Survey respondents appear remarkably relaxed about the so-called digital revolution.

Seventy-one percent of respondents do not believe online business models will fundamentally change the way they do business over the next 12 months.

Figure 1:  Planned additional communication channels for introduction in the next 12 months.

  % of responses 2012 

Enhance web presence




Social media


SmartPhone applications


Tablet (iPad) applications


Mobile text messaging (SMS)





Figure 2: Social media channels being used (% of responses).

Figure 2

Just under half of survey respondents say they have experienced an increase in online transactions over the past 12 months, which is a modest increase on the equivalent figure from our 2011 survey. Thirty-one percent claim online activity is not applicable to their line of business.

Three quarters assert that the growing strength of online purchasing represents only a minor threat to their own businesses. Fifty-three percent of respondents expect to increase the volume of their online transactions over the coming year, but a further 29 percent feel these activities do not apply to their businesses.

However, 65 percent of businesses say they do have plans to introduce new digital communication channels to engage with customers over the next 12 months. Of these companies, nearly a third will be enhancing their websites. Although, if this is just through freshening up colours, and look and feel, this will not be enough to keep up with the needs of consumers.

Businesses should be considering their strategic direction for the next few years and ensuring their website is enhanced to align with their business model. Other favourite additional digital channels are email communication and smart phone applications.

Only 34 percent of respondent businesses are currently using social media in their marketing mix with a further 21 percent saying they will ‘consider’ the use of social media at some point over the next year. Of those using social media, Facebook continues to be the most popular medium, followed by Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Video: Private Companies Survey 2012

Video: Private Companies Survey 2012
KPMG's National Managing Partner of Private Enterprise, Peter Siebels, gives an overview of the findings from the Private Companies Survey 2012.

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Private Companies Survey 2012 in PDF

Download a copy of the Private Companies Survey 2012 in PDF.