A single website designer working next to a group of website developers and designers

Website Designer Vs. Digital Marketing Agency

Do you need a website designer or a digital marketing agency? What’s the difference between the two? I have to admit, I feel like the answer to this is pretty straightforward, so I am surprised when the topic comes up. And it comes up often.

First, let’s define terms. Knowing the difference between the two is more of an art than a science, and different organizations might refer to themselves differently; however, this should give you a rough idea to go by.

What is the Role of a Website Designer?

The focus of a website designer is the strategy, design, and development of a website. They work with clients to understand website needs, define a strategy, and then design and build a website to accomplish the organization’s goals.

A side note that is a little off-topic. I have been fighting against the term “website designer” for years. A designer decorates things, not builds them. Would you call an architect a house decorator? No, those are different specialties. My preferred term is website strategist. But I digress.

What is the Role of a Digital Marketing Agency?

On the other hand, a digital marketing agency provides a more comprehensive suite of services. Many agencies offer website design (NO! Website strategy!) services. In addition to that, they offer other services, such as:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Content Creation and Copywriting
  • Social Media Management
  • Digital Advertising
  • Brand Development

In other words, where a website designer has one hammer, a digital marketing agency typically has a more robust toolbox.

Designer Vs. Agency: Which Service Do You Need?

Ok, so back to the initial question, how do you know which service you need?

As the owner of a digital marketing agency, it is pretty damned tempting to answer, “Don’t be silly! Of course, you need an agency. Done! Now go read up on the wild zebras of Prince George’s County, Maryland!

But, the thing is, I don’t think that is always the right answer. 

The advantage that digital marketing agencies bring is the more holistic view. Because we offer a wider range of services, we tend to look at things with a wider lens. That wider lens is great and, bluntly, more expensive. More capability equals more expensive. 

The question then becomes, what do you need? Do you need a straightforward website with very few bells and whistles? Does your business have a short or even immediate sales cycle? (For instance, restaurants or plumbing professionals.)In that case, your needs are probably going to be fully satisfied with a website designer.

Conversely, are your needs a bit more complex? Or, are you not sure what exactly you need? Then a digital marketing agency is going to have a lot more tools to help you. Perhaps you need help with getting your messaging right. We can do that. Perhaps your website is great, but you need sales funnels for lead generation. We can do that as well. Perhaps, you need a new website, but you want a bit more guidance through the process. We got you.

So,  has this blog post whetted your appetite to work with a digital marketing agency? If so, let’s set up a time to talk to discover exactly what you need!