Administrator, Marketing Cloud

Acing the Marketing Cloud Administrator Certificate

Salesforce recently released a new certificate to their Marketing track, the CERTIFIED MARKETING CLOUD ADMINISTRATOR credential. The credentials are meant for Marketing Cloud professionals who are involved in hands on tasks related to administration, maintenance, monitoring and scalability of the Marketing Cloud platform.

I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to sit through the “Certified Marketing Cloud Administrator” BETA Exam, which I took on 10th Oct 2019. This was my first time sitting through a BETA exam and I have to say that going through 180 questions for 3 hours can be quite overwhelming. Not to discount the fact that you don’t get your results immediately and will have to wait for a few weeks to know whether you passed or not!!

However, my wait finally ended on 5th Nov (almost after 4 weeks), when I received the email from Salesforce Certification, confirming that I PASSED THE EXAM!!

How did I find the exam?

Honestly, after having taken and passed the Marketing Cloud Consultant exam, I was hoping that the Admin exam would probably be a cake-walk. Well, I was wrong. The MC Admin credentials are not as easy as one would imagine, and it certainly tests your knowledge about the product and what’s under the hood, especially under the Marketing Cloud Setup. The Marketing Cloud Setup was revamped sometime ago, and it has several features that are neatly stacked under the Setup Menu, which an MC Admin will certainly find handy.

Here are my notes and tips that will help you ace this certification:

Note: The Trails will help you uncover the topics that you need to prepare, but the content is not self-sufficient. You will have to dig deeper into the topics listed in the Trails by going through the Salesforce Knowledge Articles on individual topics to get to know them in and out. So please bear in mind that ONLY doing the Trails isn’t going to help you pass the exam.

  • Key areas that will get covered in the exam:
    • Marketing Setup – A lot is packed under the hood when you navigate to the Marketing Cloud Setup menu. Make sure you are available of what’s available under Setup. Examples would be:
      • What metrics do you get on the Setup Home Page?
      • Where can you setup IP White listing? (Is it a Global or Individual User setting?)
      • What is “Setup Assistant” and how can you benefit from it?
      • User Roles and Permissions
      • Password setup, complexity, timeout etc
    • Marketing Cloud Business Units
      • You should know what are Business Units and what’s their significance in Marketing Cloud
      • You should know under what circumstances would you recommend setting up multiple Business Units v/s having everything under one roof
      • You should know what’s a Business Unit MID and where can you locate it in Marketing Cloud
  • Contact Data Management – This is all about managing your Contacts and Subscriber data (yes, the 2 are different in the context of Marketing Cloud). Be prepared to get questions around:
    • How to setup your contact model in a given scenario?
    • What’s available under Contact Builder – Attribute Groups, Population (some questions around these topics)
    • Questions on Data Extension like supported data types, retention period, Contact Deletion etc.
    • Questions on Relationship Cardinality (One-to-One, One-to-Many)
  • Questions on the Marketing Cloud Trust site
    • How can you monitor the status/availability of your MC Instance using the BU MID (you should know what’s an MID and where can you locate it)
    • How can you get notified in case your MC instance is having issues or is undergoing maintenance?
  • I also remember facing some questions related to Cloud Pages (that you use to create Mircosites and Landing Pages). Questions were mainly around:
    • Type of content that can be created using CloudPages (Landing Pages, Microsites, Mobile Pages…what else?)
    • How to ensure security when your CloudPages are published and are available over the web?
  • The exam also had several questions on Tracking, with some confusing options to pick from, based on the scenario stated. Familiarize your self with the following topics:
    • Web Tracking
    • Web Analytics
    • Google Analytics Integration (what are the pre-requisites, how does it work etc)
  • You should also be familiar with the Marketing Cloud integration offerings like MC Connect, FTP and Marketing Cloud extension.
  • The study guide also recommends that you go through “Social Studio”. While I don’t remember facing questions from it, however, I still recommend that you refresh your knowledge around Social Studio Workspaces, Roles, Engage, Sentiment Analysis etc.
  • In case of the BETA exam, there weren’t any questions around Content Builder, Automation Studio, Journey Builder and Mobile Studio. But it is recommended to refresh your knowledge around these topics, just in case 😊

Of course, in addition to the prep, having real life experience is always a bonus. So, if you have had a chance to play around with Marketing Cloud, either as an Administrator or as a Consultant/Implementation Expert, I am pretty sure you will be able to crack this cert. Good luck with your exam, keep learning & keep sharing!

Author: Anup Arora

3 Comments on “Acing the Marketing Cloud Administrator Certificate

  1. Anup, well done for passing your exam. Question: Is there a sandpit area for marketing cloud.? it will great to have somewhere to practice.

    1. Hi LA, m afraid the answer is negative. Marketing Cloud does not have Sandboxes (similar to other Salesforce offerings). An alternative would be to dedicate a Business Unit within your org, where you can practice or test out components like Journeys, Automations, Content etc. Hope this helps! Cheers

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