What is a Digital Product Agency?
To bring innovative digital products to market, you require a degree of creativity, vision, technical know-how and the ability to execute in an iterative and value accretive way. The is where digital product agencies set themselves apart from typical web development companies.
A digital product development agency works as your partner to turn an idea into a functional reality that users can rapidly begin to use, using the discipline of prioritisation from core product management theory. It’s about deciding what is in your lean MVP, MVP, and then optimum viable product.
In this blog post, we will dive deeper into the world of a product agency. We will look at the role a digital product development agency plays, the benefits over that of a traditional web development company and why product agencies are quickly becoming an indispensable asset to businesses looking to streamline their development process, deliver exceptional user experiences and get to market (fast!).
Let’s begin by defining a Product Agency
A product agency is a highly specialised organisation; it collaborates and leads across business transformation, design, development, and user-experience. The goal is to look at digital product in a holistic manner; covering every stage of the product lifecycle to better understand user-intent and deliver a minimum viable product that lets you get live and begin iterative learning with real world data.
A product agency is usually engaged at the conceptualisation stage (though doesn’t have to be) with a view to quickly delve into strategy, design, development, deployment and then optimisation.
What is the role of a Product Agency?
A digital product development agency is the bridge between the client’s vision and the market, combining strategic thinking, technical expertise, and user-centric design to create an exceptional product.
At a high level, this often includes:
Working closely with clients to define a very clear digital product strategy that is aligned with the client’s target audience, goals, and market trends. A product agency is likely to conduct in-depth research to identify un-met opportunities in market, product features and ultimately propose a vision that has phases (or what is referred to as a digital product roadmap).
User experience (UX) design
User-centric design lies at the heart of a product agency's approach. A digital product development agency is tasked with creating intuitive, engaging, and aesthetically appeasing user interaction for a seamless user experience.
It’s about ‘surprising and delighting’ your customer.
This is usually done through initial wireframing, prototyping, and then either usability testing or the preferred lean MVP model to deploy fast / learn fast / fail fast with real users.
Development and engineering
A product agency will have a dedicated team of highly skilled developers that are proficient in strategic thinking, not just executing. The development team and engineers will bring the product to life by writing code, building highly scalable architectures, and integrating APIs to ensure robust functionality is quickly realised.
Quality assurance and testing
Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects to digital product development is sense checking what has been built against initial strategy. It’s not just about uncovering technical bugs, it’s about evaluation and quality assurance to ensure a flawless user experience, that is functional, secure, and ready for launch.
Launch and optimisation
A good digital product agency knows that the launch phase is critical to success. It’s about developing a highly detailed rollout plan that merges all factors of the MVP into a state of readiness to reduce the stress on the day you choose to launch your rocket into space. Furthermore, a product agency plans to continuously monitor the products performance using data analytics and tracking; the goal is to analyse usage, performance, and core business success metrics to rapidly improve and optimise the product. Ranging from product optimisation to search engine optimisation - a digital product agency is focused on the continuous evolution of the product.
What are the benefits of engaging a digital product agency over that of a traditional web development company?
Expertise and approach
A digital product agency will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. It’s a single team that essentially amalgamates design, UX, development and product management.
A digital product development agency will have specialized teams with diverse skill sets, covering design, development, marketing, and more. By leveraging their experience, businesses can tap into a deep well of knowledge and best practices.
Cost and efficiency of time
Partnering with a product agency saves time and effort. It’s faster and leaner than trying to assemble an in-house team. A digital product agency has pre-established workflows, process, access to the latest tools and technology. It streamlines development and reduces time to market and taps into constantly evolving thinking that is sometimes lost in corporate environments.
Scalability and flexibility
Product agencies are well positioned to handle projects of varying size and complexity. A digital product development agency can scale up, down or sideways based on client needs – ensuring the correct and most highly skilled resources are utilised at key stages of the product lifecycle.
We like to use the analogy of website hosting; 20 years ago, you bought a server box and ran your website. If traffic spiked, the server would die. Now, we use cloud hosting. Under the cloud hosting model, if website traffic spikes, the server immediately begins to scale upwards to ensure continuity of service at the highest standard.
Innovative perspectives that are fresh
A digital product agency brings a fresh perspective from outside your organisation. The job of a product agency is to challenge assumptions, identify market blind spots, bring creative solutions that you would have otherwise not thought about. The end goal is to make a product that stands out from that of the competition and doing that in-house is not always the best approach.
To summarise, what does it all mean?
Digital products live and die by innovation. Businesses need to deliver exceptional digital products to stand out and win. A product agency can play a pivotal role in making this a reality. It brings together all aspects of the product lifecycle to deliver value at each stage of the process.
Oh, and don’t forget – our job as a product agency is to make you (the client) stand out in your organisation. We help you show up well, deliver well and get the credit for the ultimate success that you deserve.