Marketing Budget Management Software: What Is It And Do You Need It?

Shape's budget tracking dashboard

What is Marketing Budget Management Software?

Marketing budget management software helps businesses coordinate and track their marketing plans and budgets in a single place. Marketers utilize marketing budget management software to track marketing spend and performance by channel in real-time.

Marketers and other stakeholders can use software to understand their business’s holistic marketing performance and budget fulfillment. Likewise, marketing budget management software allows marketers to granularly analyze and optimize each marketing channel’s performance as it fits into the larger marketing strategy.

Marketing budget management software shouldn’t just help marketers understand marketing performance and spend “in the moment.” Optimally, the software enables marketing departments to create comprehensive, data-driven marketing plans and budget forecasts now and in the future.

Marketing Budget Management vs. PPC Budget Management Software

Marketing budget management software and PPC budget management software are similar solutions to a specific need. They both track the spend and efficacy of marketing channels in a unified platform in a way that gives marketers a clear understanding of their macro and micro marketing performance.

One could argue that PPC budget management software, which provides marketers the ability to track and monitor digital advertising spend, is a subset of marketing budget management software. However, the use cases for each type of software vary enough to make them two separate solutions. Likewise, PPC budgeting software commonly falls under PPC management software (which enables the management and optimization of digital advertising campaigns).

Agency vs. Enterprise

While some marketing budget management solutions, such as Plannuh, have an agency offering, many marketing budget management software solutions are best suited for individual enterprise-level organizations. The software provides transparency across an organization by giving Chief Marketing Officers, the marketing operations team, and the finance team a unified way to plan, track, organize, and optimize marketing plans and budgets.

Conversely, most PPC budget management software solutions, such as, focus on serving agencies first and individual businesses second. PPC budget management software allows agencies to track and optimize ad spend at scale across multiple clients, ad accounts, ad platforms, and budget plans.

Marketing Channels vs. Ad Networks

Marketing budget management software allows marketers to add every marketing channel, tool, etc., to help businesses track, allocate, and forecast marketing plans and budgets accordingly. It’s possible to track search engine optimization, digital advertising, email, traditional media, conferences, and more using marketing budget management software.

On the other hand, PPC budget management software allows marketers to track and optimize advertising spend specifically for paid media channels. Marketers cannot track SEO efforts (for example) and primarily rely on PPC budget management software to track campaigns across ad networks.

Tracking vs. Optimization

Finally, marketing budget management software unifies how an organization tracks, collaborates on, and plans its marketing initiatives and budgets. Instead of marketing team members tracking and reporting on marketing initiatives in ten different ways across ten different tools, marketing data is centralized and unified in a way that makes it easier for the team to understand and use.

Typically though, the software is unidirectional. Marketing and advertising data flows into the platform and is analyzed. The data may be used to adjust marketing plans, reallocate budgets to highly successful channels or initiatives, and forecast future marketing performance. But, marketers must still optimize campaigns and tweak budgets in the ad networks themselves. If the software offers bidirectional changes, those integrations are typically with systems such as Salesforce or other top-level CRM or financial software solutions.

While marketers can track digital advertising spend and performance in marketing budget management software, PPC budget management software often provides additional functionality that marketing budget management software does not offer. For example, while marketers may be able to “reallocate” how much budget is allocated to digital advertising in a given quarter in their plan, campaign budget changes must be implemented in the ad platform.

PPC budget management software not only enables marketers to track digital advertising spend across multiple ad networks, but many solutions also offer the ability to make campaign changes directly from the software to ad networks. The software solutions are bidirectional, meaning PPC spend and performance data flow into the platform from the various ad networks. After analyzing that data, marketers can make daily budget adjustments, enable/disable campaigns, or even implement automation with PPC budget management software to help pace advertising spend and prevent overspending from occurring.

How can you Benefit from Marketing Budget Management Software

Managing a marketing organization is becoming increasingly complex, given the sheer volume of marketing channels, plans, and budgets a team is responsible for at a given time. Marketing budget management software is useful for understanding a business's or agency's full spectrum of marketing initiatives and budgets at a given time. It also enables marketing teams to plan and project budgets for future initiatives.

Marketing budget management software unifies marketing channels, expenditures, and performance reporting in one platform. Software is infinitely more useful for tracking and optimizing marketing plans than highly cumbersome, manual, and error-prone spreadsheets.

Marketing team members can free up countless hours they would have otherwise spent on reporting and place that time back into optimizing marketing initiatives. Likewise, marketing budget management software helps provide non-marketing teams and business leaders with more robust insights into marketing performance and spend that they might not otherwise have.

Marketing Budget Management Platforms


Uptempo combines three companies in the marketing performance management space: BrandMaker, Allocadia, and Hive9. Together, the new organization provides a complete end-to-end marketing suite. Uptempo markets itself as one system to plan better, pivot faster, spend smarter and execute confidently. The software enables organizations to build, manage, and adjust global marketing plans in real-time. It also helps unifies and improve workflows between marketing and finance departments as marketing plans and budgets shift.


Plannuh is a cloud-based marketing performance management software that provides marketers with “deep financial intelligence for all marketing activities.” The software was recently acquired by financial performance management cloud software, Planful, in the fall of 2022. Plannuh allows marketers to build marketing plans that consolidate goals, budgets, performance metrics, and campaigns all in one view and automate marketing budget and expense management. Its budget reporting also enables greater alignment across departments and insights into if marketing channels are achieving key performance goals (such as return on investment and lifetime value targets).

Shape & NinjaCat

While Shape and NinjaCat don’t fit into the traditional realm of Marketing budget management software, combined, they provide a powerful way to track, manage, optimize and report on marketing and advertising initiatives and spend.

Advertisers use Shape to track cross-channel ad spend by grouping ad campaigns together in custom budgets. Agencies utilize Shape's intuitive dashboard to monitor campaigns across clients, spot trends, and course-correct pacing issues. Intelligent automation features, such as AutoPilot and SmartSync, help advertisers to eliminate budgeting errors before they occur.

Likewise, digital marketing performance management software, NinjaCat, provides a transformational data engine for unified digital marketing analytics, automated reporting, and campaign optimization. Among its many capabilities, NinjaCat is a powerful marketing agency reporting tool that enables marketers to report on marketing channel performance across digital and traditional channels for all their clients at scale.

Get Started with PPC Budgeting Software

Streamline your processes with our budgeting and automation solutions.

Schedule a Call

Read more from our blog:

PPC Management
Scaling and growing your ppc operations
Product Updates
Recent product related updates and information from the Shape team
Blog Home
Chronological feed of all posts