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The Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Business


Episode Summary

In this episode of Behind the Growth, Imran sits down with Corby Fine, a marketing leader, to discuss the ever-evolving world of digital. Corby discusses the shift in investments towards the inner workings of a digital business, emphasizing the critical importance of flexibility and adaptability in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

As a respected voice in the industry, Corby stresses how important it is to know your customer and understand their journey with your brand.

Corby provides insights about pivotal decision points in a career, underlining the balance between retaining technical expertise, while gaining soft skills and transitioning into a leadership role.

Closing on an introspective note, Corby imparts advice to his younger self, stressing the freeing acceptance of life’s inherent uncertainty. This episode is a candid examination of the professional journey in the digital era, rich with insights from our digital marketing expert.

Featured Guest

  • Name: Corby Fine
  • What he does: VP of Digital Marketing & Performance
  • Company: IGM Financial
  • Noteworthy: Corby Fine is the VP of Digital Marketing & Performance at IGM Financial. With a proven track record of many successes, he brings passion and expertise to every project he takes on. He has a knack for building revenue and driving customer growth, consistently delivering exceptional results throughout his career.

    One of his standout achievements was the modernization of the digital channels and marketing capabilities at Bell Canada, including in-housing their marketing and operational functions. A few of his many other accomplishments include successfully rebranding Simplii Financial and launching three business units at Rogers over the span of eight years.

    Beyond all that he is a down-to-earth guy, who loves to challenge the rules and drive innovation. He’s got a thing for funky socks, plays the drums, loves to cycle, and is a proud parent of two.

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Key Insights

Embracing Uncertainty
Corby Fine stresses the value of embracing uncertainty in life and career. Life’s unpredictability can be a source of freedom rather than fear, opening up a world of possibilities. Focusing on what’s within our control, such as our actions and efforts, while letting go of what’s not, can lead to personal growth and success.

The Career Pivot Decision
A pivotal decision many professionals face is whether to specialize deeply in their technical expertise or broaden their skills to leadership, team-building, and problem-solving. Corby shares his experience of balancing both these roles throughout his career, stressing that while it can be challenging, it’s a worthy endeavour for those who can manage it.

The Value of People Skills
People skills, especially in leadership and team building, are often undervalued in the tech world, according to Corby Fine. However, these “soft skills” can open doors and create opportunities in a variety of situations, especially within larger organizations that value problem-solving and leadership capabilities.

if you don't have people that know what questions to ask at the beginning of the project, it's too late by the time yo get to the end.

Episode Highlights

The Evolution of Customer Experience

Corby Fine dives into the evolution of customer experience over the years. He explores how advancements in technology and digitization have drastically changed the landscape, particularly with personalized marketing and machine learning capabilities. This shift, he posits, is forcing companies to reassess and readjust their approaches to delivering meaningful and effective customer experiences.

“What we’re seeing now is a lot more one-to-one, a lot more personal, but it’s machine learning driven… Every company’s trying to figure out what’s the right balance between personalized and too creepy personal,” Corby muses.

The Unplanned Pivot

Career transitions are often unplanned, as Corby Fine shares from his personal experiences. Whether it was coding software, running a major online bank, or selling Viagra for Pfizer, Corby attributes these career shifts to being open to opportunities as they arise. This serves as a testament to the unpredictable, yet rewarding nature of career paths.

“I haven’t necessarily woken up during my career and said, I intentionally am going to pivot. Uh, I think it’s been more for me taking advantage of opportunities as they, uh, as they present themselves.”

The Crossroads Decision

Corby discusses a crucial career decision point that many professionals face: becoming a technical expert or a versatile leader. He highlights a conversation with a former boss who outlined these two distinct paths. This juncture, he emphasizes, is a defining moment in many professional journeys.

“You’re never gonna be the technical expert. So sometimes people are gonna look at you and go, I don’t really know what you do. But large orgs are always gonna find a corner for you… Who do you want to be?”

The Inevitability of Uncertainty

Toward the end of the podcast, Corby shares a valuable life philosophy he wishes he could impart to his younger self. “The only certainty in life is uncertainty,” he says, and stresses the importance of accepting this. This belief encourages a healthy mindset of focusing on what can be controlled and letting go of the rest.

“You know, control yourself, be kind, do the right thing. Don’t hurt people along the way… and the things that are gonna happen are gonna happen.”

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