How SAP raised digital competencies by 52%!
"DMI skills will help me create the right framework and methods for the programs I'm involved in where creating pipeline and revenue is the objective"
Michael LabateSenior Director
A global firm in the Software & Technology industry company with over 100,000+ employees
Needs analysis using the Digital Diagnostic
52% average skill increase
132% skill increase in Digital Strategy and Planning
SAP, a global leader in the Software & Technology industry, was working on a digital transformation project focused on increasing the capabilities of their marketing organization. They set out to achieve this by bringing the skillsets they require into the organization through their people and teams.
SAP partnered with the Digital Marketing Institute on this project and identified several key goals to focus on. These goals including:
Demonstrate a commitment to the development of their teams and invest in employees with transferable skills, aligned to business objectives – to create a stronger digital mind-set and savvier workforce.
Evaluate existing digital skill levels and provide content to fill gaps where necessary.
Provide external certification and futureproofing of skills for employees.
Enable SAP’s leadership team through digital certifications.
Implement a cultural change within the organization.
Reduce agency reliance and cost by bringing skills in house.
The transformational project involved over 300 SAP employees becoming Digital Marketing Institute members, first completing a self-led assessment of their existing digital skills through the Digital Diagnostic, before enrolling in one of the DMI’s Pro or Specialist certifications.
Upon completion of the initial skills testing through the Diagnostic, analysis was delivered to SAP management with insights separated by team, location, role and department. The results were benchmarked against the industry standard and enabled a renewed confidence in the organization's overarching goals and investment to close skills gaps.
The SAP team, led by Kirsten Boileau, split their project over two phases to include various geo’s and practitioner levels. Participants had up to 24 weeks to complete their certification. Learning was self-paced and was supported by leadership who utilized a selection of tactics including executive sponsorship, webinars, support hours, email shots, newsletters and internal champions to drive ongoing engagement with the project.
The first phase included high-achieving individuals across North America and Latin America. In the first phase the program was billed as a developmental opportunity, and saw some resistance based around time commitment and content relevance to the individual’s day to day tasks. This resistance highlighted a number of key elements that had been missing in setting the stage, namely;
Choosing the right audience, based on their application of the knowledge and skills
Emphasizing the time commitment needed to participate
Underlining that the content is industry best-practice and not company-specific
The second phase of the program solved these identified issues with detailed expectation setting. Along with SAP building a community of learners across the organization, generating engagement through office hours, study groups based on location, and leveraging success stories and blog posts about learner’s experiences with the program.
One of the biggest challenges was to change the mindset of learners from “How can I apply this today?”, to “How will this set me up for the roles of the future?”. This challenge was solved by using storytelling centred on the changing landscape, and future-focused discussions around how SAP could use these skills and tactics in the future. Enabling participants to understand not only what skills they are developing personally, but also how they contribute to the long term organizational strategy.
Bringing learners together on a bi-weekly basis to discuss progress, content questions, next steps and learning best practices was one of the most effective and well-received tactics used.
The Diagnostic proved the SAP team had existing knowledge and strong foundations in Digital Principles, whilst simultaneously highlighting a conceptual understanding of Content Marketing and Analytics.
The team scored below 40% in Strategy, Social and Display, making them areas of most concern, and which certification content was identified to address.
Following content consumption and training completion, upon analysing exam results, marked improvements are visible across each module.
Improvements range from 4% to 135% increases across the various subject areas, with the largest increase in Digital Strategy.
There was a 52% increase in the overall team score. An industry leading result which places SAP first in class and sets a new benchmark for organizations engaging on similar projects with DMI.
Beyond the overall improvement in digital marketing skills, SAP saw a positive shift in the appetite for learning programs such as the DMI program, indicating a transformation in the learning culture.
Leadership and digital experts within the marketing organization noted a pivot in the types of questions and discussions DMI participants were having – from basic and foundational to strategic and more complex.
As SAP built out a library of success stories some participants shared the following testimonials about their experience.
- "DMI has impacted my career development because I now feel more confident to have strategic conversations on digital marketing." - Cathy Starrs, Nurture Strategist, North America Marketing
- "The DMI certification armed me with all the valuable information I could think of around areas I was not familiar with like paid media, SEO, Google Analytics, optimization, and display. Now I feel like I have the background in these areas to make more sound decisions that can benefit our overall strategy." - Brittany Franco, NA Campaign Lead | Analytics, Leonardo, & Cloud Platform
- "The DMI portal was flexible and very intuitive to use. It is a time commitment that can seem daunting but well worth it in the end. I particularly enjoyed the social media marketing unit, focused on bidding and campaign management." - Jean-Baptiste Aubrun, Marketing Manager
- "I loved how all the content is put together and presented. It is easy to follow and learn. I also loved the accessibility… anytime, anywhere and from any device!" - Denis Thomas, Sr. Marketing Manager at SAP Spain
To maintain the long-term benefits of the training, SAP continued to support the team by providing participants with on-going access to DMI Membership, evergreen access to course updates and development (CPD) through DMI Membership.
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