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With New Focus On Growth, Marketing Becomes Top Priority

A number of recent studies have shown that integrated marketing strategies – that is, campaigns that incorporate a variety of channels including print, radio, mobile and web – are the most effective in attracting prospects and generating sales.

But the recession has hindered most small business owners' marketing budgets, as they've been forced to focus on mere survival. However, a recent survey from American Express OPEN found growth surpassed survival as entrepreneurs' No. 1 priority for the first time since 2006.

Improving economic conditions may also have contributed to a recent survey by Citibank that found more than two-thirds – 67 percent – of California businesses plan to increase their marketing budgets this year, including print, social media and traditional advertising strategies.

"We are really emerging from the recession," said Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, president of Citibank operations in California and Nevada, according to the North County Times. "That increase in expansion and marketing could lead to small business hiring growth."

While the Citibank survey is reserved for California, analysts expects the reported trends to expand throughout the rest of the country, as small businesses look to direct mail, search engine and other marketing channels to help attract new business.

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