Privacy Policy

We have updated our Privacy Notice for this website. Please click here to review.

MEC and CNBC release The Connected CEO 2.0 study

10 March, 2014


New Study shows How Asia CEOs Consume Content on Digital Devices

SINGAPORE — For a second consecutive year, MEC,, and CNBC,, have partnered to conduct a highly in-depth research study, The Connected CEO 2.0, to find out the digital behaviors of top Asia business executives. The new research study, which was conducted between July and October 2013, included one-on-one interviews with top executives of multi-national companies across Singapore, Hong Kong and India.

Key findings of the study showed that:
  • C-suite fragment their use of multiple digital devices based on device limitations.
  • Content curation and aggregation feature on top of the wish list.
  • C-suite adoption of social networking in a personal capacity still low.
  • C-suite respond to brand communications, but want to consume ads on their own terms.
Fragmented use of digital devices, behavior influenced by device limitations
Attitudinally, C-suite are screen agnostic. They are receptive to accessing content from all kinds of digital devices and do not differentiate between screens, be it a tablet, smartphone or laptop.

➢ Some media titles are still perceived to be better optimized for one device but not others.
➢ Tablets continue to make inroads, blurring the line between work and play.

“Some brands are not set up properly. Whenever I try to access a particular title on my phone, it hangs and crashes,” said a CEO from Singapore. The need is not for replicating, but maximizing and tailoring content to each device’s strength, making content display seamlessly across various devices.
Compared to our observation from the earlier study where the tablet was just starting to evolve into a work device, it has now replaced traditional laptops for work meetings and travel; at home the same tablet is also used for entertainment. Dissimilar to a phone or laptop which is guarded for own usage, CEOs have no qualms sharing the tablet with their kids. “Our research shows that C-suites have wholeheartedly adopted tablets across all markets. Interestingly, as a device, tablets span the personal (used for entertainment, and shared with the family) as well as the professional in a way PC’s do not. Adopting communications tailored to the tablet, thinking about portable content and interactivity will be crucial for brands looking for distinctive ways to target the valuable C-suite audience”, commented Charlotte Wright, Head of Planning, MEC Asia Pacific.

Aggregators feature on top of the wish list

C-suites have anywhere from 3 to more than 100 apps on their mobile devices and the ability to manage these apps is a challenge.

➢ They desire features that effectively aggregate content and intuitively recommend feeds based on reading patterns.

The power of information at their fingertips is an appealing benefit, as it addresses their age old lament of being time challenged and overloaded with information. “I can get content when I want content and engagement when I want to get engaged,” said a C-suite executive from Singapore.
However, such intelligent content aggregators are only possible when users allow technology to monitor and analyze their internet habits, which in turn give rise to issues of privacy and intrusion. The challenge lies in figuring how to overcome a C-suite’s reluctance to share personal usage data that is needed to advance the performance of content aggregation tools.

Corporate engagement with social media is hailed, adoption in personal capacity still low
C-suites believe in the power of corporate social networking as an important channel for marketing, building brand image and loyalty. However, like in the last study, personal adoption remains slow to catch on.

➢ They are open to exploring social networking benefits, but hesitant of it at a personal level – perceive them to be voyeuristic and hold strong beliefs in building connections via traditional forms.
➢ Social networking is done with caution as there is a blurring of the line between their work and non-work persona, thus they feel the need to be careful not to compromise their businesses.

“The world has changed; digital media is the present for marketing activities. But some people are slow to capitalize on it. Everyone is looking at a scale and costs although they understand the potential. The good companies are experimenting a lot,” said a C-suite from India.

Educating C-suite on the value and impact of social network communications can help encourage participation in the long-run both on a personal and professional front.

C-suite respond to brand communications, but want to consume ads on their own terms
The C-suite are very focused on what they want to engage with; they are demanding customized brand communications more than ever.

➢ Advertisements that cut-through are those which are relevant to their specific purpose.
➢ They are loyal to reputable brands that represent premium quality and strong heritage.
➢ Non-pushy brand messages, when placed in the right context and time do get noticed.

Most believe that the future of advertising is in audience engagement, and the only way to capture their segments’ attention is to present advertisements in a novel way. “The first few seconds are critical. If in five seconds you don’t capture me, you’ve lost me,” said another CEO. “Our study shows that brands should create pull advertising that allow C-suite to consume ads on their own terms. An interesting and engaging advertising message is the key to pique and capture a CEOs interest,” said Yu Mei Chan, Research Manager, CNBC Asia Pacific.

For more information on The Connected CEO 2.0 study, please see contact below.

For more information please contact:
Nathalie Haxby  
Ph: +44 20 7803 2319

Valerie Martinez  
D: +65 6326 1123

About MEC
We help clients explore what’s possible, inspiring and guiding them to the optimum solution for their brands. Then we exploit it, delivering maximum value to them. Our services include: Media planning and buying ~ Digital media ~ Mobile ~ Search ~ Performance marketing ~ Social media ~ Analytics and Insight ~ Sport, Entertainment & Cause ~ Multi-cultural ~ Content ~ Retail ~ Integrated Planning. Our 4,500 highly talented and motivated people work with domestic and international clients in 84 countries and we are a founding partner of GroupM. To find out more, visit us at  

About CNBC
CNBC is the leading global broadcaster of live business and financial news and information, reporting directly from the major financial markets around the globe with three regional networks including CNBC in Asia, CNBC in EMEA and CNBC in the US. is the preeminent financial news source on the web, featuring an unprecedented amount of video, real-time market analysis, web-exclusive live video and analytical financial tools. CNBC is dedicated to CEOs, senior corporate executives; the financial services industry and private investors. The channel is available in more than 370 million homes worldwide. CNBC is a division of NBCUniversal.

Acrobat Document mec_pressrelease_ceo_mar14.pdf

Tools Print page E-mail page Press Releases Reading Room Get Acrobat Reader

WPP Annual Report & Accounts 2017

WPP Annual Report & Accounts 2017
WPP Sustainability Report 2016/2017

WPP Sustainability Report 2017-2018
WPP Pro Bono Work 2017

Pro Bono 2017