A 2017 report from Forbes and Deloitte details how top executives prefer to receive business insights. 300 C-suite executives from around the world were surveyed to produce the report, entitled: Thought Leadership in Action: Strategic Content to Help CXO’s Learn and Lead.
Perhaps the most surprising result of the study reveals that despite the tendency for digital media to reduce ideas to brief “sound-bites” — more than one-third of C-Suite executives prefer to read long form content in print.
Key findings of the report include that while C-Suite executives “expect to be able to access content in multiple ways” — the majority benefit from longer formats, including presentations, books and comprehensive papers.
Research-driven content is vital
Bruce Rogers (@Brogers825), Chief Insights Officer of Forbes Media explains that C-Suite executives “want to access longer pieces, which take them from hypothesis, through case studies, to conclusion, and are based on credible data.” Rodgers noted that “short-form content serves as a gateway to more information.”
Gina Pingitore (@GPingitorePHD), Managing Director, Deloitte Services LP, Deloitte Center for Industry Insights — explained that “thought leadership needs to present [C-suite executives] with data-based insights that are credible, relevant to their organizations and lead to business outcomes” – because “evidence-based decision making is..critical…for setting strategy.”
Print remains an important medium
While content must be designed and distributed via multiple channels – print remains an important medium. A full half of the C-suite executives surveyed said it is critical to read long-form business insights. 84% said they would choose offline long-form content.
Professional content producers are important
Results of the study also reflect that “professional publishing and consulting firms produce the most valuable content”. C-suite executives, the report details, “obtain the most valuable content from organizations capable of analyzing information and then placing it in a narrative context.”
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