One of the biggest challenges when building a career abroad is finding a mentor. To get a better glimpse of marketing career trajectories in Berlin, I decided to look into the backgrounds of various marketing heads in the city. The goal of this project was to find a potential mentor by browsing through executive profiles, creating a study and reaching out for a coffee chat. Beyond mentorship, I was curious about work experience patterns amongst each marketing heads. Read the full article here.


  • Identified Berlin’s 100 highest funded startups on Crunchbase in 2019

  • Segmented data according to gender, education, years of works experience, years of international experience, number of language spoken 

  • Browsed through 100 LinkedIn company pages from Berlin’s 100 highest funded startups and looked for the highest-ranked marketing profile

  • Wrote Berlin CMO Research What It Takes to Be a Marketing Head and contacted the candidates I conducted my research on


  • The article unfortunately did not lead to many Marketing Head mentors in Berlin, but I was able to have a coffee chat with 2 out of 100 I've contacted

  • I was offered 4 marketing roles in Berlin from those who read my article on LinkedIn 

  • 13 marketers in Berlin contacted me to collaborate on future articles, meet for a coffee or asked for career advice


  • Senior marketing leaders in Berlin have the following patterns:

    • Male-dominated (84% male CMOs; 58% male Heads of Marketing and VPs of Marketing)

    • Often come from a non-marketing education (71% did not have degrees in Marketing, PR, Advertisement, Communications or Media)

    • Have on-average 12 years of work experience

    • Speak on-average 3 different languages and have worked in at least 2 different countries


Berlin’s networking culture is more reputation based than California's – During my time living in Irvine, California, I often cold mailed various marketing heads to ask for coffee chats or career advice. Most ignored my messages but 15% actually replied. I find that networking online with strangers in California was more acceptable than in Berlin. Many European friends and colleagues confirmed that strangers in Europe are less likely to respond to cold emails even if you’re eager to learn from them – most connections are made through mutual friends or an in-person introduction. 


CMO criteria differed in Silicon Valley than in Berlin  After this project, I was curious to see how Berlin CMOs compared to home, so I conducted a similar study with Silicon Valley’s 100 highest funded startups in 2019.

  • Silicon Valley CEOs have almost double the work experience than those in Berlin with at least 22 years of work experience compared to Berlin’s 12 years.

  • Marketing heads in California are less global; on average, they speak 1 language and have only worked in 1 country compared to Berlin CMO’s who spoke on average 3 languages and have worked in at least 2 countries

  • Marketing heads in California have a higher female ration than Berlin’s with almost 50% ratio, while Berlin's was closer to 15%.


To read the full article, click here. 

© 2020 by Priscilla Tenggara

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