Barrie Smith at Receptional has become one of the first people in the UK to pass the new exam from Microsoft's AdExcellence programme. The
Microsoft AdExcellence programme is a new Microsoft driven official accreditation programme that gives advertisers the opportunity to become a Microsoft AdCenter expert.
The programme is still in Beta in the UK, but Receptional were given a
"one shot" chance to get on board. To meet the challenge, we asked Barrie Smith, who supports our internet marketing consultants, to see if he could pass the exam first time. We were delighted that he passed with flying colours, even with the pass mark set at 80%. We were so pleased he passed that we thought we'd ask him about the new programme.
Q: How did the MSN AdCenter exam compare to the Google Adwords exam?
A: Very similar. The questions were on the same topics as Google. The time was a bit shorter (60 mins, Google allows 90), which prevented me from checking a few questions I had intended to come back to at the end. The pass mark is also 80% compared to Google's 75%, but the layout and the choice of four answers was exactly the same as Google.
Q: Was there anything that you felt was better than Google's?
A: No. They were both very similar. But I didn't like how Google threw in several questions that weren't in their revision lists, i.e. 'Who are our partner sites?' 'Which of these credit cards don't we accept?' etc. but I accept they were there to make it harder! My getting 10% more on MSN than Google probably shows it was easier!
Q: How much experience did you already have with AdCenter and how much time did you spend revising?
A: I have been using AdCenter since it began (about 1.5 years ago), although not spending too much time on it as it's always the third most important search engine for our clients who decide to use it. Also, AdCenter doesn't deliver much traffic, so I don't spend long on it. I revised for a week.
Q: Do you think taking the exam and becoming qualified has helped you to be able to better manage AdCenter campaigns for Receptional's
A: There was the odd thing I learned during revision, the most noteworthy being the Parameter Insertion, which I've never used before and is worth exploring with on clients campaigns.
Barrie's achievement gives Receptional accreditation on the Microsoft platform ahead of many of its rivals. The membership certificate can be seen at: http://adexcellence.com/adEx/Member.aspx?name=3YNXPFKzjr13FvigLq0yMg==