I recently sat for and passed the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator certification. As someone with multiple years experience with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud (the MAP formerly known as ExactTarget), I felt good going into the exam. My learning style relies heavily on practical experience, which is the primary reason I was confident going into the exam. However, I still prepared with some insights and tips from the community. The following is a outline of how I prepared and does not refer to all of the possible resources you could use in your own preparation. You know your learning style best so use your judgement in where you choose to spend your time studying.
I started with official Exam Guide provided by Salesforce. Here you while find links and references to recommended trails and modules on Trailhead, an outline of the of key sections with each weighted percentage of the exam, as well as a description of what a Marketing Cloud Administrator is expected to know.
The other thing I did, for which I’m very fortunate to have access to, was I went into system itself and refreshed myself on the various aspects of the Administrator area found in Settings. If you have access to a Marketing Cloud environment, I strongly recommend reviewing it as there have been a number of changes to its organization in the last year as the user interface (UI) has been remodeled to more closely resemble your “typical” Salesforce setup navigation.
Lastly, I completed several badges on Trailhead. If you don’t have access to a Marketing Cloud environment, this is where you can and should spend some time getting familiar with the responsibilities of a Marketing Cloud Administrator. It both narrates the practical execution of navigating and updating the configuration as well as provide visual images of much of the corresponding area in the UI for reference. If you can’t DO, then REVIEW what you can via Trailhead. The Exam Guide mentioned at the top will point to you several modules contained within the Administer Marketing Cloud Trail and Google Analytics 360 Integration for Marketing Cloud Module. Other modules you may want to review are:
So you use Salesforce and you want to “cert up” aka get certified, but where do you start? For starters, it doesn’t hurt to bookmark the Salesforce Certification page. Once there you will notice there are four tracks to follow.
Since the purpose of this post is to help those starting their journey towards certification, I will focus on the first two options only. The Administrator and Developer tracks are both starting points while the last two are for advanced users. Certifying as an Administrator requires you to understand the idealistic way to leverage the the core functionality of this powerful CRM application. The ADM 201 exam is the gateway and prerequisite to obtaining additional certifications that fall under the Implementation Experts track that specialize in two different areas, Sales & Service Clouds respectively (see Implementation Experts for more details). There are many community resources out there to help you study in addition to official offerings. Here are a few of them to help you prepare for ADM201
In my opinion, the Developers exam is more practical. If you’re a hands-on type of learner, then take advantage of the practice resources available to you. In the bullets below, are two main Developer workbooks that I used to prepare for the Developer exam. I was wisely told prior to starting down this path that if you “know the book, know the exam”. I started with Fundamentals and quickly followed that up with the skinnier Workbook. I strongly recommend you create an account on Developer Force and practice using these guides:
The Force.com Workbook (PDF, HTML) – the lighter version of the two (just over 80 pages)
Choosing the best track for you will come down to your role and responsibilities. Another consideration is your learning style. For me, I learn best through hands-on experience. If this you and/or you don’t have much practical experience with Salesforce, then the Developer track is the way to go. As I mentioned above, there are two practice guides you can follow in your developer org. I felt great before, during and after passing developer exam because I completed both developer workbooks. If you need additional incentive, Salesforce has some swag for you just for building a simple app (details supplied at registration). A happy coincidence is that you get hands-on experience that is also relevant to Administrator track. Something that I benefited from as I recently added the Admin certification to my collection. Win-win situation! Here are more Salesforce resources to help you prepare for and maintain your skills: