This blog was written before Pardot was renamed to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. You can read more about the name change and what it means here.
I took my official Pardot exam for specialists earlier this week and I am thrilled to announce that I passed on my first attempt! The exam however is not without its challenges (despite what the internet may tell you), and I am here to talk you through some of my top tips and give some useful insights and experience off the back of the certification.
You read a lot online surrounding how newbies to Pardot passed comfortably’ with little revision, or a quick study guide’ mocked up via an excel spreadsheet. Well I am here with a totally different angle.
If you, like me, are planning on taking this certification seriously and plan to implement all of it’s value into your day to day role, I would avoid searching for any shortcuts to pass the exam and instead get hands-on learning where you can. Afterall, this can be so much more to you than another certification for your trophy cabinet.
There are a series of tools available that I would definitely suggest, I have listed some options below in order of what worked for me.
Tips and tools for passing the Pardot exam
Tip One: Where possible, use the Pardot platform!
Whether that be trying to get yourself a job client-side with someone who can train and support you through the basics or trying to get a test account from Salesforce (although this is not always easy), there is NO better way to learn. The question categories contain a lot of elements related to admin or general Pardot navigation so it is integral to be able to visualise where to go and how to get there.
Tip Two: Go get em’ Trailblazer!
Salesforce is one of those rare, yet fantastic companies who actually provide the general public with all the tools they require to self-educate to a competent level. Their Trailblazer platform has educational modules which contain write ups, test questions, step-by-step guidance on how to physically action each module and a method of winning points and badges to give you a visual on your progress and a sense of achievement.
There are more modules you can find, but I would recommend starting with working your way through the below as a starting point:
Pardot Email Marketing
Pardot Engagement Studio
Pardot Lead Nurturing
Pardot Lead Generation
Pardot Lead Scoring and Grading
Pardot Process Automation
B2B Marketing Analytics Basics
Datasets and Dashboards in B2B Marketing Analytics
Salesforce Engage Basics
Salesforce & Pardot Integration
Tip 3; To cement your knowledge, Pardot has support modules on its website
These also gives you a strong visual throughout actioning situational specific actions. Where better to spend time studying than with Salesforce or Pardot themselves.
Watch the training video for Automation Tools
Fields that can be mapped.
Describe the options available when using automation tools to score prospects.
Pardot's Lead Scoring and Grading Lab
Watch all 11 parts of this video training series to learn about Emails in Pardot
Describe the relationships between a recipient list and a suppression list.
Distinguish between the metrics collected in Pardot email reporting.
Sending an Email with Pardot
Identify the main components of an Engagement Program.
Watch all 5 parts of this overview on Landing Pages
Take this interactive training on Social Posting in Pardot
List Management Overview
Pardot Feature Releases
Tip 4: a good mock exam!
The end is near! Well, to your Pardot exam prep anyway. A good mock exam is definitely an essential to see how far you have come. These are also few and far between though, so take them with a pinch of salt and take a few different ones.
Off the back of this, I would recommend that, for any gaps in knowledge you find are listed when you review your answers, scrub up on these areas and make sure you consider where these areas would be required for a Pardot user. It is best to understand both the asset and in what circumstance it would be required than just about the asset itself.
Mock exam options below:
Having taken the journey above, I found that I had a broad and vast enough knowledge to get my certification. But to add clarity to that and make sure that you do also, the exam categories and weight for the exam are listed below.
You should be able to talk to this comfortably, otherwise, revisit your notes and have a think about which areas you learned from your mock exams were not your most comfortable and spend some time digging a bit deeper into these, specifically to grow your all-around knowledge on the subject.
Lead Management - 15%
Admin - 13%
Salesforce Integration - 13%
Visitors - 7%
Landing Pages - 7%
Scoring - 7%
Email Marketing - 7%
Engagement Studio - 7%
Social Marketing - 7%
Pardot Campaigns - 5%
Pardot Forms/ Form Handlers - 3%
Prospects - 3%
List Management - 3%
Security - 3%
Before I leave you to get started on your Pardot journey, I leave you with one of my favourite quotes. Would you let someone who’s never been a mechanic but has just read a book fix your car?’.
Good luck and remember to take lots of notes! Let us know how you get on in the comments below or by contacting us directly.