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Big business turned to IT decades ago. They had the money to buy huge mainframes and to pay for the dedicated staff to manage them. What those mainframes could do in an hour often took dozens of workers to do in several hours. Small business has toyed with IT, some with a great deal of success, others with not so much success. It seems that small businesses are once again looking at IT as a means to cut operating costs. It’s interesting to note that Internet marketing is one of those driving forces.

According to SmallBusinessNewz:

nearly 36% of small businesses are investing in improved email marketing campaigns, 28% are looking at Google Adwords and 21% are looking at Facebook advertising.

They also report that 30% of small businesses are investing in “virtualization, business intelligence and collaboration“.  Business intelligence (or competitive intelligence) has been a primary motivator for many medium to large businesses where dedicated staff research competitors across the broad spectrum of the Internet – especially social media.

One of the driving forces into the future will be the introduction of smarter software that will deliver better analytics of social media activity. We are already seeing better analytics coming out of Facebook, other social media sites will not be far behind. One of the best indicators of how successful Internet Marketing is becoming is the fact that traditional marketing sources, print, television, and radio, are now crying poor and bemoaning drops in sales, viewers, and listeners.

Today, you can create a highly successful video ad for far less than the cost of a television ad. Where television charges tens of thousands of dollars for some 30 second ad spots, you can publish and promote a video of any length, almost for free, across the Internet. You may not get the same audience, but when you can produce 20 or 30 videos for the same cost as one television ad – savings are fairly obvious.

We are only touching the surface when it comes to cost cutting. Cloud computing is yet to make a huge impact yet the potential for savings could be huge for small businesses. Internet marketing is just one dimension, but its success will drive ventures into more cost cutting activities using IT and the Internet. The ride is going to be interesting.

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