In 2007, businesses spent $806 billion to get the word out about their products, services and companies. Most of it, $483 billion went toward promotions – non-advertising marketing
expenses that range from discounts, contests, coupons, rebates and sponsorships to white papers, public relations and viral marketing campaigns.
The big windfall is just beginning online, where the utility nature of the Internet is prompting local businesses to shift more dollars from traditional media to interactive, direct-to-consumer marketing campaigns. Some local media companies have already identified this trend and are capitalizing on it.