How media fits into executives’ lives and the new ways to enlighten them.
The use of mobile devices to consume news has continued to increase globally, from 41% when we first conducted the survey to 59% in 2018 (+18%). The jump has been especially high in EMEA (30%) and LATAM (34%).
79% of executives recognize their perception of a brand is influenced by the content and design of the website in which it lives.
Execs remain most interested in industry trends and analysis. But, over the last year, interest in information about product features and experience has increased 23% while interest in insights from industry leaders or experts has declined 12%.
A majority of execs (78%) are willing to read brand content yet less than half consider the last piece of brand content they read to have been interesting, informative and valuable (42%).
Data visualizations, photography, and charts are the formats and features most likely to draw them to content— followed by interactive features and videos.
When it comes to content consumption, they're driven equally by discovery (dynamic visual formats that attract) and depth (rich, relevant content).
Executives continue to be most likely to consume news first thing in the morning, but they are increasingly consuming news throughout the day.
Email newsletters are increasingly the go-to for executives in the morning. We’ve seen an 8% increase since we began conducting the GES: from 42% in 2014 to 50% today.
There has been a significant increase in overall news consumption and a slight shift in the second most commonly referenced source of news.
In fact, 13 new chief-level titles were introduced in the 2018 GES—and the c-suite now represents 14% more executive respondents.
Each year, women make up a larger percentage of the c-suite and the Quartz GES respondent base.
This rings true for Latin America, EMEA, and North America.
The 2018 GES included more female CEOs than ever before: 18%. That’s 6x higher than the percentage of women occupying CEO positions in Fortune Global 500 companies.
85% of executives are likely to share a good piece of content when they come across it, but it varies by role.
While dynamic visual formats attract them to content, discovery and depth and drives sharing. Both are essential.
Executives are more likely to share articles (short- and long-form) than other formats—this is true across demographics, regions, and industries.
In fact, they’re twice as likely to share articles than charts, data or images—and three times more likely to share articles than video.
Executives are still most likely to share content by email, but this likelihood has dropped—so has sharing publicly on LinkedIn or Twitter.
But they are 30% more likely to share via messaging apps and 10% more likely to share in person.
The changing dynamics influencing purchase decisions.
Decision-making and purchase power is concentrated in the c-suite across industries—primarily with CEOs and COOs—but 85% of organizations have at least 3 people involved in the process.
Executives are powerful, but there’s a sphere of influence around them—the sources informing key decision makers who use search engines, rely on reviews, or ask people they know.
Behavior: Most common ways executives hear about products or services not previously purchased (%):
The sphere of influence relies on Search to begin the research process, but final decisions are far more likely to emerge from people within the decision maker’s organization. They make decisions in different ways.
Channel: Most common source of information to launch business purchase journey (%):
This breakthrough becomes the pivotal point at which they turn from being influenced to influencing, also marking a shift in decision-making power.
So, differentiation is key.
Customer testimonials are a powerful way to support a decision in favor of a business purchase decision.
Customer reviews—from people execs know, or industry websites—are most influential against purchasing a product.
Product demos, case studies and white papers represent the greatest influence in favor of a purchase, balanced against their respectively low risks of influencing against a purchase decision.
From discovery to sign-off, the average business purchase lifecycle lasts under 3 months across industries—most commonly between 2-4 weeks. Finance takes slightly longer.
If the crucial part of the process typically takes 2-4 weeks, brands have a very small window to influence them—the sphere of influence.
Start early and target the sphere of influence—not just the final decision-maker.
They are brand-loyal and willing to pay more for quality, but they don’t necessarily consider the brands they purchase to be a form of self-expression—in fact, most prefer to spend on high-quality experiences than possessions.
Executives are excited about a hyper-connected future. And they’re looking for technology that helps them become more efficient and effective. But 78% value the positive impact their organizations make on the world as much as the money they make.
The Quartz Global Executives Study was produced by the business intelligence team at Quartz. These data were sourced from a 57-question survey of 1,483 global executives administered between December 2017 and February 2018.
The respondent pool consisted of business leaders in 131 countries and over 30 industries. C-level executives were the most highly represented group by title (58%); others in the pool included Managing Partners, Managing Directors, VPs, Directors, General Managers, and Board Members. Industries represented include: Consulting (17%), Finance (13%), Technology (12%) and Media (11%). Distribution of respondents across age ranges was under 25 (1%), 25-34 (12%), 35-44 (21%), 45-54 (24%), 55-64 (26%), 65+ (16%).
The full dataset includes the findings presented here and more, segmented by demographics including gender, global region, industry, job title, function, and organization size amongst others. Respondents were sourced via the Quartz audience, Facebook and Pocket. Data are self-reported.
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