Global Executives Rely on Email to Consume, Share Industry Information

June 6, 2014

Quartz-Global-Execs-Top-Sources-of-Industry-News-June2014A majority of global executives rely on email newsletters for industry-specific news, details a recent survey from Quartz, with respondents as likely to be using email newsletters for information as they are industry and general news sites. Email newsletters also significantly outpace social media accounts as news sources, with social platforms generally used more for sharing than sourcing content. Even so, results from the survey show that executives are far more likely to use email (80%) to share content than they are to turn to specific social platforms such as Twitter (43%) or LinkedIn (30%).

Overall, 9 in 10 respondents said they would share work-related content if they found it to be valuable, with their preferred devices for sharing almost equally split between mobile (phone and tablet) and desktop.

Executives are active users of mobile devices, per the study, with 6 in 10 primarily using phones (41%) or tablets (20%) to consume news. Moreover, 43% cited the mobile web as one of their first 3 news sources checked daily, trailing only email newsletters (60%) among the options listed. Far fewer (16%) visit a news site on a desktop as one of their first 3 news activities. Those results are likely a reflection of respondents being most focused on news consumption when they wake up – suggesting that executives are opening email newsletters on their mobile devices and checking the mobile web for news before leaving for the office.

Interestingly, 6 in 10 respondents reported subscribing to magazines and newspapers, although only 3% count print as their primary news platform. And while digital news platforms appear to be much more important to executives, fewer (37%) pay for digital news – with the primary reasons for doing so being brand reputation, access to exclusive information and the quality of the journalism.

Turning to branded content, the study reveals that 86% of executives overall are interested in seeing content from brands, with 55% following brands within their industry. The topics of interest to the most executives, per the results, are industry analysis (68%) and company products and innovations (58%).

Branded content also appears to make an impression on executives, with 28% reporting sponsored content to be the last digital ad format they recalled, second only to video (54%).

Finally, while executives are using their mobile devices to consume and share news, they were significantly more likely to have viewed the last recalled digital ad on a computer (58%) than on a mobile device (42%). And while half of the respondents purport to notice mobile ads, few interact with them intentionally.

About the Data: Quartz describes its methodology as follows:

“The Quartz Global Executives Study was produced by the marketing team at Quartz. These data were sourced from a 65-question survey of 940 global executives, administered in March 2014. The respondent pool consisted of business leaders in 61 countries and 36 industries. C-level executives were the most highly represented group by job title, comprising 43% of respondents; others in the pool included managing partners, managing directors, VPs, directors, general managers, board members, and advisors. Industries represented include: management consulting (24% of respondents); finance (15%); tech (15%); media and advertising (15%); healthcare and life sciences (4%); retail and luxury goods (4%); and others (25%). The four largest industry segments were selected for this analysis. Distribution of respondents across age ranges was: under 25 (4%); 25-34 (22%); 35-44 (22%); 45-54 (21%); 55-64 (20%); 65 and older (12%). The full dataset includes the findings presented here and others, segmented by global region, gender, age range, industry, seniority level, company size, and tenure with the organization. Respondents were sourced from the Quartz audience and via partner channels; data are entirely self-reported.”

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