To answer the title of this blog post let’s first start by reviewing the difference between a Digital Marketing Company and a Marketing Company. How much can really be different in today’s digital driven economy?  A lot. Many traditional marketing companies claim to offer a full suite of digital services, when, in fact, they do not.

This isn’t a big secret. Traditional marketing companies’ pitches can seem like smoke and mirrors, hiding the fact that they are not capable of providing true digital marketing services such as search engine optimization (SEO), social marketing, and robust user experience design, website redesign and development– and let’s not forget the ever more critical content and UX strategy now necessary for any brand to truly succeed online.

Mosaic illustration for the advertising campaign of Clear Channel in Switzerland

Marketing Companies often maximize their technical capabilities with a help desk junior associate, while digital marketing companies have a chief technology officer and talent that surrounds him to offer top notch digital services to its clients. Marketing companies often feel because their latest version of Photoshop enables them to make a website design comp they are of course now a top website design agency. Not really true as web design in today’s responsive design world requires services such as journey mapping, taxonomy development, and persona research that informs a sophisticated website presentation to its users that really delivers.

While both top digital marketing companies and top marketing companies offer a sophisticated integrated way to drive targeted traffic to its users, the reality is that the digital firm will offer up ideas that use the latest and greatest digital trends because they have talent focused on emerging platforms and how to integrate them together. From virtual reality to data visualizations, this kind of lingo is second nature at a digital marketing company, but at a traditional top marketing company the answer is either the firm is feeling awkward and not confident offering this solution, or the talent helping is a 3rd party consultant that isn’t truly integrated into the agency’s DNA.

So now that I have helped clarify the difference between a Top Digital Marketing Company and a Top Marketing Company, let’s look at that other word – Company vs Agency.

An agency’s job is to plan a campaign using digital and traditional methods such as PR, broadcast media, online advertising, or direct marketing. They utilize the talents of their art directors, graphic designers, and copywriters. They create campaigns that shine the spotlight on your product or service for a finite length of time.

If you have a global strategy, a well-defined brand, a keen idea of exactly who your customer is, and a designated advertising & creative budget, then you might want to utilize the services of a top agency.

Be doubly sure that you know the characteristics, the lifestyle, and current buying preferences of your customers. You don’t want to waste time and money marketing to the wrong person. Knowing your target audience and your ideal buyer is the job of marketing. Also, knowing how to attract customers versus playing tag with them is the job of marketing.

So in summary – agencies focus on campaigns to solve a client’s very specific pain point.  Usually defined by the client.  Agencies are usually laser focused, agile, and deliver with passion.

Mosaic illustration for the advertising campaign of Clear Channel in Switzerland

Mosaic illustration for the advertising campaign of Clear Channel in Switzerland

Ok, so then what’s is different about a company vs an “agency.”

You may need help in honestly assessing the needs of your business. If that is the case, here are some good questions to start out with:

1)    Are you attracting enough leads?

2)    Are you able to accurately track results of your advertising and marketing strategy?

3)    Are you converting leads to sales?

4)    Are you nurturing and maintaining relationships with your customer base?

These are the types of issues that a company can help you with. The agency prides itself, rightfully so, on taking a high level approach with a laser focus on execution. However, the top marketing company takes a more consultative approach. The result is a marketing strategy that is consistent with your company history, values, and short and long term goals. Finally, the biggest result is getting results that match your expectations.

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