEO assessment to calendars and campaign trackers.
Document management and collaboration are strengths and ClickUp is favored by some big international clients such as Samsung, IBM, and Booking.com. Their tasks feature is basically a project planning suite in miniature.
ClickUp has in-house widgets called ClickApps to help automate regular tasks and metrics, and a goal setting tracker which offers completeness percentages for each piece of work. Everything is readily customizable and color-coded. The features ClickUp provides are very thorough, and include a “bird’s eye” view which breaks down tasks into Ready, In Progress and For Review.
At 4.7 points on Capterra for more than 2600 reviews, this is one of the most popular platforms with users, although there are some dissenters who criticize it for offering too many features!
ClickUp is also one of the best-value marketing platforms around with a free version, a $5 small teams version and other paid tiers at $12 and $19 offering additional features. As ever, there’s enterprise pricing too.
- Best for: Content management
- Price: $9.80-$24.80 a month per user
With Google, Siemens, and Ogilvy on board, and over 20,000 clients worldwide, Wrike has done phenomenally since its launch in 2006. The platform offers complete visibility over all marketing activities including social media channels, creative assets, and tasks in progress.
One neat feature is Wrike’s digital marketing performance dashboard which estimates ROI, views, impressions and other KPIs across all your campaigns. There are plenty of templates and integrations — Wrike holds its own against Asana in this respect.
Wrike has AI-driven task automations too, with something it calls Work Intelligence, whereby it will recommend tasks and priorities based on current campaign status and performance. There are the usual templates for Kanban boards and Gantt charts, as well as proofing and digital publishing options.
The platform is especially strong on content planning and management, although some users report a steeper learning curve than competitor products and less than ideal customer support.
Pricewise, there’s the usual freemium version, plus tiers at $9.80 and $24.80 with enterprise pricing and quotations available for something it calls “Pinnacle,” a high-end version with advanced analytic features.
- Best for: Social media marketing
- Price: $99-$279 a month per user
If social media is a major component of your marketing strategy, Sprout might be the platform for you. Designed to help you maximize engagement and derive actionable insights from analytics, Sprout helps you create, schedule, post and monitor posts across all the main social channels.
Sprout Social appeals to businesses and organizations for whom communication is vital, including Havas, Unicef, Purdue University, and Eventbrite. They are especially strong on data analytics and trend-spotting, important in the fast-moving world of social media.
Since social media is as much about what others say about us as the material we post, there’s a social listening feature too, including competitive and sentiment analysis, so that you can visualize the impact your brand is having.
As you might expect, Sprout integrates with everything from Twitter to TikTok to Twitch (and that’s just the Ts). There are features to identify and reward influencers, segment the online audience for ad placements and compare the competition. There’s even a facility to turn employees into brand advocates with a post-sharing feature called Bambu.
Sprout Social isn’t cheap — free trials of all three tiers are available but the full-featured versions come in at $89, $149, or $249 per month. However, given its power and reach, Sprout might be all you need to become the next Instagram sensation.
- Best for: Reporting and note sharing
- Price: $0-$8 a month per user
Notion is a fully customizable workspace with a lot of use cases, only one of which is marketing. If a lot of their templates look rather similar, it’s because Notion has a very no-nonsense design approach. It creates collaborative documents which double as dashboards or reports.
If that seems a little confusing, the Notion site doesn’t give the clearest idea of what the product is. However, users on Capterra calls it “the only knowledge management software that connects your wiki, notes, and projects in one tool.”
It scores 4.7 from over 500 reviews on Capterra too, with users highlighting its customizability and collaborative aspects. Other users criticize its Android mobile version and the steep learning curve.
As a note-taking and sharing platform Notion seems very appealing. With the likes of Figma, Loom and MatchGroup it would appear to suit users at the more UX-savvy end of the spectrum. It’s also one of the best value apps in this list at $4 or $8 per user per month, with a free tier and enterprise pricing on demand.
- Best for: Small to medium businesses
- Price: $0-$15 a month per user
Slite combines the DIY simplicity of something like WordPress with an educative approach to devising, planning, and implementing an effective marketing strategy. It has a very minimal aesthetic, allowing you to focus on your strategy and creativity.
There’s a content and presentation tool, The Editor, which helps you put together documents or presentations, and you can add video explainers to communicate with your team (particularly helpful if you have a remote working policy).
Slite is perhaps best understood as a content creation and management platform which will help you marshal a team of writers, designers, and marketers. Like Wordpress, there are a host of templates for any purpose you can imagine including onboarding new staff, brand guidelines, book launches and more.
Slite have their own discussion channel in beta at time of writing, as well as many deep integrations with other platforms and apps including Trello, Loom, and Asana. There’s a very insightful blog, which could help new team members find their feet. That said, the platform boasts some premium clients too, including Airbnb, and Spotify.
There’s a free version and the two next tiers are very good value for money at $6.67 and $12.50 per user per month. Enterprise pricing is available.
- Best for: Startups and business on a budget
- Price: $6-$18 a month per user
For small teams who enjoy working from their inboxes, Google Workspace builds out from Gmail to include a suite of Google tools which enable more efficient team working. Although it’s true that you can use Gmail and other Google products for free, the paid tiers of Workspace add enhanced storage, video conferencing for teams of up to 500 participants, and enhanced security systems.
Workspace integrates Google’s document and productivity systems, including sheets, slides, calendar, drive, and a dozen more. These are business versions which readily integrate with third-party platforms and Google Ads, although you’ll pay separately for your ad campaigns. There are add-ons including a whiteboard app (JamBoard) and even a no-code app creator (AppSheet).
Here’s a remarkable statistic — 96% of the Forbes’ Next Billion-Dollar Startups use Google Workspace. It’s a popular route for startups due to its affordability, flexibility, and familiarity — you can be up and running quickly without learning a whole new platform.
However, Workspace is also popular with some big names, including Deliveroo, Twitter, Lush and Salesforce. As you might expect there’s a free version, but paid tiers are very reasonable — $6, $12, or $18 per user per month with Enterprise options.
10. Confluence (by Alatassian)
- Best for: Large distributed teams
- Price: $0-$10.50 a month per user
Confluence is very much a results-driven tool integrating marketing and sales functions. It’s a product from the legendary Alatassian project management software brand and focuses on collaboration within document creation. Like many of the offerings described in this rundown, it’s designed for remote-working teams; Alatassian are the people behind Trello, so workstream management is a highlight.
Integrations are thorough, with hundreds available. Alatassian’s own Jira helps to automate notifications and speed up repetitive tasks. The platform is divided into two main components — pages and spaces. The former are collaborative documents, while spaces are where documents and strategies are organized.
There are over 75 templates to help you plan your marketing strategy. Document or information sharing is simple and intuitive. Confluence has over 2000 reviews on Capterra, with a 4.4 rating. Major clients include Audi, GoPro, LinkedIn, and the New York Times.
Costing is a little opaque, with bespoke pricing for all users. A little digging reveals that there’s a sliding scale per user per month. This runs from $5.50 for teams of up to 100 down to $2 per user per month for Enterprise subscribers with over 15,000 users.
It's no doubt that marketing plays an important role in society. And as marketers, we need to make sure we provide value to the world. However, the most effective marketing teams don't just wing it, they put in the time to plan their marketing initiatives.
Although there are many platforms offering a marketing planning approach, some provide better value than others. Which one you select will very much depend on the size of your team and what developmental stage your company has reached. Many of them offer so many features that there may be a steep learning curve. Others are more stripped-down and intuitive.
Here are the two platforms that most impressed us in terms of team collaboration:
- Clickup for its comprehensiveness and performance.
- Wrike for its automations and value for money.
It’s also worth mentioning how many businesses have succeeded by starting with the free offerings of Google Workspace and then adding on extra functionality as they grow.
That said, with free trials available for most of these products, it’s worth exploring your options to see which proves most popular with your team.
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