Cole Rieben (Aptive Environmental) - Further Down the Funnel

Media Thumbnail
  • 0.5
  • 1
  • 1.25
  • 1.5
  • 1.75
  • 2
This is a podcast episode titled, Cole Rieben (Aptive Environmental) - Further Down the Funnel. The summary for this episode is: <p>Cole Rieben, the Senior Director of Marketing at Aptive Environmental, chats with us about how appealing to the residential level instead of a commercial space can create great opportunities, offering premium services to premium buyers.</p>

Speaker 1: Maybe big data has gotten too big. Whether you're a B2B marketer, or a consumer brand, your data needs to be viable, relevant, and accessible so that Stirista can help you retain customers, acquire customers, and make it personal.

Vin: Welcome to the Marketing Stir Podcast by Stirista, probably the most entertaining marketing podcast you're going to put in your ear. I'm Vin, the producer here at Stirista. The goal of this podcast is to chat with industry leaders and get their take on the current challenges of the market and we'll have a little fun along the way. In today's episode, Cole Rieben, senior director of marketing at Aptive Environmental chats with us about how appealing the residential level instead of a commercial space can create great opportunities offering premium services to premium buyers. Give it a listen.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Ladies and gentlemen, hello and welcome to another episode of Stirista's the Marketing Stir. I am your host, the freshly haircutted, Vincent Pietrafesa, the Vice president of B2B products and partnerships, and still interim general manager of the B2B division here. They have not taken that title away, nor have they taken the interim away and just made me general manager. Let's talk to my CEO about that in a moment. But other than that, ladies and gentlemen, it is great to be here. I missed you. I feel like it's been a while since I've talked to the audience and I've talked to my co- host. But before we get to my co- host, because the last episode he was not here, he is very busy with year- end stuff, but now he's here. But let's pause for a second and talk about Stirista. It's the only time we talk about us. We are a marketing technology company. We own our own business to business data, our own business to consumer data. We help companies utilize that data through our own technology, our own ESP, our own DSP to help serve connected TV and display, email. We help you get new customers. Email me at vincent @ stirista. com. You are using it. I just gave you my email address and boy are you using it. Thank you. Not always for what I intended to be, but hey, that's okay. You tell me how much you like the show. You tell me, " Are you and AJ like this in real life?" You ask. We are. This is real life. What do you think we are? We have the day jobs. We just don't do this. Anyway, it is so good to be here. I have not talked to this gentleman in a long time, it seems my CEO, he's dawned inaudible. He's glowing. Ladies and gentlemen, AJ Gupta, what's going on?

AJ Gupta: Hey, everyone. inaudible my not so fresh haircut, but equally as excited to be here.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Nice, nice. Well, I think the audience knows by now that your haircut schedule is not nearly like mine. I'm every 10 days, you're every four months. But hey, we'll get there. We'll get there when you come visit me in New York. It was good to see you. AJ and I, last time I saw you, we were in Las Vegas. We were just talking to our awesome upcoming guest about Las Vegas and we were there, met some great people there who might come and visit us here in New York with a great group of people. AJ received a few awards representing Asian- owned companies, but I haven't seen you since. But rumor has it, you're coming up to New York City soon. Are the rumors true, AJ?

AJ Gupta: That is right. I get a couple of weeks of break here. I was in India for about three weeks and then I had a quick trip to California, so it's been... I guess I've traveled every week since I last saw you in Vegas, which was a remarkable show. Shout out to our Fast 100 Asian American conference. That was a very good one. Rarely do you meet so many cool people in one place, but we had a blast that night at the reception and the dinner.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah. It was a great time. I had a vacation myself. I just got back from Copenhagen and I'm just happy too just to kind of chill. Got some great client meetings lined up, but let's talk about cool people. Let's talk about great people. I'm happy we have this next guest, one of the more unique companies that we've had on the podcast. You'll hear why in a moment. And he's just a great guy. Met him before, talked to him, not in person. We're going to change that, Cole. Ladies and gentlemen, the senior director of marketing at Aptive Environmental, Cole Rieben. What's going on, Cole?

Cole Rieben: Hey, thanks for having me on. I will have to also give your haircut a shout- out. I am due for a clean cut as well here pretty soon and it's pretty fresh, so well done. Well done dear your barber.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, every 10 days, my barber, they think... They love me there as I'm always 10 days. It's like clockwork. It's probably a problem. I'm sure I have some issues there, but you're looking fresh though, Cole. Don't worry about it. You're looking good. Happy to have you on. Let's get right into it because, again, one of the more unique companies that we have on. For those listening, tell us about Aptive Environmental and then your role within the organization.

Cole Rieben: So Aptive is a pest control company. We have been around really collectively for over 13 years. In the past, we've made some company structure changes, we've had some transactions, but we've been known as Aptive for at least the last six years. What makes us unique is we definitely do focus on residential pest control. We focus on general pest control, but our methodology of getting the word out and bringing in demand and interest is pretty unique. I wouldn't say maybe unique to Utah, and we are headquartered in Utah, because it's a little bit more popular in Utah, but we do have a big door- to- door program. So we have a lot of door- to- door guys going out during the summer and on both sides of the summer a little bit knocking doors and generating demand around pest control, where the pest activity is. And so, as you know, the summers are the pervasive timeframes of pests activity, pests being ants, spiders, whatever it might be based on your geography, a lot more active, and so it's pretty... As far as door- to- door sales go, the guys love coming to pest control because it's a very easy transaction, very easy customer acquisition because it's a problem everywhere. It's the demand that's always there and really just comes down to do we have a product or service that stands out, especially on the customer service side from our competitors and we believe we do. So it gives them a leg up in the space.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah. Well, Cole, I need you here in New York City. There are rats. I wish it was just spiders and all that other stuff, but we definitely need you here. We're going to get into more of the marketing aspects. That's definitely unique. And I know you're also getting into some other channels too as you brought in here in the US. But your role, talk to us about what you're doing there. What are you in charge of, what are your initiatives and then how you got into marketing. It's one of our staple questions that people love hearing about. It's usually not a direct path.

Cole Rieben: Yeah, totally. Here at Aptive, I oversee all the marketing. So kind of what marketing does here in our organization is bundled into our strategic and transformation type of structure at Aptive, and... But my responsibilities on a day- to- day are the overall P and L for marketing, driving demand, acquisition to the inside sales group. We have a call center of 50 plus receiving calls through our digital and traditional efforts. And so I oversee groups facilitating that lead generation. I also oversee our customer communications and our brand. So yeah, pretty much oversee all of it and love it, love the dynamics day- to- day. The more we grow, the more it seems like my time is spent putting out flyers at times, but that's the reality. And anyway, getting into how I got into marketing, I do have a degree in business and emphasis marketing. I've known for a long time that I wanted to be in marketing. My father was in law enforcement, he was LAPD for 21 years. So I knew very quickly growing up in Southern California and my dad being a police officer, and I did not want to be a police officer growing up. So that was pretty apparent to me. And I am naturally just kind of a salesperson at heart, honestly. And so I was that kid in high school. I remember my senior year ripping off our senior sweatshirts and doing my own version and selling more than our high school did. That's just always been in my blood. So that marketer, that just kind of innate nature just exists with me. My start really happened when I kind of got infatuated with Google and algorithms and search in the early 2000s. And so, from there it's blossomed to all marketing.

Vincent Pietrafesa: That's awesome.

AJ Gupta: Well, fascinating story. Tell us a little bit about jumping into marketing. What are some of the channels and strategies that work for you and what might not be working?

Cole Rieben: Yeah, totally. We definitely rely heavily on Google, especially we have brick and mortars, not necessarily locations where we are receiving customers on a regular basis, but our service pros go to a location and get their training and their equipment and product at those locations. So local listings on Google are huge for us. They give us a grassroots to our locations, and so that's always top of mind for us. On an advertising channel space, Google also is definitely top of mind. What is interesting is this year has been very unique in the cost per click world. And so we've had to really dynamically change aggressively this year to be very heavy in our affiliate approach to our channel, our obligation to certain channels for lead generation. So affiliate's a big channel for us as well. And when I refer to affiliate in our space, it's kind of like a channel partnership, it's an aggregate of lead aggregators, plus shopping, comparison websites and different channels like that.

AJ Gupta: Cole, actually, I was talking to one of my colleagues right before this at lunch and he told me he found you guys through door- to- door marketing. That's historically been a big part of your success. So what are some of the advantages you've seen with the door- to- door approach?

Cole Rieben: Yeah, that's a great question. I'll talk a little bit about the advantages, and there's some disadvantages there too. From a generating demand side, a huge advantage is go to market. Learning a market with a door- to- door force can be very effective, especially because the commission structure is very backend heavy. Once there's a legitimate service provided, and we have some metrics tied to retention and we tie a lot of our commission to retention. And so knowing that we can go in and discover a lot about a market at a very affordable level. And because of our technology, we have sophisticated and proprietary apps for our sales reps that we get a lot of data. We get a lot of data back that we can learn about. And we've established at this point demi decile neighborhoods and gotten pretty deep into the data and what is a good area to knock, what is a good area to follow through with digital and direct mail? And now we use those channels very cohesively, unlike other door- to- door companies who silo their digital strategy from their door- to- door strategy and sometimes compete. I know I was at a different company before that, really they ended up just competing in. And to have more of a channel collaboration between door- to- door and our inside sales digital marketing channels has been very effective. So yeah, I would say go- to- market is probably one of, in my opinion, one of the greatest legs up to having a door- to- door strategy.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And then Cole, let's talk about that door- to- door strategy for a moment. We often talk on this podcast about the effects positive or negative of COVID over this last years. What effect did that have on door- to- door? People weren't really leaving the house, let alone opening their door. Talk to us about that.

Cole Rieben: All of us were in the dark at the beginning of the pandemic. We really didn't know what effects it was going to have on the economy. We obviously didn't know how long it was going to last. But those of us in our business units trying to stay inaudible strategic, we wanted to make sure we were being careful. One, our number one priority were our people, make sure our people are safe, make sure we work remote where we need to. We have over 2000 service pros out there across the country. We've got 2000 sales reps out there. We've got 500 corporate employees. And so we really wanted... That was first and foremost. So in that sense of strategically planning out that year, and trying to... We were literally holding task forces on a weekly basis going, " What kind of things do we need to change?" We had lots of HR things we needed to change. But on the revenue side, we were worried because the government basically controlled what type of businesses could do business. And so luckily, I would say luckily, but good for everyone, our vertical was one of those businesses that was-

Vincent Pietrafesa: Necessary, they called it. What were they called? Essential, right?

Cole Rieben: Essential, thank you.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, yeah.

Cole Rieben: It was an essential business, essential service. And so that was huge because to be recognized that way, it also put our technicians and others at ease because they were all worried. They're all worried of like, " Man, am I not going to have a job? Am I not going to have income during all of this?" It was scary for them. So to be able to go to them and say, " No, no, no, we are running normal business and we just have to change some things like wearing masks," a lot of things, a lot of us had to change. And so our take was at first probably going to have to go... I mean, we were worried about the door- to- door side. We were worried about new customer acquisition. Obviously, we were worried about taking care of our customers the best way that they can because we typically service inside of the homes as well, but inside the homes is a lot more of a sensitive subject during COVID. And so we really made it our interest to make sure that the customer was very adamant about sourcing inside the home before we did, and then make sure we passed off certain checklists. On the door- to- door side, it was surprising to find out we had the best year that we've had to date. And as the numbers started coming back and as they were having huge successes, the anecdotal started with people wanted to talk to people. They were in their homes talking to themselves, being alone, depressed. To have somebody come to their door randomly and have a conversation was refreshing, and so that was... And that's not me as a person. So it was very interesting to get that feedback. And the more we collected feedback on it, that came through evidently that people wanted to talk to people. And so that was very refreshing. It made me very hopeful in humanity simultaneously during that very, I would call it our own little dark age. So yeah, that was different. That was new. That was very cool to see. Yeah. We had an amazing year that year financially, and it was a blessing for so many people in our company.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Well, to piggyback that, Cole, is it kind of like, because we've had companies on the podcast, the CITY Furniture, they're like, " We had a great year because people looked around at their homes, they're at home and they're like, " inaudible is awful."" And so they would upgrade. Did you experience that at Aptive where it was like people were just home and they're like, " Oh, wait a minute, I should improve my home by making sure we have pest control"? Do you think people thought that way where they were like, " Oh, I'm in my home in my yard a little more, let's take care of an issue maybe I didn't see before"?

Cole Rieben: Yes, yes. On a macro side, I truly believe that there were stimulus factors that led to people being more mindful and willing to spend in certain categories that they might not have been willing to spend before, where they might have just bought something off the shelf for pest control instead of using a service. So there are some macro pieces of it, but definitely as we put out surveys, people were home, they were in their newly built offices in their homes that they didn't have before, and they're taking calls all day or they're doing things in their home that they have not been in for a while and they're stuck in home. So they're noticing the things. They're noticing the ants they may not have noticed before. They're noticing the activity that they may have overlooked before, and they made it a priority because they're kind of stuck here. So anyway, that was the feedback. We definitely got a lot of that feedback as far as a propensity to purchase. Those were a lot of the motives. And yes, so definitely people being home, we saw the online demand, that was definitely tied to the fact that they were stuck at home and these were top of mind and there was definitely a factor of additional income stimulus at the time.

AJ Gupta: What are some of the types of brand partnerships that you guys have had, and whether it's with brands or individuals, and how effective has that been for you?

Cole Rieben: Doing some brand awareness plays is always kind of risky when you're not a category leader. When you're a category leader or at least tied in category space, I believe, at least from my findings and my experience, that there's more one- to- one data that can showcase some leaps over your competition. We wanted to test... We've noticed that our competitors are really digging heavy into the commercial space, and so we wanted to really raise awareness in the residential, so appealing to the consumer at the residential level, but we are also more of a premium service. So we wanted to appeal to a premium buyer. So one of the opportunities that came across that we've kind of been working on for a while was to partner up with Tony Finau, professional golfer on tour and amazing golfer. He's a Utah native. So from a partnership stance, it just made sense storytelling wise. He was a small town, Rose Park, Salt Lake City area, making it big time and making a name for himself. We were trying to do the same thing, be bigger than a Utah headquartered pest control company. We're going nationwide. So it helped with some of the storytelling. But having our name on his bag as big as it was, the type of screen time you get for that audience was very effective. It's still a pretty niche sport when it comes to a sport partnership like that, but the propensity to purchase is very high in that sport. And so we definitely saw some lift in awareness, obviously, but some residual website traffic purchasing, we stood up ambassador pages to do some direct marketing and it was effective, and part of our overall brand awareness testing. And so we are trying all sorts of stuff like that. Some in the sports, some in... I'm working on some podcast sponsorship deals that are tied more closely to the female audience. And so, yeah, I think we have locally here. There's a benefit to doing some of the brand awareness and sponsorship things that we have a heavy recruitment season as well. Knowing that we have a big door- to- door force and that that's an important part for us, regardless of how it scales over the years or reduces in scale, it'll always be some part of our business structure. And we have a lot of door- to- door companies, summer selling companies, MLM companies that all kind of appeal to the same audiences, that young college level audience that has a summer off that wants to go and grind for a summer and knock doors. So we do have competition here in Utah to land that kind of talent. So when we do partnerships here, like we have a partnership with the jazz, we named one of the sections, kind of a dedicated loft area. There's obviously some recruitment and hospitality perks that comes with that, but it comes with a lot of advertising and marketing. I can double dip into those type of relationships to drive customer acquisition, but then also benefit and drive cost down for the aggressive recruitment tactics as well. So I typically try to double dip in that strategy so that it. ROI is always difficult in that space, it's very difficult. So when you can tie into recruitment and acquisition of customer, it better tells a story.

AJ Gupta: It sounds like you have to maintain your big brand messaging because it is a premium service, but also still need to appeal in the local grassroots market as well. So how do you balance that in your messaging?

Cole Rieben: Yeah, yeah. I think one of our strategies that we lean on heavily is we recognize early on that in our vertical, people aren't really loyal to a brand. In other verticals, it's very possible, but the brand has to be more than just a lifestyle. And we go very lifestyle in our style, in our ID, in our visual ID, in our messaging, but what they are really loyal to is that service pro, that service pro that comes, that's consistent, that's their guy or that's their gal. And so we try to tap into that in our messaging and in our operations, even at the call center level, we have very sophisticated IVRs that go to a dedicated customer associate that is dedicated to that person. It's going to be that person's signature that's on every email, on every text message, every notification. It's going to come from that person. So we've found a way to automate obviously pieces of that, but everything funnels into that one dedicated account manager as if they were managing a large corporate account, they're managing a pool of customers, that is their account manager. And then on top of that, maintaining as best that we can because there's turnover, getting that service pro on that same route to service those same customers. So we use a lot in our messaging. Our product service has to really speak for itself and to really feel grassroots and do that at a national level and still scale. That is a huge piece to us is to keep it as tied back to that service professional who is the core frontline of our service and what we do. The more we tie back to that, it's very powerful for our local markets.

Vincent Pietrafesa: So Cole, would you say that a big differentiator from some of the other companies out there that people may know or not know, is that service pro, in addition to that, what else would you say are some differentiators?

Cole Rieben: Yeah. I would say we have typically most of our competitors just do this standard quarterly plan as somebody comes out, does their standard service. We actually have multiple plans and most of our competitors do not. In our plans, we can come out more frequently. We have different reservice strategies of when a new pest shows up in between service cycles. So the type of plans we have is definitely unique and then that comes with some unique training for our service pros. I hate over- promising pure customization because it can set people up for failure, but our service pros really respond well to, and they're trained this way, to dynamic needs. Even at my house, I use our service and our service pro recognized this last time that there was some new construction that was happening and noticed some vol activity happening adjacent to my property and just preempted it with some traps. And so it wasn't a problem I was seeing yet, but it was a preemptive measure and it's powerful. It gives me trust in the service. And so, yeah, the type of plans and the service pros that, the way that they're trained is definitely unique to that. We have have a specific, what we call Aptive University here where we have very unique training for our service pros and it comes at a risk, because we put a lot of budget behind that, a lot of money. And sometimes you end up training people up and they go and kind of chase some pipe dreams on companies that might just give crazier bonuses that they might not live up to. And we know that risk, we know that risk of elevating the service pros, but it's worth it. When it's come down to it, elevating the service pros collectively in our vertical and being the ones known to do that is definitely worth it for us, the risk.

Vincent Pietrafesa: That's very interesting. Yeah, I didn't even think about that, where you're like, oh, you're also offering the training to people to go through that. Wow. So Cole, you touched upon it a little bit and I wanted to get back back to it because we do talk about marketing here on the Marketing Stir. The nationwide tactics that you're using, you did mention some digital, you mentioned direct mail. In those areas or in conjunction with those areas that you're doing the door- to- door, talk to us about that nationwide marketing plan.

Cole Rieben: I rely heavily on data here and we get a lot of data back from what door- to- door is doing. So I know that there are a variety of neighborhoods out there that are gated communities that will not allow door- to- door people. So I know that those are my number one places to go hit with direct mail. I know a group of salespeople are going to knock a neighborhood at a certain time so I can preempt and canvas that area prior with some soft marketing so that they're even more effective and have better close rates. And then I can follow it through with more both IP focused digital ads and direct mail after they're done knocking. And so that is a lot of some of our direct strategy when it comes to combining our national direct to home sales versus, or tying it in with our inside sales. It was fun. When I first started here, it was just door- to- door. And so I stood up the whole marketing, digital marketing part of it, and it was validating for me and for others. I remember getting a text message the first two months I was here and somebody's like, " I was at a door with a customer, I had my iPad and I was going through and they were asking me how much this is going to cost over the year. And so I brought open my calculator and there at the bottom of the calculator was an Aptive ad, and that was so validating and provided credentials for me as a salesperson at the door." And that was additionally validating that our IP targeting was working and our retargeting was working. And so we're in display channels. We're in a lot... I mean there's a lot of channels I want to be heavier in, but there really isn't a channel that we haven't at least tested into. We definitely have learned which ones are effective and less effective. Social, for example, is not nearly as effective for generating demand, but much more effective for retargeting and further down the funnel off of website traffic or some other interaction or multiple interactions somebody's had with us. And so, yeah, we rely heavily on local to go on a national level. We do a lot of SEO, and so showing up in search and competing with Terminix and Orkin and other regional players is important for us in search. And then buying up TV spots where I can. We're not huge on the TV side right now, just kind of based on where we are currently landing in the awareness space, we'd end up spending so much just to get maybe a few more notches up the ladder on being competitive with our category leaders, but we're getting there. So yeah, it's a mix of a lot of channels, but I've learned that since we're not big, it gives us a really good chance to learn how to meld these channels into a funnel and learn which channels are best at different areas of the funnel. And then as we grow in awareness, that dynamic will change. Those channels will operate a little bit differently in those funnels as we grow. And so I've got an excellent team that definitely is at the forefront of making sure we're acting dynamic there.

AJ Gupta: Well, one of our staple questions here at Marketing Stir is around LinkedIn. I'm sure based on your job title and job description, you get a lot of unsolicited messages on LinkedIn. What's a message that gets your attention and what's one that really annoys you?

Cole Rieben: One that gets my attention, whether it's LinkedIn or on an email, is something that starts with collaboration. I'm huge into collaborating, and usually I have found that people just doing an automated message or a redundant software message are not going to use language like collaboration. But when I see collaboration, it's usually an influencer or there's some type of more unique idea or structure behind it. So collaboration will always be a inaudible, or at least for now for me, if I see it in a subject line or if I kind of skim, see it in a message. What does not work, and one of my strategies for not opening up certain messages is when I see a business development title. If I see a business development title, I'm most likely not going to click in. Maybe if I see a brand I recognize and it's like an affiliate website or something like that, I might ping somebody on my team. But chances are, and most of the time happens is that I'm getting some type of automated message trying to convert me to another software or product and that it's most likely not going to get an open for me at all. LinkedIn is where you can see that. Obviously email, it's really hard to tell almost.

AJ Gupta: Well, as we come to the end of this podcast, one of the things we like to do is get to know our guests a little bit better as well. So can you tell us a little bit about what you like to do when you're not busy crafting marketing strategies?

Cole Rieben: Yeah. Me and my family, so I have a wife and two kids. I got twin girls that just turned eight, and we do like to stay active. We did a big bike ride all the way down in Vegas, challenged the girls on a small eight miler for us, but that's big for them in about a 100 degree weather. We like to do stuff like that, but we are entertainment buffs and we love to go do Disneyland. We are down at Disneyland handfuls of times each year. We have a favorite spot. We stay down there. It's kind of one of those trips where I don't like extended family to come, I just like it being us because we have it all planned, it's our thing. And it actually is, even though how crazy Disneyland can be, it's actually relaxing because you've got the controls in place and we have our rhythm. And so, yeah, that one's big for us. And everyone here always gives me a hard time about how much Disneyland stuff I do. My wife loves Harry Potter, and so we do Universal. And we watch so many shows. I could watch Ted Lasso like a million times. So we love that kind of stuff. So yeah.

Vincent Pietrafesa: That's awesome. You mentioned LA, did you grow up in LA then went to Utah?

Cole Rieben: Yes, I did. So my dad was LAPD while he was there, we lived about an hour. Back then, it was an hour traffic, it's not like two and a half hour traffic. But we lived in a city called La Verne, and it's got a university there, Pomona County. I grew up there until high school. So high school is when my dad retired and we moved up to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and that's where I met my now wife. We did high school together. And so quite a contrast in locations, but every time I go down there... It's not like I grew up doing with Disneyland a lot, but that area is definitely still feels like home, Newport Beach, all those areas are very home centric to me, and I've become that for my family now too.

Vincent Pietrafesa: That's awesome. Yeah. And Cole, final words you'd like to leave our audience with, a closing thought, any additional words of wisdom? The floor is yours.

Cole Rieben: Awesome. Yeah, yeah. I would say one of the things I've come to learn trying to develop in leadership is to let the people, my peers be themselves. Sometimes we can restrict their creativity, and I do manage a creative group as well, but even creativity when it comes to a performance team that I manage as well, some of that gets reduced when our expectation is, your mind better only be on this. And so I like to have open conversations with my employees about other things that they're doing outside of work and then embrace it. The world today is, everyone's got a side gig, and I think the ones who are going to struggle to keep people around and keep them happy are the ones who either try to skirt around it and pretend it's not happening, or the ones who are getting angry at their employees for having those types of things. I'd rather embrace it and have conversations about it and actually build into how does that affect the career path? And let's talk about that. Let's talk about evolution there. And at first in my career, I always thought like, " Man, that's risky, especially when you're really..." Hiring ebbs and flows are difficult. But the reality is, I believe they're just... Our peers are so much happier when you can have those type of open dialogues. And so on top of that, I encourage them to go find their counterpart at other companies and have lunches with them and we'll expense it. Those types of education I think are super important. We definitely have a lot of perks here, don't get me wrong there. Everyone's a sneaker file here at least becomes inaudible. Sneakers are a huge part of our culture, and so there's fun things like that. But the reality I think is around the knowledge and education and willingness to actually expand and figure out career growth. And we have a very young company, so we have tons of employees who don't know what their path is. And to be able to have an open dialogue on discovering that is very powerful. And as leaders, it helps us, it helps us understand a little bit even more about ourselves. Anyway, I know it's a thing that's come up quite a bit and a lot of people are worried about the side gigs and side projects and all that stuff. And I think the reality is our dynamics need to change and we need to be more accepting and open to it and help manage it because it is manageable. Our best people are probably the ones who have some additional things going on on the side, and they're the ones who can't afford to... They're the ones who want to make sure stay around and stay happy. And so let's find a healthy balance and encourage it. There can be an unhealthy balance for sure, but let's find a healthy balance and encourage it.

Vincent Pietrafesa: I echo those sediments so much because AJ does... I have a side hustle. I moonlight as New York City famous Vincent James, the comedian here, and AJ knows that and he supports it, and he has never limited me. This is true. I'm just saying that where he's like, " Oh, okay. You have a great personality. You're funny," although he thinks he's funnier. " All right, let's host a podcast. Let's host our summits at the end." So he definitely values the side hustle and utilizes it, so I love that, Cole. I'm glad you said that. We haven't had anyone who's mentioned that before, so I love that. This has been awesome. Thank you so much, Cole, for spending some time with us. Our listeners, go check out Aptive,, A-P-T-I-V-E, goaptive, check out Cole. Ladies and gentlemen, that's Cole Rieben, senior director of marketing at Aptive Environmental. That's AJ Gupta. I'm Vincent Pietrafesa. This has been another episode of The Marketing Stir. Thank you so much and we'll talk soon.

Vin: Thanks for listening to the Marketing Stir podcast by Stirista. Please like, rate and subscribe. If you're interested in being a guest on the podcast, please email us at the, and thanks for listening.


Cole Rieben, the Senior Director of Marketing at Aptive Environmental, chats with us about how appealing to the residential level instead of a commercial space can create great opportunities, offering premium services to premium buyers.

Immediately after opening tag Immediately after opening tag Immediately before closing tag