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Marketing Operations Certifications Explained: HubSpot, Account Engagement & Marketo


While there are many similarities between Marketing Automation Platforms, each has unique capabilities, functionality, and best practices. If you are an expert in one, it may not mean you are an expert in the others. Three common platforms are HubSpot Marketing Hub, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement1, and Adobe Marketo Engage which all have certifications that classify what they perceive as an expert in their platform.

The Platforms

Adobe Marketo Engage is known for its robust marketing automation features and advanced lead scoring capabilities. It also offers a range of integrations with other marketing tools and platforms. Marketo’s focus is on B2B marketing and is especially useful for companies with complex sales cycles and large sales teams. However, Marketo can be more expensive than other marketing automation platforms and may have a steeper learning curve.

Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot), on the other hand, is a marketing automation tool that is part of the Salesforce ecosystem. It offers advanced lead scoring and lead nurturing capabilities, as well as powerful email marketing and analytics tools. Pardot is particularly well-suited for B2B companies, as it integrates seamlessly with Salesforce’s CRM platform. However, like Marketo, Pardot can be expensive and may require a more technical skill set to use effectively.

HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing platform that offers a range of tools, including marketing automation, CRM, social media management, and content management. It is known for its ease of use and comprehensive reporting capabilities. HubSpot Marketing Hub is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses that want a more affordable and user-friendly option for managing their marketing efforts. However, HubSpot may not have all the advanced features and integrations that larger or more complex businesses require.

As you can see, these differences are part of the reason each one has its own set of certification exams. You will find certain exams are easier than others and each one requires a different skill set and knowledge base. Now that we have gone through the differences between the platforms, let’s take a look at the differences in certifications.

The Certifications

The Adobe Certified Expert – Marketo Engage exam formerly known as the Marketo Certified Expert exam – consists of 75 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within two hours. It covers topics such as lead management, email marketing, reporting and analytics, and marketing automation best practices. To prepare for the exam, Adobe provides a variety of resources including online training courses, study guides, and practice exams. You can also check out our study guide. Adobe offers three levels of certifications: professional, expert, and master. Adobe recommends having 0-12 months of experience for the professional certification, 1 – 3 years of experience for the expert exam, and 3 – 5 years for the master exam. Each certification expires after 2 years and requires retesting to renew.

The Pardot Certification exam is also multiple-choice and covers a range of topics related to the Pardot platform. The exam consists of 60 questions and must be completed within 90 minutes. Topics covered include lead management, email marketing, automation rules, and reporting and analytics. Pardot offers a variety of resources to help prepare for the exam, including online training courses, study guides, and practice exams.

The HubSpot Certification exams are more extensive, covering a range of topics related to inbound marketing, sales, and customer service. HubSpot offers certification exams for three different disciplines: Inbound, Marketing, and Sales. The Inbound Certification covers topics such as content creation, social media, and inbound sales, while the Marketing Certification focuses on email marketing, lead nurturing, and analytics. The Sales Certification covers topics such as prospecting, lead management, and closing techniques. The HubSpot exams are also multiple-choice and must be completed within 90 minutes. To prepare for the exams, HubSpot offers a variety of resources including online training courses, study guides, and practice exams. These exams tend to have no cost to them, unlike Marketo and Pardot.

The Details

Overall, each platform’s certification exam is designed to test a user’s knowledge of the platform and its various features. Completing a certification exam can help marketing operation professionals demonstrate their proficiency and credibility in using the platform and can also help to advance their careers in marketing and sales. Many employers look for these certifications when reviewing applications, especially for more senior-level positions. Obviously, it is not the only important factor in applying for Marketing Operations roles but certification can definitely help you stand out in a pool of candidates.

All three certifications can be completed online via their respective websites. It is highly recommended you do not go in blind to these tests. Take the time to study, prepare, and understand the concepts of what you will be tested on. These certifications can propel your career and establish you as an expert in the field.

1In April 2022, Salesforce renamed Pardot to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement.

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