A new 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.”

John Grimley provides clients with writing, editing, research and strategy services.  If you would like to discuss your specific needs — please complete the form below to arrange a time for a discussion:

Posted by John Grimley

John Grimley specializes in custom-tailored communications services for companies and professional services firms operating in international markets.

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