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Salesforce-Marketing-Cloud-Developer Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Developer

Exam Specification: Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Developer

Exam Name: Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Developer
Exam Code: Not specified
Exam Duration: 90 minutes
Passing Score: 65%
Exam Format: Multiple-choice, multiple-select

Course Outline:

1. Marketing Cloud Overview
- Introduction to Salesforce Marketing Cloud and its key features
- Understanding the role of a Marketing Cloud Developer
- Exploring the components and functionalities of Marketing Cloud

2. Marketing Cloud Data Model and Architecture
- Understanding the Marketing Cloud data model and architecture
- Exploring data extensions, data relationships, and data views
- Configuring data integration and synchronization with external systems

3. Marketing Cloud Automation
- Implementing automation solutions using Automation Studio
- Creating and configuring data-driven automations
- Developing workflows and triggered emails for personalized customer journeys

4. Marketing Cloud Email Studio
- Configuring email templates and content blocks
- Building and testing email campaigns using Email Studio
- Implementing dynamic content and personalization techniques

5. Marketing Cloud Journey Builder
- Designing and configuring customer journeys using Journey Builder
- Implementing decision splits, activities, and goals within journeys
- Leveraging event-driven and triggered interactions for real-time engagement

6. Marketing Cloud Content Builder and Personalization
- Creating and managing content using Content Builder
- Implementing personalization and dynamic content blocks
- Leveraging AMPscript and SSJS for advanced content customization

7. Marketing Cloud Integration and APIs
- Integrating Marketing Cloud with external systems using APIs
- Implementing custom activities and event triggers
- Developing custom applications and integrations using Marketing Cloud APIs

Exam Objectives:

1. Understand the key features and capabilities of Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
2. Configure and manage data within the Marketing Cloud data model.
3. Implement automation solutions using Automation Studio.
4. Build and test email campaigns using Email Studio.
5. Design and configure customer journeys using Journey Builder.
6. Create and manage content using Content Builder.
7. Implement personalization and dynamic content blocks.
8. Integrate Marketing Cloud with external systems using APIs.
9. Develop custom applications and integrations using Marketing Cloud APIs.

Exam Syllabus:

1. Marketing Cloud Overview
- Introduction to Salesforce Marketing Cloud
- Key features and benefits of Marketing Cloud
- Components and functionalities of Marketing Cloud

2. Marketing Cloud Data Model and Architecture
- Marketing Cloud data model and architecture
- Data extensions, relationships, and data views
- Data integration and synchronization with external systems

3. Marketing Cloud Automation
- Automation solutions using Automation Studio
- Data-driven automations and activities
- Workflows and triggered emails for customer journeys

4. Marketing Cloud Email Studio
- Email templates and content blocks
- Email campaign configuration and testing
- Dynamic content and personalization techniques

5. Marketing Cloud Journey Builder
- Customer journey design and configuration
- Decision splits, activities, and goals within journeys
- Event-driven and triggered interactions

6. Marketing Cloud Content Builder and Personalization
- Content creation and management using Content Builder
- Personalization and dynamic content blocks
- AMPscript and SSJS for advanced content customization

7. Marketing Cloud Integration and APIs
- Marketing Cloud integration with external systems
- Custom activities and event triggers
- Custom applications and integrations using Marketing Cloud APIs
Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Developer
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Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Developer
Question: 54
A developer is implementing a custom profile center and using the LogUnsubEvent request.
Which parameter is required for the event to be tied to the appropriate send?
A. JobID
B. ListID
C. Unsub Reason
D. SubscriberKey
Answer: A
Question: 55
A particular data extension need to be configured to store six months of data.
How should data retention be added to the data extension in Email Studio?
A. Run a query to overwrite the rows with six months of data
B. Import a file to overwrite the rows with six months of data
C. Create a new data extension that includes data retention settings
D. Update the data extension configuration to include data retention settings.
Answer: C
Question: 56
NTO is using an asynchronous SOAP API call to the TriggerSend object to send order confirmation email to their
Which API object and attribute should be used to retrieve the status of the API call?
A. Result Object and EmailAddress
B. Result Object and ConservationID
C. ResultItem Object and OrderID
D. ResultItem Object and RequestID
Answer: D
Question: 57
A developer identified duplicate contacts and wants to delete roughly 10 million subscribers using Contact Delete.
How could the process be expedited?
A. Change the Suppression value to a larger value
B. Delete any unnecessary Sendable Data Extensions
C. Manually delete subscribers in All Contacts
D. Stop the current delete process and delete smaller groups
Answer: B
Question: 58
A sendable data extension with a text field named ‘Balance’ contains the value S6.96 for a particular record.
The following AMPscript statement is included in an email:
IF (Balance > 6.00) THEN
SET @Result = ‘Balance is more than $6.00
Why would this IF statement yield unintended results?
A. The operands are not the same data type.
B. The comparison should use the < operator.
C. Balance is a protected keyword.
D. Double quotes should be used instead of single quotes.
Answer: D
Question: 59
Certification Aid wants to trigger and email send in Marketing Cloud when a purchase is made on their website.
Which API should be used for this? Choose 2.
A. Subscriber API
B. Email API
Answer: C,D
Question: 60
A developer needs to create a fully-branded CloudPage which includes images hosted in Content Builder. The
developer wants to secure the page and its elements using the SSL protocol.
What is the minimum number of SSL certificates required?
A. Three
B. Two
C. None
D. One
Answer: B
Question: 61
A developer needs to identify all subscribers who were sent Job ID 420 but did not click any links.
Which SQL statement would produce the desired results?
A. Option A
B. Option B
C. Option C
D. Option D
Answer: C
Question: 62
A developer wants to expand their knowledge of Query Activities. They want to identify email addresses that have
bounced in the last 30 days, along with the Bounce Reason and some additional subscriber specific data; however, the
SQL they have written does not return any records.
Below is the SQL statement:
What updates should be made to ensure this SQL statement returns the desired results?
A. Marketing Cloud does not allow DateAdd functions in Query Activities. They should define a specific date.
B. Marketing Cloud _Bounce data view does not contain EmailAddress. They should join on SubscriberlD.
C. Marketing Cloud Data Views only hold 20 days worth of data. They should narrow scope of DateAdd function.
D. Marketing Cloud does not allow use of GETDATE function. They should define a specific date.
Answer: B
Question: 63
A developer is working on cross-channel campaign functions for the email team at Northern Trail Outfitters. They are
reviewing available APIs for the different Marketing Cloud applications to determine the most appropriate solution for
Which application utilizes the REST API?
A. Automation Studio
B. Classic Content
C. Content Builder
Answer: C
Question: 64
A customer wants to export send data to their SFTP.
Which two automations would accomplish this? Choose 2
A. Tracking Extract
B. Tracking Extract > File Transfer
C. Query (Data Views) > Data Extension Extract > File Transfer
D. Query (Data Views) > File Transfer
Answer: B,C
Question: 65
A developer wants to trigger an SMS message to a subscriber using a form published on CloudPages.
How should the SMS message be triggered once the subscriber submits the form?
A. Outbound SMS template and Automation Send Method
B. InsertData AMPscript function to add the subscriber to a MobileConnect list
C. CreateSMSConservation AMPscript function
D. requestToken and messageContact REST API objects
Answer: D
Question: 66
A developer wants to delete a batch of subscribers from Marketing Cloud. The developer performs a Contact Delete on
a batch of records in a data extension in Contact Builder.
Which scenario would cause subscriber records to remain in the data extension?
A. Sendable data extension with SubscriberKey and EmailAddress fields
B. Non-sendable data extension with SubscriberKey field
C. Contact Delete process does not delete rows from data extensions
D. Sendable data extension with SubsciberKey field
Answer: B
Question: 67
Certification Aid wants to import an encrypted CSV file from the Marketing Cloud Enhanced FTP server.
Which two File Transfer activities are needed to achieve this? Choose 2.
A. To decrypt the import file on the Enhanced FTP server.
B. To move the import file from the Safehouse to Marketing Cloud.
C. To decrypt the import file on the Safehouse.
D. To move the import file from the Enhanced FTP server to the Safehouse
Answer: B,C
Question: 68
New subscribers at Northern Trail Outfitters (NTO) are added to a data extension. NTO would like to send these
subscribers a welcome series with Journey Builder.
What would allow the data extension to be selected for journey entry’
A. At least one Campaign must be associated to the data extension.
B. The Triggered Send Template must be used to create the data extension.
C. The data extension must be configured for sending.
D. The data extension must contain a field of the EmailAddress data type.
Answer: C
Question: 69
A field value returned from a DE lookup contains a tab-delimited list of values.
Which AMPscript function could easily determine if a specific text string exist anywhere in the list?
A. Substring
B. BuildRowSetFromString
C. IndexOf
D. Length
Answer: B
Question: 70
Northern Trail Outfitters is using a mobile campaign to collect email addresses of interested subscribers. Using
AMPScript’s API functions they will send a confirmation email when an email is texted into their short code.
Which two objects are required to successfully create a TriggeredSend object? Choose 2 answers
A. Subscribers
B. TriggeredSendDefinition
C. Attribute
D. Contact
Answer: B,D
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Salesforce offers a full suite of add-ons available mainly on the SalesForce AppExchange. These optional Salesforce programs include tools to support different needs and industries. Depending on the complexity of those needs, you’ll pay anywhere from nothing to hundreds of dollars for one (or multiple) apps. You can also find add-ons under the “products” tab on the Salesforce website.

Salesforce’s apps come from both first- and third-party providers. They also vary in pricing, often including new tiers that differ from what Salesforce offers. Simple apps, like 360 SMS, start at $7 per month but might cost more depending on how many texts you send. Other apps, like the Salesforce Adoption Dashboard, are entirely free. You also have freemium apps, like JotForm, which are free for the first five forms. 

Each app is different, requiring another knowledge base to learn this optional system. Much like shopping for CRM systems, you must go through testing and adoption phases. Thankfully, Salesforce is a cloud-based SaaS system, meaning you can easily customize it according to your needs. Below, you’ll learn more about some of the most popular add-ons you might consider. 

Pardot Pricing

Salesforce Pardot is a popular marketing automation platform that comes in four tiers. Here’s a breakdown of what those tiers provide:

  • Growth: $1,250/mo; focuses on marketing automation 
  • Plus: $2,750/mo; provides deeper analytics and personalization features
  • Advanced: $4,400/mo; AI support and developer sandbox features
  • Premium: $15,000/mo; offers predictive analytics and personalized product support

Pardot supports up to 10,000 contacts, with its higher tier supporting 75,000.

Service Cloud

Service Cloud focuses on the customer support side of Salesforce. It also has identical pricing compared to Sales Cloud (Salesforce’s primary offering). Here’s a breakdown of pricing:

  • Starter: $25/user/mo; provides a simple customer case management dashboard
  • Professional: $80/user/mo; provides case swarming and computer telephony integration (CTI)
  • Enterprise: $165/user/mo; provides AI features and a self-service system for your customer support staff
  • Unlimited: $330/user/mo; 24/7 support alongside AI-powered chatbots
  • Unlimited+: $500/user/mo; advanced AI support and the ability to better integrate data across Tableau Analytics and Data Cloud

Sales Cloud does not come with Service Cloud. However, you can discuss discounts for integrating both when talking with an account executive. 

CPQ and Billing

Both CPQ and Billing are features you can find under Salesforce’s Revenue Cloud service. 

CPQ (Configuration, Pricing and Quoting) is a flexible pricing system that changes price depending on usage level or optional features. When selling software with add-ons, it can help you simplify billing customers. It comes in two forms:

  • CPQ: $75/user/mo; provides limited customization options
  • CPQ Plus: $150/user/mo; provides more process control and automated features

Billing is another feature of Revenue Cloud which comes in two forms, although the pricing requires you to call in:

  • Growth: Has a built-in invoicing system for scheduling and merging multiple invoices
  • Plus: Advanced billing systems based on usage ratings; supports automatic payments

If purchasing the complete sales CRM, some of these features are integrated with advanced plans, meaning you don’t need to pay extra. 

Einstein Analytics

Einstein Analytics is the AI-driven analytics software from Salesforce that comes with the Unlimited plan. Enterprise customers might choose to pay separately, selecting one of the four plans below:

  • Einstein Predictions: $75/user/mo; provides simple, automated insights
  • CRM Analytics Growth: $140/user/mo; more advanced analytics platform without AI features
  • CRM Analytics Plus: $165/user/mo; combines features from Predictions and Analytics Growth
  • Revenue Intelligence: $220/user/mo; provides revenue insights as well other features


MuleSoft is an integration-based platform that connects multiple apps, helps integrate numerous APIs and provides automated systems between those softwares. Another way to look at it: it’s a complex version of Zapier with way more power for programmers. 

MuleSoft’s pricing varies heavily but can cost up to $250,000 per year. You’ll need to call and discuss your unique needs for a quote. 

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This Is What Whales Are Betting On Salesforce

Deep-pocketed investors have adopted a bearish approach towards Salesforce CRM, and it's something market players shouldn't ignore. Our tracking of public options records at Benzinga unveiled this significant move today. The identity of these investors remains unknown, but such a substantial move in CRM usually suggests something big is about to happen.

We gleaned this information from our observations today when Benzinga's options scanner highlighted 24 extraordinary options activities for Salesforce. This level of activity is out of the ordinary.

The general mood among these heavyweight investors is divided, with 33% leaning bullish and 66% bearish. Among these notable options, 10 are puts, totaling $980,886, and 14 are calls, amounting to $619,813.

What's The Price Target?

Based on the trading activity, it appears that the significant investors are aiming for a price territory stretching from $140.0 to $390.0 for Salesforce over the accurate three months.

Insights into Volume &amp; Open Interest

In terms of liquidity and interest, the mean open interest for Salesforce options trades today is 930.53 with a total volume of 5,604.00.

In the following chart, we are able to follow the development of volume and open interest of call and put options for Salesforce's big money trades within a strike price range of $140.0 to $390.0 over the last 30 days.

Salesforce Option Volume And Open Interest Over Last 30 Days

Largest Options Trades Observed:

Symbol PUT/CALL Trade Type Sentiment Exp. Date Strike Price Total Trade Price Open Interest Volume
CRM PUT SWEEP BEARISH 01/12/24 $255.00 $240.2K 752 1.0K
CRM PUT SWEEP BEARISH 01/12/24 $255.00 $204.2K 752 2.8K
CRM PUT SWEEP BULLISH 01/12/24 $255.00 $144.3K 752 7
CRM CALL TRADE BULLISH 01/17/25 $200.00 $107.2K 1.6K 0
CRM PUT SWEEP BULLISH 01/12/24 $255.00 $88.0K 752 517

About Salesforce

Salesforce Inc provides enterprise cloud computing solutions. The company offers customer relationship management technology that brings companies and customers together. Its Customer 360 platform helps the group to deliver a single source of truth, connecting customer data across systems, apps, and devices to help companies sell, service, market, and conduct commerce. It also offers Service Cloud for customer support, Marketing Cloud for digital marketing campaigns, Commerce Cloud as an e-commerce engine, the Salesforce Platform, which allows enterprises to build applications, and other solutions, such as MuleSoft for data integration.

After a thorough review of the options trading surrounding Salesforce, we move to examine the company in more detail. This includes an assessment of its current market status and performance.

Current Position of Salesforce

  • Currently trading with a volume of 2,053,020, the CRM's price is down by -1.15%, now at $253.19.
  • RSI readings suggest the stock is currently may be approaching overbought.
  • Anticipated earnings release is in 56 days.

What Analysts Are Saying About Salesforce

In the last month, 4 experts released ratings on this stock with an average target price of $307.5.

  • An analyst from Wolfe Research has elevated its stance to Outperform, setting a new price target at $315.
  • Maintaining their stance, an analyst from Piper Sandler continues to hold a Neutral rating for Salesforce, targeting a price of $285.
  • In a cautious move, an analyst from Wells Fargo downgraded its rating to Equal-Weight, setting a price target of $280.
  • Showing optimism, an analyst from Morgan Stanley upgrades its rating to Overweight with a revised price target of $350.

Trading options involves greater risks but also offers the potential for higher profits. Savvy traders mitigate these risks through ongoing education, strategic trade adjustments, utilizing various indicators, and staying attuned to market dynamics. Keep up with the latest options trades for Salesforce with Benzinga Pro for real-time alerts.

© 2024 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Wed, 03 Jan 2024 03:15:00 -0600 en text/html
Salesforce escaped from the jaws of activists to find stability in 2023

This year did not start off great for Salesforce, with an unusual level of turbulence and uncertainty surrounding the company. But as the year comes to a close, Salesforce finds itself in surprisingly good shape financially: Its stock is up over 96% year-to-date. Earlier this year, such an outcome would have seemed impossible to imagine.

The bad news started rolling in even before the new year began, when co-CEO Bret Taylor, who many speculated was being groomed to be heir apparent to Marc Benioff, quite suddenly announced he was leaving the company at the end of November. A week later, Slack CEO and co-founder Stewart Butterfield announced he, too, was stepping down. Losing two key executives in less than a week would be a huge hit to any company, but it would be just the start of an onslaught of bad news for the CRM giant.

As the year began, we learned that activist investors were, well, quite active inside the company. This included Elliott Management, Starboard Value, ValueAct Capital, Inclusive Capital and Third Point. When activists show up, they usually have a strong opinion on how to “fix” a company, and this would be no different.

First, we learned that Salesforce was bringing in three new board members, which felt like a way to appease the activists — especially because one of them was Mason Morfit, CEO and chief investment officer of ValueAct, one of those very same activists.

Activists typically pressure the company to cut costs, and in corporate terms, that usually means cutting staff. Sure enough, Salesforce soon announced that it was cutting 10% of its workforce, or 7,000 people, on January 4, 2023. The excuse was that it had overhired during the pandemic and this was a correction, but it could also have been throwing the activists a cost-cutting bone.

Either way, reports suggested the company didn’t handle the layoffs well, engineers were being pressured, and Benioff began preaching about going back to the office after embracing work from home, and what Salesforce called the “Digital HQ,” during the pandemic. The company’s reputation as a progressive, employee-friendly organization took a big hit.

Sun, 24 Dec 2023 01:59:00 -0600 en-US text/html
The Biggest Tech Talent Gap Can Be Found In The SAP Ecosystem

Unless you’ve been asleep since the last Bush administration, you’re probably aware that employers are having a hard time finding qualified talent for jobs which demand tech skills. Qualified talent means having the requisite skills and – increasingly – relevant experience, which is turning the concept of an entry-level job into something of an oxymoron. The tech skills in question span way beyond coding. As the vast majority of good jobs now utilize software platforms for some or most functions, coding is the least of employers’ worries. Companies want talent that knows how to implement, integrate, configure, and run thousands of software platforms used to run 21st century businesses.

As I’ve chronicled America’s skills and talent gap, I’ve focused on hot areas like cybersecurity and data science, new software platforms like Salesforce and Workday, and hundreds of other software-as-a-service companies providing digital functionality for specific industries or job functions e.g., finance hospitals (Epic), insurance agents (Applied Epic), home care (WellSky), construction (Procore), pharma (Veeva), sales and marketing (Hubspot), customer service (Zendesk), software development (Atlassian), low-code app development (Pega), cloud computing (AWS), and digital transformation itself (ServiceNow).

But Salesforce and Workday aren’t the most widely used software platforms – not even close. The platforms with the most users are enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like SAP and Oracle. One reason is that they’re much older; SAP and Oracle were founded in the 1970s. Another is that ERP systems were designed to handle the full suite of business functions, including accounting, budgeting, project management, and supply chain management. As a result, most large companies and organizations adopted ERP long before Salesforce was even a gleam in Marc Benioff’s eye; SAP has more than 425,000 clients across 180 countries – nearly 3x the number served by Salesforce.

SAP clients have always needed SAP certified talent on hand to maintain, adapt, and enhance their on-prem ERP platforms – SAP currently offers 145 certifications, many of which are specific to individual modules. But the need for SAP talent is growing dramatically due to a major shift. Due in part to companies like Salesforce, businesses now buy and consume software differently. Rather than installing and hosting on-prem instances, SAP is migrating clients to the cloud via its S/4HANA platform. The benefits to clients of running ERP in the cloud are many including scalability, feature availability, security, and cost savings. But migrating an entire ERP to the cloud is no small matter.

As SAP’s 2027 deadline for migrating legacy ERP systems to S/4HANA is fast approaching, clients have some major decisions to make. While S/4HANA works both on prem and in the cloud, the advantages of cloud adoption are steadily increasing, and clients who delay too long may face challenges with outdated infrastructure. So for most clients, the S/4HANA migration is synonymous with moving to the cloud.

All this requires talent. Back in 2020, a survey by the Americas SAP User Group found that only a fraction of SAP consultants were trained and prepared for the coming tsunami of S/4HANA work. SAP has since responded with the Partner Talent Initiative, offering training curricula 2-3-week-long free online bootcamps to SAP partners and aspiring consultants. But the talent gap is still massive. New research from the Americas SAP User Group found a 25% of users said the talent gap was holding up projects overall and 49% reported a lack of S/4HANA talent.

It's not only clients. According to the SAP User Group, the SAP talent gap is hitting SAP partners like systems integrators and consultancies at least as much as clients. As Geoff Scott, the CEO of the Americas SAP User Group told The Register:

We are going to feel the pinch of that skill gap. My word of caution is that as you think about moving to S/4 if you have not already, the ability for you to plan that migration may hit some turbulence related to skill gaps with your external partners. That's something that you absolutely positively should consider.

Thomas Michael, founder and CEO of Michael Management, a leading provider of SAP training, agrees:

According to our surveys of 1000s of SAP professionals, 4 out of 10 say they have not received enough SAP training to perform their job duties. This not only highlights a critical gap in professional development but also presents an opportunity for organizations to rethink their training strategies. The future of SAP lies in empowering professionals with the knowledge and tools they need to embark on the S/4HANA upgrade journey.

What are some options for closing the SAP talent gap? It’s unlikely that colleges and universities will come to the rescue. In an article a few years ago on Texas A&amp;M’s effort to launch courses in cybersecurity, the Chronicle of Higher Education – American higher education’s paper of record – reached the following conclusion: “Work-force demand can lead some institutions to teach students the skills needed for today’s entry-level jobs. But those tools may well be obsolete five or ten years from now.” The implication – one that is absolutely in the mainstream of college and university thinking – is that updating curriculum to reflect near-term technology needs may not be a worthwhile pursuit because such needs will change. And even if colleges, universities, or – more likely – bootcamps did offer S/4HANA training, it wouldn’t do much to close the growing experience gap.

The most promising solution is one that delivers not only training but also experience. I’m talking about apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are jobs with built-in training and experience, allowing for the hiring of apprentices without either. As I discuss in my new book, Apprentice Nation, apprenticeships have the potential to close the talent gap across hundreds of sectors as well as to reinvigorate socioeconomic mobility. SAP is no exception.

If apprenticeships are the best solution for the SAP ecosystem, where will they come from? Don’t look at SAP clients. They’re unlikely to solve this problem themselves. In a reaction to the higher cost of bad hires and increased employee churn, employers are increasingly insisting on the perfectly qualified candidate. If job applicants don’t check all the boxes, they won’t be considered. Peter Cappelli of Wharton has observed this phenomenon: “Employers are demanding more of job candidates than ever before. They want prospective workers to be able to fill a role right away, without any training or ramp-up time. To get a job, you have to have that job already.”

My best guess is that new S/4HANA talent will come from one or more SAP partners that decide to get into the business of providing trained, proven talent to clients and other partners. By deploying newly trained talent on migration projects or directly to clients and partners via staff augmentation, enterprising SAP partners can stand out in a mature partner ecosystem, and in so doing, launch thousands of remunerative SAP careers.

Over the next few years, I expect to see SAP partners launching new initiatives to provide trained, proven S/4HANA talent to SAP partners and clients. With so many clients and partners in need of talent, the opportunity is far too vast to remain unfilled for very long.

Mon, 01 Jan 2024 01:07:00 -0600 Ryan Craig en text/html
Can Salesforce Stay on Top of CRM Providers in 2024?

Salesforce continues to dominate tech headlines and investment forums in 2024. The company has garnered much attention thanks to improved features and an increased stock price, but layoffs and leadership transitions are also part of the chatter surrounding the organization. Internal and external changes could pave the way for rivals like Microsoft and Oracle to claim more market share.

As our review of the Salesforce CRM makes clear, the vendor produces one of the best CRM platforms around. But that doesn’t mean businesses shouldn’t study Salesforce’s competitors. Another offering could better suit your needs, especially when you consider some of Salesforce’s downsides.

Editor’s note: Looking for the right CRM software for your business? Fill out the questionnaire below to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

Why you should consider Salesforce alternatives

The customer relationship management (CRM) space is full of large and midsize companies vying for the attention of businesses like yours. While only a few CRMs out there are real competition for Salesforce and its global scale, small business clients have a wide variety of vendors to consider.

Salesforce is the most prominent name on the market, with a vast array of features and integrations at reasonable pricing, but those positives may become negatives when viewed from a small business point of view. For example, too many choices can create analysis paralysis; with a plethora of features to choose from when choosing their Salesforce package, small business owners may become overwhelmed or distracted from their core business needs. Plus, many of the company’s integrations and features can be irrelevant and costly bells and whistles for some smaller businesses that can get by with basic functionality. You should also keep in mind that bigger doesn’t always mean better when it comes to customer service. Salesforce, despite being the global CRM leader, has gained a reputation for limited customer support within small business circles.

Fortunately, all it takes is a little research to discover which Salesforce alternatives may be more ideal for your business. We’ve gotten the process started for you by rounding up some of Salesforce’s top competitors below.

Salesforce is the market leader in the CRM space, but small businesses may want to look elsewhere for a vendor that delivers quick customer service and provides the level of individual attention smaller companies need.

Top Salesforce competitors

Could one of Salesforce’s top competitors be a better solution for your small business? We recommend considering these vendors.


One of the things we love most about Keap is its ease of use. This CRM platform is super customizable to your business’s unique needs and makes automation simple to set up. You can add over 2,500 software integrations and sales and CRM marketing tools to expand its functionality. However, Keap’s contact-based pricing model means costs will increase for businesses with more than 10,000 contact names (contacts could include all of your current and past customers, as well as customer leads). This may not be a significant drawback, however, for very small businesses with limited client lists:

  • Why it stands out: Keap’s CRM platform stores all customer activity in a centralized space. Your business’s customer interactions are added automatically. The user dashboard makes it easy for you and your team to text, email, book appointments, process purchases and add invoices from the same screen. 
  • Pricing: The Pro plan starts at $139 per month for two users. The Max plan starts at $199 per month for three users. The company also offers a 14-day free trial.

Find out more in our detailed Keap review.

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is designed to increase leads, accelerate sales and accurately measure performance with ease and efficiency. Zia, the system’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered assistant, predicts leads and deals, identifies potential customers for conversion and helps sales teams focus their efforts with user-friendly guidance. Note that only Enterprise subscribers have access to these AI-powered tools:

  • Why it stands out: This vendor particularly excels at serving remote and hybrid teams. Real-time notifications of customer interactions can reach your sales team in any location, easy-to-use automation saves time on repetitive tasks and the flexible dashboard makes it convenient to stay in touch with your entire sales team from anywhere.
  • Pricing: Zoho offers four plans — Standard, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. Pricing starts at $14 per user, per month, for the Standard package and tops out at $52 per user, per month, for the Ultimate option. We particularly like that the Enterprise tier gets you a customer journey command center, a Canvas visual CRM view, a mobile software development kit and multiuser portals. 

See our in-depth Zoho CRM review for a breakdown of each pricing tier.


Zendesk works incredibly well for businesses with complex customer profiles and industries with long-term customer relationships. It is especially well-suited for managing post-sale business activities, renewals and other customer service tasks. However, the home dashboard isn’t super user-friendly compared to other CRM options on the market. 

  • Why it stands out: You can enjoy a suite of collaboration tools that keep team members engaged and make it easier to work together from various locations. Customer data is aggregated from multiple customer touchpoints into a central database, preventing different departments from duplicating communications or missing context. 
  • Pricing: The monthly subscription price ranges from $19 to $99 per user, with a 30-day free trial option.

Using a CRM model alongside your CRM software can help Strengthen your company’s sales process while using a CRM for customer service can boost client retention.

Oracle NetSuite CRM

While Oracle is one of the biggest CRM companies in the world — competing alongside leaders like Salesforce, SAP, Microsoft and Adobe for market share — it can also be a powerful tool for small e-commerce businesses. Its Oracle NetSuite product is a truly unified, all-in-one commerce solution for sales, marketing and operations. Just be aware that access to all features and tools requires purchasing Oracle’s enterprise resource planning platform.

  • Why it stands out: The Oracle CRM includes custom integrations with the full suite of Oracle products. It also provides a robust CRM analytics system, highly rated mobile applications and full browser and cloud support.
  • Pricing: Costs are not available online because quotes are generated based on each business’s specific needs.

While pricing isn’t readily available, our full review of the Oracle NetSuite CRM is jam-packed with other must-know information on other aspects of this Salesforce rival.

monday Sales CRM

For businesses with never-ending task lists and complex ventures, the monday Sales CRM from can help streamline project management processes as they relate to sales activities. The vendor’s core work management platform, which is included with the CRM, is designed to run and scale to any workflow. The software’s interfaces are easy to navigate, and the program comes equipped with unlimited boards to organize projects, from dashboards to customer data visualization tools: 

  • Why it stands out: Premade templates make building and implementing time-saving automation super simple. We like that all plans include 24/7 customer support.
  • Pricing: There are four plans available — Free, Basic, Standard and Enterprise (for large-scale operations). The free plan is limited to two users, 5GB of storage and 200+ templates. Basic and Standard are priced from $10 to $14 per user per month when billed annually, while companies interested in the Enterprise option need to get a custom quote. Students and nonprofits may qualify for discounted or free access.

Our review of the monday Sales CRM explains how the free version of the software differs from the tiers you have to pay for.

Other CRM competitors

The vendors we highlighted above are only some of the many other CRM providers small businesses can choose from. Companies like Less Annoying CRM, HubSpot, Insightly and SugarCRM can’t compete with Salesforce in terms of sheer size, but they understand the small and medium-sized business market. Like the other CRM vendors profiled in this article, these companies have built CRM solutions designed to serve small businesses with a more modern sales process that makes buying a software-as-a-solution product more transparent. 

Salesforce has an entry-level option called Salesforce Essentials. This product may be more appealing to small businesses that still want to work with the Salesforce brand but don’t need all of the company’s pricey tools.

The future of Salesforce and its competition

Salesforce is unique in that it acquired a dominant market share by targeting businesses of all sizes at the same time. The company continues to face stiff competition from big dogs like Oracle NetSuite CRM and Microsoft Dynamics as they move out of the enterprise-only market to nab contracts with large and midsize companies. That’s on top of the increasing competition Salesforce faces from CRM companies that focus exclusively on the small business set. 

The strength of the competitive landscape combined with the economic changes hitting the technology sector in 2024 promise to make it an interesting year for Salesforce. The alternatives that focus on serving the unique and evolving needs of small businesses, instead of on company growth and global market dominance, could chip away at Salesforce’s clientele. After all, a global presence and unmatched power don’t automatically make the Salesforce CRM the best option for your business.

Mona Bushnell and Jordan Beier contributed to this article.

Tue, 02 Jan 2024 09:59:00 -0600 en text/html
AI Threats Emerge In Music Publishers’ Battle With Big Tech (Guest Column)

Universal Music Publishing Group, Concord Music Group and ABKCO have sued Anthropic, an artificial intelligence company backed by the likes of Amazon, Google and Zoom, over its use of copyrighted song lyrics.

The threat of artificial intelligence to creators, and its value to big tech, is one of the most pressing concerns in the legal and music fields. Current litigation will ultimately shape how AI will be developed and implemented across entertainment with copyright infringement at the forefront of such disputes.

In October 2023, three major music publishers — Universal Music Publishing Group, Concord Music Group and ABKCO — sued Anthropic, an artificial intelligence company. Anthropic builds AI models by gathering information and text from the internet and training the models to produce output based on that internet sourcing, and the publishers alleged it infringed on copyrighted song lyrics.

The publishers alleged that Anthropic infringed on copyrighted song lyrics by copying the text of the lyrics to train Anthropic’s models and allowing their models to generate text that is similar or identical to the copyrighted song lyrics. Specifically, they take issue with Anthropic’s primary product, the Claude chatbot — alleging that when a user asks Claude to generate song lyrics, the chatbot provides “responses that contain all or significant portions of those lyrics.” Because the chatbot is copying those lyrics and distributing them to others, the publishers argue that it is violating one or more exclusive rights of copyright owners.

A market for licensing copyrighted work already exists, the publishers argue, and there are many websites that perform the same function as Anthropic’s AI models that are not infringers of the copyrighted work because those sites have licenses. As such, the plaintiffs allege that without a license to reproduce and distribute the copyrighted song lyrics, Anthropic is depriving both the publishers and the musical composers of the right to earn money from the copyrighted lyrics.

In their complaint, the publishers point out that Anthropic — which has been reported to be valued at $18 billion and to have been funded by Google, Zoom and Salesforce — does not pay anything for the copyrighted lyrics. They emphasize that if Anthropic is allowed to continue using copyrighted material to train its for-profit models, the licenses for which other companies pay to use their copyrighted lyrics will be rendered worthless, as will the market for those licenses.

Anthropic’s ability to garner investment by major tech players — including a accurate $4 billion investment from Amazon — reflects an optimism about AI’s potential. Proponents argue that AI’s functions merely imitate human thinking, and as such, Anthropic is likely to employ the fair use doctrine in defending against this lawsuit.

To establish fair use here, Anthropic would need to show that, under these facts, they are permitted to use the copyrighted song lyrics without the plaintiffs’ permission because, among other factors, the output of the chatbot is transformative in some way. Because there are no bright-line rules for arguing fair use, Anthropic would need to present a strong case for its situation — likely involving the development of AI and the need for innovation. Under the existing case law, it is difficult to successfully establish a use is fair where the defendant is commercially benefitting from its use or potentially destroying the market for the copyright owner’s work, as is arguably the case with Anthropic.

AI proponents, including venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, have specifically pointed to the billions of dollars invested in U.S.-based AI companies as an essential reason to allow for their continued use of copyrighted materials to train AI models without a license — a cost assumption on which many of these investments have been based. Licensing requirements would involve significant administrative and legal costs for both AI companies and the creatives from which such licenses are sought, which would likely slow the rate at which AI models can be trained. Moreover, the EU has already proposed a regulatory framework for AI that would both grant copyright protection to AI-generated works and require companies to disclose any copyrighted material used to develop their systems, rather than banning such a use outright.

These factors could create large implications for AI generally if Anthropic loses the courtroom battle in Tennessee. A major shift in investments in U.S-based AI companies may follow such a loss.

On Nov. 22, Anthropic filed a motion to dismiss the complaint arguing that Tennessee does not have jurisdiction over Anthropic and therefore that venue is improper. Anthropic argued that it is neither “at home” in Tennessee nor are there specific connections between Anthropic and Tennessee that relate to the complaint. In the alternative, Anthropic argued that the case should be transferred to the Northern District of California, where Anthropic has its principal place of business. Whether or not this case is heard could influence the direction of AI and copyright law generally.

The effects of developing AI are far-reaching, and the legal field is no exception. Music is just one area where creators are bringing suit against AI for its training processes. Photographers and authors, for example, have already been involved in litigation over AI’s use of their work. These lawsuits will shape the boundaries of AI and provide guidance as to what qualifies as copyright infringement — both for training AI models and for what the models produce.

Given that the Anthropic case has the potential to set the precedent for the specific issue of whether copyrighted materials may be used to train AI technologies without a license, it remains to be seen whether a court will determine that these facts constitute fair use under the existing cases (thus declaring that Anthropic is not infringing on the plaintiffs’ copyrights) or whether the extension of the doctrine that far will require further legislation and regulation by Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office.

The U.S. Copyright Office on Aug. 30 began seeking public comments regarding what permission and/or compensation is necessary to use copyrighted material to train AI technologies in order to help assess whether legislative or regulatory steps in this area are warranted. The public comment period offers a critical opportunity for the music business (and other creative industries) to participate as stakeholders in the discourse that will frame the future of AI technologies in the creation of new works, and compensation for those that already exist.

Tatjana Paterno is a member and Layna Deneen is an associate at the law firm of Bass, Berry &amp; Sims in its Nashville, Tennessee office. She counsels clients on corporate and securities issues including mergers and acquisitions, capital markets transactions, and securities regulations matters and filings.

Emily A. Burrows, Paige Mills and Megan E. Smit also contributed to this column.

Fri, 05 Jan 2024 00:05:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Here's How Much a $1000 Investment in Made 10 Years Ago Would Be Worth Today No result found, try new keyword!This segment accounted for more than 93% of Salesforce’s fiscal 2023 revenues. Professional Services & Other revenues consist of fees that the company derives from consulting and implementation ... Fri, 22 Dec 2023 01:00:00 -0600 en-us text/html

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