The survey by The Economist Group polled 500 business executives from around the globe and 500 global marketers. The questions were based on what the executives want from content providers and what marketers are doing to develop their content strategies.
All of this was developed in association with Peppercomm.
93% of the companies have plans to either increase or maintain their level of content creation during the next year. They are looking for substance rather than selling while marketers are continuing their selling efforts more than adding substance to the mix for businesses.
Executives look for in research and industry ideas in their business content (75%). 34% of executives said such information gives them a broader perspective of what others know and think important in their industry. 24% feel it helps them understand diverse views and another 24% said it helped them learn about things they didn’t know or understand in their field.
Executives judge the success of content by how unique or distinct it is. They feel content should build on the overall brand perception and measure the effectiveness on how many calls or responses they get about the product, not necessarily sales.
Most of the marketers aim to connect content to their clients and get the client’s name or product mentioned in 75% of what they create. Marketers judge success on the level of sales made from the content.
When the executives receive articles and reports about their businesses, they almost always prefer it in a written format, either on paper (86%) or on the internet (78%) – they are not usually looking for videos or audio presentations. They also find articles (71%) and reports (51%) beneficial while events (8%), newsletters (19%), and briefing papers (27%) were less so.
Only 31% of executives feel their content strategy is understood within their organizations.
Both executives and marketers agree content is king, and only 35% of executives have been turned off by content because they felt it was untrustworthy. Executives still prefer using media companies for their content creation.
From all the survey results shared here, it seems clear there are some great points of common ground between the two sides, but more work is needed to bring the sides together. Not radically changing what either side is doing, but it appears to be more about perception in the long run.
Businesses obviously want their companies and products to prosper which is also what the marketers want. But each side sees nuances that don’t seem to be addressed quite as effectively currently. The purpose of this report was to give both sides that necessary information.
Participants came from The Economist’s Intelligence Unit’s Opinion Leaders Panel. This panel is made up of more than 100,000 global executives. 40+% of the executives polled for this survey came from C-level organizations representing a wide variety of geographical locations, industries, and company sizes.