Online learning platforms are becoming increasingly popular.
They are an easy, on-demand way to learn and implement knowledge on your own and at your own pace — especially while social distancing. In 2017, approximately 77% of US corporations used online learning, but 98% planned to incorporate it into their program by 2020.
Online educational platforms are a great place for both individuals and companies looking to train and educate teams within their organization.
For many professionals looking to enhance their digital sales and marketing skills, HubSpot Academy is a go-to resource.
Here at IMPACT, we hold the platform’s educational content so highly that we require all new employees to obtain several HubSpot Academy certifications during onboarding.
However, this past spring we launched our own educational platform: IMPACT+.
We believe that IMPACT+ provides something that HubSpot Academy does not — advanced instruction for your entire team, including marketers, sales professionals, videographers, and business leaders. It also offers essential community features to support your education.
Both platforms are offer educational resources to help your company grow. And while HubSpot Academy’s robust offerings have helped establish the industry standard, we believe IMPACT+ can complement and supplement what HubSpot offers, giving you tactical insights to expand your teams’ skill set as you scale up your digital sales and marketing.
Similarities between IMPACT+ and HubSpot Academy
Both IMPACT+, released in May of this year, and HubSpot Academy, which debuted in November of 2016, are online learning platforms with a core focus on digital marketing, sales, and service.
Each has options that range from shorter, single-video lessons to longer, more in-depth multi-video courses, each led by knowledgeable instructors. These courses also included related blog articles to help provide additional information on the subject matter.
Both platforms evaluate your learning, too. HubSpot Academy offers exams for all courses that result in a certification. Users who pass the test can display their certification on social media. Some academy courses feature practicums and task-based assignments (like setting up a workflow in HubSpot).
IMPACT+ asks its learners to apply their new knowledge as well, but we opt for real world assignments over multiple choice exams.
A final similarity is that IMPACT+ borrows heavily from HubSpot’s buyer’s journey structure. Therefore, you’re likely to hear some of the same terminology on both platforms, which will standardize your experiences on both. IMPACT+ seeks to offer further refinement and additional guiding principles that will inform the way you apply HubSpot’s methodology.
Now let’s get into what differentiates the two platforms.
HubSpot Academy is a robust online learning platform with over 300 lessons and courses, which dwarfs IMPACT+’s current lineup of 23 (with many more currently in production).
However, many of HubSpot Academy’s courses are more entry-level, offering broad knowledge for people new to the world of inbound marketing. For example, many courses are described as introductions to things like marketing automation, social media, or digital sales, offering tips for initial campaign set up.
But once you get beyond that experience level, there isn't as much for you to explore.
This makes HubSpot Academy most beneficial to those just getting started with inbound marketing and sales. However, those same professionals may look elsewhere for more advanced guidance.
Another thing to consider is that, unsurprisingly, many HubSpot Academy courses are specific to HubSpot, or catered to those who are using HubSpot.
While there are more generalized courses and lessons that can be applied to other tools, HubSpot Academy’s main focus is HubSpot’s tool offerings.
IMPACT+, on the other hand, offers more in-depth training around topics like using video in the sales process, how to optimize your Google My Business profile, and creating a touchless buying experience on your website.
While we do offer some tool-specific instruction, the focus is always on practical application to help you begin to move the needle.IMPACT+ courses are geared towards providing specific, actionable takeaways that will increase your results now.
HubSpot Academy courses are taught by a team of dedicated “professors” whose focus is academy coursework.
IMPACT+ includes an interactive scorecard and strategy roadmap to help your company evaluate exactly where it is today, and what specific steps need to be taken to drive the sales and marketing results you're striving for:
If you have your whole team in IMPACT+, each person can evaluate your company's current digital sales and marketing performance from their perspective. Multiple vantage points give you a better chance to discover blindspots and build alignment.
Community and engagement
An interactive community element can bring additional value to software users, especially to those learning online.
Having discussions with other people learning the same things helps users enhance their knowledge and understanding. Such connections are essential to true professional growth.
Community engagement also provides an avenue to discover new professional opportunities and allows for back-and-forth on questions and roadblocks you might be facing.
That’s why we’ve conceived IMPACT+ as an entire learningcommunity.
IMPACT+’s community includes:
Role-based discussion boards covering all aspects of digital sales and marketing
Regular virtual peer group meetings
Discussion threads on the individual courses themselves
These community aspects make it easy for users to engage, ask questions, and collaborate on course material.
HubSpot Academy, as an online learning platform, only contains courses and has a separate platform for discussion called HubSpot Community, but this forum isn’t dedicated to the academy.
Rather, HubSpot Community is a catch-all for HubSpot discussions, primarily focused on solving issues or roadblocks within the software.
In addition to course materials, IMPACT+ provides access to all recordings from every past IMPACT event ever (both in-person and virtual events).
These recordings include education from over 100 speakers like Brian Halligan, David Meerman Scott, Ann Handley, Rand Fishkin, and more.
While HubSpot releases its past keynotes and spotlights from INBOUND events, it does not always release the more tactical sessions.
In HubSpot Academy is free, once you have create your academy account.
The free version provides access to all of the foundational courses and resources, roadmap and scorecard features, as well as access to the community discussion forums and some keynote recordings.
Advanced courses, access to private virtual peer groups, all video recordings, team roadmap and scorecard visibility, and additional soon-to-roll-out tools are available when users upgrade to a pro account.
How IMPACT+ can help you grow
We imagined IMPACT+ to be a platform that offers advanced training to help you grow your digital sales and marketing efforts — and to bring you together with others who are looking to do the same.
Getting started with a free account will allow you to see just how much these resources can help you today, tomorrow, next month, and next year as you continue to grow and develop your expertise and strategy.
While HubSpot Academy is an invaluable resource that we ourselves rely on to establish base knowledge in all of our employees, we believe IMPACT+ offers something more.
Create a free account and take the time to complete Marcus Sheridan’s course: “Digital Sales and Marketing Framework for Today’s Modern Buyer.” Once you get an idea of what IMPACT+ can offer you, we believe you will see how a membership can enhance and extend the learning you’ve been doing with HubSpot Academy.
These two robust online platforms both focus on the same core principle: helping you achieve your digital sales and marketing objectives.
To truly be your best, you should be sure to make use of each.