Hewlett Packard Enterprise is launching a breakthrough interactive digital marketing maturity assessment tool that measures the digital marketing proficiency of partners versus their peers.
The new digital marketing maturity assessment -- which is free for partners -- provides a detailed self-assessment survey that measures the digital marketing prowess of partners, rating digital identity including website and social media; senior leadership commitment; analytics capabilities; marketing campaign planning; and the engagement between sales and marketing, said Chris Ogburn, Vice President, WW Field and Channel Marketing, HPE.
The survey provides a customized personal report exclusively for partners, showing them where they rank in each category relative to their solution provider peers in their respective country. It also provides practical recommendations that partners can act upon to improve their digital marketing proficiency with HPE digital marketing and assets.
"This gives partners a tangible way to get a feel for where they are in their digital marketing journey and provides specific concrete ways they can take to improve themselves," said Ogburn. "This assessment is about enabling partners to increase their proficiency in digital marketing and selling, and enabling them to create more sales pipeline and drive more revenue."
Partners that take the assessment could see a "material impact on their business and bottom line if they get more modern in terms of how they are doing marketing in a digital world," he said. "If we can get partners working with us to do more digital to drive demand generation and engage with their sales team, they are going to win and we are going to win."
Key to the tool is the personalized report partners will receive from the interactive test, said Ogburn.
"This gives partners a better sense of where they stand in the market and practical steps on how they can drive improvement," he said.
Ogburn credited his Asia team for coming up with the digital marketing maturity assessment breakthrough.
"It's really cool," he said. "Partners are hungry to understand where they stand in the market versus their competitors. When you get an assessment and see where you fit on a scale relative to other partners in your country, that is a big eye-opener. These are personalized assessments. It is very specific to their business."
HPE also is launching at no charge to partners the Marketing Pro Academy -- a suite of educational courses and content aimed at helping partners increase their digital marketing proficiency.
The Marketing Pro Academy includes videos, white papers, presentations, guides and even an e-book on how partners can increase their digital marketing IQ, said Ogburn.
The educational material includes a wide swath of educational digital marketing content from HPE, its marketing agency and third-party providers. "There is some really cool stuff here," said Ogburn.
Finally, HPE is expanding its face-to-face digital marketing workshops. Those workshops in major metropolitan areas provide solution provider marketing executives a full day of training from HPE. HPE has made great progress with partners, said Ogburn, with several thousand now downloading HPE content for digital marketing on a regular basis.
HPE also has 3,200 partners that are now using the HPE Social Media Center to drive sales pipeline.
"Whether it is content or social media, we are seeing the adoption go up significantly," he said. "We are seeing more and more partners recognizing the importance of investing in digital marketing. The data points and the scale we are seeing underscore the progress we are making."
That said, Ogburn said there are still far too many partners not embracing digital marketing to drive sales growth. HPE did an analysis of partners that showed that those investing more MDF in marketing and demand generation rather than training/enablement are showing faster growth, said Ogburn.
"Partners that invest in demand generation and know how to do it well are growing their business at a faster pace than those partners leaning more on their technical expertise or selling capabilities," he said. "That is why we have been making big investments in things like the digital marketing maturity assessment tool. That is helping the partners that are hungry to do more. Partners know they need to be doing this, and we can help them."
HPE partners, for their part, said Ogburn and HPE Chief Marketing Officer Jim Jackson are powering significant HPE sales growth for the channel.
"No other vendors come close to doing what HPE is doing to drive our sales growth with digital marketing programs and strategies," said Jessica Garrett, vice president of marketing for Duluth, Ga.-based Veristor, one of HPE's top enterprise partners. "HPE has put their money where their mouth is with digital marketing."
The HPE digital-first marketing offensive has translated directly into increased pipeline and sales growth at Veristor, said Garrett. "HPE is doing really innovative digital marketing on their own and then bringing it to partners," she said. "They are enabling us to use digital marketing and giving it to us in a way we want it. That's a direct result of the work that Jim and Chris are doing."
Garrett, a member of HPE's Digital Marketing Advisory Board, said the kind of digital marketing support HPE is providing is unparalleled. That includes a partner portal that is unmatched with digital content, ready-to-post social media, content syndication and even a partner marketing concierge service.
"The difference for us is that HPE is really focused on building a very strong relationship with their partners and they back it up," she said. "Together, HPE and Veristor are building best-in-class marketing strategies that are resulting in effective demand generation, lead generation and sales pipeline. We are very tightly aligned with HPE, and it is directly affecting the bottom line."
Bob Stegner, senior vice president of marketing for Synnex, one of HPE's top distributors, also praised HPE for its digital marketing leadership.
"Jim and Chris are great listeners and advocates for the channel," said Stegner. "They understand the challenges and opportunities for the channel and they act on it. They are very channel-focused."