With 2014 quickly approaching, many business professionals are planning to change their marketing strategies. Below are the top marketing objectives of small and medium-sized businesses’ (SMBs).

Marketer's 2014 Wish ListSource: Direct Marketing News

According to the j2 Global Forecast Survey:
• 28.16% of small business professionals say increasing their online presence, such as setting up a website or online store, is a top 2014 marketing priority.
• Adopting email marketing automation to easily and efficiently reach customers (23.61%)
• Using email to effectively inspire referrals and sharing on social networks (20.52%)
• Implementing mobile marketing best practices, such as for email and website optimization (13.76%)
• Ensuring email marketing efforts don’t end up in the spam filters or Gmail tabs (11.05%)

SMBs expect that 2014 will be a big year for mobile, as well. And they want to do everything they can to prepare. According to the survey, 70.27% of SMB professionals have used or plan on using Facebook’s mobile app for business and marketing purposes. Twitter (43.24%), YouTube (34.79%), and Instagram (16.29%) mobile apps are also must-haves for next year.

But there’s one thing SMBs are skeptical about: cloud services. More than 42% of small business professionals surveyed estimate that investing in a cloud service wouldn’t help them save any money; however, 16.16% suspect that using cloud services could help them save $100 to $500 per year.

And there are some technologies that SMBs are ready to make a thing of the past. For instance, 26.58% of SMB professionals surveyed are ready to retire their office fax machine and move to an online fax service, and 22.79% would like to bid adieu to their office landlines and move to a virtual phone system or mobile phones. SMBs may also make 2014 a greener year; 19.07% of small businesses say they would like to do away with printers and go paperless.

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