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I’ve just passed the Salesforce Certified Marketing Associate Exam: here’s what you need to know

SalesforceCareer startersIndependent professionals

Just under two years ago, Salesforce introduced its first-ever Associate Certification. Prior to this, obtaining certification was quite difficult for people entering the Salesforce ecosystem, given the extensive knowledge required for the well-established Administrator Certificate.

The Associate Certification quickly gained popularity, as it provided an opportunity for those starting their Salesforce career to obtain their first credential. Since Salesforce spent all of 2023 discussing AI, it was no surprise that last September, a new associate credential was released: the AI Associate. 

The most recent addition to the Salesforce Associate certifications is the Salesforce Certified Marketing Associate, launched in January 2024. This certification serves as a foundational qualification tailored for individuals with up to six months of experience with Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Since I had already taken the first two Associate exams and found them straightforward, I decided to give this one a try too. I have to be honest and say that for me, the Marketing Associate exam was more technical than expected and the most challenging of all the Associate exams.

However, this is only from my perspective, and of course, the difficulty level for each individual will always depend on their experience, background, and preparation.

I have many years of experience with Salesforce (mostly in administration, product management, and products like Service Cloud, Sales Cloud, and Experience Cloud). Prior to my experience with Salesforce, I had experience with online marketing, so I am familiar with basic marketing concepts. However, I do not have much experience with marketing within Salesforce, and that was probably the reason why I found this exam more challenging than the other two Associate exams.

About the Salesforce Certified Marketing Associate Exam

  • As per all Associate exams, this exam has 40 questions, plus four additional questions that are unscored
  • The number of options for all questions is three, and there is always only one correct answer
  • While it is recommended to obtain the Salesforce Associate certification before attempting this exam, there are no specific prerequisites for it
  • The price of the exam is $75 plus applicable taxes.
  • The certification only features Marketing Cloud Engagement features, so you don’t have to worry about Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (former Pardot) specific questions.
  • The exam lasts 70 minutes.
  • If you fail the exam at first, don’t worry, the retake is free
  • The passing score is 65%.

My top tips for passing the Salesforce Certified Marketing Associate Exam

The official exam guide

The best place to start your preparation for this certification is the official exam guide. You will find all necessary information about the exam topics, and the detailed objectives of each topic. You can also find reference links for the recommended training and reference materials.

The official Trailmix for the Salesforce Certified Marketing Associate Exam

After you learn all the details from the official exam guide, the next place you should go to is the official Trailmix, Prepare for your Salesforce Marketing Associate Credential. Don’t get intimidated when you see that you will need more than 20 hours of studying to complete this, it’s just an estimate and usually it will take less time as all challenges are questions. There are not any time-consuming challenges as the Trailhead playground is not available for Marketing Cloud. 

However, in some topics, there can be a Trailhead simulator where you can see the Marketing Cloud interface and all features like Automation Studio, Email Studio, and Journey Builder, which is particularly useful if you don’t have access to the Marketing Cloud Engagement.

My Trailmix strategy

When you are going through the Trailmix for the Salesforce Certified Marketing Associate Exam, sometimes it will get tempting to skip sections, but this is not recommended as you might find very important details even in the documentation links. My initial strategy was to complete 80%, but as I got to the 80% very quickly, and I had one full day to prepare for my exam, I ended up completing 100%.

Create a document with the most important concepts

Once you finish the official Trailmix, you will get overwhelmed with information. I would recommend focusing on the most important topics and creating a cheat sheet. The most important topics are marketing concepts where you can find questions about basic marketing terms like A/B testing, email deliverability, calls to action, GDPR, and CAN-SPAM guidelines.

As I mentioned before, the exam is more technical than expected, so in other topics like Marketing Cloud Engagement features, pay attention to details. If terms like Data Extensions, Automation Studio, Email Studio, Subscriber Key, Contact Key, SQL Databases confuse you, get back to these topics, find them on Trailhead or Salesforce Help pages and try to really understand them.

Remember, this exam is just a starting point in a Salesforce Marketing career. The things that you learn for this exam will be important for your career and will provide a great base if you decide to go for the most advanced certifications like Email Marketing Specialist or Marketing Cloud Administrator.

Read each exam question very carefully

We can all agree that Salesforce exams have questions that can be very confusing and that some of them are very misleading, which can make you just jump to conclusions. Be aware of that, and if necessary, read the question multiple times.

Use the elimination method

During the exam, if there are questions that you don’t have any idea what they are asking, don’t worry, sometimes it happens. In these cases, I always use the elimination method. Let’s say in option one I’m familiar with the feature, but I’m not sure if it can be used in the context. Option two doesn’t work 100%. Option three has a name that sounds like it could be used in the context, but I’ve never heard of it. I would always go for the familiar feature (option one) because Salesforce can make up features to confuse us.

Take the exam in a stress-free environment

We are all very different, and for each of us, a stressful environment doesn’t mean the same thing. For me, testing centers are very stressful, so I decided to always take the exams at home. Also, I noticed that I’m less stressed and more focused in the mornings on Mondays or Fridays, so I would always schedule the exams for those days and times.

The Salesforce Certified Marketing Associate certification offers a good opportunity for all individuals that are starting their journey within the Salesforce ecosystem, specifically focusing on Marketing Cloud Engagement.

To everyone preparing for the Salesforce Certified Marketing Associate exam, best of luck! May your dedication and preparation be met with success. Remember, this certification is not just a milestone but a stepping stone in your Salesforce Marketing career. Embrace the challenge, stay focused, and trust in your abilities!

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Zrna Anicic

Zrna is a 9x certified Salesforce professional. She is a product owner at Focus on Force and a content creator at K2 University specialized in Salesforce topics.

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