Aspire to Tech: Director of Marketing at Fobi

Career Spotlight – Devon Seidel

What is your role? What is your title? Where are you located? How long have you been doing it?

I’m the director of marketing at Fobi. What I focus on mostly is leading the different parts of the marketing team. We’re split into product marketing, paid advertisement, and digital marketing. I’ve been with Fobi the longest so my position as director of marketing is being able to understand the company’s needs and direction. I’m also starting a new division, which is our marketing service, that I will oversee. Our marketing service role at Fobi is essentially acting as an agency for our customers, so they can come and get the marketing services directly from us, instead of having to do it themselves. I’ve been working in this role now for almost three years, but it has felt like no time. We’re located in Vancouver.

What makes your job interesting?

I love that we are a startup company. This is the first startup that I have worked for, so there are lots of new things that I’m learning here. Another thing that really makes my job interesting is the clients that we work with and the products that we offer.  We work with a variety of different clients, so I never feel like I’m stuck in the same vertical. Our services are so unique, as well. There’s traditional digital marketing – which is funny to say – like Facebook and Google, and now what we’re doing, specifically with wallet passes and personalized engagement is just something really cool to be a part of because we’re setting down the tracks of what it’s going to become in the future of marketing.

What is the most fun?

The most fun part is working with the team. We have a lot of young people here – that makes it fun. We’re all really interested in the field that we are in. They’re at the start of their careers and they fuel energy into the company, which makes it super fun to work with. We also have our senior management who bring great expertise on everything they’re doing and they’re able to guide us.

How does your role help drive the company’s success?

My role, specifically in marketing works very closely with sales and product development.

We’re creating the collateral, the sales tools, and the assets. We look at what the development team and the product team are creating and then turn that into something that is customer facing.  We are the glue. We provide the tools that really help the customer understand what we do. If you had just sales, they’d be great, but they wouldn’t be able to actually sell a product from development because it wouldn’t be customer ready, so we work really hard to figure out what that is and that’s the success that we provide to the team.

What does a typical day look like for you? What do you actually spend your time doing?

The first thing I do when I wake up is to check my calendar because there’s always meetings being changed so that determines when I get to start my day.  I live close to the office and I love working in the office because it’s a great space for me to come to and just focus and not have the distractions of home. I try to get to my emails first, if not I usually will go and hop into a meeting right away.

I get to work with the clients on campaigns. That’s my favorite part. When we’re working with customers, we show them the tools we’re providing them, and we teach them how to use the tools so it’s a really cool experience. That is exciting because the customer is learning. They get excited about using the tool and they’re also seeing great results, so that part of my day is the best part, working with the customers and clients.

Tell us about your career history?

I got some great skills out of my first job as a swim coach, but coming out of University, I started working in retail marketing for a Vancouver company. It was great experience. I ended up doing a lot of social media marketing and a lot of digital assets. I got to do creative assets as well, doing their photography for their Instagram. It was fun, but I felt like I had reached my limit at that company, and I knew that there was more I wanted to do. I didn’t know if I just could go and get another job somewhere else, with my experience, so actually went back to school. I got a UX and UI design diploma too, so adding that to my Bachelor of Business degree was a great asset.

Then I found Loop Insights, which is now the company Fobi. I was brought on as their junior marketer, because I had design knowledge, marketing, social media knowledge, and web-based knowledge to offer. And I’ve been here ever since!

What was your very first job and how did your career path take you to where you are today?

If we go way back to my first job, I was competitive swim coach which I enjoyed. I coached in the summer; it was great.  All my other friends had indoor jobs, while I was on the pool deck lifeguarding or coaching. I look back on that job now and think about my experience from it, and I think what I got from that is communication skills.  I learned how to take a concept and explain it to somebody that maybe doesn’t understand and make them understand. Back then it was kids I coached, now it’s clients.

Where might you go next?

I look at where we are now and what we’ve done here at Fobi, in three years and I definitely know that this is a company that I want to be a part of for quite a while.  I see my position being able to grow with everyone else’s positions here. We’ve already had people that have started, like myself, in junior roles that are now in managerial roles so there’s so much growth and room for opportunity in the company.

What’s your next role? What motivates you for your future career? Will you stay in tech?

What motivates me for my future career is creating products that are impactful and being able to work at a company, where I can see that impact happening. There are roles where you work on a project for three or four years, and you see the impact after that, but I like instant gratification and instant reward. So that’s what will motivate me for the future, being able to see directly what I’m doing impacting people in a positive way. It may be bettering the way that they work or bettering their small business or impacting the way that a company is able to engage with its customers.

I think I definitely will stay in tech. I’ve always had a love for tech. Tech is a passion of mine and probably the reason why I got into this role and focused on this industry.

Any final words of advice?

If you can find a way to work in something that you love, and you’re passionate about, it’s going to be more than just a job that you’re coming to, nine to five. Really find what you’re passionate about, find what you’re interested in and figure out how you can make that a job. The best way is to find parts of your interests that you can pull out and fit it into a career that you’re going to want to be a part of.

The other thing too, is work really hard. Because you’re passionate about it, put effort into your work. People are going to recognize that and then you’re just going to do even better in your career.

If you want to get involved in tech, and you want to be a part of this growing industry, especially in BC with so many of these new tech startups coming out of Vancouver and British Columbia and even Canada in general, it’s such a great place to start. You can find your passion in tech. That’s what I did.