Today's companies have more ways than ever to connect and engage with potential buyers, and that connectivity is fueling demand for marketing services. In fact, a study last year found that total communications spending, including marketing, advertising, and communications, was expected to grow 5.6% and reach nearly $1.2 trillion in 2012.

The ever-expanding presence of mobile devices and social media among customers and in the workplace has added marketing communications channels, dramatically affecting the marketing industry. The resulting demand for responsive communications makes it critical to find both efficient and cost-effective ways to quickly respond to customers, clients, and staff, especially while on the go.

One solution, particularly for smaller businesses, is a virtual phone system. With it, marketing professionals can have peace of mind that a client can always reach them, whether they're in the office or not.

Consider that a recent eVoice study (PDF) of small business communication strategies found that 68% of business owners say having the right area code or a toll-free 800 number gives them a competitive edge, because customers can more easily find and contact them. In addition, more than half of survey respondents said the best part of having an 800 number is that their business appears larger and more established.

Marketing professionals can use their mobile phones to maintain efficiency on the go and professionally manage day-to-day communication demands by applying the following tips and features:

1. Office in the Cloud

The modern office is no longer defined by walls and cubicles. Your business and your customers are on the move, and mobile phones are even more important than ever.

A cloud-based phone system can turn your smartphone into a complete mobile office with features such as call routing, call screening, multiple extensions, personalized greetings, voice to text, and more.

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image of Mike Pugh

Mike Pugh is a small business expert and the VP of marketing for j2 Global, which offers cloud services for business in six primary business sectors: eVoice (virtual voice services), eFax (online fax), Onebox (unified communications), Fusemail (hosted email), Campaigner (email marketing and CRM), and KeepItSafe (online backup).