[Podcast] 'Inbound & Down' S05 E14: HubSpot Academy's Curated Learning Paths ft. Kevin Dunn

Sage Levene

Sage Levene
Published January 09, 2020

HubSpot Academys Curated Learning Paths

On this episode of 'Inbound & Down,' hosts Jon Sasala and Danielle Esposito chat with the Manager of HubSpot Academy Education, Kevin Dunn, about creating curated learning paths for your company.

Those familiar with HubSpot know that they're a leading digital marketing, sales, and service platform. But, those are far from the only offerings they provide. In addition to their incredible software, HubSpot has an entire sector dedicated to industry education and improvement, called HubSpot Academy.

'Inbound & Down' Artwork from Season 5 Episode 4: Behind the Scenes of HubSpot Academy featuring Kyle Jepson. Artwork has title, photo of Kyle Jepson on a grey background with teal, orange, pink and purple accent shapesThis may sound familiar to our readers and listeners, as 'Inbound & Down' did an episode dedicated to HubSpot Academy, its background and some behind the scenes aspects earlier this season, with Inbound Sales Professor, Kyle Jepson. Read that feature here.

Today, we're talking to another member of the HubSpot Academy team, Kevin Dunn, who holds the position of manager.

Dunn has a background in digital marketing and started at HubSpot nearly four years ago as a Channel Consultant, which is essentially an account manager for the solutions partner network. After holding that position for a little over a year, he moved to the Academy team where he served as a Senior Inbound Professor. There, he owned the partner certifications—you may recognize him from the HubSpot Agency Partner videos.

In April of 2019, Dunn moved to the role of manager where he leads the inbound professors and is working on building out a team of dedicated partner professors. He also hosts Agency Unfiltered, HubSpot Academy's web series and podcast that features agency guests discussing a variety of agency-specific topics, issues, and overall experiences. 


The Morey Creative Studios team has been a fan of Dunn's for some time, but we knew we had to have him on the show after seeing his INBOUND '19 presentation on Upskilling Your Team with HubSpot Academy.

As a HubSpot Partner and an inbound marketing agency, it's imperative to our success that our team is educated and fluent in everything HubSpot. Thankfully, there is no shortage of information available in the Academy. However, where does one get started? Among all the certifications, courses and tracks, where is the logical starting point?  Dunn has championed the idea of curated learning paths, which are set certification tracks for new hires and employees.

All curated learning paths begin with what he calls the, "core four," saying, "it's basically this idea of starting everybody at our company on the same page in a shared language...If we're going to be working on HubSpot, or inbound, you know, let's just all speak the same language."

The core four is comprised of the following certifications:
  • Inbound Methodology: "Discover the fundamentals of inbound, the inbound methodology and the flywheel and learn how to apply them to your business. The Inbound Certification Course teaches you how to run a successful inbound business, from marketing to sales to services."
  • Inbound Marketing: "Learn inbound marketing techniques that range from content creation to social promotion to converting and nurturing leads and beyond. By the end of this certification course, you’ll be well on your way to building your inbound marketing strategy."
  • Inbound Sales: "The Inbound Sales Certification covers the basics of an inbound approach to sales. This course is for individual sales reps who are looking for actionable tips to use in their next call or meeting. You’ll learn how to identify new prospects, connect with them, explore their needs, and advise them on a path forward."
  • HubSpot Marketing Software: "To do inbound marketing well, you need to start your journey with the marketing software the right way. It’s a big platform with a lot of tools and to get the most value out of them, you need a foundation of knowledge and an understanding of how they all work together. These lessons will equip you with the fundamental understanding you need to do marketing well using HubSpot."

After these, depending on position, Dunn suggest that the path taken is based on role, job function, seniority—a mix of variables.

"If I'm a content marketer, for example, there's two approaches, right? And it's kind of this idea of a T-shaped marketer. So we want our marketers to have a wide range of conceptual familiarity, so I know  a lot about a lot," says Dunn.

He continues, "Then the other side of the T is, well, 'I'm going to go super deep on one particular aspect.' So content marketers, they might still want to take our social media certification, our sales enablement certification...but then when we talk about the depth of a T-shaped marketer, well, then there's content strategy, there's business blogging, and there's probably some SEO courses you're going to want to go through...So certainly a number of ways to go, but it's all about building your T-shaped marketer."

Dunn's INBOUND '19 presentation (available here) includes a lot of great resources like a master-course list with categorizations, some sample paths, a course catalog + more.

HubSpot Academy + Morey Creative Studios

As a partner agency, we hold the aforementioned Agency Partner certification and our individual employees hold a mix of others. We have our own version of curated learning paths that we use for onboarding and continuous educational purposes.

Last August, we held our first certification day—inspired by HubSpot Agency Partner SmartBug—where everyone was tasked with acquiring at a minimum one certification. We had a lot of fun re-skilling + skilling up, and are currently in the process of scheduling our next day.

Though our hearts (and Dunn's) are with HubSpot Academy, we inquired if there were any other useful industry trainings and certifications to acquire. Dunn listed a few notable ones, including:

The benefits of continual employee education are nearly incalculable, but overall lead to an increase in productivity, increased employee retention and overall self-actualization in regards to the work being produced, according to Dunn.

You can find Kevin on LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as every other Wednesday in Agency Unfiltered.


This Week's One Thing
  • Jon's One Thing is Bombas socks. He truly could not speak more highly of them.
  • Danielle's One Thing is her trip to Bali ✈️.
  • Kevin's One Thing is...Behr one-coat paint. He recently bought a house and it's been comin' in handy.


 Show Notes:

Do you have questions about HubSpot Academy? Send them in to inbound@moreycreative.com.

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