In the ever changing martech landscape, it is critical that practitioners have a mastery of the tools they use. We wanted to see exactly what it would take to bring one of our marketing analysts quickly up to speed on Marketo, one of our agency’s primary marketing automation tools. As an unbiased method of validating that she had a clear comprehension of the tool, we would use Marketo’s own Marketo Certified Expert (MCE) exam as a gauge. Continue reading to see the level of commitment that goes into such an endeavor and if this is something you or your organization can commit to. We’ve taken our learnings and prepared a free prep course.
My Journey to Becoming a Marketo Certified Expert
by Brittany Maziarz
When I started at Solomon, I was familiar with using marketing tools but had no experience with marketing automation. I knew what marketing automation was, why it mattered, and the general idea of its use. But, I was really coming in green. The biggest thing you should take from this about me though, is that I love challenges. Solomon challenged me to study for this exam and pass it within three months. I did it in half that time.
First thing you should know is that you are going to have to work your butt off to do this – and that means study.
Study? Like really study? Coming straight out of college was definitely an advantage, as my studying skills were still in peak condition. For my difficult courses, I followed a basic 3 step path: build your foundation, get to know the whole story, review and pass. I used this same 3-step process to study for the Marketo Certfied Expert exam and pass it in under two months.
It took six weeks with 23hrs of studying per week to pass the Marketo Certified Expert exam. I read all the Definitive Guides produced by Marketo (yes, I do mean those magnificent 160+ page pdfs), I went through the Marketo University Learning Path, had several hours of 1:1 sessions with my certified coworkers for context, and devoured the product documentation. So, what was my process?
Marketo University and Definitive Guides
- My path started Marketo University, which gave an introduction into how the UI looked and how to create basic assets like an email.
- From there, I went to the Definitive Guides, which took up two whole weeks. They may seem daunting, but they were invaluable as a foundation. I came in knowing next to nothing and this bridged the gap. It showed me the importance of trigger campaigns versus drip-nurture campaigns and what scenarios they could be applied to. They showed me the issues the industry was facing (scalability, segmentation in real time, scoring, etc.) and how Marketo answered those problems.
- Lead Generation details how marketing automation can help you grow interest in your company and address individuals in a variety of ways.
- Engagement Emails follows up on the Lead Generation document which gave an introduction to the purpose of nurture programs; in this doc I started to see the real value of reaching these consumers on a consistent personalized manner.
- Now that I knew the magnitude of the beast, I set up 1:1 mentoring sessions with my coworkers. These meetings were with Solomon’s team of expert consultants who have had years of practical expertise in the field of marketing automation. Together, we set up walkthroughs in campaign creation, platform functionality, use cases, and tips for the exam. We established a syllabus for future employees ramping up to become Marketo Certified Experts. But, if you’re serious about certification, there’s nothing like hands on experience in the tool. If you have a more experienced Marketo expert on hand, have them set up a sandbox or developer work space in your Marketo instance. That way, you can test everything without affecting real programs or leads. If this isn’t possible, create a testing/training folder and set up a dummy program to train with. Then, set up a training user role and account so you can’t break things even if you wanted to.
- I coupled these meetings with a deep-dive into the product documentation and creating assets side by side with them inside Marketo.
Passing the Marketo Certified Expert Exam
To pass the MCE exam is the first step in a long road of a marketing automation career and the first step in building my foundation as a future Marketing Automation Consultant.
With anything in life, I won’t become a true expert over night. It takes a lot of practice and academic knowledge, but most importantly the hands-on business experience to gain an expert consultant’s view. As I dive into supporting and learning from our senior consultants, I’m excited about the opportunity to help our clients succeed and grow in my career as a future expert.
Step-by-step, with every new email I send out, every new project I deliver successfully with the team for a client, every nurture campaign I launch, and every new landing page I create, I get quickly closer to being a true expert.
From this experience we have refined a syllabus and ramp up system for a quick and successful on-board to get employees up on their feet and become Marketo Certified Experts in less than three months. We’d like to help as many marketers get certified on Marketo as possible. So, we’re opening this course up to the world! Better marketing is worth sharing.
Get the Training Guide
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