Product Spotlight

The Path to Marketing Mastery: How Braze Built an Intimate, Instructor-Led Virtual Certificate Program

Tommy Thoman By Tommy Thoman Aug 10, 2020

Over the past few decades, we’ve all watched more and more of modern life—and the business activity that comes along with it—move online. From the early ecommerce sites of the 1990s to today’s smartphone-driven world, brands that have stayed ahead of the curve and understood that digital marketing is essential to building customer relationships have flourished. But as we increasingly find ourselves in a noisy cross-device, cross-platform, cross-channel world, the need for marketers to use technology to build a one-to-one digital connection with their customers has gone from nice-to-have to essential.

At Braze, we know how important it is for marketing, growth, and engagement teams to stay up to speed with the key tools and tactics of modern customer engagement. With the Braze customer engagement platform continuously evolving and improving, a strong underlying learning structure is crucial to keeping up. For that reason, Braze has rolled out a series of targeted resources over the past five years designed to help individuals get (and stay) up to speed, including:

But while these resources play a key role in keeping marketers and other team members informed and educated, the Braze Client Education team saw an opportunity earlier this year to add a more personal, 1:1 option to our catalog—namely, intimate virtual workshops on key topics, all of them run by trained Braze employees, like me.

Kicking Things Off With Liquid Personalization

This spring, we kicked off our first round of virtual, instructor-led certificate courses by giving Braze users the opportunity to dig deep into one of today’s most important marketing tactics: Message personalization. That choice wasn’t an accident; because these sorts of scheduled, instructor-led classes were a new addition to the Braze catalog, we knew it was important to choose a topic that was highly in-demand by our customers and that would allow them to walk away with immediately useful, actionable learnings.

While it’s possible to personalize a campaign using the Braze platform’s dynamic segmentation capabilities, when a marketer is looking to build in more nuanced individual customization to the messages they send, one of the best ways to do that is by leveraging Liquid. This Ruby templating language can be used not only to address message recipients in more intimate, individually relevant ways (think adding first names, locations, or user preferences), but also to reference information that’s stored inside of Braze or within other systems.

Because personalization can mean something different to each and every marketer, it quickly became clear to us as we began building out our course schedule that creating an “open forum” instructor-led course on this key topic would be a great way to give our customers what they needed. This approach ensured that each student had the flexibility to learn Liquid while also allowing them to ask questions, work on problems—hypothetical or real—and explore use cases as a group with hands-on instructor guidance, giving them practical takeaways they could easily bring back to their jobs.

What to Expect from a Braze Virtual Workshop

During our first round of virtual workshops, which ran from early May to early July, more than 160 global participants from a wide range of Braze customers had the opportunity to discover what’s possible with Liquid personalization and to walk away with actionable insights. And because of the virtual nature of these classes, we were able to serve marketers across five continents, significantly increasing the reach of our educational programs.

Refreshing attendees’ memories on how to use Liquid’s conditional logic capabilities

Each session ran for approximately four hours, allowing us to both walk attendees through 8-12 distinctive Liquid personalization use cases, highlight industry-specific personalization opportunities, and deep-dive into student questions. The “open forum” format allowed us to elaborate on topics and answer questions as each participant was learning, increasing the impact of the session and helping participants to build the skills and critical understanding that will allow them to make effective use of features like Liquid in their own marketing campaigns. In addition, each virtual course was capped with a short exam, ensuring that all topics are clear to each attendee and allowing us to provide certificates of completion to every participant who receives a passing score.

The interaction didn’t stop there. Following the completion of each session, participants were invited to join our private Braze Bonfire Liquid Champions Slack channel, allowing them to stay in contact with their instructor and the larger attendee community in the weeks following the course in order to discuss applications of the topics covered and ensuring that everyone is empowered to implement their new skills in practice.

Final Thoughts

While the first round of Braze certificate courses is now behind us, we’re already gearing up for a second round that will begin in early September. These new courses will give attendees the opportunity to up their game when it comes to campaign orchestration, lifecycle marketing strategies, and message testing by digging into the ins-and-outs of our Braze Canvas, our customer journey management feature.

Canvas can be implemented and leveraged in a variety of different ways and set up to achieve goals that are unique to you and your brand. Attendees will have the opportunity to develop a firm foundational knowledge of Canvas—from its ability to coordinate intuitive, responsive messaging flows to its seamless, built-in testing capabilities—while also picking up concrete skills that will make it easier and more impactful to use this powerful feature. You’ll have the opportunity to dig into use cases from different industries, meet other Braze users from around the globe, discuss pertinent skills and strategies, and uplevel your relationship with your users.

To learn more about our upcoming Canvas courses—or to sign up—visit the Braze Certificate Course website.

Tommy Thoman

Tommy Thoman

Tommy is focused on customer training and development, working hard to create new ways for Braze customers to learn and grow. When he isn’t building courses and teaching classes, you can find him reading a new fantasy novel or trying out the latest video games.

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