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To meet their information needs, America’s senior executives are voracious users of all media channels – including, increasingly, digital ones such as online video, blogs and podcasts – according to a study by Ipsos MediaCT.

The Business Elite Study explores the media habits, attitudes, opinions, and business and personal purchasing habits of America’s “C-Suite,” surveying executives and C-Suite professionals.

Among the key findings of the study:

  • In the past two years, business executives have rapidly adopted the internet, with significant growth in the usage of print media websites, but that has not necessarily reduced their usage of other media types, such as TV, according to 64% of execs:

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  • Nearly half of C-suite executives (47%) agree that “the internet has made little difference in their reading of business publications”; at the same time, using a publication’s website is part of the daily routine for about two out of five (38%):

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  • The internet and business magazines lead as the main sources that C-suite executives turn to for help in business; those two media are also among the main sources of business information, along with national newspapers and cable TV:

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  • The top websites visited by US Business Executives and C-level execs are heavily news-oriented, including the largest portals and search engines, followed by cable news and newspaper sites:

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New Media and Technology

More and more, America’s business elite have also embraced other forms of new media and technology; these attitudes of business executives, in general, are often more pronounced at the C-level of executives, Ipsos said.

While more than half (58%) of all business executives are buying goods and services on the internet, C-level execs are one notch above in wired behavior and new media usage:

  • C-level Tech Toys: Almost three out of four (71%) own cellphones with cameras and multi-messaging, and almost as many (68%) own laptops. More than half (60%) already have HDTV, and almost half (40%) own iPods. Likewise, more than one-third already have Blackberries (36%) or Satellite Radio (35%).
  • CEOs TiVo: More than one-third (35%) have used a DVR/TIVO to record or playback a TV program in the past month, with almost one-third having watched video-on-demand.
  • Downloading Content: In a month’s time, more than two-thirds of the C-levels surveyed (68%) have downloaded videos or clips from websites or received email newsletters/alerts on their computers. About half (49%) have streamed or watched broadband videos from websites on their computers.
  • C-level Internet Commerce: More than three-fourths of C-level executives surveyed are already using the Internet to make their travel or flight reservations (78%), and well over half (57%) regularly buy products or services online.
  • Being Tech Savvy is Key: Executives at the top also know that keeping up with the latest technology is vital to the success of their businesses – about three-fourths (72%) agree, with the same number agreeing that a business publication’s website is an important part of its offerings (72%).
  • Blogging in the C-Suite: They are into blogs too – almost one-third (30%) read blogs and a small number (4%) contribute to blogs.

About the study: Data for the The Business Elite Study (pdf) were collected by survey questionnaires dispatched by mail and available online in 2007. The data was released to its subscribers in October. A total of 2,390 responses were collected. This sample size can be used project the attitudes, behaviors, and consumption patterns of the survey universe. Broadly defined, the survey universe comprises heads of function at medium and large sized business and commercial establishments, defined as having 250 or more employees throughout the US. Some smaller companies, with 150-249 employees, were also included, providing they met minimum turnover criteria, provisionally in excess of $40 million. The survey also includes national and regional head offices of banks with assets of $500 million or more and insurance companies with 150 or more employees.

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