Journey Builder

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant Prep Series Part 4 – Conceptual Design & Journey Builder

This post in the Marketing Cloud Consultant Prep series covers 2 topics – Conceptual Design and Journey Builder – both holding 12% and 11% weight respectively in the exam.

Key areas to cover when you prepare for these sections:

  1. Data Extensions and Lists, and the differences between the two. I am again sharing the link to the Salesforce Help Article on this important topic
  2. Automation Studio – Automation Studio is an MC application that helps your plan and execute multi-step marketing and data management activities, on an immediate, scheduled or triggered basis. Read up everything on Automation Studio and the activities that it supports. Useful information on this topic:

An important point to note about Automation Studio activities is to be able to articulate the flow of activities, based on what each activity can do. You will face questions where you will be given a scenario and you will need to select the correct sequence of activities to automate the process. Some of the aspects of Automation Studio activities that you should be fully across are:

  • File Transfer Activity versus Data Extract Activity (first one is used for unzipping/decrypting files while the other one is used for encryption or preparing zip files)
  • When do you use an SQL Activity v/s using a Filter Activity?
  • In a scenario where you want to pick an external file and push the data into a Data Extension, followed by an email blast, what is the right sequence of activities that will apply to set this up in Automation Studio?
  • Wait Activities – What are your options when defining a wait period within your automation (by duration or by a specific period)? This will also apply to the Wait Activities available in Journey Builder
  • The following reference guide from Salesforce is a good source for you to get your head around Automation Studio Activities

3. Journey Builder – Journey Builder is a powerful tool within MC that lets you build and execute multi-step marketing activities. Compared to Automation Studio, Journey Builder does not have capabilities around data management related automations like Filter, SQL, and Extraction etc. It is more relevant when it comes to marketing automations like sending Email, SMS or Mobile Push Notifications. Useful information on this topic:

  • Official Journey Builder documentation by Salesforce
  • If you have access to Salesforce Premier Training Portal, I would also suggest you to take the “Journey Builder 101” training program (it’s a free CBT on the Partner Training Portal)
  • Journey Builder Canvas Activities
  • Entry Sources and Entry Modes supported by Journey Builder
  • On the topic of Entry modes, you will face scenario-based questions, asking you to select the correct Entry Mode (supported Entry Modes are No re-entryRe-entry at any time and Re-entry only after exiting). Entry Mode dictates the behavior of the Journey in terms of how is it expected to handle the entry/exit of Contacts, based on the entry criteria and selected mode.
  • You will also face questions on issues related to Journey Contacts not getting injected into a Journey. Here, the concept of High Water Mark gets applicable. I used a good post on StackExchange to understand this concept

Know the differences between Automation Studio and Journey Builder, and which one to recommend, based on the automation needed. While both can automate tasks, your knowledge of the activities supported by both the tools will help you decide which one to recommend to your customers. For example – Journey Builder supports Lead Conversion while Automation Studio does not.

4. You should know the API limits and best practices that are applicable for Marketing Cloud, especially around how to play around with this limits. Key topics that you should cover here:

a. What are the available tracking options in MC and which ones should you use to optimize API calls? Read about the following tracking options available in MC:

  •  Aggregate Level Tracking
  •  Individual Level Tracking
  •  Track Link Details
  • Track Sent Details

b.    Benefits of using Connected App Authentication. 2 key benefits to take note of:

  •  Doesn’t require Sales/Service Cloud passwords to be stored within MC
  •  Prevents SOAP & REST API calls from counting against your 24-hours rolling limit

5. A small but important topic, you will also face a question or two on IP Warming, so you should know what it means. The following post will help you get to know IP Warming for Marketing Cloud

  • TIP: There is no such thing called “Pre-Warmed” IP!

6. Last but not least, you should know the following “send” options in Marketing Cloud:

  • Triggered Sends – Send that is triggered by an Event (e.g. data update in connected SFDC org etc.)
  • Triggered Automation – Automation activity that gets triggered when a file is dropped in the MC FTP folder location. You will get to know this when you cover Automation Studio
  • User Initiated Send – Lets you can target specific audience, email, suppression list etc. Can be scheduled or triggered via the API. Must be saved before sending (as opposed to Guided Send where you can send emails without saving)

That’s about it on these 2 areas. I hope these shares are helping you with your MC Consultant prep and will continue to share my learning & notes for the other topics in my subsequent posts. Till then, keep learning!

Author: Anup Arora

2 Comments on “Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant Prep Series Part 4 – Conceptual Design & Journey Builder

  1. Hi Anup,

    We are planning to write Salesforce MC Admin Exam. We have not much information except Trailheads and Implementation guides for those builders and studios. Could you please give us some Tips and links. Ofcourse we go through the Trailmixes whatever they recommended. But is that good enough to pass the exam.

    Your tips and guidence will really help us.

    Thank you.


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