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HPE partner program takes on digital marketing

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is looking to bring its channel up to speed with digital marketing concepts and trends — a business area where many partners tend to stumble.

The HPE Digital Marketing Program, unveiled at this week’s HPE Partner Summit, aims to align partners with recent shifts in customer buying behaviors. Through the program, HPE partners can get support for creating digital marketing plans. Partners can also access market development funds, a marketing concierge service, and educational content and workshops.

“The reality is that today there is a fundamental shift in the market with respect to how customers navigate the buyer’s journey on the path to a purchase,” said Denzil Samuels, global chief channel officer at HPE.

Samuels said buyers have greater control over the purchasing process than they had in the past, often doing their own extensive research prior to speaking to a salesperson. “When these changes in behavior are going on, you just have to be present and deliver engaging content everywhere where customers are doing their research. … If you aren’t present, you’re missing on a huge opportunity. Not only that, but you may even lose existing customers,” he said.

Chris Ogburn, HPE’s vice president of worldwide channel marketing, admitted that while some HPE partners have made progress developing digital marketing strategies, “many partners in the channel are lagging.” The HPE Digital Marketing Program, he said, will bring up to speed those partners that have fallen behind, while assisting partners that are more advanced in their digital marketing tactics.

HPE will also continue to bolster its Social Media Center, which about 1500 partners have used since it was launched at the 2016 Global Partner Conference, Ogburn noted. As part of this effort, HPE this week expanded language support for the Social Media Center to include German, French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese.