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Ceo survey

  1. 1. CEOSURVEY 2008A struggling economy, a more informed consumer, and an ever-changing media landscape are causing CEOs to consider many different marketing tactics to effectively reach their target stakeholders
  2. 2. 12 CEO SURVEY W hen Sesame Street first that CEOs also have to realize that debuted on PBS in 1969, [they] have to move a lot of their it was one of only two public relations spend to online programs geared toward preschool- and to word of mouth, in ways that age children; the other was Mister they haven’t yet caught up with.” Rogers’ Neighborhood. Fast forward Specifically, he says, PR firms have nearly 40 years and more than 4,000 to show they are the ones most capa- episodes, and today Sesame Street is ble to handle digital communications just one of at least 47 programs on tactics, given the industry’s experi- six competing networks, including ence in managing conversations and Noggin, Disney Channel, Nickel- influencing the influencers. odeon, and Nick Jr. “What we have to show is But for Sesame Workshop, the the enormous cost benefits... of nonprofit company that produces online public relations, and how Sesame Street, it isn’t just about you really can be exhausting those audience numbers; an equally benefits before you lay in your important goal is fundraising. And advertising spend, rather than like nearly every other company laying in the advertising spend these days, to reach those influ- and then using what’s left over encers – in this case mothers of on public relations,” Penn says. preschool-age children – much of “In general, word of mouth and the strategy involves digital tactics. other online activities are becoming This past fall, to coincide with the so valuable and important to the debut of Sesame Street’s 40th sea- companies that they’re not invest- son, Sesame Workshop launched ing to the full ROI of both online a new Web site, just one part of and traditional PR.” a digital strategy that includes webcasting, YouTube videos, and Digital meDia’s role mobile marketing. Tom Kunz, CEO of Century 21, a “It gives us the opportunity to Burson client, says he expects the create a distribution platform that role of digital media in the com- we never owned before,” says Gary pany’s marketing mix to increase Knell, CEO of Sesame Workshop. significantly in the next year. “In my opinion, it’s a huge oppor- “This type of media gives us tunity to selectively reach your the ability to be proactive aboutSesame Workshop, thenonprofit company that audiences in much deeper ways by what’s going on, especially withproduces ‘Sesame Street,’ having multiple lines of distribution a marketplace like we’re dealingrecently launched a Web that you didn’t have before.” with right now,” he says. “One ofsite that coincides with Knell isn’t alone in his thinking. the bigger issues really has to dothe show’s 40th season According to the 2008 PRWeek/ with consumer confidence. “We’ve Burson-Marsteller CEO Survey, used all [digital] media to be able 67% of CEOs plan to spend more to go out and communicate with on digital marketing in 2009 than the average consumer.” they did in 2008. The survey, con- Digital media is particularly useful,➤Faced with a faltering economy and a ducted by Millward Brown, polled he says, considering the different 200 corporate CEOs, half of which demographics the company is try-constantly evolving media landscape, CEOs are use an external PR firm. ing to reach – from Gen Xers and Mark Penn, CEO of Burson- Millennials to baby boomers.increasingly relying on digital media tactics in Marsteller, says the results show a “As a company that works hand huge opportunity for PR firms. in glove with consumers, we havetheir marketing plans, finds the 2008 PRWeek/ “Obviously [CEOs have] moved to be very aware of all the different a great deal of their advertising outlets that we can use to get ourBurson-Marsteller CEO Survey. By Erica Iacono spend,” he says. “Now, I think message out and/or to respond toA higher pePRWeek • November 10, 2008 •
  3. 3. CEO SURVEY 13Community-based events like the “Social media is a grassroots angle.ones this past March surrounding What we have to determine is thethe National Education Association’s message that we want in our social11th annual “Read Across America”campaign are part of Sylvan media initiatives so that it reachesLearning’s plans going forward the different strata of customers that we have out there,” he says, noting that while women ages 18 to 54 arequestions that potential consumers the company’s primary market, itmay have,” he says. “[So digital wants to make sure not to forgetmedia] has played a very large part men or teens. “We have to makein our communications process.” sure that we’re putting together Though the largest increase in a message that appeals to a vastspending was reserved for digital majority of our [customers].”marketing, 38% of respondents Even those companies that arenoted that they planned to spend heavily involved in digital market-much more on PR in 2009. For PR ing, however, recognize that thereagencies, it offers an opportunity to is still room for traditional tactics.seize some of the digital communi- Chip Perry, CEO of AutoTrader.cations work, as PR pros have long com, notes that the site uses a com-argued that they are the most quali- bination of digital and traditionalfied marketers to operate in that marketing tactics, estimating that itspace. Penn says over the past three is a 50/50 split. Because of the com-years Burson has increased its digital pany’s unique position – it is used bywork for its clients by 400%. dealers who advertise cars for sale “We are finding more compa- and buyers looking for automobiles –nies receptive to communicating it has a vantage point into the overalla particular type of message that shift occurring in consumer behavior,they should be doing in all types which helps its marketing efforts.of media, including digital,” he do the digital component. I think newer social media campaigns using “What’s interesting is the CEOs “We see our customers shiftingsays. “While their online agency that we’ve seen companies be very Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. are using it personally and then not dramatically this year to much great-is appropriate for the task that the responsive to that message.” Though 23.5% of respondents sure that it has an application,” he er allocation into Internet advertis-agency was hired for, in the middle participate in online social media says. “The fact that so many are using ing. Dealers, for instance, grew fromof a crisis or dealing with a cor- social meDia lag “a few times a week” and 18.5% it personally suggests that they’reporate reputation campaign, it’s While CEOs surveyed recognize the do so “daily or almost daily,” the underrating its potential use and how information influenceimportant for the people who have value of digital marketing, they are survey indicates that they are not social media has spread to some of Which of the following information sources has become more influentialbeen working on those messages to not yet convinced of the power of yet comfortable with using social the biggest executives personally. over the past three years? media as a marketing tool. “I think it’s going to be our respon- MARKETING SPEND Only 18% of CEOs surveyed have sibility, as the PR agencies,” he adds, Word of mouth 60.0% used � Company Web site communicate social media to “to... say, ‘If CEOs are using social Trade media covering my industry 54.0% For which of these disciplines will you spend “much more” than this year Blogs covering my industry 50.0% in terms of 2009 spending? with stakeholder groups; 30% will � Recent Press About A Company media, they have a larger role to play The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones 43.5% � Digital marketing “definitely” orBlogs/Podcasts Room social � A Companys Virtual Press � Company “probably” use as part of the next frontier of where 100 � Sales promotions CNN 38.0% � Public relations/corporate communication media to communicate with stake- � CEO Or Executive Blogs public relations is going.” National evening news programs 28.5% � Direct mail � Traditional advertising holder groups in the next 12 months; For those companies that are still The New York Times 26.0% 80 � Corporate social responsibility and 44.5% identify “lack of rel- on the precipice of using social Forbes 25.5% 67% � Mobile marketing evance to target stakeholder groups” media, the concern is crafting the BusinessWeek 24.0% 60 as the key barrier to their company’s appropriate message. National morning news programs 23.5% participation in social media. Yet, Scott Colabuono, president and Fortune 22.5% 38% 38% 40 71.5% believe online social media CEO of Fantastic Sams Hair Salons, Time 16.0% outreach can be effective for cor- says the company has yet to embrace Newsweek 14.5% 24% 22.5% 20.5% 20 13% porate communications, indicating social media because of this reason. Base: 200 perhaps that what is needed most is The company is a franchiser of more 0 Base: 200 guidance and counsel, specifically, than 1,400 locations in the US, as Penn says, by PR firms. well as a dozen in Canada. information importance Which of the following informationrspective sources has the most impact on business these days? The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones 51.0% Word of mouth 42.0% Trade media covering my industry 37.5% Blogs covering my industry 34.0% CNN 31.5% National evening news programs 22.5% The New York Times 18.5% National morning news programs 14.5% Forbes 13.0% BusinessWeek 10.5% Fortune 6.5% Time 2.0% Newsweek 1.0% Base: 200 • November 10, 2008 • PRWeek
  4. 4. 14 CEO SURVEY60% 12% to 17% [of their ad dollars] years. Not that it isn’t important to online [from 106 to 107], and we get into a newspaper, but it’s a lot RESEARCH How frequently does your company invest in market research wouldn’t be surprised if it’s 25% less important today than it was to formulate its PR strategy? in ’08,” he says. “Our customers five years ago.”Of CEOs believe are making the shift. As an Internet One of the things that makes Rarely 19%word of mouth Never company, we’re heavily invested in digital media such an important online media, but we also use offline target for companies like Sesame 26%has become more media for brand building. There aren’t many companies that have Workshop, which has built a huge community online, is the abilityinfluential in terms 50% of their ad dollars online. At for that outreach to build up word- 29% 50%, we’re putting our money of-mouth buzz. 10%of a company’s where our mouth is, and we’re According to the survey, 60% of Sometimes Alwaysbusiness than encouraging our customers to do CEOs believe word of mouth has 16% the same and respond to the... trend become more influential in terms Usuallythree years ago of how people consume media.” of a company’s business than three years ago. Others included trade Base: 200 meDia shift media covering their industry51% Yet, for some companies, the growth of digital media in the marketing mix has made traditional media sources (54%), blogs covering their indus- try (50%), and The Wall Street Journal/ Dow Jones (43.5%). MEASUREMENT How frequently does your company attempt to measure the success of its PR programs?Of CEOs believe less important than they once were. For example, Sesame Workshop’s Similarly, 42% of respondents noted that word of mouth has the Sometimes 19% 10.5%that ‘The Wall Knell says while traditional media still has its place, finding out where most impact on business these days, second only to The Wall Street RarelyStreet Journal’ the company’s “intermediary” to Journal (51%). It was followed by 15% Never its intended audience of preschool- trade media covering their indus-currently has ers – in most cases, mothers or other try (37.5%), blogs covering their 26% caretakers – are congregating online industry (34%), CNN, (31.5%),the most impact is more important. and national evening news pro- Usually Alwayson business “Going to so-called traditional grams (22%). 29.5% media doesn’t guarantee you the For companies in industries that kind of exposure you might have are dependent on referrals, word of had in the past,” he says. “We’ve mouth has always been an impor- Base: 200 got to make sure that we under- tant – if not official – part of the stand where ‘she’ is hanging out marketing mix. But the struggling in a digital world and digital con- economy has reaffirmed the impor- ROI Currently, how satisfied are you with the ROI from your company’s PR activities? text. That’s something that has tance of word of mouth to CEOs. completely changed in the last five Fantastic Sams’ Colabuono notes that the beauty industry has always “We see our Fairly satisfied relied on word-of-mouth referrals. He stresses that encouraging word- 49% Not very satisfied customers of-mouth marketing in the current economy is integral to the business’ 15.5% shifting... to ultimate success. “We don’t cut back in a tough 1.5%satisfied Not at all much greater environment,” he says. “In fact, we’ll probably be more active in Very satisfied 25.5% 8.5% Extremely satisfied reaching out to our guests, both allocation current and new, because guests are the lifeblood of a retail service com- Base: 200 into Internet pany. I believe the mix will change a little bit away from traditional advertising” [advertising] toward PR because SOCIAL MEDIA EFFECTIVENESS How effective do you think online social media outreach can be as the return... [is greater].” a corporate communications tool? Century 21’s Kunz echoes the – Chip Perry, CEO importance of word of mouth in Not very effective Somewhat effective a company’s marketing mix. “[Word of mouth] has been the 23.5% lifeblood of the real estate busi- 43% ness almost since day one,” he says. “Most consumers, when they’re 5.0% ready to buy or sell... property, they Not at all effective have to ask neighbors, friends, or relatives [about who they’ve used]. 20% 8.5% Extremely effective “It’s always been part of our Very effective business,” he adds. “Some of the things that we look at is... helping Base: 200 our agents understand that the best word of mouth you’re going to get is from the quality of service you provide to consumers at the time when they’re making the biggest financial decision of their life.” Because Century 21 is a franchise- based business, not only is word of mouth beneficial for the brokersPRWeek • November 10, 2008 •
  5. 5. CEO SURVEY 15 62.5%future social meDia use a love of reading in local commu- “always,” and 16% responded “Often times the advertisinghow likely is your company to use social nities by creating reading events “usually.” Quite alarmingly, 26% budgets are so large compared tomedia to communicate with stakeholdergroups in the next 12 months? as part of the National Education “never” invest in market research the public relations budget that it’s Definitely will use 15.0% Association’s 11th annual “Read Across America” campaign, which to formulate PR strategy, while 19% “rarely” do so. hard to find the budget for the early research and strategic research,” he Of CEOs will be Probably will use Might or might not use 15.0% 26.0% also fell on Dr. Seuss’ 103rd birth- day. The company also has a Sylvan “Uncertain times really require more research to strategize in terms adds. “As corporations become big- ger and the issues become global in more concerned Probably will not use Definitely will not use 29.5% 14.5% Seminar Series, where local Sylvan of the response,” says Burson’s scope, it’s becoming easier to get that with ROI from chapters host free events for parents Penn. “The kind of research that kind of research done. Clients that Base: 200 on a certain educational topic. we believe in helps clients not just go through the process most often PR activities in “Our business is one that is not measure things, but really pretest never want to go through a major PR recession proof, but it does have the messages and strategies. That issue again without having applied 2009 than they social meDia BarriersWhich of the following present serious characteristics that suggest even in a downturn, the need is always there. kind of research, evidence based, is critical to having an effective public research as a companion to it.” Century 21’s Kunz says the com- were in 2008barriers to your company’s participationin social media? We see that... families always put relations program. More and more, pany conducts a great deal of their kids first. If your child is strug- companies are now getting used to research to ensure that all of its Lack of relevance to target 44.5% gling in school, that comes before a applying research to their public marketing messages are consistent stakeholder groups discretionary item,” he says. “The relations issue the way they have and effective. Concern about losing control 37.0% of message demand is there. The challenge for become used to applying it to their “There’s no sense having any of Return on investment 28.0% us is to adjust how we communi- marketing issues. But... it’s still way your marketing, advertising, or Lack of knowledge and capability 22.5% cate with our customers so we meet behind the curve.” PR having different messaging,” within the company that demand at a time where they’re Fantastic Sams’ Colabuono says he says. “It confuses the public, Lack of knowledge and capability 19.0% within the public relations, advertising, going to be more careful about dis- his company does invest in pre- and more importantly, it confuses and/or other marketing agencies posable income.” campaign research, though it’s our franchisees and confuses our the company works with sometimes tough to justify. employees. We try as much as we Other 9.0% research value “Allocating ad dollars toward possibly can to ensure that com- Don’t know 8.0% Certainly the economy is top research is always, in a franchise munications is consistent.” Base: 200 of mind for every CEO today. business... a tough one,” he says. According to the survey, 62.5% And in such an environment, “The view has always been that if of CEOs will be more concerned judicious use of marketing dol- you research that means you’re not with ROI from PR activities inand agents, but it can also impact lars becomes even more important, putting an ad out there, even if you 2009 than they were in 2008. Itfranchise sales. Kunz was recently as does ROI. Though tools such might learn something as a result. is surprising then, that 25.5% ofat an international meeting of the as research and measurement We press on the research, if we have CEOs surveyed “rarely” or “never”company’s top franchisees from have long been at marketers’ dis- a new initiative, to make sure that attempt to measure the success of61 countries and participated in a posal, the survey shows that they it’s hitting well with the guests.” their PR activities. The survey alsopanel discussion. are still not being used enough He adds that the plethora of shows that 55.5% of respondents “One of them asked, ‘What do you in terms of PR. When asked how online free tools, such as Survey- “always” or “usually” attempt toview as our biggest and best fran- often their company invests in Monkey, make research an easy, measure the success of PR.chise sales tool?’ I know they were market research to formulate its cost-effective thing to do. “PR falls along with everythingthinking I would say the brand, but PR strategy, the largest percentage Penn says that the resistance is else,” Kunz says. “ If we’re going toI told them, ‘Validation,’” he says. (29%) responded “sometimes,” likely because marketers simply spend the dollar, we need to have“That’s nothing more than word of while only 10% responded aren’t used to PR research. a return on investment.”mouth; it’s one peer to another say-ing, ‘This company is good.’” Jeff Cohen, CEO of Sylvan Learn- “We try as PERSONAL USE OF DIGITAL How often do you participate in online social media (ie Facebook, much as we... � Company Web siteing, which has more than 1,100 MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube) for personal use? � Recent Press About A Company � A Companys Virtual Press Roomfranchise tutoring centers in North 50 � Daily or almost daily � A few times per week � Company Blogs/PodcastsAmerica, notes that this propen- can to ensure � A few times per month � CEO Or Executive Blogs � From time to timesity toward word of mouth ulti- � Never 40 that [comms]mately means an increase in PR. “Our business is a referral-based 30business,” he says. “You may seeus on TV, you may think about uswhen you hear that message. But is consistent” 20 18.5% 23.5% 21.5% 24.5%you are going to rely on talking to 12% – Tom Kunz, CEOsomeone, whether it is a teacher 10 Century 21or someone you trust to... confirmthat decision to seek educational 0 Base: 200assistance for your children. Thatnaturally lends itself to more word-of-mouth type campaigns, more SOCIAL MEDIA IMPACTpublic relations activities.” In which areas do you think use of social media can have a very large impact? � Company Web site Part of Sylvan’s plan to encourage � Recent Press About A Company � A Companys Virtual Press Roomword of mouth includes an increase 100 � A company’s overall reputation � A company’s reputation around public issues � Company Blogs/Podcastsin local community events. “When (such as environmental/labor issues) � CEO Or Executive Blogs � Sales of a company’s products and servicesyou think about Sylvan Learning 80Centers, you think about the onein your neighborhood,” Cohen 61.5% 60.5% 60says. “Our franchises are educa- 48%tional resources in their commu-nities. So, community outreach, 40earned media, [and] public rela-tions are critical for them.” 20 On March 3, Sylvan educatorsacross the country joined teachers, 0 Base: 200students, and parents to encourage • November 10, 2008 • PRWeek
  6. 6. 16 CEO SURVEY Fantastic Sams Hair Salons has had a longtime relationship with CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS the nonprofit Locks of Love, and In a crisis, which of the following channels are the most effective � to communicate with consumers? encourages local franchise owners to � � � Company Web site participate in community events 100 � Word of mouth/viral campaign � � Customer service representatives � � Company blog 80 � Television Penn says he has seen some cli- 70.5% � Newspapers � Radio ents invest more in research and � Paid advertisements 60 measurement during the current � External bloggers � Magazines economic turmoil. 38.5% “During difficult times, peo- 40 37% 31% ple will look to more strategic 27% 25% research,” he says. “In an odd 20 16% 12% 12% way, when it gets to good times, 7% the first thing they cut out is their 0 Base: 200 measurement because they say they don’t need it anymore. “We’ve seen a number of people STAKEHOLDER COMMUNICATIONS going through the current crisis Has your company every used social media to communicate now have put in additional research with stakeholder groups? to understand how their customers are affected,” he adds. “Because70.5% csr Which of the following csr initiatives does your company currently participate in? research is most useful in these situations when you’re trying to understand what customers and No 82%Of CEOs cited Promote fair treatment of employees 53.5% stakeholders are really thinking.”their Web site Reduce environmental impact Partner with the communities in 49.0% 43.0% csr Benefits 18% Yes Though media coverage continuesas the most which we invest and operate Contribute a portion of employee’s 40.5% to be a standard measure of PR suc- time or company proceeds to charities cess, Kunz says he also values theeffective means Attempt to manage our supply chain in a responsible way 31.5% internal rewards PR can bring. Base: 200of communication Other Don’t know 6.0% 8.0% “We also look at the amount of good will that we get from ourwith consumers Base: 200 franchisees,” he says, adding that the PR team will share media “I think it does drive business,” he says. “For myself, if I know that crises. Yet Penn says that having a plan set in place is essential forduring a crisis coverage with franchise owners. “It gives them pride and gives... I’m dealing with a company that is doing something else in addition all companies. “You have to have a crisis plan Benefits of csr something for them to talk to to whatever product or service in effect so that you know who to Which of the following are the most their agents about.” they have... I’m more apt to want call to change things and get out important reasons companies should participate in csr activities? Engendering good will among to refer them or use them, and the information, and getting it employees and other stakehold- I think that’s the same way with online and do things quickly and It’s the right thing to do 72.0% ers has typically been the main Easter Seals and us. I know it is, efficiently,” he says. It can build good will in 65.0% argument for participating in CSR because I’ve had customers tell us “For those companies on the out- the community It can increase customer loyalty 49.5% initiatives. According to the survey, that they appreciate our efforts.” side, right now [they] are prepar- It can improve the long-term 27.0% 72% of respondents believe the Good will among customers ing for potential downturn,” Penn effect on their bottom lines most important reason to partici- and other stakeholders can be adds. “Now is the time to think It improves recruitment/retention 27.0% pate in CSR activities is because “it’s especially useful during a cri- through the implications and not in employees the right thing to do”; other reasons sis, something that has become precipitously cut back on public It reduces risks to reputation 21.0% included, “it can build good will all-too common in the cur- relations when public relations may It can reduce governmental/ 8.5% external regulation in the community” (65%), “it can rent financial market. While be your most effective media, both increase consumer loyalty” (49.5%), respondents differed vastly in online and traditional, in communi- Base: 200 “it improves recruitment/retention their experience and prepared- cating with customers throughout in employees “(27%), and “it reduc- ness for crises, overwhelmingly the unexpected. The unexpected es risks to reputation” (21%). the survey showed that even in is becoming the norm.” n the responDents Fantastic Sams’ Colabuono says a crisis situation, digital rules. What was your company’s total gross on a national level, the company When asked which is the most The PRWeek CEO Survey was revenue for the last financial year? has had a longtime relationship with effective means to communicate conducted by PRWeek and Mill- Less than $10 million 73.5% Locks of Love. In addition, local with consumers during a crisis, ward Brown using the ERI panel. $10 million to under $50 million 7.0% franchise owners are encouraged to 70.5% cited the company Web E-mail notification was sent to $50 million to under $100 million 3.0% participate in community events. site; 38.5% cited a word-of-mouth approximately 53,180 corporate $100 million to under $150 million 2.0% “Especially when people know viral campaign; 37% chose cus- professionals and a total of 200 $150 million to under $1 billion 1.5% they have to spend money to go tomer service representatives; 31% CEOs (100 CEOs who have one $1 billion or more 0.5% into a repetitive service, they want cited the company blog; and 27% or more employees at the company Prefer not to answer 12.5% to know that the company they said television. who are responsible and/or take Base: 200 work with is going to give some- “The most important thing in on full responsibility of all PR thing back,” he says. “It burnishes the middle of a crisis is to get the activities and 100 CEOs that work What is your company’s industry sector? the image. It’s not the only thing facts, act very fast, and tell the with an external PR consultant or Technology 18.5% we’re about, but it does add a little truth,” says Century 21’s Kunz, firm) completed the survey online Consumer/Retail 22.5% bit of polish to what we do.” adding that executives and franchi- between September 24 and Septem- Healthcare 6.0% Kunz cites the company’s longtime sees undergo crisis training. “You ber 29, 2008. The results are statis- Financial Services 9.5% support of the Easter Seals Associa- have to be very responsive to your tically tested at a confidence level Professional services 17.5% tion as something that is not only the customers and their customers.” of 90%. Results aren’t weighted. Miscellaneous 26% right thing to do, but also something Obviously, in the current mar- Complete survey results can be pur- Base: 200 that the company sees value in from ketplace, companies in certain chased for $150 by contacting Beth. a business standpoint. industries are more vulnerable to • November 10, 2008 •