Buyer , User , Startups , Scaleups — 09.16.2022

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

Chelsea Douglass, Director of Marketing

Digital product agencies can offer a transformative approach to building products. If you’re a founder who has an idea for a cutting-edge solution that will change your industry or a CMO seeking to grow your product’s buying audience with better messaging, digital product agencies can be the best option to help. 

The word “agency” can sometimes exclusively conjure thoughts of marketing agencies. As a digital product agency, we often get questions asking to explain the finer differences between these two valid, but distinct, service options. Some people reach out looking for marketing services and then—upon discovering the product-specific services we provide—pivot the conversation to focus on the product itself. 

In this article, we’ll explain how digital product agencies impact more than just the product, where their services intersect with those from marketing agencies, and what unique marketing outcomes they can provide. 

What Is a Digital Product Agency?

A digital product agency brings cross-functional expertise in product management, design, and product marketing to help companies create the best digital product for the first time or improve an existing product. They are a naturally more-involved partner because they focus on the strategy that goes into software-enabled products like apps, websites, and digital platforms, all before code is written or rewritten. 

A digital product agency can work with a founder who simply has an idea, to companies overseeing one or multiple products they want to evolve. No matter who the client is, a digital product agency will work on the strategic level to understand their partner’s vision and produce a digital product that provides an innovative solution to a problem. 

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

What Services Do Marketing Agencies Provide?

While there is a wide variety of marketing agencies out there, most offer similar services, including: 

  • Website development 
  • Branding 
  • Graphic design 
  • Audience targeting 
  • Social media management 
  • Content writing and development 
  • Video marketing 

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

These services can all be very valuable—sometimes essential—for an emerging company looking to make a splash. But they primarily exist to execute on your strategy, which digital product agencies are best equipped to provide as a starting point. 

Does a Digital Product Agency Offer Marketing Services?

Some, but not all, digital product agencies do offer marketing services to their clients. At Innovatemap, we offer product marketing services that all SaaS companies need to establish their marketing foundation and go to market with confidence. We also have expert brand designers who, in tandem with product marketing experts, can create a brand that gives your product credibility and speaks to your target market. These services include: 

Product marketing services:

  • Target market research 
  • Buyer personas
  • Positioning
  • Messaging frameworks 
  • Go-to-market enablement
  • Pitch decks 

Brand services:

  • Brand strategy and identity 
  • Brand activation — logo, color palette, fonts and more
  • Website design and development 

If a digital product agency is going to help you with a brand or marketing facelift, they’re going to ask the questions that tie back to your product and the needs of your buying audience. All actions will go back to the underlying goals of your product itself.  

Why Should I Hire a Digital Product Agency?

Digital product agencies like Innovatemap are uniquely suited to support and build high-growth SaaS companies. While they might perform some marketing functions, digital product agencies primarily offer expertise that revolves around the product itself. They ask, “why does a product exist at all?” and “who is this product best suited to serve?” before making any choices about marketing—that way, when you do get to the marketing, you’re choosing the best path forward. 

When marketing digital products, it is invaluable 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 can dive in and be a difference-maker for your marketing efforts right away.

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