Hewlett Packard Enterprise kicked off its Global Partner Summit on Monday with an all-out drive to transform how partners capture leads and drive sales growth with a new Partner Ready Digital Marketing Program.
The program brings together a robust arsenal of tools and content that partners can brand and use on their own websites, blogs and social media to capture sales leads, then convert them into sales.
The program – which partners are calling a digital marketing game changer - comes with partners increasingly building out digital marketing campaigns in a market where B2B buyers are completing as much as 70 percent of their buying decisions before speaking to a sales rep.
"This is all driven by the change in the way the customer is behaving – their buying process and habits," HPE vice president of worldwide channel marketing Chris Ogburn said in an interview with CRN USA. "This starts with the customer. Partners need to change and adapt or they are going to be left behind. Partners doing digital marketing are the ones that are going to see better pipeline and sales results. Partners that are not doing this are going to lose customers without even realising it until it is too late."
Among the tools that are available free of charge to all HPE partners as part of the new Partner Ready Digital Marketing Program: a breakthrough social media centre tool that is being used by 1500 partners in 113 countries; a Product and Solutions Now content repository that has had 20,000 asset downloads; and a marketing concierge service that partners can query to find any content they need to drive effective digital marketing campaigns.
Ogburn said the program is the culmination of a massive digital marketing first initiative at HPE that began several years ago. The new Partner Ready Digital Marketing Program, in fact, has been crafted with input from HPE's marketing partner advisory board.
"HPE is leading here, helping our channel partners transform so they are marketing and selling in a way that is aligned with how buyers are now making their purchase decisions," said Ogburn.
The decision to bundle the wide variety of tools and educational resources comes amid a B2B digital marketing buyer revolution that's in full swing, said Ogburn. "The timing is right for us to push this harder with our partners and to help the channel transform," he said.
Ogburn, in fact, said every single one of HPE's 100,000 partners should be taking advantage of the digital marketing program tools and resources. He said the program is going to be particularly powerful for partners that recognize the changes in the digital marketing landscape, but simply don't have "the skills on staff to do this or have not prioritised it high enough" to cross the digital divide.
"For those already doing some level of digital marketing, this program just makes it a lot easier," he said. "They can go in and engage under this framework and have access to all this incredible stuff that will make them smarter, faster and yield better results."
Partners can take advantage of the massive digital marketing investments being made by HPE by going to the HPE Partner Portal, said Ogburn. "All the information is in one place to make it very easy for partners to click and find," he said.
The new program includes improvements aimed at making it easier for partners to access the wide range of tools and content available from HPE. It includes "one click downloads" from HPE's popular Social Media Centre.
The key to the HPE Digital Marketing Program is that it has been built from the point of the view of the customer, said Ogburn. "Partners that are engaging in the marketplace this way are the ones that are going to see better pipeline results and better sales results," he said. "Those that aren't may lose some of their customers without even realising it until it is too late."
Partners that are not making the digital marketing transformation are also going to have difficulty driving sales growth and net new business in the rapidly changing digital marketing landscape, sad Ogburn. "At the end of the day, this is all about building pipeline and generating sales."