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2 Posts authored by: Karan Hari Champion

Hello Every one. Hope every one had a wonderful New Year!

 

Since Marketo Specializations are going to retire on 31st January 2019, I decided to create a short write up on the significance of Marketo Specializations, Which ones can be focused on with relative ease and how to focus on the tough ones. Having completed all the 11 specializations, I often get questions on which specialization to focus on and which ones are easy. Below are the details on What are specialization, The specifics, its benefits and most importantly, which ones to focus on given the time restriction.

 

By earning Specializations, you demonstrate your mastery of advanced techniques that accelerate results and unlock the full potential of Marketo. Specializations does not have an expiry date. So every one who manages to get certified in specializations, will continue to be recognized even after the Specialization exams retire on 31st January! Each Specialization exam consists of 30 questions which has to be finished within 60 minutes. The passing percentage is 75%, which means you need to get at least 23 questions correct to obtain the passing percentage!Each specialization costs $25 USD, whether you're taking it for the first time or retaking it!

 

Specializations are extremely beneficial and most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to explore and learn all significant areas in Marketo. There are 11 specializations that Marketo offers. Below are the details on all of them.

 

  1. Programs & Campaigns
  2. Nurture & Engagement
  3. Events & Webinars
  4. Customizing Creative Assets
  5. Analytics & Reporting
  6. Setup & Configuration
  7. Email Deliverability
  8. Social Marketing
  9. Account-Based Marketing
  10. Web Personalization
  11. Analytics Attribution

 

I have mentioned the above specializations from the relatively easy ones to the relatively tough ones!This would vary based on ones own experience in Marketo. I'd say a lot of questions in Marketo Specializations are scenario based. So it is best if you have good practical working knowledge in each of the specialization area that you are looking to attempt

 

How I prepared? - Well, By the time I had completed my Marketo Certification for the second time, I pretty much brushed up most of the topics in:

 

The relatively easy ones - Programs & Campaigns, Nurture & Engagement, Events & Webinars, Customizing Creative Assets, Analytics & Reporting  (Marketo Out Of Box Reporting)and Setup & Configuration, Email Deliverability and Social Marketing.

The relatively not so easy ones  - were Account-Based Marketing, Web Personalization, Analytics Attribution and  Web Personalization. But again, my calling these areas "Not so easy" was because of the level of expertise I possessed on these topics at the time. This is why I consider the Specializations so important because not only did these prompt me to dive deep in these areas and learn them, but it also enabled me to put these into practice in my own organization, work extensively with clients in all the above mentioned areas and starting to create a Center of Excellence or used cases if you will, in our own sandbox and production instance.So what I did for each of these topics was to follow a 4 step approach.

 

  • Pick each topic, and thoroughly scan through the product docs for that specific topic. By this time you already have a good understanding of the respective topics!
  • Go through the Videos available in the Learning Paths (Hyperlinked) and attempt the mock questions available after each of the topic given in the learning path.
  • Use keywords and scan the entire Marketo community for all available learning resource, solved Questions and discussions on those respective topics.
  • Last but not the least, Try put the above learning into practice by working on an actual client projects in those respective areas. If actual client projects are not available, Try to create at-least a basic business/used cases on each of the topics on your own, define flows for them in lucid charts and create sample implementations and re-usable templates in your sandbox instance

 

Once these steps are followed, any one can most certainly pass the specialization Exams. For Marketo Certified Expert's, my suggestion would be to start of with the first set of specializations. Since you have already prepared and completed the MCE exam,  the first set of topics should be easy to prepare and complete.

 

Hope this helps. Feel free to comment below or reach out for any queries!

Marketo Sky – New Features, Comparisonand efficient use

 

I have started using Marketo Sky recently, and I must say that the new look and features makes it really efficient and easy to use once you get a hands on. There might be some hiccups getting used to it initially, but once you get a hang of how to use it, I found that it makes life a lot more easier. Although I might have a few concerns about its color and design, but it most certainly has made daily activities easy and efficient to use. Below are the few features that I thought were great!

 

  • Single work-space view & the option to choose as to which workspace you want to work in. For instances with Multiple workspaces, this feature is a good one to have.

  • Collapse all feature – At times, While working in the usual interface, and when the instance is a mature one with multiple work-spaces, there times when the entire long chain of tree used to open up and it often was confusing to find what you wanted. Introduction of this feature has made life a lot more easier.

  • The assets approving interface/view available right when you click on the asset is also changed and is very efficient as compared to the previous interface. Right when you click on the asset, you get the option to Approve, Edit, Preview and other details. In the below example, I directly clicked on the form that is highlighted, and it gives me all the options on the right which I mentioned.

I found the new interface mentioned above as compared to the present interface that we are currently using in Marketo (Snapshot attached below) – This Gives us a good compression.

  • The changed dashboard - Inclusion of Recently updated Programs and Assets, Scheduled Today , Information on Total active triggers, The Options to create New Smart Campaigns and New Programs. As soon as you click on Marketing activities, these are all the details that you can see at a glance. This is extremely useful and a lot more efficient (According to me) than the current dashboard that we have in the normal interface. – Reference screen shot below.

You can Compare the new vs the old dashboard of marketing activities from the screenshot given below and above

  • Inclusion of the Date Range Filter – Extremely Useful for instances that are more that 3-5 years old. In cases where you really only want to see campaigns and activities that happened in last 3 months or last 6 months, this feature is extremely useful. For example in the below Screen Shot 2, I only want to see Triggered and batch campaigns that are created in the last 1 week, and it gives me the filtered results accordingly.

Screen Shot 1

Screen Shot 2

  • Talking a little more about the Filtering options, Screen shot 1 below shows the very limited options that we have presently for filtering. However, in the Marketo Sky the filtering options have been taken to a whole new level. Reference screen Shots – 2 &3

Screenshot 1

Screenshot 2

Screen Shot 3

  • The option to add a Label to assets and filter those assets based on the Label. For example in the below screen shot, I have added the label - Purple, to 2 of my assets (Screen shot 1 & 2), and when I use the Purple Label, in the filter(Screen shot 3), it gives me exactly those assets (On the left side) that were tagged with Purple label. I found this as an extremely useful feature which can be very helpful in several used cases.

Screen Shot 1

Screen Shot 2

Screenshot 3 Here in the below screenshot, it only shows me the ***** that are tagged with the label Purple.

Additionally, you can also add a label while creating an asset or add a label later, once the asset is created. Also when creating a new local asset as highlighted in below screen shot 1, you can either add a new label or copy label from Parent. So If I copy label from parent, it copies the same label which I defined in the program – as shown in screen shot 2

Screen Shot 1

Screen Shot 2

  • The default program “details” dashboard also is a lot more clean and useful as supposed to the earlier interface. Below is a screen shot of a test default program “Details” tab where you have key stats like Program Success, Members, A better program summary, and the Used by option to the right side of the screenshot. The level of details in Sky, that are provided here are a lot more cleaner and accessible as compared to the classic view.

Below screen shot - To compare the new and old program dashboard stats

 

  • Another Very interesting feature is the option to take bulk actions for all assets within your program. So as referred to in the below snapshot, The “Assets” tab shows us all the assets that we have under a program. We can filter out the assets that we want and take bulk actions on those assets. Another used case might be that you could have several triggered campaigns that you might want to de-activate or several scheduled batch campaigns that you might want to unscheduled all at once. So all of this can be accomplished here. Additionally, you can see the Used by for each of the asset (In the below Snapshot). So, if you want to mass un approve emails, but see that one specific email is being used by 2 programs or campaigns, you can go ahead and remove them from the respective programs\campaigns and then mass unapproved it. There are several used cases where I found these options to be extremely useful.

Additionally, you can also now set expiration dates for your Assets. Lets say you have a Landing page that’s set in an email campaign which you think is only relevant till say, 25th December. So, if you set an expiration date, after 25th December all the selected landing pages and assets with expiration date as 25th Dec would automatically be unpublished, unapproved and the links would be directed to the respective fall back pages. Similarly, if you have a triggered campaign and you wish to set the expiration date for it, when the date reached, the trigger will automatically be de-activated. Reference screenshot below

  • Another Interesting option that has been added is to organize your tokens within a program and to Import tokens from other program.

Additionally, The Link Token is a new addition to the tokens

  • Smart list – This new feature is my personal favorite. So what happens here is , Say I have a smart list with 10 or 15 different triggers and filters. I can create this set of triggers and filters as custom rules. For example in the below screen shot, I have created a set of triggers and filters and am saving it by the name of Karan's Rule. Now while creating another smart campaign, Karan’s Rule will show up on the right, And all I have to do is drag Karan’s Rule and it will populate all the triggers and filters defined in that rule. In used cases where similar rules are being used multiple times, this feature comes as a blessing. Also, in complicated smart lists where you might be using advanced operators and multiple triggers and filters, it can be combined into one rule, Tested for flawless functionality, and then be re-used as and when necessary.

Now in the below smart campaign – I am dragging the Karan’s Rules to the empty Canvas, and all the filters defined there will show up

 

*** The same feature can be used in Flow steps as well. You can save a bunch of Flow Steps, Save it as a rule, and then re-use them again.

So that was pretty much about the additional features of Marketo Sky that I have been able to explore so far and am using and leveraging to the best use. Although I understand that all the features and functionality has not been launched in Marketo Sky and it is sort of incomplete at this point, I am told that it sure is coming out with a lot more great features including filters that use AI/Machine learning, which can suggest recommendations based on past campaigns performances. So super exited and waiting for the entire module to role out at the earliest. I will also be doing a video soon to explain these features in more detail and possibly explain a few more used cases which can shed better light on how to go about using Marketo sky to its best. I hope the above information will be helpful to early adopters of Marketo Sky and give a perspective on the new features. Please feel free to share your feedback in the comments section below.