Growth, Social Media, Big Data on Business Leaders’ Minds

Want to resonate more deeply with customers, especially big ones? Then focus on growth, social media and big data.

So say more than 400 top CEOs and senior executives who responded to a recently completed survey by Gartner Group of Stamford, Conn. According to the leading IT industry researcher, sales growth ranks top of mind for one-third of CEOs and other senior leaders of companies with at least $250 million in annual revenue.

While hardly a shocking finding, Gartner noted with some surprise the degree to which big business is obsessed with sales growth.

“In 2014 growth almost equals the sum of the next three issues on the list of top strategic business priorities,” summed Mark Raskino, vice president and Gartner fellow, in the report. “The next step will be for CEOs and CIOs to work together to match the use of modern technologies to the specific kind of growth that the business is trying to win.”

As for technological priorities, top executives told Gartner that social media, cloud and mobility were foremost in their minds. When it comes to using these technologies, executives said applying them to grow revenue was of greater concern to them than leveraging innovations to achieve some internal cost benefit or efficiency edge.

While the economy and an aging workforce also ranked high on their agenda, technology – especially digital technologies – jumped in importance in the most recent survey when compared to previous years. According to survey respondents, technology has not been so prominent since the end of the dot-com era —another period when all things digital were thought to be the key to growing top-line revenue.

“This level of engagement with technology has probably not been seen since the tail end of the 1990s,” concluded Gartner. “In the last decade of Gartner’s CEO surveys, technology has always been visible, but not so far to the foreground as it is in 2014.”

This good news to those who understand what it takes to help customers grow revenue and increase customer relevance.

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