To gain a competitive edge, marketers must arm themselves with the know-how to leverage digital tools in a way that will maximize results. Our marketer certification allows marketers to do just that with Kentico. Read on to hear Justin Sanders’ (Strategic Director at BlueModus) thoughts on the certification and how he’s been using his newfound knowledge to help clients maximize value from Kentico.
BlueModus is a full-service digital agency and Kentico Gold Partner with an incredible 78 certified marketers! Justin Sanders, Strategic Director at BlueModus passed the Kentico Certified Marketer exam and earned his certification, which is just one of the ways marketers can maximize value from Kentico. So, let’s hear about his experience and how the course has impacted his daily work with clients.
1. Why did you decide to take the course?
As someone working in professional services with clients that rely on Kentico, it’s extremely common to hear “I want to use more of Kentico’s out-of-the-box marketing features”. And the biggest struggle we face as marketers with such a broad directive is knowing where to start.
I decided to take the Kentico Marketer Certification in order to gain the experience I needed to be able to have meaningful conversations with companies and organizations about how they can start leveraging these powerful features in ways that would directly impact their business.
I was new to Kentico, so I had a lot to learn.
2. How much time did you spend on the course and the exam?
In our industry, it can be a struggle to find the time for training between client work and meetings. A key motivating factor for this course, however, was the fact that it felt like each module was teaching me a new way to help my clients maximize the value they derive from Kentico.
In total, my time preparing for the course amounted to around eight hours spread over a work week. Most of that was spent working through the video training modules and doing the exercises within the Kentico Admin provided as part of the course. I often set the video playback speed to 2x in order to get through the modules more quickly. The test itself took less than 30 minutes.
3. Did you seek internal guidance before taking the exam?
At BlueModus, we are fortunate to have more Kentico certified marketers on staff than any other Kentico Gold Partner. Knowing Kentico inside and out is a huge part of our culture as an agency, and the result is a wealth of Kentico knowledge that we share internally. Exam preparation is no exception.
As a new hire at BlueModus you are given a plan and roadmap to help guide you towards gaining Kentico certifications and we even have an internal Slack channel dedicated to helping each other with certification studying and exam prep. Between the official training modules and materials provided as part of the course and our internal support within the organization, I felt very prepared by the time I sat down to take the exam. I would encourage any agency that uses Kentico to power their projects to create a similar culture as it’s a great way to set their colleagues and clients up for success.
4. How do you pass on your new knowledge?
Within our agency, we have a few different forums we use to ask questions and share knowledge among our teams. I work within our strategy practice, and it is common for us to discuss new ways our teams are using Kentico and its marketing features during our regular department meetings or in our shared Slack channel.
We also have a very active Kentico knowledge-sharing Slack channel that is used company-wide to ask questions that both our marketers and developers are facing. It’s also common when a client presents a new challenge or idea for me to draw on work I’ve done with clients in the past.
5. Which topic in the course inspired you the most?
Site personalization as a concept is incredibly powerful, especially when you start connecting anonymous contact level data to real site users via form smart fields. When you start digging into the various applications and features that make up Kentico’s marketing suite, you quickly realize that they all build off of one another to create even more business value. The features are clearly designed to support one another and enable marketers to leverage data in multiple ways in order to create better site experiences for users. Seeing this demonstrated during the course was very powerful.
Kentico’s approach to A/B testing was also something that blew me away. The integrated A/B testing in Kentico really simplifies a struggle that has plagued marketing teams for years and replaces the need for entire platforms dedicated to A/B testing. It is a simple, yet profound, practice that marketers can get up and running on their Kentico sites with a minimal amount of prep time, and the course provides the guidance needed to make that a reality on your site.
6. Which topic was most valuable to you?
Learning more about Activity Tracking and the various ways Kentico can put that data to use has really opened my eyes to the many ways in which user experiences can be shaped. The ability to collect such a large amount of data about user behavior and responses to the content you deploy on your website has allowed my clients and I to transform the way we think about content on our websites. It makes it possible to move from guessing what users are going to respond to when it comes to content choices to knowing exactly what is working and what isn’t and using automation to double down on the strategies that are most effective.
Being able to tailor a user’s website experience in real time really showcases the power of having marketing tools integrated directly into your CMS. Taking advantage of these features has supercharged my clients’ abilities as marketers while helping them focus on content strategies that are backed by real user data.
7. What learnings are you already implementing?
Since taking the course, I’ve helped clients in more than one industry combine different Kentico marketing features to achieve synergies on their sites. The most foundational step is usually enabling Activity Tracking in Kentico, which then opens the door to site personalization and beyond. Using the lessons learned in the course I’ve guided clients through the creation of parallel user journeys on their site triggered by sorting users into Contact Groups based on their behavior. This has led to more conversions and overall improved user behavior metrics as the site is adapting in real time to reflect the interests and tendencies of each user.
In addition to helping me bring new ideas to the table in client discussions, the lessons covered in the course have also proven invaluable when a client asks for help troubleshooting an issue they’re having or help using a feature again for the first time after upgrading to Kentico Xperience 13.
8. What would you say to someone considering getting certified?
Whether you are working on the agency/implementation side of a Kentico project or you are in-house at an organization that uses Kentico as your DXP, there is a huge upside to taking the course. It provides a really good general introduction to Kentico and to its sophisticated marketing features. Even people that have worked with Kentico for years can benefit from exposure to features they aren’t currently taking advantage of as well as those they may not have used since upgrading to Kentico Xperience 13.
I would encourage course-takers to fully engage with the exercises and to take advantage of the Kentico Admin instance the course provides to test out the concepts being taught and build up their practical knowledge. I found that having that hands-on practice really empowered me to confidently speak to these capabilities with my clients and teammates.
The course contains a good amount of detail without overwhelming you and focuses on practical knowledge you can start using right away. It has provided me with that foundational understanding of Kentico’s major marketing features, and every time I put something from the course into practice on a client site, my confidence in using Kentico as a marketer continues to grow.
Interested in taking the course yourself? Check out our certifications.
Or, if you’re not yet utilizing Kentico or the full advantages of using a digital experience platform to power your website and want to find out more, reach out to our experts. They’ll be happy to chat through your current obstacles and help find a solution that works for you.