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How to get started in Marketing Cloud

To start in Marketing Cloud, you need to ask yourself three questions.

  1. Which path do you want to take?

  2. Is this something you want to do (i.e., do you like working in marketing?)

  3. Do you want to jump straight into certifications or the job search?

Based on those three questions, there are three steps to follow if you're brand new in Marketing Cloud.

Let's talk about those three steps.


Step 1 - Which Path Do You Want To Take?

Figure out which path you want to take and which cert you want to take first.

There are only two paths in Marketing Cloud.

  1. Marketing Cloud Email Specialist/Administrator

  2. Marketing Cloud Developer

The goal for you to decide is if you want to be an email specialist/administrator, which does more "Clicks" over "Code."

Your primary goals will be to build email campaigns and ensure the system is running smoothly, and you'll use minimal coding to make things happen.

For example, you'll build emails with the drag-and-drop editor in Content Builder, or you'll create automations in Automation Studio with your managers' logic.

You'll also build journeys in Journey Builder based on the email path the marketing team wants to send customers.

As a developer, you'll build many things with ServerSide JavaScript, SQL, HTML, AMPscript, and API's.

You'll build landing pages with SSJS (ServerSide JavaScript), emails with AMPscript and HTML, and integrate systems with API's.

You'll even do a lot of data segmentation using SQL as a developer.

So you first need to decide which route you want to take.

To figure this out, ask yourself, "What am I good at?"

Do you understand the concept of marketing campaigns but don't know how to code?

Then it would be best if you went down the Marketing Cloud Email Specialist/Administrator path.

Do you know how to code in a particular language?

Then you might want to be a developer and help a marketing team by bringing your ability to code in SSJS, AMPscript, SQL, HTML, or APIs to the table.


Step 2 - Is this something you want to do (i.e., do you like working in marketing?)

If you're already comfortable working in marketing teams, then marketing cloud will be easy.

Marketing is the same no matter which company you work at.

Your main goal as a marketer is to convince people that the product/service that your company offers is the best solution for them.

How you go about marketing is up to the company you work for.

But most companies use automation to send emails, text messages, and mobile app messages to leads.

And that leads me to the next point... pun intended :) 😉

Do you understand what a lead is?

Do you understand sales cycles?

Do you understand how to convert a lead into a paying customer?

If you don't know what I'm talking about, then Marketing Cloud may be a complex system to learn.

Not because the system is complex but because you probably need to learn marketing concepts.

Marketing Cloud is an automation tool that allows you to:

  • Store your customer data

  • Segment your customer data

  • Create email content

  • Automate your customer data logic

  • Send emails, text messages, and mobile app messages to customers automatically.

The Marketing Cloud system will be easy to learn if you know marketing concepts.

It's like using Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Hubspot, Marketo, or any other email automation tool.

So the main thing to ask yourself is:

  • "Do I like working in Marketing?"

  • "Do I understand the concepts of marketing?"

If you can answer yes to both of those questions, you will have a bright future with Marketing Cloud.

If not, you may want to ask yourself if this is the best option for you because not only will you have to learn how to use Marketing Cloud, but you'll also have to learn the concepts of marketing, which will make your learning curve a bit longer.

It's not impossible, but you definitely will have to work to learn the basic principles of marketing.

That doesn't take long, but it does take a bit of focus.

I'm your biggest supporter, and if you want to learn marketing, take a few ClickFunnels courses and read a few books on Marketing, and you'll have pretty much everything you need regarding marketing principles.


Step 3 - Do you want to jump into certifications or job searches?

The third thing to consider when starting in Marketing Cloud is whether you want to get certifications or jump straight into a job.

Yes, it is possible to jump straight into a job without having Marketing Cloud certifications.

But you'll have to convince the person hiring you that you know what you're doing.

You can learn any email automation tool with a marketing background.

The company hiring you may be taking a chance even if you don't know the system of Marketing Cloud, but it's been done before, and you can make it happen, also.

Marketing Cloud is so in demand that you may be able to get into a job without a cert or even having ever touched the system.

Also - If you already have some Marketing Cloud experience, it'll be even easier to convince a hiring manager that you know what you're doing. You might not even need a cert if you can talk about your experience working in the system.

If you decide you want a cert first, here are the four certs you can get.

I recommend getting either the Marketing Cloud Email Specialist or the Marketing Cloud Administrator cert.

Those two certs will test your ability with the core product of Marketing Cloud.

By passing either one of these certs, you'll show the world that you know how to use:

- The Marketing Cloud Setup Menu

- Email Studio

- Content Builder

- Automation Studio

- Journey Builder

- Reports

And all projects in Marketing Cloud use the tools I just mentioned, so you'll be saying to an employer that you know your stuff at a core level.

The Marketing Cloud Email Specialist cert is the pre-requisite for the Marketing Cloud Developer cert.

The Marketing Cloud Administrator Cert is the pre-requisite for the Marketing Cloud Consultant cert.

So you need either the Marketing Cloud Email Specialist or the Marketing Cloud Administrator cert first, then you can choose between the Marketing Cloud Developer or Marketing Cloud Consultant cert.

Getting a cert is like getting a college degree.

It's excellent to have so you can get your foot in the door and convince people that you know what you're doing.

But don't use it as a crutch.

You'll still need to be able to talk about how to use the system, and you'll need to be confident in interviews.

To learn more about Marketing Cloud, take the FREE Marketing Cloud 3-day challenge to start your journey.


If you decide that your answers to the three questions above are heading toward Marketing Cloud, you may be ready to start your Marketing Cloud journey!

If you want to get started in Marketing Cloud, then take the FREE Marketing Cloud 3-day challenge to learn about:

- Average salaries in Marketing Cloud

- How every Marketing Cloud project works

- How to set your LinkedIn up for Marketing Cloud Success

Leave any questions below in the comments section!

I'll be returning to this blog post and updating it based on your questions.

Enjoy the journey!



Can I provide you with a Marketing Cloud Org

Unfortunately I can't give you a Marketing Cloud org. You'll need to work for a company that uses Marketing Cloud to get access, or you'll need to do a bootcamp, or you'll need to purchase a Marketing Cloud org for yourself. But remember, this is an enterprise software product, so it's about 4 thousand dollars per month to get the version of Marketing Cloud that you would want to practice with. We're still waiting on Salesforce to make Marketing Cloud a tool that everyone can practice with, but in the meantime, those are the options for using Marketing Cloud and getting hand's on experience with it.


When You're Ready,
Here's How I Can Help

3 Day Challenge

Goals are important. If you want help reverse engineering Marketing Cloud success into bite-size goals and tasks - start the 3 day challenge for free.

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Join 2,000+ subscribers to the MinuteAdmin Newsletter. Every Friday morning, you'll get actionable tips to grow and thrive in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

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