Contact Builder, Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant Prep Series Part 2 – Contact Builder

Standing tall at 14%, Contact Builder holds the maximum weight in the Marketing Cloud Consultant exam. In my view, this is the toughest section of the exam, mainly because it will cover the essentials around designing your customer data model, which is going to be the backbone of your Marketing Cloud implementation.

Parked under the “Audience Builder” in the Marketing Cloud application, Contact Builder is like a one-stop-shop that provides tools and utilities to structure and manage your Contact data. Prepare yourself on the following key areas to tackle this section:

Data Designer – Let’s you define Contact information and relating them to one or more Data Extensions.

Data Extensions – You will find Data Extensions being referenced in a lot of questions in the exam, so make sure you know everything about these bad boys! Key data points to know about Data Extensions are:

  • Data Extensions are not only meant to hold Contact data within Marketing Cloud
  • They have a retention policy, which can be defined at the time of creation
  • You need Data Extensions if you are working with Contact Builder
  • Understand how Contact Builder works with Data Extensions when it comes to adding/removing data

Attribute Groups – Be prepared to face questions on how to build Attribute Groups in a given scenario. Make sure you are familiar with the key characteristics of Attribute Groups, how they link up Contacts with Data Extensions, how can they be created (from scratch, using templates etc.). Key points to remember for Attribute Groups are:

  • They can contain multiple Data Extensions
  • You can link Contact records to Data Extensions
  • You can link Data Extensions to other Data Extensions
  • The MC application comes with pre-built template to create Attribute Groups

Familiarize yourself with Data Sources – System, Synchronized and Custom – and how/where are they used in the MC application.

Also read up about Imports. This will also help you understand the Import Activity available in the Automation Studio (mainly around Import Definition)

Relationship Cardinality – This is essentially related to how Marketing Cloud establishes relationships between two or more Data Extensions. DO NOT confuse this with the Salesforce object relationships, as they go with the same names (One-to-One, One-to-Many, Many-to-Many, Many-to-One)

You should be able to define the relationship cardinality between 2 or more tables, based on the business scenario. A classic example would be Customer table, Order table and Product table. So the cardinality would be something like

  • Customer to Order – 1 to Many
  • Order to Product – 1 to Many

Understand the impact of change to the relationship cardinality and what needs to be reviewed in case the relationship cardinality between 2 Data Extensions changes. Refer to the Salesforce Knowledge Article for this topic – Changing Cardinality and Data Extension Links. This is an important topic, so do cover this topic to understand what should be taken into consideration in the event of a relationship cadinality change between 2 or more Data Extensions.

Useful Tips

  • Familiarize yourself with the different options available in the MC application to define the data model – Data Extensions, Lists, Publication Lists etc. You should know which ones you should/should not be recommending, based on your client’s business scenarios/requirements
  • Available Data Types for Data Extension columns. Make sure you know each one of them, along with their characteristics and limitation. You will get questions where you will have to choose the correct data type, based on the data that the customer wants to store.
  • There will be questions on what data sources you should be using if you want to pull data into the MC application from a connected SFDC org
  • You should know the difference between Exclusion List and Suppression Lists and which ones should be used, depending on the applicable scenario
  • Read up about Subscriber Key and Contact ID and which one to use where

Hope you find this info helpful in preparing for the Contact Builder section of the exam. Do take note that you will see most of these topics getting repeated in the “Data Design” section, which gets covered in my next post. Till then, keep learning!

Author: Anup Arora

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