About Innovatemap — 07.12.2021

What’s the Difference Between a Digital Product Agency and a Marketing Agency?

Sara Croft, Principal, Growth Marketing

Picture this: you have an idea for a cutting-edge solution that will change your industry. The problem is, it doesn’t exist yet. Does the idea live and die within your mind, or will it come to fruition? The next step—unless you’re a skilled and experienced product developer—is likely to begin a search for an outside partner. There is no shortage of options: development firms, consulting firms, innovation firms, marketing agencies, and freelance networks may come to mind. But a company model that encompasses the services of many of those partners may offer a more transformative approach: a digital product agency.

Of course, the word “agency” can sometimes exclusively conjure thoughts of marketing. As we break down the differences between digital product agencies and marketing agencies, we hope to highlight how both models can lead to reaching certain goals. 

As a digital product agency, we are on the receiving end of the following questions quite often. Some people reach out looking for marketing services, and then—upon discovering the product-specific services we provide—pivot the conversation to be a more in-depth one about the software itself. 

What Services do Marketing Agencies Provide?

While there is a wide variety of marketing agencies out there, typically, most offer similar services, including: website development, branding, graphic design, audience targeting, social media management, content writing and development, and video marketing. These can all be very valuable—sometimes essential—services for an emerging company looking to make a splash. 

Marketing agencies will sometimes have an industry niche that allows them to hunker down and become true experts within a specific field. As a result, SaaS companies will want to seek out a marketing agency partner that has extensive experience in software specifically. 

What is a Digital Product Agency?

A digital product agency is a newer type of agency formed by the need for partners that can provide more all-encompassing services. Digital product agencies offer product strategy, design, development and go-to-market expertise, making them a naturally more-involved partner. A digital product agency can work with an individual who simply has an idea, or companies from startups to enterprise-level. No matter who the client is, a digital product agency will work on a granular level to produce a digital product that provides an innovative solution to a problem. In some cases, like at Innovatemap, the agency may become an official investor or stakeholder in the product, deepening the relationship further. 

For a deeper dive into the kinds of services digital product agencies offer, read our previous post What is a Digital Product Agency?

Does a Digital Product Agency Offer Marketing Services?

Some, but not all, digital product agencies do offer marketing services to their clients. This may include target customer research, branding, website development, graphic design and content marketing support. While these services are available, they are usually utilized in tandem with product strategy and development service offerings. Meaning: people aren’t hiring a digital product agency to simply develop a logo. 

Why Hire a Digital Product Agency? 

Digital product agencies like Innovatemap are uniquely-suited to support and build technology companies. In addition to performing some marketing functions, digital product agencies can provide expertise and services that push products from idea to reality. In essence, a digital product agency is a technology company, too. 

Working in software, it is very valuable to have a partner that understands what it’s like to work in tech, how important it is to be agile and nimble, and what makes for an industry-changing product. That’s why a digital product agency often makes for a seamless partner who is able to dive right in and be a difference-maker right away.

If you think a digital product agency might be the right partner to bring your product idea to market, get in touch. We are happy to answer any and all questions, and learn more about the digital product idea that keeps ticking in your mind.