Digital vs Traditional Marketing

Predictions for 2023

Over the last decade or so, we’ve all heard the term Digital Marketing being mentioned at some point or another, with reference to how this game changer has introduced new ways in which brands market themselves and reach out to their target audiences. But what’s the essential difference between digital and traditional marketing? And what does 2023 look like for marketing practices?

Today’s innovative and continuous marketing activity is shifting towards an ‘always on’ approach. Meant to grab people’s attention, Digital Marketing has to compete in today’s Attention Economy, a landscape based on the notion that the most valuable currency in the marketing world is attention. When compared to more conventional marketing channels such as TV, radio, print media (such as newspapers and magazines) and billboards, digital marketing uses digital technologies and presents us with the ability to reach and engage customers online. This can include means like email, social media, websites, mobile applications and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which helps our websites rank higher on Google. 

With a faster growth rate in internet users over the past decade, with, as stated by the latest industry reports, a total of almost 5 billion internet users in Q2 of 2022, the ease of access to digital channels has led to a rise in digital marketing, making it an essential part of any businesses’ marketing practices. In addition, with almost 60% of the global population having access to top social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Whatsapp, Instagram, WeChat and Tiktok, targeting different age groups and niche markets has become easier for brands to promote their offering

Key differences between Traditional and Digital Marketing

The key differentiator between digital and traditional marketing, is that that the former allows for greater visibility and measurement. This means that we can track a user through their customer journey to assess touchpoints with a brand at every step of the way; from viewing a banner on a third-party website, to an advert on a social platform, to a page view on one of their web pages, leading up to a purchase on an eCommerce website. 

Analysing this kind of data through traditional advertising was virtually impossible, and when taking into consideration other factors such as cost, timeliness and flexibility of the advertising material being changed mid-way through a campaign, the opportunities that digital marketing is presenting us are endless. Social media platforms, in particular, now enable brands to specifically target audiences by location, age, interests and the websites they have visited in the past through platforms such as Facebook and YouTube (through Google), or even by job titles, years of experience, and job seniority on LinkedIn, amongst many other options. The added benefit here is that this process, although requiring the right talent, has minimal upfront costs, making it cost-effective for both large and small businesses. 

traditional and digital marketing

Forecasts for 2023

With the vast amount of digital resources available at everyone’s fingertips, customers' expectation for immediacy is increasing, and a digital marketer needs to be there to deliver the right message at the right time if they want to succeed in this highly competitive landscape. A marketing department must be agile, and keep up with trends and updates to all platforms to stay ahead of the game, and competition.

Here are some digital marketing forecasts to look out for in 2023:

The Power of Big Data will Continue to Grow

As digital marketers, our dependence on big data is as inescapable as it is transformative. By integrating it into digital marketing channels, and relying on it for extraction of insights to aid in decision-making, businesses will continue to progress. This is not expected to change any time soon, even with looming regulations that could impact how businesses currently collect data through these channels, such as Google Chrome removing ‘cookies’, which are currently considered an essential tool for data collection. 

group pf people

Customer Experience & Content Interaction

Customers want to feel valued and engage with personalised content. They expect a digital experience that treats them in a unique way, based on their needs and desires. Brands must focus on optimising the customer experience across all touch points; providing solutions and allowing potential consumers to reach out to a brand directly through their preferred platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, an online website chat, and so on. Furthermore, brands must make an effort to offer interactive and personalised content on all their owned platforms, such as the website, social media channels, and email marketing, to increase engagement.

girl with mobile

Visual Content

Images, and even more importantly, videos enable messages to be communicate effectively, whilst leaving an impact through entertainment, humour or presenting valuable information. This extremely effective medium is increasingly being renowned for capturing attention on social media in what is known as ‘short form’, videos that are less than a minute long and built for engagement. With 75% of Instagram users taking action after viewing a video ad, for example, businesses are to keep focusing their efforts on producing short and engaging videos that are optimised for mobile in a vertical video format.

man watching video

Increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

With platforms further adapting to and making use of AI, teams can gather insightful customer data and provide new services and experiences, which can then be used to create marketing tactics that will boost sales. This data will help brands optimise spending, targeting and tailoring of content, and enhance the overall customer experience.

girl with speaker

Influencer Marketing will continue to grow

Influencer marketing refers to instances in which brands collaborate with social media influencers and opinion leaders with a considerable following base to promote a brand or offering. Influencers are considered as trustworthy sources of information, especially to younger generations like members of Generation Z, aged between 13 and 25. A recent report on social trends highlighted that 94% of marketers who have used influencer marketing campaigns found these to be effective, with this strategy yielding a return on investment of as much as 11 times higher when compared to other channels. In 2023, this trend is forecasted to continue to grow, as influencers continue to present us with the unique opportunity of nurturing trust between our brands and potential customers, and enhancing our level of transparency and authenticity which is highly sought after by today’s responsible consumers.

teenager with mobile

In summary...

The rapid change in digital technologies is presenting businesses with new opportunities. External factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic have surely accelerated this growth also, with many people resorting to, and relying on, digital channels to connect to family, friends, brands, and the rest of the world. 

The key takeaway is that when it comes to Digital Marketing, considering the rapidly changing and shifting digital landscape there is no guarantee “what works today will work tomorrow”, and it is crucial for brands to keep updated with the latest trends and technologies in order to deliver value in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Contact us

Elizabeth Camilleri

Elizabeth Camilleri

Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications, PwC Malta

Tel: +356 7975 6972

Maurizio Cortis

Maurizio Cortis

Marketing Manager, PwC Malta

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