Christian Schinner from our Berlin office reflects on the investment boom in the digital marketing industry across the DACH region, and examines the unique vibes and opportunities in its major cities.
While the world holds its breath for the next innovative Digital Marketing agency to emerge from the familiar hatching grounds of New York, San Francisco or London –Germany has a couple of trump cards in their pocket.
Berlin garnered €1.4 billion in funding startups and so easily surpassed EUR rival London to take top spot in European cities for Digital startups. Not to mention the fact that 20% of the venture capital on the continent is flowing into Germany as a whole. Looking back, by the end of 2015 Berlin had reached €882 million in investment levels.
So with all of this capital flowing into Germany, where should Digital Marketing professionals look towards building their careers?
It all depends on what you want to do.
Frankfurt has always been the financial capital of Germany, so if you are interested in primarily media planning and online advertising this is a prime choice. You can also find great opportunities of a similar vein in Dusseldorf. This is also where you can find all the massive global agencies.
As the numbers we have mentioned earlier demonstrate, Berlin is clearly the startup capital of Germany, and perhaps Europe. There are significant amounts of middle sized enterprise systems coming from the once small start ups. It’s an incubator for people who want innovation and to shake things up.
On the other hand Munich and Hamburg provide a more balanced mix of the old school agency models and the new startup culture.
The condition of the market and progression of your career should also be taken into consideration when looking into opportunities in Germany. You can find a huge variety of startups with flat hierarchy and different working environments in Berlin. It’s a great choice for networking and growing your career. But don’t expect a steady 10-year tenure. If you want to join an established career in the industry then you need a traditional business and might do well to seek an opportunity in Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Munich, or Hamburg.
One candidate we spoke to a few week ago had been working for 20 years for Digital agencies in western Germany. He told us that he would like to do something different and that he had an open mind for companies for all salaries. Even though his current position paid him EUR 200k, he was all right with accepting a lower salary if it meant that he could implement marketing strategy and grow a company. But that’s just a case by case basis.
If you are starting your career in Munich or Dusseldorf as an experienced online marketing manager, it might be difficult to make the move to Berlin. Again Berlin – typically – isn’t salary driven but career driven. In some ways it resembles Silicon Valley around 15 years ago. Everywhere you look you see innovation, engineering, creation, and development.
In a bigger picture it’s also worth taking a look at some other DACH region countries as well.
Ecommerce business are just starting in Austria but not there yet in full force. Switzerland is a bit bigger in terms of market and one can find a significant number of agencies and eCommerce services in Zurich. Seeing the opportunity of growth and shortage of talent we find that a lot of German Digital Marketing professionals are making the move to Zurich. And with them they bring years of understanding and knowledge of tried and tested concepts.
There’s no doubt that Germany is currently the center of online innovation in Europe. The only question is how will you take advantage of it?
Christian Schinner recruits for roles in Search and Performance marketing across Europe, with a concentration on the DACH Digital Marketing market. Feel free to reach out to him on LinkedIn for a networking conversation.
Tel: +49 (0) 30 809 329 63
E-Mail: christian.schinner (@) adaptive-digital.com
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