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Marketing Cloud Certifications: Which One Should You Take?


Today, I'm going to talk about which Marketing Cloud certifications to get.


And the order to get them in.


Most people have no idea which Marketing Cloud certification to get.


They don't know what each certification means for their career.


And they don't know what to study so they can pass each cert.


You Need a Proven Certification Path.


Why is it important to know which cert to get?


Because it creates a clear path to mastering Marketing Cloud.


By following a proven path, you unlock structure.


Which makes it easier to grow in your career and master the tool.


Let’s dive into the 4 Marketing Cloud Certifications:


 

Certification #1:

Marketing Cloud Email Specialist

 

marketing cloud email specialist components

This is Your Marketing Cloud foundation.



You learn How Marketing Cloud works.


You'll be doing these things as an Email Specialist:

  1. Using Email Studio and Content Builder to build email campaigns.

  2. Building relational data models in Contact Builder.

  3. Sending emails using Send Flow, Automation Studio, Journey Builder, & Triggered Sends.

  4. Building email automation with Automation Studio and Journey Builder.

  5. Understanding Contact vs Journey Data

  6. Creating standard reports.

  7. Querying Data Views

  8. Using Marketing Cloud Einstein for AI - Emails.


marketing cloud email specialist parts

After

  • Studying For

  • And Passing

The Email Specialist Cert...


You'll be able to:


Use Best Practices when Email Marketing:

  • Learn how to make emails for customers.

  • Find out what makes emails reach customers - Email Deliverability.

  • Show how to get and keep email subscribers.


Manage your Subscriber Data:

  • Set up Data Extensions in Marketing Cloud.

  • Decide how to import data into Marketing Cloud for a customer.

  • Use Data Filters & SQL to organize subscriber data for a customer.

  • Troubleshoot emails based on subscriber engagement data.


Create Email Content and Send it:

  • Suggest the best Marketing Cloud tools for building email messages.

  • Create and tailor an email to fit customer needs - Basic AMPscript

  • Set up email-sending options to match customer needs.

  • Arrange and handle email content for a customer.


Automate your Marketing:

  • Recommend the best marketing automation tool for a customer.

  • Create the right Automation Studio solution for a customer.

  • Create the right Journey Builder solution for a customer.


Run Reports & Analyze Data:

  • Explain different email campaign metrics and their meanings.

  • Describe how to check the success of an email campaign.

  • Set up and run Marketing Cloud reports for a customer.

  • Suggest an Einstein product to check campaign success.


The Email Specialist cert is your first step to becoming a skilled marketer in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.


 

Certification #2:

Marketing Cloud Administrator

 

men talking about salesforce marketing cloud on the beach

It's time to build on the foundation of Email Specialist.



Your job is to:

  1. Understand the rules and legal aspects of digital marketing.

  2. Find the best ways to keep data, users, and permissions safe.

  3. Set up an account with the right structure, permissions, and security.

  4. Handle subscriber data.

  5. Check how good the data is.

  6. Set up various Marketing Cloud tools.

  7. Fix issues with account setup and user requests.

  8. Watch over account details like messages, users, and activities.

  9. Know about extra Marketing Cloud tools and features.

  10. Understand how to connect Marketing Cloud with other systems.


You become the back-end administrator in Marketing Cloud.


behind the scenes in marketing cloud technology

Which means You need to:

  • Know all the Marketing Rules (CAN-SPAM)

  • Understand PII

  • Know Tokenized Sending

  • Marketing Cloud Shield

  • Secure your Marketing Cloud Account

  • Secure your customer data


  • Secure your Marketing Cloud user data with:

    • Multi-Factor Authentication

    • Login IP Allowlist

    • Export Email Allowlist

    • Domain Allowlist


  • Explain Distributed Marketing

  • Use Deployment Manager

  • Create and managing Business Units

  • Create Roles & Permissions for users

  • Understand Slack Integration

  • Know Marketing Cloud Connect Step-by-Step

  • Know how to use the Setup Assistant

  • Set up your FTP and Users

  • Set up File Locations

  • Understand Key Management

  • Understand Parameter Management

  • Manage Installed Packages

  • Understand Google Analytics Integration

  • Be able to set approval processes

  • Administer Campaign Settings

  • Configure "From Address Management"

  • Build Sender & Delivery Profiles

  • Create Send Classifications

  • Reply Mail Management


  • Understand Email Features

    • Double Opt In

    • Send Throttling

    • Multipart MIME

    • Impression Tracking


  • Test Send Thresholds

  • Subject Preheader Validation

  • URL Expiration

  • Deep Linking

  • Einstein Settings & Reports

  • Account Settings

  • Brand Builder

  • Subscription Info

  • Alert Manager

  • Setting up Sender Authentication Package (SAP)

  • IP Warming

  • Managing Subscriber Data

  • Check the quality of your data

  • Knowledge of Profile Center

  • Knowledge of Preference Center (Unsubcribe Types, Bounce Types)

  • Knowledge of Lists, Publication Lists, Exclusion Lists, Suppression Lists

  • Configure Email Studio

  • Configure Mobile Connect

  • Configure Mobile Push

  • Configure Group Connect

  • Configure Social Studio

  • Configure Advertising Studio

  • Manage Automation Studio Settings & Notifications

  • Manage Journey Builder Settings & Notifications

  • Explain how to use Journey Builder to anyone

  • Understand Sales Cloud Activities in Journey Builder

  • Run & Schedule Reports

  • Understand how to run custom reports (Data Views and Send Logs)

  • Choose from the different Data Extract Options

  • Knowledge of API's

  • Understand how to audit your account


  • Set up account notifications:

    • In the Setup Menu

    • Automation Studio

    • Trust Website

    • etc.


  • Be able to recommend other products:

    • Distributed Marketing

    • Data Cloud

    • MC Personalization

    • MC Intelligence

    • Audience Builder


  • Understand the Contact Delete Process

  • Troubleshoot issues for users in Marketing Cloud

  • Understand Super Messages


Marketing Cloud Admins usually have


More responsibility


Than Email Specialists.


As an admin, you do a lot of


Back-End System Work.


Which means you help everyone do their job.

As a Marketing Cloud Admin, you help:

  • Email Specialists

  • Other Admins

  • Developers

  • Consultants

  • Analysts

  • etc...


people having a meeting about marketing cloud by the beach

The "Back-End" responsibilities of an Admin are not the same as a developer.


Everything in Admin will be "Clicks" and no code.


Meaning:


As long as you know:

  1. Where to go

  2. Which buttons to press


You can be a Marketing Cloud Admin.


The MC Admin exam elevates you from a campaign creator to a system problem-solver.


The Marketing Cloud Admin cert is your second step to becoming a skilled marketer in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.


 

Certification #3:

Marketing Cloud Developer

 

people looking at a marketing cloud dashboard

The Marketing Cloud Developer certification is for the following people:

  • Person 1 - If you like coding.


  • Person 2 - If you want to be a developer in Marketing Cloud.


  • Person 3 - If you can't pass the MC Consultant Cert, so you decide to learn coding, even though you're scared of it, but you do it anyway, so you can pass the dang MC Consultant cert...

PS - Person 3 was me when I started learning Marketing Cloud Developer


If you couldn't tell ;)


For the sake of time (and MC Developer context)


You can read about the Marketing Cloud Developer cert:


As a Developer...


You become a master at the Inner Workings of Marketing Cloud.


Which means you get good at things like:

  1. Setting up different types of data models.

  2. Setting up data import activities.

  3. Managing customer and platform data using SQL Join Statements.

  4. Personalize your marketing materials with AMPscript, and SSJS.

  5. Creating web pages in Marketing Cloud.

  6. Explaining how to manage subscriptions.

  7. Solving problems using REST and SOAP API.


After

  • Studying For

  • And Passing

The Marketing Cloud Developer Cert...


You'll be able to:



Model Data:

  • Configure and set up data models (data extensions, shared data extensions, Contact model).

  • Differentiate the various types and uses of data extensions.

  • Describe how Contact Records relate across channels.

  • Explain the Contact Delete process.


Manage Data:

  • Set up importing files in different formats in Marketing Cloud.

  • Use SQL to get specific results in a given situation.

  • Explain how to get data out of Marketing Cloud.

  • Discuss the best ways to use SQL for data management in Marketing Cloud.

  • Use best methods for managing send logs in a given situation.

  • Describe what happens to data when a Contact is deleted.


Secure your Data:

  • Find ways to protect data in Marketing Cloud.

  • Talk about the best ways to keep Marketing Cloud secure.


Understand API's

  • Explain API details like objects, methods, and paths in a given situation.

  • Describe how OAuth works and the use of access tokens in SOAP and REST.

  • Assess the importance of handling responses in a given situation.


Know the Marketing Cloud Programming Languages:

  • Show understanding of AMPscript and SSJS in a given situation.

  • Use good programming practices with Marketing Cloud languages.

  • Explain how Marketing Cloud processes AMPscript.

  • Figure out how to exclude a subscriber from an email programmatically.


programming languages in marketing cloud

The MC Developer cert turns you into a technical wizard behind the scenes.


When you become a Marketing Cloud Developer...


You are turning into a VERY skilled marketer.


Companies love finding people who know how to code.


Getting this cert will help you stand out and make bank 💰!


The Marketing Cloud Developer cert is your third step to becoming a skilled marketer in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.


 

Certification #4:

Marketing Cloud Consultant

 

components of salesforce marketing cloud

The Marketing Cloud Consultant exam puts you in a spot to work with clients face-to-face.


Meaning...


You'll be able to work directly with clients to create Marketing Cloud solutions.


Before you read any further...


Read THIS about the Marketing Cloud Consultant Cert.


Okay - On to the details!


As a Marketing Cloud Consultant:


You bring the whole view of Marketing Cloud together.

At this point... you are one with Marketing Cloud.


As a Marketing Cloud Consultant...


You become a master at the entire Marketing Cloud system.


You're able to:

  1. Use segmentation, automation, and analytics to improve email campaigns.

  2. Troubleshoot problems on the platform.

  3. Write simple SQL, including joins.

  4. Use scripting in messages and CloudPages.

  5. Set up account details like business units, roles, and permissions.

  6. Set up data extensions based on the client's needs.

  7. Handle unsubscribes by using a custom Preference Center.

  8. Manage email data tasks like imports and file transfers.

  9. Set up automated processes.

  10. Understand Web Service options.

  11. Handle and fix issues with Marketing Cloud Connect.

  12. Set up Distributed Marketing.

  13. Enable the Contact Delete process.


marketing cloud certification

As a Marketing Cloud Consultant...


Your role evolves from Execution.


To Consultation and Strategy.


After

  • Studying For

  • And Passing

The Marketing Cloud Consultant Cert...


You'll be able to:



Discovery & Architecture:

  • Figure out what information you need to design the right solutions.

  • Put together data and segmentation strategies for customers.

  • Give solution recommendations for long term ease of use and maintenance.


Configure a New Marketing Cloud Account:

  • Determine the right account hierarchy based on the scenario.

  • Solve challenges related to Reply Mail Management.

  • Apply Sender Authentication Package (SAP) to a business unit.

  • Show how to build & troubleshoot Mobile Studio.


Model and Manage Company Data

  • Know when to use standard reports, data views and tracking extracts.

  • Explain the various data objects in Marketing Cloud. (Different Types of Data Extensions)

  • Know how data flows back and forth in the Contact Builder data model.


Connect Marketing Cloud To Other Systems

  • Show how to use and troubleshooting Marketing Cloud Connect.

  • Explain to clients how the data model supports personalized messages.

  • Recommend the correct extension product(s) based on the scenario.


Automate Marketing Processes

  • Build the right Automation based on a real world scenario.

  • Design complex automations using Journey Builder and Automation Studio.


Message Customers In a Scalable Way

  • Describe how to personalize messages

    • AMPscript

    • SSJS

    • GTL

    • Dynamic Content

    • Personalization Strings


  • Determine the right way to message a customer

    • Automation Studio

    • Journey Builder

    • Send Flow

    • Triggered Send

    • Sales Cloud Email Send


As a Marketing Cloud Consultant - You're now a strategic advisor.


You're able to guide clients and shape high-level marketing strategies.


The Marketing Cloud Consultant cert is your fourth and final step to becoming a skilled marketer in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.


 

15-Step

Marketing Cloud Exam Action Plan

 

marketing cloud 15 step action plan

This 15-Step Action Plan


Gives you a clear path forward.


To pass Marketing Cloud Certifications.

 

Step 1 - Learn the Basics


Study the fundamentals of creating and managing email campaigns in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.


 

Step 2 - Dedicate Time To Study


Dedicate 45 minutes daily to study.


Use Videos, Trailhead, and Salesforce help docs.


marketing cloud certification action plan journey path

 

Step 3 - Use Free Resources:


It's important to learn how to use Free Resources to study.


Here's why:


If you can learn from FREE information, you're unstoppable.

You have the same power as all the experts.


Here's a secret.


If you learn how to research and find information, you are in the top 1%.


Most people want everything given to them on a silver platter.


But not you.


You work hard (and smart) for your knowledge.


Cause once you have the knowledge, nobody can take it from you.



man learning salesforce marketing cloud

 

Step 4 - Real World Experience


Get experience by creating email campaigns in a demo environment.


This usually only happens if you work at a company who uses Marketing Cloud.

The other ways to practice in a Marketing Cloud Org are:



Trailhead Academy also gives you options to practice in a Marketing Cloud org.


Trailhead Academy is helpful if you have a company that can send you to training.


Hands-On Resources:

salesforce marketing cloud by the beach

 

Step 5 - Set up a practice project.


If you've learned the basics of Marketing Cloud, then create scenarios with your imagination.


You can use ChatGPT if you want to create new scenarios.


Use your imagination and try to break the system.


That's how you get better in a shorter time period.


If you don't have access to a Marketing Cloud org...


Double down on studying.


Pro Tip - Take a course that shows you how Marketing Cloud works.


marketing cloud by the beach in the home office

 

Step 6 - Apply what you've learned.


Practice what you've learned in a sandbox environment.


This only works if you have access to a Marketing Cloud org.


If you're studying for a Marketing Cloud cert...


And you have access to an org...


You can practice the exact same things you're learning through videos.


If you don't have access to a Marketing Cloud Org.


TRULY understand what the Salesforce help documents are saying.


It's important to know how the system works (Behind the Scenes).


If you know how Marketing Cloud works - You're winning.


Here are two Salesforce help docs to start learning Marketing Cloud.



 

Step 7 - Take practice exams.


This goes without saying right?


You need practice.


Verified Mock Exams help you Ace your exam.


Use flashcards and note-taking to reinforce your understanding.


 

Step 8 - Deepen Backend Knowledge


Focus on the backend and system management aspects of the Marketing Cloud.


Spend time each day exploring the entire Marketing Cloud interface.


Take notes on these 3 areas of Marketing Cloud Work.


marketing cloud at a beach house

 

Step 9 - Salesforce forums


Use online resources to find answers.


Use online communities to discuss your questions.


Help other people solve their Marketing Cloud problems.


Read Marketing Cloud forums and learn how to solve issues.


marketing cloud forum

 

Step 10 - Study Groups


Create a study group for mutual learning.


Find a study partner for motivation.


It always helps to have accountability.



salesforce marketing cloud study group

 

Advanced Steps

 

Step 11 - Learn how to code.


Learn about APIs, integrations, AMPscript, and other technical aspects.


Do small coding projects to see how AMPscript, APIs, SQL, SSJS work in real life.


You don't need Marketing Cloud to learn how APIs, SQL, and SSJS works.


Get good at coding and learn the fundamentals of Marketing Cloud.


You'll also set yourself up for success when you do interviews - if you know how to code.


man studying marketing cloud AMPscript and API

 

Step 11 - Volunteer


Volunteer for non-profit projects or look for internships where you can apply these skills.


laptop open doing marketing cloud by the beach

 

Step 11 - Consultation Skills

Develop your Client consultation and solution design skills.


Role-play client scenarios.


Practice creating solutions based on different business requirements.


Review real-world scenarios to understand how to solve problems for real customers.


people working on marketing cloud in the office

 

Step 12 - Diverse Project Experience

Gain experience working on various projects and interacting with clients.


Find opportunities in your current job to take the lead on projects.


Pick up side projects to broaden your experience.


Review case studies to see how other companies solved problems with Marketing Cloud.


co-working space with people doing marketing cloud

 

General Steps

 

Step 13 - Learn About the Test


First, find out what the test is like.


What kind of questions will there be?


What do you need to know?


Knowing this stuff helps you study the right way.


 

Step 14 - Make a Study Plan


It's like planning a fun trip!


Decide what you need to learn each week.


If you have between 30 and 90 days to study...


Break your study topics into small parts and plan when you'll study each one.


man happy to learn marketing cloud

 

Step 15 - Use Different Study Stuff


Don’t just stick to one book or website.


Mix it up!


Use your study book, watch some helpful videos online, and maybe join a group where people talk about the test.


The more ways you learn, the better!


 

Summary

 

The Marketing Cloud Certification Path:


This is the path I took to pass all 4 Marketing Cloud certifications.


As always, do what works best for you.


But now you have a path to take and steps to follow.


Stay consistent, and you’ll do great.


Enjoy the journey.


Kaelan Moss - MinuteAdmin Out ✌🏽

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