So, after months of saying I would, I finally bit the bullet and took my Pardot Consultant certification.
The Pardot Consultant certification is the step up from the Pardot Specialist, which tests the user’s knowledge of the platform and ability to build workflows and email marketing programs to nurture leads. The Consultant exam builds on this knowledge and takes it further to include administration, configuration and implementation. The exam is designed to test your knowledge of Pardot to the limit, and – crucially – how to use it to drive marketing best practice.
I’d heard from multiple sources that it was a toughie, and they weren’t wrong. The Pardot Consultant is definitely the hardest Salesforce exam I’ve sat to date, purely based on the way the questions are asked. They’re long and scenario-based, and you won’t immediately ‘know’ the answer.
So what advice would I give others looking to pass this exam?
As always, the official exam guide is the first place you should look. Pay attention to the weighting of each section, and plan your revision accordingly.
The official Pardot Knowledge base is the best place for the most up-to-date information, and where you should go to confirm any facts. Salesforce are in the process of migrating all Knowledge Base articles to the core Salesforce site, so you may find articles split between help.pardot.com and help.salesforce.com.
Salesforce MVP Ines Garcia is working on a collaborative study guide, which anyone from the ecosystem is invited to contribute to.
There are a few quiz sites hosting questions and Pardot Consultant mock exams, but be wary of them – the answers are often incorrect, and the questions tend to be based on the old-style Consultant exam, meaning they don’t go into the required detail. I’m working on some questions to post here, so watch this space!
Finally, if there’s a user group near you, attend it! I run the Pardot London User Group and it’s a great way to meet people, share ideas, and ask the questions you’re stuck on.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep!
I rather stupidly took the exam online at the end of the day, when I was starting to feel groggy and actually developing a headache. I do not recommend this. This exam requires a lot of reading and analysis and you need to be fully alert!
Automation Rules, Segmentation Rules, Dynamic Lists, and Completion Actions
There are a lot of questions around the different types of rules, and how you’d combine them for different results. Make sure you really understand these, the differences between them, and how they work together. When I took the exam, there was no reference to the fact that automation rules can now repeat, although I expect that to be updated in the next release. For questions, I treated automation rules as though they would only run once.
Profiling, Grading, and Scoring
These came up quite a bit, both separately and in conjunction with each other. Make sure you know when to use grading vs. when to use scoring, and how to set these up – including how to set up folders for multiple scoring categories.
Know What’s Wrong!
The advice I’ve seen time and time again on Salesforce certifications is to rule out the ones you know are definitely incorrect first, and that served me very well here. The answers themselves differ by one word at times, so you really have to read them carefully to check you’ve fully understood the implications.
Other key things to be hot on are:
– Dynamic content, and which objects you can run it on
– When to use a form handler vs. when to use a Pardot form
– User role permissions
– Email best practices, particularly around deliverability
– Person accounts and how they sync
– Salesforce Engage, especially the interface and implementation
With all that said, someone who’s been working with Pardot for a while should be able to answer the questions without having to learn about obscure features they haven’t encountered before (*cough* Big Deal Alerts *cough*). This certification really does test your consulting skills and depth of knowledge, rather than its breadth.
Read everything CAREFULLY – both questions and answers. Read them again. Rule out the ones that are definitely incorrect. Sketch out the scenarios in your head (or on paper if you have it). Make sure you’ve understood everything fully, and relate your answer to real-life scenarios you’ve encountered if possible.
And make sure you’re feeling alert!