How are business leaders consuming information and content?

Technology PR firm With has produced a quarterly business report together with Sapio looking at how business leaders consume information.

The results are taken from a poll of 500 business decision-makers and identify shifts in their content consumption habits.

The results for Q1 2021 reveal a significant quarter-on-quarter decrease in the time senior decision-makers are spending on engaging with content from their peers and journalists. 74% of UK CEOs and MDs spend a maximum of 4 hours reading business-related content per week – that’s not even the equivalent of a lunch break in which to grab their attention.

13% of them spend NO time reading, watching or listening to it.

In the last quarter, while the percentage of senior business decision-makers (from C-suite to
middle management) reading up to 2 hours of business content a week has increased by almost 50% (34% to 49%), those reading 5-6 hours of business content has almost halved from 19% to just 10%.

National newspapers are the most popular channel for CEOs and MDs to find business content or thought leadership in (32%). 1 in 5 of them reads national newspapers every day and over half (57%) of all senior decision-makers read national newspapers multiple times per week vs 41% reading industry newspapers frequently.

After national newspapers, email newsletters from relevant companies and business podcasts are the next most popular channels for CEOs and MDs finding business content (both 30%). That’s nearly three times as many who are checking in to Clubhouse (13%) – despite the invite-only launch, this seems to be more popular with senior managers (25%) as a route to thought leadership.

The more traditional industry-conference-turned-digital is faring less well, with just 18% of CEOs and MDs citing this as a preference. However, if you want to talk to senior marketing managers, platforms for sharing insights are most popular. 39% find their business-related content by listening to webinars, Zoomcasts and virtual panels.

Other sector trends highlighted are that senior decision-makers in the banking sector significantly over-index in their preference for webinars, podcasts and quite dramatically on Clubhouse too. Almost 3 times as many banking decision-makers prefer Clubhouse as a place to find business content than the
cross-sector average.

The tech, media and telco (TMT) sector prefers industry press as the source of business content (35%), with sector-specific social media influencers a close second (33%).

Debbie Zaman, CEO and Founder of With, comments: “The battle for attention has never been greater. In some of our conversations with business leaders we hear that while businesses are seeing the green shoots of recovery, their attention is being drawn away from engaging outside of the business day-to-day. That means that better-than-best practice in creating content that will really cut through is paramount.

“Clearly the endorsement of national media is still crucial for the most senior respondents in our survey which tallies with the briefs we are seeing to secure coverage for clients in these nationally and globally important publications and podcasts.”