Hewlett Packard Enterprise is expanding its Marketing Pro Academy with a new on-demand Digital Marketing Partner Accreditation program.
The program, which includes a number of online training tracks, will be available beginning 1 November. Those who pass the exam will receive a formal HPE marketing accreditation—a degree recognising digital business marketing achievement.
The accreditation—which also comes with an HPE logo that can be touted in online signatures and on a partner’s website—is aimed at developing more digital-business-savvy marketing reps and executives in the HPE channel, said Chris Ogburn, vice president of worldwide field and channel marketing at HPE.
“This is about getting partners to align their investment and activities with how customers are buying,” he said. “The primary goal is to get partners using digital marketing to advance their business.”
Individuals achieving the certification will be invited to join the Global HPE Digital Marketing Partner Community to share knowledge and tips on how to drive tight alignment between sales and marketing. The new accreditation was designed in collaboration with HPE’s Marketing Advisory Board, said Ogburn.
Getting partners into the accreditation program is critical given the need for solution providers to tie marketing directly to sales in an era in which 70 percent of a buyer’s journey takes place online before a customer seeks partner input.
“When you talk about transforming businesses in the channel, many partners recognise they need to do something, but they need help to get there,” he said. “They don’t know how to implement or operationalise it to get there.”
Far too many partners believe their sales force is their primary engine to communicate with customers. “But that sales force can’t possibly communicate at the length and depth and breadth of what has to be communicated with the complexity in the IT environment today,” he said. “They have got to have that digital support.”
HPE also is beefing up its Digital Marketing Maturity Assessment tool with additional data gathered from nearly 800 partners. One of the key takeaways from the assessment data is the strong level of “organisational commitment” from digital marketing-savvy channel players.
“You have to have that organisational commitment,” Ogburn said. “Partners grow faster when they have organisational commitment and they are driving digital means of execution.”
The lowest score for partners in the assessment was in analytical frameworks, which covers front-end segmentation/analytics or back-end reporting/analytics. “That is an area where partners have to invest more and go deeper,” he said.
Partners that excel at digital marketing analytics have committed dedicated resources to do that data science analysis or are tapping into third parties like marketing services agencies, said Ogburn. “We are encouraging partners to think through that and start to make those investments,” he said.