Marketing Cloud Training Resources

Finding Those (Occasionally Hidden) Marketing Cloud Training Resources

It only takes a passing familiarity with Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud application to realize that it is a tremendously robust platform. As a marketing tool, it can advance prospects from an initial touch point and propel them through a dynamic and personalized customer journey. Working across multiple channels, Marketing Cloud can meet prospects where they are at, and establish touch points through social ads, SMS texts, MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), emails and website interactions. In an operative sense, Marketing Cloud can unify data inputs into a single source of truth and render a unique profile for each lead, contact or account. It’s very powerful tool. But, as they say, with great power comes great responsibility, and for those that want to harness that power, that responsibility takes the form of learning the platform’s many operating features and associated scripting requirements.

Although Salesforce provides a great deal of valuable training material, the architecture that supports it can be a challenge to navigate. Excellent resources count for little if they can’t be located. To help those that are venturing into the study of Marketing Cloud, I have traced out what I consider to be the most direct paths to the essential training materials.

Naturally, the most authoritative resources on Marketing Cloud are to be found in the Salesforce ecosystem, and one of the best places to start is on the homepage of the platform itself. Depending on how your instance is configured, you should find a blue button titled, “Browse Help and Training”. (This is also available as an option under your personal icon in the upper right hand corner of the page). Clicking on either link will direct you to Salesforce’s Trailblazer Community page. The Trailblazer page is divided into three major categories: Documentation, Trailhead and Support and Services.

Documentation Page:

The Documentation section is home to information pages on a wide variety of topics and applications. In contrast to the documentation for other applications, Salesforce has opted to nest the folders associated with Marketing Cloud in a relatively shallow manner. The result is a highly siloed presentation of the training materials. In total, there are seventeen Marketing Cloud themed help directories. These categories are exclusive to each topic and do not inter-relate. This saves us from dealing with deeply nested folder structures, but it deprives us from a convenient common starting point.

These topics are presented on a series of cards on the Documentation page. By clicking on the filter in the navigation bar, you can reduce the number of irrelevant cards by selecting the “Marketing” checkbox in the drop down menu. This will reduce the full set down to the seventeen that focus on Marketing Cloud. There are a couple of User Interface things to note here. If one clicks on the blue button that says “Marketing”, it will reset the page so that all possible cards are once more displayed (not exactly helpful). Secondly, you to have your cursor placed in the card area (and not on the margin) before you can navigate downward in the page. Accessing the help page topic is accomplished by clicking on the headline, and not the tag, (which is tempting because it resembles a call to action button).

To provide a more accessible overview, I have linked the above topics to the corresponding Salesforce help pages via the bulleted list below.

 

 

The Trailhead Page

Trailhead is an ecosystem of training programs and modules that people can draw upon to accelerate their understanding of Salesforce applications and platforms. For Marketing Cloud users, this system breaks out into two types of learning experiences – Trails and Modules. Trails are a series of training modules grouped together by theme. A typical Trail will consist of three to seven hours of learning material. In contrast, are the Modules are more bite-sized and intended to draw down between thirty minutes to an hour of reading time.

Understanding Salesforce’s Filter Interface

Naturally because of the breadth and scale of Salesforce there are a vast number of training materials that are available. As a navigational aid, Salesforce has set up a filter at the top of the page. I am not sure which of the Salesforce mascots I should take this up with, perhaps it’s Cody the Bear or Ernie the Trailblazing Badger, but I find that the filter leaves something to be desired. You will find the filter in the blue bar at the top of both the Trails page. These pages can be navigated to from the Learn button on the Trailhead homepage.

At first glance, it appears that Marketing Cloud is not accounted for. This gives the distinct impression that one would have to sift through literally hundreds of modules in order to source the desired content. As with the documentation page, access to scrolling is dependent on where the cursor is placed. There is a hover function to indicate that you are over an interactive area, but there is nothing to cue you that if you simultaneously scroll, more options will come into view. (Page Up and Page Down will also work). This is significant, because the Marketing Cloud options are hidden by default. Once the option to filter based on the selection of Marketing Cloud is made available the process becomes much more manageable.

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With the filter now available, we find that there are numerous resources available to help sharpen our knowledge of Marketing Cloud. At last count I made note of twenty eight Trails relating to Marketing Cloud, and one-hundred and one Modules. If that’s a bit overwhelming then you can use the Your Role and Your Level filter to fine tune your search. The same click and scroll protocol can be applied to the Your Role category.

Trailblazer Community

If you still have questions, you can always turn to Salesforce’s lively group of community users, and most questions are met with a response in a few hours. Here, you will find everything you need to tap into the braintrust of the Marketing Cloud community. [linik,,,, ] (https://trailblazers.salesforce.com/successHome) Happy (Marketing Cloud) Trails.

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Jeff Stiles

Jeff Stiles is a marketing automation specialist, and digital marketing enthusiast. His favourite colour is #00a3e0, formerly Pantone 299 C.