"It is an important consideration for brands marketing across platforms," says Simon Staplehurst, director of global development for the BE series at global media and market research firm Ipsos. "They act on ads if they trust the platform or media vehicle." Thirty-eight percent said they have visited advertisers' Web sites after having seen an ad in a magazine.
Ipsos' BE:USA (BE for business elite) is based on written responses to surveys from some 2,251 business executives, representative of some 630,000 executives in over 70,000 U.S. businesses.
Staplehurst says senior business executives--CFOs, CEOs, CMOs, CIOs, and the like--account for about 0.2% of the U.S. population. "The average age is 53; two-thirds are c-suite, and a quarter are presidents or CEOs," he says.
Sixty-three percent of the business executives who responded to the survey said that ads play a part in influencing what they buy. And they read print media: 88% said they read the latest issue of any print media they named. "In this year, overall readership is stable," says Staplehurst, adding: "They are better-read than average." The top daily newspaper by percentage of total respondents was The Wall Street Journal; the top weekly magazine was Newsweek; Forbes and Fortune were tied for bi-monthlies. The top three Web site publications were WSJ.com, NYTimes.com and USAToday.com.
The top network channel among business brass was Fox, followed by NBC, CBS, ABC and finally, PBS. ESPN was chosen as top cable view by respondents, followed by CNN and Fox News.
C-suite and top executives find time to watch TV, but also watch as much video content online. Fifty-nine percent watched cable TV "yesterday." Fifty-one percent streamed and watched broadband video on computers. Staplehurst says that two-thirds of respondents watch networks, while six in ten watch cable TV--with cable the preferred outlet for foreign, business and political news.
Internet use by members of the business elite has supplanted other media; 65% of respondents use the Web "to keep me informed at work." About half responded to online ads by visiting an advertiser's Web site. Twenty-nine percent of those contacted the advertiser's company, and 54% of them purchased the product.
He says they are responsible for some $1.4 trillion of business spend. They earn five times the personal income of the average affluent consumer, 12 times the salary of the "average person on the street," and collectively, $246 billion, he says--adding that the total personal net worth of the business-executive class is $945 billion.
They are also 85% male and have an average personal income of over $475,000, and net worth of $1.6 million, excluding real estate.
They take, collectively, 6.9 million business flights a year. Thirty-four percent of respondents said they use a BlackBerry or a similar device. The same percentage said they own a watch worth more than $1,500; a quarter have membership in private clubs; a quarter have vacation homes; 22% have an item of fine jewelry worth $5,000 or more; 12% own a boat, and 3% of respondents own a plane, per Staplehurst.