RSR Trying Something Brand New
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We’re changing something up here at RSR, and we think it’s a pretty big deal. We’ve got a new product, and for the first time in our history, we want to give it away to everyone – not just registered users.
When we started this company more than 12 years ago, our vision was clear: make everything we wrote absolutely free to everyone, so long as they were willing to register their name and email address to become part of our community.
The model has worked very, very well. In that 12 years, we’ve published more than 120 benchmark reports (each one roughly 30 pages long), roughly 2,000 weekly newsletter articles, as well as sent out countless video snippets, infographics, and data-driven tidbits to our database of registered members. Why did we make all of this free?
Simple. The kernel of an idea that drove this company on day one still informs every decision we make: we want to help make the retail industry a better place by getting good, actionable data out to anyone who wants it. They just have to give us their name and contact info in return. That way, we’ve always been able to measure our growth, our reach, and know statistics about who makes up our readership.
But throughout all of our work, we kept one product pretty close to ourselves. It started as something called a “findings review”, and the format was pretty straightforward: a quicker-format presentation of the highlights of any given full-lenght report. We started delivering them live to the technology vendors that sponsored our research, and they were an instant hit. Turns out people like being walked through the data by the people that did the research.
But as time went on, we here at RSR started using these presentations internally. We used them when we had to remind ourselves exact figures from a report from 6 months ago (or sometimes 6 weeks ago). We often times started folding their content into in-person speeches we give, webinars we’d participate in, or panel conversations we were invited to. For a while we toyed with putting them up on social media, but again – at an average of 1 hour apiece – the format wasn’t quite right.
So we’ve tightened these docs up considerably. Now they are now short and sweet .pdf-format documents designed to supplement each full benchmark report we publish. They’re called eBooks, but they are nothing like the eBooks we’ve published in the past. They are tight, visually-engaging, and meant to give someone in a hurry the broad strokes of a report’s findings until they have time to sit and read the whole thing. A brand new one will ride alongside every benchmark we publish, and of course – they will be free.
But here’s where it gets really interesting. We’re so proud of these things that we want EVERYONE to see them – not just registered users. One thing we’ve found is that a lot of people find their way to our content pages – only to abandon once we ask them to register. It’s frustrating! We do everything we can to make folks aware that registration is a completely painless process that takes less than a minute, but the numbers don’t lie. It’s our version of an abandoned cart, and it’s driving us nuts.
So here’s the experiment. If you are a registered user (and if you’re reading this that means you are and we’d like to thank you!) you know that we launched a brand new full-length IoT report just last week. Well, this week we’ll be launching the IoT eBook to supplement it. You’ll see an email on Friday announcing it to the general public. But unlike anything we’ve ever published before, it’s not behind our firewall. Anyone can download it free of charge – they don’t even need to register.
What do you think? We’re constantly telling retailers to be more experimental and try new things in the face of new markets – we think this is just another example of heeding our own advice. We’re very interested to see what happens.