Preparing For The Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant Exam

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Salesforce recently launched a new certification: Marketing Cloud Consultant under the Implementation Experts & Marketers track. Having passed the Email Specialist and Social Specialist certification exams, I assumed that this one wouldn’t be a tough nut to crack. After taking the exam, I realized I couldn’t be more wrong. In my opinion, almost 75% of the questions were tricky with confusing answers and the rest were straightforward. Among all the consultant exams that I have passed in the past (Service, Sales, Pardot), this one undeniably came across as being the toughest one. My advice to all the future test takers is to read each question carefully and then select the answer/(s). If there’s a slightest speck of doubt, mark it for review and come back to it again. Disclaimer: I don’t have much hands-on experience with Marketing Cloud so it’s quite possible that the exam seemed a bit daunting to me only. Though I do know folks who despite having a decent amount of experience with Marketing Cloud claimed that the exam is indeed tough. Seeing it all in positive light, it does feel really good when you pass a challenging exam, doesn’t it?

Please note that as a prerequisite, you need to be a Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Email Specialist in order to take the Marketing Cloud Consultant exam. The exam pattern is similar to other exams with 60 multiple choice questions , 90 minutes allotted to complete the exam and 68% being the passing score. So instead of providing any further details that are already made available by Salesforce on their certification site, let’s focus on information that I can share and thus aid you in preparing for and passing this exam.

The exam is made up of two kinds of question categories:

  • Process/Scenario Based: Needs hands-on experience with the Marketing Cloud platform
  • Knowledge Based: Being well versed with the Marketing Cloud documentation will suffice


Following are the topics that are most important from an exam perspective:

  • Email Content Best Practices: Template Design and Dynamic content
  • Business Units: Functionality and Importance
  • Data Views & Tracking Extracts: Functionality
  • Attribute Groups: Features and Functionality
  • Field Types in Data extensions
  • Data Designer: Functionality and use cases
  • Data Retention Policies: Go through the knowledge base
  • Tracking Aliases: General Functionality
  • IP Warming: Best practices
  • Subscription Management: Preference Center, Publication Lists, Subscriber Key, Profile & Preference Attributes
  • Journey Builder: Scenario based, Functionality (firing events, interactions etc.)
  • AMPscript: Salesforce loves asking questions related to this one
  • Automation Studio: Scenario based, Functionality (triggered automation, automation activities)
  • Contact Builder and Data Extensions: Functionality and relationship
  • Email reports in marketing cloud: Functionality (Email performance, Email Send, Account Summary etc.)
  • Roles and Permissions in Automation Studio: Again a favorite exam topic
  • Activities: Functionality and which to use when (Import Activity, Query Activity, Filter Activity, File Transfer Activity, Data Extract Activity)
  • Email Sends: Functionality and which to use when (Guided Send, Triggered Send, User Initiated Send etc.)
  • Reply Mail Management(RMM): Functionality, Configuration and Management
  • Scheduled/Triggered Automation: What to use when (be prepared to answer a couple of questions related to this)
  • Troubleshooting issues related to Journey Builder (be prepared to answer a couple of questions related to this)
  • Integrations: What to use when? (API, Marketing Cloud Connect, Web Analytics Connector)
  • Miscellaneous: Process/Flow based questions (Define Goal, Wait, Decision Split, Send Email, Random Split, Engagement Split, Update Contact Date etc.)


If you are already immensely comfortable with the above topics and consider yourself to be a Marketing Cloud expert, you might as well take the exam today since these cover > 70% of the exam content. Otherwise, spend some good time researching and knowing more about the above and then sit for the exam. Definitely don’t rush through the answering process and analyze each question twice before selecting the final answer. You will see a lot of ‘Choose 2 answers‘  and ‘Choose 3 answers’ on this exam compared to other ones which I have always found to be more challenging than the ‘Choose 1 answer‘ questions. Nevertheless, it felt great and warrior-like to take a not-so-straightforward exam like this one and I hope you all pass it in the first attempt. Good luck!