Big changes are coming over the next several years that will affect how digital marketers connect with and build strong relationships with their customers and prospects. Generative AI will be a huge driver of these changes, creating both massive opportunities and massive disruptions to the status quo.

In the 55-minute on-demand webinar below, we discuss each of those in detail, as well as provide recommendations for how brands can adapt to each set of changes. However, in the remainder of this post, we highlight changes solely across the media landscape.

As transformative as generative AI is, it’s also disruptive. We’re seeing that side of GenAI play out in our predictions around which marketing channels will rise and which will fall in the years ahead.

Search traffic is predicted to fall dramatically because of the impact of chatbots like ChatGPT and the expansion of zero-click search results, such as Google’s AI Overviews. According to Gartner, Search traffic will decrease by 25% by 2026, and 50% by 2028. This is on top of AI-generated web content outranking and drawing traffic away from human-generated content.

This search traffic decline will be far less pronounced for branded search, so having a strong brand that consumers are searching for is a key advantage.

It’s unreasonable to assume that optimizing your content for large language models and other generative AI models will allow you to make up for more than a small fraction of the search traffic lost. After all, the whole point of LLMs is to get answers without having to visit and sift through a bunch of websites. GenAI’s effect on search traffic will not be a zero-sum game.

While social media is undeniably popular, signs of weakness are everywhere. TikTok is facing bans around the world, including in the US. Facebook’s visitor traffic growth has slowed dramatically since 2021, driven lower by younger users leaving the platform, according to Sprout Social. X is a mere shadow of its former Twitter self, as both users and advertisers have fled the platform and its controversial owner, Elon Musk. And US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy recently recommended that social media carry a tobacco-style warning label because of its proven negative effects on mental health, particularly among young people.

Generative AI will make social media even more problematic, helping to fuel deepfakes, more effective scams, and generally make people question whether anything they see on these platforms is real. As these concerns grow, social media usage and sharing will decrease. They’ll also drive brand safety concerns higher, leading to a decline in social media advertising that’s similar to what’s been seen on X.

Looking to filter out misinformation and disinformation, consumers will turn to a small number of trusted brands and influencers. Email, SMS, and push messaging will be key ways that they stay connected to these sources. These messages will act as a new collective homepage for many individuals.

However, with that trust will come higher expectations for brands to deliver personalized experiences. Collecting zero- and first-party data will be key to meeting those expectations.

Consumers don’t engage with channels. They engage with brands. They’ve had these expectations for over a decade, and have generally been frustrated by the disconnected experiences delivered by their favorite brands, which overwhelmingly are organized around and operate in channel silos.

Thankfully, new technologies like customer data platforms and AI advancements will make it easier for brands to better align with their customers, instead of aligning around channels.

Shifts in the regulatory and platform landscape and in the operational and technological landscape will be just as tectonic. In live polls during the webinar included above, attendees expressed considerable concern about how privacy regulations and features would impact their business.

At the same time, every attendees described their current martech stack as either “somewhat manageable” or “barely manageable”—with not a single person describing theirs as “highly manageable.” What’s clear to us is that technology has allowed brands to better connect with their customers and prospects to this point. However, the current state of martech ecosystems at the vast majority of companies are an active impediment to them adapting to a very volatile landscape.

Need help with your digital marketing and strategic planning? Oracle Digital Experience Agency has hundreds of marketing and communication experts ready to help Responsys, Eloqua, Unity, and other Oracle customers create stronger connections with their customers and employees—even if they’re not using an Oracle platform as the foundation of that experience. With a 94% satisfaction rate, our clients are thrilled with the award-winning work our creative, strategy, and other specialists do for them, giving us an outstanding NPS of 82.

For help overcoming your challenges or seizing your opportunities, talk to your Oracle account manager, visit us online, or email us at

Lauren Gannon is Vice President of Agency Services, Oracle Digital Experience Agency.

Spencer Kollas is Head of Analytic & Strategic Services at Oracle Digital Experience Agency. He is an experienced digital marketing leader with a focus on client satisfaction and employee retention while helping rapidly execute strategic digital marketing campaigns and generating more revenue for his clients.

Chad S. White is the Head of Research at Oracle Digital Experience Agency and the author of four editions of Email Marketing Rules and nearly 4,000 posts about digital and email marketing. A former journalist, he’s been featured in more than 100 publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Advertising Age. Chad was named the ANA’s 2018 Email Marketer Thought Leader of the Year. Follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Mastodon.

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