Chris Kelley: From Martech Master to Adobe Marketo Champion

Chris Kelley joins BlastX Consulting header

Published November 08, 2023

Chris Kelley: From Martech Master to Adobe Marketo Champion

In the ever-evolving realm of technology and marketing, crossing the line between novice and expert requires determination, experience, and continuous learning. With his remarkable journey from Application Developer to Adobe Marketo Champion, Chris Kelley embodies this evolution’s essence and brings that expertise to BlastX Consulting. Chris’s foray into the world of technology saw him dipping his toes into multiple arenas, from big data, AI, CI/CD, and automation to both front-end and back-end development. From there, he naturally evolved into a true Marketo practitioner and was recognized as an Adobe Marketo Champion in 2023.

Marketo Champions demonstrate outstanding leadership in the Marketo Community: they’re experts in Adobe Marketo Engage, avid contributors in the social sphere, and loyal advocates of the Marketo brand. Chris fully embodies each of these traits and brings his array of expertise to his role as Senior Consultant at BlastX Consulting.

Passion Paves the Road

On his journey to BlastX Consulting, Chris used his passion for self-growth to fuel and pursue new roles and challenges. Whether through LinkedIn posts, personal blogs, or personal training, Chris always sought and shared new knowledge. Chris was after more than a simple title when he applied for and recieved the Marketo Champion award, and he had no intention of resting on his laurels once he achieved it. His motivation has always stemmed from a passion for the platform and a desire to be at the forefront of its ever-growing community.

Chris gained the knowledge needed to scale the rigorous qualification ladder entirely through self-teaching, and he demonstrated his commitment to the community by sharing that knowledge through LinkedIn posts, blogs, training sessions, client enablement, product enhancements, and continued platform ambassadorship. Chris regularly authored blog posts about complex edge cases for future reference as a way to give back to the community, but there’s so much more that sets him apart. Whether proposing ideas like an internal wiki or a public forum, Chris highlights and demonstrates the importance of a live, collective pool of knowledge that can assist both teams and clients.

The Power and Depths of Lifelong Learning

Chris is more than just a Marketo guru. He emphasizes and advocates for the significance of teaching, often citing it as the hallmark of expertise. Chris has always understood the importance of knowledge sharing as a sign of mastery, and he maintains that it helps experts develop an even deeper understanding of a subject. By sharing what he knows, Chris finds opportunities to explore the depths of an ever-expanding list of topics.

Chris’s rapid progression and his love of teaching shed light on the value of self-taught learning. While certifications lay a strong foundation, Chris notes that the true essence of understanding lies in pragmatic application. Studying for tests and cramming facts doesn’t adequately prepare the learner for applying knowledge in practical situations. He credits his college education with teaching him how to learn but stresses the importance of hands-on experience and knowledge sharing to solidify understanding.

Chris believes existing certification courses and tests often fail to adequately measure one’s understanding of a product, as they often involve answering multiple-choice questions rather than demonstrating practical knowledge application. He argues that the process of obtaining a certification should be more life-like, requiring individuals to find and interpret relevant information. Certifications might provide a foundation, but real learning and growth come from adapting and applying knowledge in new situations.

Adobe’s Seal of Excellence

Being named an Adobe Champion for 2023/2024 is a lot more than just a feather in Chris’ cap. Given the stiff competition with a record number of applicants, this accolade stands as a testament to his expertise, passion, and commitment to the Adobe community. His unprecedented achievement of clearing all exam levels in one go, including Adobe Master: Certified Architect, reinforces his status as a Champion.

The upcoming exclusive November symposium at Adobe’s headquarters promises more opportunities for Chris to shine. He looks forward to seeing and meeting with you at the Marketo Champions Bar in Las Vegas during the Adobe Summit, where learners and practitioners can ask Marketo experts every burning question on their minds.

The Road Ahead

The future is promising for Chris Kelley, and he intends to continue sharing his rich reservoir of knowledge through company wikis and insightful blog posts. His dedication and expertise ensure that whatever steps he takes next will undoubtedly leave a mark on the Martech community, extending his knowledge and expertise to BlastX clients, teammates, and the broader marketing automation community.

About BlastX Consulting

BlastX Consulting provides strategic, digital experience advice and implementation services to help brands drive deeper customer relationships using data-driven insights to optimize the digital experience. Over the past 20 years we have assembled a seasoned team of consultants with deep expertise and experience across a wide array of strategic, technical, and operational disciplines who share a passion for helping brands be customer-centric, creating strategies to enable the ultimate experience across touchpoints. For more information, visit us at


Eric Camera
BlastX Consulting
[email protected]