Infographic: Email and Mobile Top Small Businesses’ 2014 Wish Lists

With Christmas and New Year’s closing in, many small business professionals are planning to toss out old ways of marketing and embrace the new. So which marketing objectives are at the top of small and medium-sized businesses’ (SMBs) 2014 wish lists?

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. Other New Year’s resolutions include 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%), and ensuring that 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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