Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator Certification Guide

Post by 
Mitchell Formica
December 5, 2020

assing any Marketing Cloud exam can be a daunting task in itself. However, what if I told you that the answer to passing the Marketing Cloud Administrator exam can be as simple as three steps. Before I outline these steps I’ll need to discuss the format of the exam just in case you are unfamiliar with it. The exam consists of 60 multiple choice/multiple-select questions and you are given 105 minutes to complete them. The mandatory score to pass the exam is 67%. If you take a look at the exam outline you will be able to see different topics and their weighting distribution on the overall mark. Don’t let these numbers scare you as we are going to pick apart the best way to study for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator exam. Salesforce recommends completing the trailhead “Administrator Marketing Cloud” and the trailhead module “Google Analytics 360 for Marketing Cloud” however, I found a much more useful and direct way of studying the Marketing Cloud material which encapsulated all the knowledge needed to pass the exam comfortably.  

Before we dive right into the study guide, we need to understand the purpose of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator exam. The exam is designed to teach the ins and outs of setting up a Marketing Cloud account from scratch, whether that’s for a Core Tenant account or an Enterprise 2.0 account you will need to demonstrate your understanding of where to find and navigate most elements within Salesforce Marketing Cloud. If you have some understanding of Marketing Cloud (e.g. 1-2 years within the platform) then most of this may come easier to you. However, if you are starting from scratch with no prior knowledge then I would recommend getting a base level understanding of the platform first. It’s best to watch a video like ‘Salesforce Marketing Cloud Overview’ as this is a good place to start especially if you don’t have access to the platform. 

Ok, on with the study guide. Firstly, let’s understand the best way to learn the Salesforce Marketing Cloud topics and then we’ll dive into how we can understand each topic/material in depth. I use a three-pronged approach to study. First, I read the topic, then google more to understand the topic better, then practice the topic within the material or look for other sources like trailheads that I can complete on that particular topic. This three-pronged approach to study really deep dives into one particular topic and allows you to fully understand it very well. This is important for the Administrative exam as a question could be on a particular topic but focus more so on a particular area of that topic and not so much as a general rule of thumb. 

I understand we have our different ways of studying that work for us, however, you can still implement your own study routine using my read, google, and practice approach. I believe that once you read something once (read), then read it again from a different point of view (Google), and then jump into the platform and play around with it (practice) you will place that learn in your long term memory bank. So if that’s how you study for the exam then where can I access all the material and what's the best way to pick at the many different topics and areas in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator exam? 

The best place for information from beginners to exports is the website, I’ll link below to the Marketing Cloud portion of the website for your reference. This is where we are going to do most of our learning. Start by looking at the navigation bar on the left-hand side of the webpage. Then, take a look at the exam outline and ascertain which topic you would like to study first. I would recommend beginning with “Setup as it covers 38% of the exam mark. These are the following topics you will need to study for the Setup portion of the exam. 

  • Given a scenario, implement the configuration of business units, users/permissions, and security/passwords.
  • Given a scenario, determine how to configure integrations.  
  • Describe the features in Setup Home.
  • Describe Marketing Cloud extension products.

Once you have had a look at the different keywords and areas of the Setup topic, relate back to the website and begin your three-step approach to study. For example, you could choose to study Marketing Cloud Permissions. Note that under the website within the navigation bar you’ll need to follow this path to reach permissions. Marketing Cloud > Marketing Cloud Setup > Marketing Cloud Roles. Once you have reached this webpage you can begin your study. There are lots of subfolders for you to dive down into. It’s important to have a good understanding of the topic without flooding your brain full of one topic. Once you’ve read through the website on permissions than its time to have a quick google for a deeper understanding. This will help you remember as you are taking a break from one reading but supplementing the topic by learning it in a different way. Finally, I would recommend jumping into the platform and playing around with that Marketing Cloud feature. If you don’t have a sandbox account set up then you can look for a trailhead on that particular topic. 

Rinse and repeat the above process for all the sections of the exam outline until you are comfortable with each topic. It easy to get distracted with googling practice exams and trying your best to remember answers instead of learning actual Marketing Cloud material. Please do not take this approach until you are ready to take the exam. As doing practice exams made by other people does not benefit your learning and will most likely lead you to fail. The easiest and simplest way to pass the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administration exam is to study the in and out. Whether you do this by taking down notes, making your own practice questions based on topics, or simply reading through the hundreds of pages of material that’s up to you. 

In the end, you’ll know when you’re ready to take the exam, even if it’s your first attempt there should be no doubt in mind on any of the categories listed in the exam outline. Take your time with reading and studying and make sure you understand not only how the Marketing Cloud feature works but why its setup in the first place. 

Best of luck and remember read, google & practice. 

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