What does being Marketo Certified mean to me?
Industry certifications are certainly not compulsory, far from it. For a long time they were wielded more like badges of honour than anything else, proof to the people who possessed them that this skill they had nurtured over many days, weeks, months at the coalface was worthy of recognition. However, they are starting to mean a lot more than that.
I remember clearly my first time sitting for the MCE. It was at Marketo Summit 2013 in San Francisco, and I had come into it with not a single idea of what to expect, since the test had never before been offered. I sat the test in the very first ever certification session at that Summit, and was thrilled to receive a pass my first time out. In that first iteration of the test we were told pass/fail only. No scores, we did not even know what the pass mark was!
I emerged from the testing room brandishing my new status (and shiny new MCE badge and hat – legacy swag I still have today!), as a member of the inaugural certification class. I was completely chuffed at this validation of what I had spent the last 5 years of my life becoming good at.
At that point, because I knew 3 other Australians who had sat the test with me and passed (all consultants!), I knew that I was one of only 4 MCEs in Australia. Then it hit me – it made no sense to have a certification nobody else had or even really knew about!
The whole point to the certification is to have something that the people in our industry know and respect, and can use as a way of knowing you possess a certain minimum level of skills in Marketo. When I earned it, I wanted it to be the way I got my next job (and it was, as it turned out). I now, in turn, go out of my way to hire or recommend Marketo practitioners who have the certification because I have trust in what it represents.
Over the next few years I turned that MCE into an MCC, and eventually an MCSA, but to keep the higher level of certification you have to regularly go back to the beginning – you need to repass your MCE every 2 years. Honestly, I still approach the MCE with a level of trepidation and a flutter in my stomach. It forces you to go back to the basics, to ensure you know that foundational material back to front.
Whatever your reason for taking the MCE, it isn’t something to approach lightly, but if you’ve been using Marketo in your daily job for 6 months or more, it certainly isn’t something you should fear. The MCE uses the multiple choice format to test your knowledge of basic concepts in the only way that it really can – to see if you know what things are called. It isn’t good enough to just know how to set up a program – you need to know how to describe it to others, in the language that other Marketo users understand. Acquisition program, lead scoring, de-duplication, names of standard reports and what they do, these are all things you’ll be quizzed on.
I’ve now passed the MCE every year since then, minus this past year when Marketo moved to the two-year system. I know the tricks of the trade, what Marketo is trying to do, and how they try and trip you up. I’d like to see hundreds more MCEs in the APAC region, so if you think you have what it takes, review my webinar Marketo Certified Expert Prep Webinar, and get a study plan to help you pass first time! And please, let me know when you join the certified ranks, I want to celebrate with you!