I regularly get asked how to study for the Pardot certifications. My honest answer is I am not 100% sure. The reason being I took my Pardot Consultant certification in December 2014 and my Pardot Specialist certification in August 2015 (Beta). I remember thinking and giving the feedback that the specialist questions were very similar to the consultant. I guess they came to the same conclusion since they asked most people with the Pardot Consultant certification to take a transition exam with the Spring 17 release. Salesforce had decided to make the Pardot Specialist certification a prerequisite for the Pardot Consultant certification. So if you didn’t already have the Pardot Specialist certification you would gain it by taking the transition if you had it you would just confirm it.
So to get back to why I am not 100% sure how to study for the certification, well much has happened to the full exams since I took them. However, I have some general guidelines as well as a “brain dump” from the transition exam.
Before taking any of the Pardot certifications as a general rule I would make sure to:
- Review the certification study guides from Salesforce [link no longer available].
- Investigate the different areas in the help section – believe it or not, Pardot actually has a lot of good help articles. Search and you should hopefully find.
- Visit the dedicated certification study page for Pardot [link no longer available].
- Review e-books about B2B marketing best practices.
- Poke around in Pardot, familiarize yourself with the navigation and the functionality. You might be asked if something can be found under settings or administration.
- Test your knowledge with these mock questions.
What you need to know
Okay, so always look in the study guide to understand the areas that will be covered in the exam. However, when I took the Pardot transition exam here is my “brain dump” of observations about the exam:
- Understand the Salesforce connector in details
- What do you need to do in Pardot and in Salesforce?
- Understand what is synchronized and when/how it is synchronized?
- How can you synchronize Salesforce custom object work? Remember objects must be related to lead or contact in order to be synched in Pardot.
- How do you enable synchronization with Salesforce Person Account and how will synchronization work?
Automation and engagements
- Understand when and when not to use dynamic lists with engagement programs. Remember that once a prospect no longer matches the criteria of the dynamic list the prospect is removed from the list and the engagement program as well.
- Understand the difference between segmentation rules, automation rules, completion actions and dynamic lists and when to use them.
- Many scenario-based questions where you need to understand the best tools to use – the devil is in the details!
- Understand what tools to best use when assigning leads. Remember that critera based assignment can never be through completion actions.
Prospects, scoring, and grading
- Understand how a visitor is converted to a prospect.
- Understand what is captured about a visitor.
- When migrating prospects understand the approach, fields needed, which system is master, should prospects be cleaned etc.
- Understand the difference between scoring and grading.
- Understand the function of a profile.
- I found a lot of tricky questions around scoring and grading where one word made the whole difference in what to answer.
- Understand what marketing types and content are most appropriate and effective in different stages of a prospect lifecycle.
- Understand how frequent to communicate to different prospects.
- These questions tend to be scenario based where you need to identify the best channel, content etc. based on the where in the sales funnel they appear to be.
- Understand if there are deadlines what you should focus on getting ready first.
- Understand what reports you can access in Pardot such as the monthly cohort report.
- Understand what reports can be or are sent to you.
- Understand what you need to do to setup Salesforce Engage.
- Understand how the sales tools work and how you access them.
- Understand what reports are available to engage users.
The only thing left for me to say is good luck with getting Pardot certified!