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Trending Questions

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing—increase online consumer engagement

Digital marketing—talk about a term that’s wide in scope. It encompasses all marketing that targets multiple digital channels where your customers and prospects live, work, and play. Making use of electronic devices, such as personal computers, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, and more. This type of marketing can also involve applications, including email, social networks, search, and websites.

Stop and look around for a moment. Did you check your email? How about your phone? Did you post a picture of the meal you just ate to Facebook? Did you tweet about a new pair of headphones? Or maybe you played some Candy Crush or whatever the hot, new mobile game is at the moment?

Today, it is important than ever for businesses to optimize cross-channel communications and strategies, especially in these unprecedented times when the population is working and living remotely.

Clearly, the entire world has gone digital and uses mobile devices. Marketers have go digital as well for the obvious reason that is where their customers and prospects reside. The fact is the world is a digital one and will remain that way for the foreseeable future (and perhaps beyond). Marketers who want to be successful should focus their efforts on all things digital. Now of course there is much to it than that, starting with having the ability, and knowing how to deliver a cross-channel marketing experience in the digital space. But make no mistake, marketers need to become, if they are not already, true masters of the art and science of digital marketing.

Industry-leading digital marketing platform

The future of digital marketing

Cross-channel marketing—what are the digital marketing channels?

“28% of American adults now report that they go online ‘almost constantly,’” Andrew Perrin and Madhu Kumar, Fact Tank. And B2B and B2C companies have a variety of digital channels for marketers to target and reach their customers and prospects. With 81% saying they go online every day, being able to manage content across multiple channels becomes an imperative to successful digital marketing and creating loyalty with your customers.

At a high level, digital marketing refers the act of creating and disseminating content—and the promotion of that content—through digital channels, such as search engines, websites, landing pages, social media, email, and mobile applications. For many B2B and B2C organizations, these are the main digital marketing channels:

  • Social media marketing (SMM)

    Almost everyone is on social media. While Facebook is still the largest social media platform in the world, it has been loosing ground with younger people. With more than 300 million users, Twitter is still going strong. If younger audiences are your market, you might be better off using SnapChat or TikTok. Instagram can be an effective platform to engage with your audience by using Instagram Influencers to market your products. Brands have also been using Pinterest to sell their products and share content. While LinkedIn gives work professionals a place to connect with colleagues and business associates.

    With SMM, companies promote their products and services by sharing news and information and engaging with followers, customers, prospects, fans, partners—and even competitors—on social media platforms. SMM can increase brand awareness and give your marketers a place to connect with highly targeted prospects. You can even engage with these prospects directly by using social media.

    Each social media platform is different, and they all have their own unique features and strengths. Instagram and Pinterest, for example, rely upon visuals. Facebook allows you to highly target customers based upon the groups they join and the pages they follow. Twitter gives you only a limited amount of space to make a point, but the right hashtags can help your tweet show up in multiple streams.

    Over time, more and more platforms will emerge with different features. Marketers will have to adapt their methods to make the most of the platforms available.

  • Content marketing

    The old saying goes that content is king. Well, the monarchy is truly thriving in digital marketing. Content marketing gives you the chance to connect with prospects and customers, and tell them the story of your brand. The more personalized your content is, the more likely it will interest, intrigue, and hold your audience’s attention. However, your content must provide some sort of value for its audience. They need to take something away from it to build up brand awareness in their minds and increase the likelihood that they will do business with your company.

    Content can take a variety of forms including—but not limited to—emails, landing pages, infographics, ebooks, white papers, banner ads, videos, texts, radio and TV commercials, newsletters, press releases, articles, blogs, and digital post cards. It can be used across a variety of channels. But it’s important that all of your content, regardless of its format or type, uses a consistent voice and messaging that properly reflects your brand and business. With content, you are having a conversation with customers and prospects. Think hard about the impression you wish to make.

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

    SEO refers to the process of optimizing content and websites so that they appear higher and more frequently in organic search results. Your SEO results will depend on two key factors: keywords and page optimization. Using researched keywords and keyword phrases smartly throughout web content will improve your SEO, as will organic link building from high authority third-party pages that drive links back to your site and content.

  • Pay-per-click (PPC)

    PPC advertising refers to paying for each click on a link to a website. Search engines and most social media sites offer opportunities for PPC. Your ads will appear in the feeds of the prospects and customers that you target. The more effective an ad, the more success you will achieve.

  • Search engine marketing (SEM)

    Search Engine Marketing is a type of PPC advertising, though many marketers set it apart in its own category due to how important it can potentially be. It involves paying a search engine for showing marketing messages within its search results for specific keywords.

  • Display advertising

    Marketers can place relevant ads on third-party sites to reach more prospects. Such ads can include banners, boxes, video ads, and interactive ads that link back to one of your websites.

  • Affiliate marketing

    Affiliate marketers earn a commission for promoting your products and services. It is a performance-based type of marketing, as the more visitors and customers these marketers bring in, the more money the affiliate will earn. Note that many bloggers are also affiliate marketers, as they use their blogs to promote different products and services.

  • Email marketing—marketing automation

    This is one of the oldest and best-known forms of content marketing. Through various interactions with your customer base, you collect information about their preferences and gain permission to contact them through their email addresses. You can build an entire email mailing list, or perhaps more than one.

    You can email prospects and customers offers, information about your products and services, news about your company and events, customer success stories, links to case studies and white papers, and more. You have to strike the right balance between sending too many emails and not sending enough. And to help ensure that your emails are read—and not deleted right away—make sure that the content offers something of value and is as personalized as possible.

  • Text messages

    While marketers can reach their audiences on their phones via other channels, text message marketing can be more direct and to the point. You can send only a brief message, and it needs to be concise and effective. Short message service (SMS) refers to text messages that are simply text. Multimedia messages (MMS) includes various types of media, such as videos and gifs. Both can be used effectively in your marketing strategies.

  • TV and radio advertising

    People watch TV and listen to songs using their digital devices all the time. Some have Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and iTunes on their phones and tablets for just those purposes. Smart TVs, while not mobile, are also considered digital devices, due to their internet connection.

    Although audiences may be watching and listening on smaller devices,traditional TV and radio advertising is still a viable way to reach people. As always, your advertising must be relevant, offer value, and strike the right cord to forge a connection with people.

Digital marketing makes history (and sales pipeline) at Mack

Cross-channel orchestration imperative

Cross-channel marketing, or multichannel marketing, involves marketing using a variety of different channels. One might argue that in the new digital world a marketer has to use multiple channels to keep up with what audiences want. Depending upon your targeted customer base, you might need to be using a variety of channels: social media, email, the web, text, TV, radio, and more. The more data you have about your customers and prospects’ preferences, positions, and interests, the better you can craft a marketing strategy with the right content that get delivered over the right channels.

Customers like jumping from digital channel to channel. They can go from social media, to the web, to email in no time at all. You have to keep up with them and provide a seamless customer journey across all your channels. All your channels need to be aligned with your voice and messaging. A disjointed customer journey across different channels turns customers off. Therefore, you must strive for consistency in your digital marketing across all the channels you are using.

Marketing is storytelling. How jarring and confusing would it be if the story you were being told was changed up every so often? If the details were different? If the tone and voice changed? Your audience would not be able to keep up. In fact, they might not understand the message that you’re trying to get across—and won’t stick around to hear how the story ends.

Which is why it is important that the story of your brand stay consistent from channel to channel, interaction to interaction—across all your content. The customer journey should be a pleasant one. Content needs to be easily read, viewed, and digested. Websites should be easy to navigate, ads easy to understand, and graphics pleasing to the eye.

If digital marketing is having a digital conversation with your customers, you want to make the best impression possible so that they will keep talking to you.

Top 10 trends transforming the future of digital marketing in 2020

Taking advantage of the micromoments through current and future digital channels will require marketers to move fast, stay focused, take risks, and execute strongly. Working with new technologies, understanding how they read and capitalize on user behaviors, will come with a learning curve, but businesses that adapt quickly will stand out from the competition.

1.  5G is here—It will change the internet forever

2.  Conversational interface—A paradigm shift in user experience

3.  Real-time language translation

4.  Intelligence interspersed in our lives

5.  Automation will be pervasive

6.  Product innovation and new business models will shake the market

7.  New brands Will continue to disrupt old ones

8.  Self-driving cars

9.  People are changing more rapidly than ever

10.  Channels of communication keep growing

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