I’ll grant you; the digital agency is a newer agency model. I get this question all the time and so I thought I’d offer up a short explanation of what, exactly, a digital agency is and how it’s different. Not that I’m a big fan of quoting Wikipedia, but here’s how they explain it.
[quotes]A digital agency is a business that delivers services for the creative and technical development of internet based products. These services range from the more generalist such as web design, e-mail marketing and micro-sites etc. to the more specialist such as viral campaigns, banner advertising, search engine optimization, podcasting or widget development, etc. [/quotes]
Not an advertising agency
A digital agency isn’t an advertising agency. Advertising agencies primarily deal with traditional mass media. Digital agencies mostly deal with Internet and digital campaigns. Also, advertising agencies make their money off ad placement more so than the work itself. Digital agencies generally make their money through the creative and technical services you hired them to complete.
Not just a web design company
The main differentiator between a web design company and a digital agency is a digital agency has broad and deep expertise in areas your typical web designer just doesn’t. A truly great digital agency understands the big picture for a client’s needs, and has all the tools and expertise to fill a client’s needs and turn out successful multi-platform online campaigns. If it involves pixels or bits, your digital agency should be able to help guide you through.
Solving Problems, Thinking creatively
It’s not enough to know the tools and technologies, either. A good digital agency also consists of excellent and creative storytellers and problem solvers. A great digital agency rises above the noise by insisting on a creative partnership with its clients, and is constantly thinking up ways that its clients can take advantage of new and evolving technologies to better reach their ideal buyers.
The move towards embracing digital agencies is accelerating as businesses realize that the digital world is quickly becoming the most cost-effective, successful, and measurable place to spend their marketing dollars. Smart businesses are realizing that by working with a digital agency they have an effective way to tell their stories in this rapidly evolving digital world, because a digital agency has both the tactical, creative and strategic expertise to help their business thrive.