Linked-Out. Are the professional groups we survey so different to people in media, research and advertising?

This note details the results of counts we undertook to test the extent to which different groups use linked-in. These were featured in the London launch presentation of the Global Capital Markets survey in November 2011. Most of the people we work with in media and research are on linked-in. Whilst some commentators feel that linked-in can provide an effective distribution channel for new and existing content providers, my experience is that the quality of much content leaves much to be desired. This research suggests that linked-in is much less important for many of the professions we survey.

 

CFO's, Treasurers and Corporate Bankers…not linked-in

Prior to the launch of Global Capital Markets we checked the extent to which this is true for the survey users (people in media agencies and the marketing departments of corporate banks) and the extent to which it is true for the two groups represented by the survey (CFO's and Treasurers in the world's largest companies and top corporate bankers). Whilst virtually all of the survey users (people in advertising) are linked-in, the vast majority of the GCM survey universe are not. To some of the survey users this came as a surprise; to me it illustrates the wide variations in use of such media by professional group.

 

The stats…

Of 51 launch invitees only 3 were not on linked-in, 35 (69%) having 100 or more contacts. Those in media agencies had more contacts (221 on average) than those in the marketing department of banks (153)..

Of 168 CFO's, Treasurers and senior corporate bankers the majority (70%) were not on linked-in, only 11% having 100 or more contacts.

These low levels were found both in the UK and USA and across the other 35 countries included in the survey and were the same for both groups. They were despite high levels of use of portable personal technology (a third had used a mobile or tablet device to access at least one of 7 global media 'yesterday,' half doing so in the past 7 days).

 

Other senior professionals…not linked-in

This phenomenon is not unique to the financial sector…similar analysis in the medical and political fields show very low levels of use of linked-in…a general look at linked-in suggests that use is much higher in the digital, media and communications sector.

 

Background

This analysis was inspired by a trip to Warsaw where I met the now CEO of Gemius. His office was fairly sparse with a copy of The Economist next to his laptop (one of the media sponsors of the GCM survey). He has one contact on linked-in. Of the two most 'successful' people I know in research, one (Didier Truchot) is not on linked-in (why would he need to be?), the other (Adrian Chedore) used it to get back in touch prior to leaving the company he founded (Synovate). When we launched our Future of Media project in 2006 we quipped that use of social media by business leaders might not be the same…would the boss of Enron have posted something saying "our accounts are a bit funny…what should I do?" Little seems to have changed at the top end of the professional spectrum.

 

Nigel Jacklin

Managing Director

February 2012