It took me almost 5 months to prepare, also because I haven’t done a hands-on MC implementation (yet!). Therefore, I decided to consolidate all my notes and learnings from my preparation and share it with the #SalesforceOhana members who aspire to take this certification. My plan is to break it down into a 10-part series, as per the topics listed in the Official Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant Study Guide, to help make your learning journey more focused and targeted.
Presenting Part 1 of the SFMC Consultant Prep Series – The Discovery Section. Read on and I hope you find it useful
“Discovery” holds a good 13% weightage of the Marketing Cloud Consultant exam, so be prepared to expect around 7-8 questions from this section.
These questions will test your consulting skills, primarily around solutions & best practices recommendations that you, as a consultant, will advise your customers, given their problem statement and business scenarios. Below are my notes around the topics that you should cover to prepare for this section:
- Data Capture tools in Marketing Cloud – Understand all the data capture utilities available in Marketing Cloud – Web Collect, Smart Capture, Cloud Pages, Profile Center and Subscription Center. Cover these topics in the Marketing Cloud Official Help & Training, which is the most in depth source for you to learn them. Familiarize yourself with the use cases, the differences between these tools and which one to use where. There will be questions involving data collection/capture scenarios, where you will be asked to recommend the right tool, based on how the data collected is going to be used/stored/processed further. Some of the concepts to be aware of are:
- Smart Collect works with Data Extensions while Web Collect is supported only by Lists
- You cannot include Smart Capture in Email and SMS messages
- Profile Center and Subscription Center is not supported by Data Extensions
Make sure that you understand the use cases and limitations of these tools to determine under what circumstances you should/should not be recommending them to your customers.
- Email Branding Strategies, including subject line, fonts, images, graphics etc. that you should recommend in the Email message. Here’s a useful post on the Salesforce Blog that you should refer to – https://www.marketingcloud.com/blog/interactive-marketing-design-tips-using-web-safe-fonts-for-email/
- Questions on this topic will mainly to test your skills around some of the qualifying questions that you should ask as well as the recommendations you will give around designing the email message content, based on the customer’s brand guidelines
- Customer Segmentation – Questions will be related to scenarios where you need to advise your customer on the right segmentation strategy for a campaign, and you need to suggest the right metrics/existing website behavior to segment the target audience. These metrics can be in the form of the audience’s past purchase behavior, frequency, age group, degree of engagement, geography, gender etc. Below are some of the key considerations to factor in for audience segmentation while planning a campaign
- Basics like Gender, Age and Geography
- Degree of Engagement – Example – Active customers, Less Active, Dormant customers
- Data from Web Analytics like what did the customers look for, what did they buy what did they leave in their shopping cart
- There will be questions on Segmentation strategies, example – what are some of the metrics/KPIs you should be looking at while segmenting your customers, what should be the strategy for an email campaign in a scenario where customer engagement is dipping etc. A useful blog post to understand these metrics is https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2015/03/email-segmentation-moving-your-strategy-from-basic-to-best.html
That pretty much summarizes what you should cover to tackle the “Discovery” section of the Marketing Cloud certification. In the Part 2 of my series, I will be covering “Contact Builder” which takes up a good 14% of the exam, and in my view is probably the most difficult section of the exam.
Good luck and keep learning!