Marketing AutomationMarketing Tips and Tricks

From Zero to MCE Certified

By September 17, 2019 No Comments

The prospect of earning your Marketo Certification can be equally exciting as it is daunting.  

You may be an experienced Marketing Automation Specialist but have spent more time managing the database and lead scoring, than building nurture programs.  

Or you may be an Email Marketing Manager and know everything there is to know about running A/B email test programs, but don’t spend your time building reports. 

Or you may be a marketing newbie that wants to broaden your horizons and improve your chances of getting a job. 

Passing the test says a lot about your capabilities. It can open up job opportunities or establish your credibility in your current organization. That’s the exciting part. The daunting part is studying. Specifically, knowing where to begin with so many resources and materials available. 

With just a quick Google search of “Marketo Certified Exam Study Guide” you’ll get results including Marketo’s resources, various Quizlet sets, and even Solomon Solution’s study guide. Before you get overwhelmed with the content available to you, it’s important to get clear on what you know and what you don’t know.  

Getting Your Baseline 

I made the mistake of jumping into a practice exam and felt defeated realizing there were a lot of questions where I couldn’t even make an educated guess, considering my prior roles had primarily utilized email functionality within Marketo. 

To get a baseline of your knowledge, start by reviewing Marketo’s official Exam Topics, which are broken into five sections: 

  1. Program Fundamentals 
  2. Targeting and Personalization 
  3. Analytics and Reporting 
  4. Lead Management 
  5. Implementation and Operations 

If you find that you’re unfamiliar with a lot of the terms and functionality mentioned in the topic list, don’t worry…and definitely keep reading! 

Get Organized 

A quick inventory of the Exam Topic list, revealed that I felt pretty confident in ‘Lead Management’ and ‘Implementation and Operations’ but I was in the dark with the other three sections. 

As an avid note taker and organization enthusiast I created a repository for all my notes in OneNote. I created a page for each section of the test. On each page I built a two column table where I listed all of the topic questions.  

From there I filled in the table with everything that I knew off the top of my head. Based on the number of unanswered questions, I had a realistic expectation of how the rest of my studying would go. 

Use Your Resources 

With the questions left blank, I started referencing the Solomon Solution study guide. It was initially tempting to want a list of complete answers of the topic questions. Instead, our study guide filled in a lot of the gaps at a high level, which pointed me in the right direction to study more about creating programs and reports within Marketo. I experienced a lot of trial and error at this stage, but working through the topic questions themselves left me with a better understanding of Marketo, than just reading could accomplish. Plus, lots of repetition proved to be really useful on the test.  

For more detailed answers and full explanations of product features I turned to Marketo Docs, basically an outline of everything Marketo. 

When I was stumped or second guessing my understanding of certain concepts I turned to the experts. Also known as the Solomon Team. Discussing topic questions with members of our team was helpful not only because of their expert knowledge, but also because there is a lot of value in discussing test concepts with someone. 

Test Your Knowledge 

At the point I had answers to about half of the topic questions, I tested my knowledge with sample questions and I was encouraged by how my studying was paying off. After getting some studying under your belt, testing yourself a few times before the exam is a valuable way to see your progress. 

Now that you have a study plan to follow, and actionable ways to utilize the resources available to you, it’s time to start studying! If you still have questions, or need a resource to discuss the exam topics with, drop us a line, our team is happy to help.  

Plus, here is a piece of advice each member of the team gave me when I was prepping for the exam 


I’d encourage you not to be nervous about it, you got this. I have seen people fail the test who have gone on to pass the second time and excel in their roles. It’s not a pass “or else” type of thing. 

– Jesse Fowl, Managing Director 


Recommend to take the test at a testing center if you can. That way you can avoid issues that could come from something going wrong on your personal computer, like the system freezing, your computer crashing, or just issues with the test itself or other limitations with the online proctored approach.  Plus being in a quiet testing environment without distractions is definitely worth the time and travel. 

– Trent Cross, Sr. Consultant, Marketo Certified Expert, Marketo Champion


Just sign up for the test that way you have a deadline you’re working towards.”  

– Jake Anderson, Lead Martech Developer, Marketo Certified Expert 


Don’t spend time on questions you get stuck on. You can flag the question and go back once you’ve finished answering the questions you know. 

– Veronika Boos, Operations Analyst, Marketo Certified Expert


You may hear people say there were hardly any questions on a given topic, but remember they are technically able to test you on anything. 

– Mia Greenberg, Demand Generation Consultant, Marketo Certified Expert


Marketo ‘requires’ 800-1,000 hours in the tool before testing. You can get away with less, but that many hours certainly helps and studying alone is not enough. 

– McKell Cousins, Demand Generation Analyst, Marketo Certified Expert


Pay attention to things like naming conventions for reports, flow steps, assets, and campaigns. Know the nuanced difference between similar flow steps ,for example, such as the difference between sending an email or an alert. 

– Austin Stephens, Demand Generation Analyst, Marketo Certified Expert


Don’t wait too long to take the test, I was very timid but it was easier than I thought. 

– Kele Powell, Demand Generation Analyst, Marketo Certified Expert


 

Monica Zunick

Monica Zunick

I am a digital marketing enthusiast with B2B marketing experience for technology companies. I bring a natural curiosity to the table, allowing me to uncover the 'why' behind decisions and practices within an organization. In doing this, I look beyond the boiler plate solution, utilizing data to make meaningful contributions and bring about sustainable solutions. I am a people person at heart and cultivate a sense of purpose through working and collaborating with others to achieve success.