Where most execs get their business info

The Internet is the most important source of business info for 60% of execs, finds a new report. Implication? If your company is relying on offline marketing and advertising to reach these valuable prospects, you’re very likely missing out.

Top execs spend nearly 16 hours online each week for work and for play, says the Gartner-Forbes C-level executives study, Part IX.

It doesn’t matter if they’re in big enterprises or small companies, these top execs say the Internet is far more important to them than any other source of info. While 60% said the Internet was the most important source of info on business, only 15% said daily newspapers and just 9% said industry trade publications. No wonder newspapers are in such trouble.

Where can you find these execs online?

  • 86% are using search engines at work and at home
  • 76% shop online
  • 69% do online banking
  • 62% read online reviews about products
  • 57% are members of online professional organizations like LinkedIn
  • 40% click on online ads they find interesting, and
  • 27% look for job and career info.

When are they going online?

From the moment they wake up until they go to bed. For example, 58% access the Internet before they go to work. And when they get to work, they hit the Web; 86% of execs check e-mail and 46% visit Web sites for business and financial news before they do any other work.

Tips on what to put on your Web site

You may also want to ask if your Web site provides content that these execs want. When respondents were asked about what they did online at the office, they said they used the Internet to:

  • do online research, say 73%
  • read business and financial e-newsletters, 65%
  • research competitors and industry trends, 52%
  • get introductory info about products or services, 45%, and
  • seek new business partnerships, 32%.

In the old days (well, two years ago in the rapidly-changing online world), many execs asked their assistants to go online for them. Today, only 6% say an assistant checks their e-mail for them. Only 1% didn’t go online in the office.
Background: The Gartner-Forbes study surveyed 658 executives, including 477 C-level execs and 181 senior managers (VP, EVP, Director, Manager, etc.) in April and May, 2009.

Julie Power writes the Internet Marketing Report and the blog, the Internet Marketing Report Online. She also tweets about online marketing at Twitter.com/JuliePower.

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