Hubspot recently announced its newest certification, the Contextual Marketing Certification. Similar to the exams leading up to it, Inbound Marketing Certification and HubSpot Certification, the Contextual Marketing Certification will test your knowledge of the theory, strategy and practicality of what HubSpot calls Smart Content. You will need access to HubSpot’s COS and will need to be HubSpot Certified.
Here are some details about the exam to help you prepare:
75 multiple choice or true/false questions—these will be a good mix of both theory/strategy and system capability questions
A 90-minute time limit (As I learned the hard way, this time starts when you start the exam and continues running even if you close the window. There is no way to pause it so be sure to allot the time needed)
A passing grade of at least 75%
You have the ability to go back through the questions and review/change your answers
Finally, you will have to complete a practicum on the HubSpot COS
The exam will cover the four main topics presented in the prep classes: Creating a Remarkable User Experience, How Great Websites are Made, The Fundamentals of Smart Content and Developing a Smart Content Strategy.
In good ol' HubSpot fashion, the program provides a plethora of resources to study up on Contextual Marketing before you even attempt the exam. These resources include 10 recorded videos, four slide decks, a study guide, a couple of live labs and a couple of informative eBooks on the subject.
While you are going through the classes, labs and study material, be sure to have the HubSpot Study guide next to you. This will help you follow along with the videos and classes and note the important topics you might not remember later. One final thought on preparation: When you go to take your exam, have your study guide with you. You will be able to refer to it if you are stumped by a question or need to validate an answer.
My best advice for taking the exam is to find a quiet area at the office or at home, turn off all notification devices such as chat, phones and tablets, and plan to take the exam during a time where you won’t be pulled into a meeting. I would even recommend blocking out a time on your calendar so people will know not to bother you.
As stated above, the exam is a collection of multiple choice and true/false questions that test your knowledge on the Contextual Marketing material. If you took good notes and followed the study guide, you will not have a problem. The questions are grouped together by topic, similar to the study guide so you will know when you have moved onto the next section.
Don’t rush through the exam; be sure to read each question carefully as there are questions that will trip you up if you try to move too quickly. Since you are allowed to review your answers, take a note on ones that stump you and come back to them.
Much like the HubSpot Certification, after you pass the exam you will have to put your knowledge to the test and complete a practicum. Of course, this practicum is centered around the development and use of Smart Content. Just keep in mind what you learned throughout the course and you will complete this with no trouble. Start small, keep your buyer personas in mind and focus on delivering the content they are looking for.
Here is a preview of what HubSpot expects you to complete: Segment a couple buyer personas, create Smart Content rules for both Text and CTAs, demonstrate how Smart Forms work and, of course, use Personalization Tokens correctly. As marketers, we use these tools everyday. It is just a matter of piecing everything together in Smart Content Strategy.
Following this outline, you should have no trouble passing the Contextual Marketing Certification. Best of luck to you, and if you have any other tips, feel free to share them in the comments below!