Market Overview

Allison+Partners and PRWeek Study Reveals 100 Percent of Leading Executives View Building Winning Experiences as Vital To Business Success in the New Engagement Economy


Allison+Partners and PRWeek today unveiled the findings of the second annual C-Factors Survey, which polls leading CEOs, CMOs and other senior executives to ascertain how creativity is impacting business, globalization, culture and communications. Results again unveiled creativity as one of the most influential forces driving today's global economy, with 96 percent of respondents citing it as among the top elements they are looking to harness to advance their business in the years ahead. This is an 18 percent increase from 2011.

Key Findings from Respondents Include:

  • 100 percent see building winning experiences as vital to business success, saying a holistic approach to communication with limited silos between marketing, advertising and PR will also occur;
  • 85 percent think we have entered the “engagement” economy, with 96 percent affirming that creativity is critical to economic success today;
  • 86 percent view their organizations as having become more creative within the last two years, with 81 percent seeing this trend continuing;
  • 94 percent of CEOs and CIOs and 92 percent of CMOs will place an increasing emphasis on creatively inspired communications in the immediate years ahead.

Those surveyed viewed creativity as an increasingly important element in their own communications programs and as a mechanism for driving business performance, with 93 percent affirming that creativity is undeniably linked to global economic growth today. 92 percent of respondents are looking to rely on it as an agent for building future market share in traditional markets, with another 90 percent seeing it as critical for success in emerging markets. Markets tagged as top hubs for global brand growth include: China (60 percent), India (45 percent), Southeast Asia (44 percent) and Brazil (28 percent).

“We are incredibly proud to work with Allison+Partners on the C-Factors Survey,” said Gideon Fidelzeid, managing editor of PRWeek. “We view this study as a rallying cry for everyone in the communications industry to really step up their game and devise the increasingly innovative outreach mechanisms that are well within their capabilities. The data gleaned from this survey demands it.”

An overwhelming number of respondents, 85 percent, think that we have entered the “engagement economy,” an economic ecosystem that is predicated on massively scaled collaborative and participatory experiences. This new economy is pushing senior executives to reinvent their roles and the value they can bring to the organization overall. Interestingly, 94 percent of those surveyed say CEOs view creativity as very important to success in their role. This shift can be attributed to creativity's rising influence over leadership, with 77 percent of respondents citing creativity as critical to winning stewardship today.

“Our research shows creativity continuing its ascent as the global economy's most vital currency and as among the top drivers of improved business performance,” said Scott Allison, Chairman and CEO of Allison+Partners. “As a result, we have witnessed the arrival of the engagement economy, and the dawn of the CMO as an officer of engagement with all key constituencies.”

Interestingly, the 2012 C-Factors survey finds that while 88 percent of respondents view creative destruction as a necessary tool to succeed, only 6% of respondents recognize the enormous value that can come from placing creatively destructive acts (ones that tear down and then start anew) as a top creative priority.

“The engagement economy is being driven by the many, not the few. We are seeing this not only through empowered consumerism, but in the explosion of artisinally driven micro brands which are emerging as the long tail of the economy,” said Billee Howard, Creative Development Officer of Allison+Partners. “As a result, entirely new ways of communicating must be created, and pathways to growth will only be uncovered through an appetite for destruction. We are living in the 'Video Killed the Radio Star' age and consequently, leadership opportunities will only come to those who view destruction as both a top creative, as well as organizational priority.”

Survey results demonstrate this need for new thinking in the communications realm, with 94 percent of CIOs and 92 percent of CMOs placing more emphasis on creatively inspired communications in the years ahead. Not surprisingly this continued coalescence between marketing and technology reveals an ongoing reliance on social platforms (71 percent) and mobile applications (56 percent) with experiential platforms (39 percent) and gamification (19 percent) emerging as two increasingly viable vehicles for delivering consumer engagement.

Visit the Allison+Partners website to view the PRWeek profile on the 2012 C-Factors study along with key survey findings at Video content from our AdWeek panel on the same topic with participants from Kraft, Fast Company, SXSW and Everyday Health can also be found on the web site.

About Allison+Partners

Allison+Partners, an MDC Partners company, is an international communications firm driven by a collaborative approach to innovation and creativity. The result is freshly imagined, customized approaches that provide concrete, measurable strategies to drive market and executive leadership. Expertise includes consumer PR and marketing, corporate communications, technology and digital media, brand innovation, social impact, public affairs and healthcare. The firm is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York, London, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle and Dallas. The company has a 50-state grassroots network and deep affiliations with quality firms worldwide through MDC Partners (NASDAQ: MDCA, Toronto Stock Exchange: MDZ.A), a progressive marketing and communications network, championing the most innovative entrepreneurial talent. Visit us at:,,,

About PRWeek

PRWeek epitomizes the modern business publishing brand, spanning online, print, events, and social media, incorporating a paid-for content strategy and gated website. Launched in November 1998, it is the essential title for PR professionals in the US.

PRWeek reflects an industry playing a more pivotal role than ever before, not only in the marketing strategies of companies, brands, and organizations, but also within boardrooms and amongst the C-suite.

In the transparent world epitomized by social media, corporate reputation is crucial. Executives need timely, authoritative, insightful content to navigate this landscape - that's where PRWeek comes in.

Breaking news, analysis, and opinion fuels and is distributed through the Breakfast Briefing, Weekly Online edition, Twitter, and Facebook. PRWeek monthly in print highlights senior communications executives as cover stars and analyzes issues in depth, supplemented by special reports and surveys.

The brand extends into the iconic PRWeek Awards, PRWeek NEXT conference, roundtables, webcasts, and virtual forums.

Amanda Field, 646-428-0637

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