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Mobile blurs executive lives

News, 02 February 2015

LONDON: Mobile devices are blurring the work-leisure balance of top business executives who are increasingly consuming business content at weekends via tablets and smartphones and in front of the TV, research has found.

The Mobile Elite survey, from business and financial news network CNBC, polled 600 executives in Europe, Asia and the US, to find that around 80% used their mobile device to access business content on a typical weekday morning and 60% continued to do so at weekends.

The nature of the weekend content, however, was likely to be rather different, with a greater focus on in-depth analysis and company information rather than breaking news and stock prices.

Mike Jeanes, Director of Research, EMEA at CNBC, observed that weekend consumption of business content was now "commonplace" and said this presented "an opportunity for media owners and advertisers alike".

Executives are not immune to the habit of multi-screening, with 80% of those in the US watching TV while using their mobile device and 70% of those in Europe and Asia.

In fact, Asian executives appeared ready to use their devices at any time, with over half doing so while reading newspapers, listening to the radio, chatting with colleagues or using other mobile devices.

Only around one third or less of European and American executives, on the other hand, undertook this activities while also using their mobile devices.

For advertisers, an important finding of the survey was that over half (56%) of all respondents had followed up on their smartphone or tablet as a result of seeing content on TV.

This ranged from web browsing for products or services (69%), purchasing products, stocks or shares (55%) to responding to advertising (42%).

More than half of respondents in Europe and Asia also opted to share content via social media, but only 25% in the US did so.

The survey highlighted a significant jump in social media use amongst European business executives to 97%, as more were using LinkedIn (up from 58% in 2013 to 66% in 2014) and Twitter (up from 43% to 52%).

Interestingly there was also a consistent gap of 25 to 30 points in all regions in respondents' perceptions of how they themselves were keeping up with the speed of change in personal technology compared to the companies they worked for.

Data sourced from CNBC, additional content by Warc staff