February 09, 2016

Marketing Research Data: Content preferences of 530 global executives

SUMMARY: This week we bring you a video interview from the MarketingSherpa Media Center at DMA’s &THEN 2015 in Boston. Read on and watch the video to discover what kinds of content business executives find most useful, and how they prefer to consume content as we discuss survey results with Heather Taylor, Director of Content Strategy in North America, The Economist.
by Dr. Liva LaMontagne , Editorial Research Manager

At the MarketingSherpa Media Center at DMA’s &THEN 2015 Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MarketingSherpa, sat down with Heather Taylor, Director of Content Strategy in North America, The Economist, to discuss results of a recent study on how executives prefer to use content for business decisions, and what types of content they prefer.

In May 2014 The Economist Intelligence Unit in association with Peppercomm released results of a survey of 530 global executives located in the Asia-Pacific region, Western Europe, North America, the Middle East and Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. The executives represented companies across a wide range of industries, the top five being:
  • Financial services

  • Professional services

  • IT and technology

  • Manufacturing

  • Energy and natural resources

The researchers asked executives, "In the past 12 months which of the following forms of content have you found most helpful for a business related matter? Select the top three."

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The top three choices of executives were articles (71%), research reports (51%) and briefing papers (27%).

Interestingly, although video was popular, executives still overwhelmingly (85%) preferred text as the medium for content to help them make informed business decisions.

Also, despite the popularity of smartphones and tablets, desktops were the most frequently used device (78%) for consuming content to aid business decisions.

"So my hypothesis is that … you have to share this content with people. …Whether it is a presentation, whether it is a report, so it’s really easy to pull text," Taylor said.

Watch the full video interview with Heather Taylor:

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