Marketing Cloud - where to start?

Are you looking to explore Salesforce Marketing Cloud from the ground up? Whether you’re new to SFMC or transitioning from another platform, understanding its core concepts is essential! In this guide, we’ll take you through the different learning phases, from building a solid foundation to exploring more advanced features.

Well… start from the beginning

Talk the talk! Begin by acquainting yourself with SFMC terminology. The official Marketing Cloud Glossary is your key resource for grasping the platform’s language – and it’s of course not super straight forward. Some hints: Data Extension, Contact Model, Subscriber Key… Trailhead is a great resource for getting the ball rolling if you’re a complete beginner. Here are some great resources that have helped me along the way: 

  1. Trailhead
  2. Udemy
  3. Official documentation

Learn from the best! SFMC experts often share valuable insights in blogs and articles. These resources provide practical tips and industry knowledge that complement the official documentation. Not to toot my own horn, but you will find some valuable nuggets here as well. 

Understand the do’s and don’ts! Depending on your business’s location, familiarize yourself with email compliance laws like CAN-SPAM, CASL, or GDPR. Compliance is essential, so stay informed. With Marketing Cloud being a marketing automation tool, you will need to understand the best practices associated with communicating via (primarily) owned channels! Start by reading up on Email Marketing Best Practices!

Trial and error! Learning by doing is the greatest contributor to progression. Connecting theory with practice is therefore key in your personal Marketing Cloud development! Try practicing the most basic and recurring configurations to get comfortable with the UI of the platform. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, feel free to reach out to us or consult with your own admin.

Gettin’ jiggy with it

Conquering Journey Builder! Journey Builder is essentially the bread and butter of the Marketing Cloud platform. Strive to explore various types of journey requirements, including multi-step journeys, single-send journeys, and Transactional sends. Each serves unique purposes and can elevate your understanding of the technology.

Connecting the dots! Discover the power of data synchronization between Marketing Cloud and Sales or Service Cloud (“Core”). It offers opportunities for updating records, assigning tasks, and building complex customer journeys! 


Optimizing platform performance! Take proactive steps to optimize your SFMC instance. This includes checking for duplicates, ensuring consistent Primary Keys, and efficiently organizing your Subscriber data. At this point, you would no longer be considered the “Grasshopper”, but rather the aspiring “Sensei”!

Advanced Automation! Delve into advanced automation activities like Scripts and Queries to streamline your marketing processes and increase efficiency. Scripting and coding on the Marketing Cloud platform can seem daunting at first. But don’t worry! As you naturally progress over these phases, you will easier understand the concept of coding. Some key concepts to keep in the back on your mind throughout your learning journey are: 

  1. ampScript 
  2. SQL 
  3. HTML / CSS
  4. Server-side Javascript

Don’t worry! As you progress through these phases, you’ll develop a comprehensive understanding of SFMC, empowering you to create impactful marketing campaigns and automation strategies. Remember that learning Marketing Cloud is a journey, and we’re here to support you every step of the way!

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