/ /

What Should Be in Your Marketing Toolbox for 2018 and Why?

Published: February 15, 2018       Updated: July 13, 2024

4 min read


In the age of digital technology, agencies have an overwhelming number of marketing tools and programs to choose from. Whether you’re a specialized agency or an integrated firm, the various tools at your disposal can be as specific or high-level as you need. 

The trend we see is that a lot of point-solution options are being combined and integrated, making it easier to select tools that provide the most value. We are always striving to enhance our processes and reporting to increase our clients’ ROI. With that, we want to share our 2018 digital marketing toolbox, and give you a look under the hood at the tools we are proud to use. 


As a platinum partner of HubSpot, we use this platform in all phases of our clients’ success. HubSpot started as a purely inbound marketing training and execution tool, but has grown to include a robust CRM, website development and website maintenance capabilities. These components can be used separately, but, when used together, they form an integrated solution to connect and optimize efforts across your sales, marketing and website. 

Idea Grove is an advocate of the Inbound Marketing process, and we’ve used its methodology to achieve great success for our clients. How do we do it? First, we create relevant content for our clients that addresses the problems of their ideal customers. Then, we distribute the content through the most appropriate channels, including social media, blogs, email campaigns, websites and more.

HubSpot allows us to do all of this from one dashboard. Even more, it allows us to create forms, landing pages, smart lists, emails and social posts from a unified platform. With HubSpot, both the agency and our clients have visibility into the results of the Inbound Marketing process. 

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is our preferred tool for social media publishing, engagement and listening. It is  user friendly, easy to implement and offers a wide range of capabilities agencies need for social media management. Sprout Social is also friendly to our clients’ budgets, which can easily inflate when combining multiple tools.

Through Sprout Social, we’re able to publish to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and various other social media channels.

In addition, Sprout Social offers a variety of other features, including:

  • Streamline editing and approval processes
  • Create customized, automated reports
  • Curate third-party content
  • Engage with our clients’ audiences
  • Listen to keyword-based conversations.

By being a Sprout Social partner, Idea Grove has an inside track to the product roadmap, comprehensive support and a helpful Slack community, not to mention great thought leadership events to help tie customer ROI, agency needs and industry trends together. 


Reporting has always been a hurdle in the agency world. In the past, we’ve had to cobble reports together from different channels, campaigns and time periods. In turn, we’ve spent countless hours manually compiling data just to uncover the most important insights and next steps.

Through all that, we always asked ourselves:

  • How do we best communicate the results of high-dollar campaigns to our clients?
  • How can we find more opportunities to influence marketing and website strategies?
  • How can we move from a tedious, manual process to one that’s real-time, fast and integrated?

Databox allows us to do all that.

Databox can pull data from 50+ channels–such as Google Analytics, HubSpot, social channels, Google AdWords, SEO, paid social, CRM, and more–into one, customizable dashboard. Access to templates created by other agencies lets us quickly set up reports without re-inventing the wheel each time.

Static reports can quickly become irrelevant for a campaign is still live (looking at you, paid campaigns). But Databox provides a real-time look at our clients’ data and allows us to give our clients a live link so they can see the latest data in their dashboard.


When Facebook changed its algorithm years ago, agencies nervously looked at one another. Organic social media as we knew it, so it seemed, was dead. Paid media was really our only option to push client messages to their untapped social media audiences. Agencies then had to brainstorm for ideas not as costly as paid social ads. This is where we met GaggleAmp. GaggleAmp revealed most companies had an untapped influencer network right underneath them: their employees. 

Through the GaggleAmp employee amplification platform, employees can set up publishing and engagement preferences for their personal channels. Once the company publishes a post to social media, GaggleAmp automates shares, retweets, and likes for employees on the initial brand post. This helps impressions and engagements skyrocket by taking advantage of employees’ personal networks. It also lets  employees share content in their voice, build their professional brand and showcase their company’s efforts.  

Stay Ahead in the Digital Marketing Technology World

Not all marketing tools are created equal. By improving the technology our agency uses on a regular basis, we can provide more ROI to our clients, stay in front of the trends and focus on new opportunities that are coming out in the market. 

If you are interested in getting any of the tools mentioned in today’s post, contact us for partner pricing and opportunities.

Stay Informed with Our Newsletter

Get the latest industry trends and insights delivered straight to your inbox.

Expert PR and Marketing Services

Contact us today to discuss how we can help your business grow.