SINGAPORE: Technology that effectively filters relevant information is the top digital priority for busy Asian chief executives, according to a new survey, which also established they are open to brand communications but only on their own terms.

The Connected CEO 2.0, a joint study into the digital behaviour of top executives from multi-national companies in Singapore, Hong Kong and India, also found they do access content from multiple devices, but can get frustrated by device limitations.

They are also open to social networking as a channel for marketing, but their personal adoption of social media remains low, the study found.

Produced by global broadcaster CNBC and MEC, the WPP-owned media agency, the report confirmed that the C-suite, seeking to overcome "information overload", mostly want digital features that effectively aggregate content while recommending feeds based on their reading patterns.

The problem, however, is that intelligent content aggregation features are only possible if CEOs are willing to share their internet usage behaviour and the report said this is a challenge that remains to be overcome.

Similarly, they are cautious about adopting social media even though they recognise its worth for digital marketing and the report found their reluctance stemmed from concerns about blurring the line between their work and personal lives.

The C-suite also do not differentiate between screens and they use multiple digital devices, although tablets have emerged as a very popular device.

Tablets have now overtaken laptops for work meetings and travel, the report said, and they are also used at home for entertainment and sharing with the family in a way the traditional PC is 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," advised Charlotte Wright, head of planning at MEC Asia Pacific.

Finally, the report found most CEOs believe audience engagement is the key for the future of advertising, but ads must be relevant to their specific purpose.

Yu Chan, research manager at CNBC Asia Pacific, said: "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 CEO's interest."

Data sourced from MEC, CNBC; additional content by Warc staff