Last week, Aberdeen announced the first two in a series of forthcoming online publications, CMO Essentials and TechPro Essentials. Some remarked that it was an “interesting move”, wondering if analyst firms like Gartner and Forrester will “follow suit.” I wanted to give some insider intel as to why we’ve embarked on the online publishing journey:


Reason #1: Because I’m willing to bet you won’t read my entire post, but rather, skim to the parts I’ve bolded.

Tony Haile of Chartbeat noted in his article for Time Magazine that 55% of people spend fewer than 15 seconds on a page. Aberdeen’s data-rich content and insights have historically lived within 25+ page PDF tomes of charts and recommendations – a difficult format to compete with what Haile refers to as “The Attention Web” where time spent reading content is more valuable than clicks or social shares.

These Essentials publications give our research new life in the form of shorter, easy-to-consume articles. Aberdeen has also been living the content repurposing mantra by creating new, shorter content derived from our primary research reports. If you’re a marketer, read more about those here – they’re ideal to license within your own campaigns as you fight a similar battle for the attention of your prospects. Plus, all of our content has been given a makeover. Enough of the sales pitch (sorry, can’t help it)… moving on to reason #2.

Reason #2: Because they better explain our research with rich context.

Aberdeen relies on a research methodology we nicknamed PACE that seeks to understand the Pressures faced by business leaders, the Actions they take to solve them, the Capabilities in place to support these actions, and the Enablers(technology) used throughout the process. These new sites feature articles that place snippets of PACE findings within the context of industry best practices or current events, helping to better illuminate the research and it’s application to the real world.

For example, the adoption of certain endpoint security techniques was front and center when Microsoft retired Windows XP. In an article on TechPro Essentials, Aberdeen’s IT Security analyst Derek Brink highlighted the hazards faced by companies still running XP, using research he conducted about the high risk of unprotected endpoints.

I’m personally excited at the freedom these new publications offer our analysts: they’re experts in their fields and have truly unique perspectives on current events and their implications on the broader market. (Plus, most of them are really punny.)

Reason #3: Because it allows us to create a platform for a variety of voices.

We’re accepting contributed articles from industry practitioners, a move that may come as a surprise given our 100% vendor-agnostic research and content practices. The truth is; our research is strengthened by a variety of voices putting it up against business challenges faced on the front lines. We maintain our vendor agnosticism, keep strict editorial quality control, and encourage guest authors to inform and inspire our readership.

But, in a way, these sites reflect David Weinberger’s model of the Web as a whole –small pieces, loosely joined – by coordinating multiple perspectives under the Aberdeen brand. One great and recent example from Samantha Stone on CMO Essentials is “Summer of Sales” – give it a read. You can read more about CMO Essentials and TechPro Essentials contributor guidelines at the links provided.

Reason #4: Because we’re not an analyst firm.

Woah. What? Maybe this should be reason #1…

It’s true. In a future post, I’ll gladly explain what Aberdeen Group has become over its 26 year history. In a nutshell, I’ll say this:

Today, Aberdeen Group is a research publishing company.

In that statement, I hope to provide a bit of clarity regarding our business model and the motivation behind these sites. More to come on this.

If you made it this far into my post, I’ve already beat the odds, but I'll wrap it up. These sites offer exciting new opportunities for Aberdeen, and they're just part of a sea of change here over the last few months. There's a lot more to come, so please keep Aberdeen Group on your radar, and check out CMO Essentials and TechPro Essentials.