Episodes

Episode #21 One Night Stand Business VS Meaningful Relationships

Our talk with Dusti Reimer brings us to discuss how marketing is taking a chance on the future. The full transcript for Talk Experiential episode #21 One Night Stand Business VS Meaningful Relationships is followed below.

#21 One Night Stand Business VS Meaningful Relationships

Dusti Reimer on episode #21 of Talk Experiential.

JOEY:

All right.  Welcome back to another Talk Experiential podcast.  I have another wonderful guest which goes way back to college in Grand Junction, Dusti, Dusti Reimer.

 

DUSTI:

Hi.

 

JOEY:

How’s it going?

 

DUSTI:

Great.  How are you?

 

JOEY:

Oh, doing good.

 

DUSTI:

It’s good to catch up.

 

JOEY:

It’s great.  No, it’s been, what — we caught up about, what, a month ago, and then we haven’t talked since — I don’t know — 13 years ago, or even seen each other.

 

DUSTI:

Yeah.

 

JOEY:

We follow up on social media.

 

DUSTI:

Right, so we’re always close.

 

JOEY:

Yeah, exactly.  You know?

 

DUSTI:

So, yeah.  But actually physically talking to each other, I think we sat by each other on graduation, and I think that was pretty much one of the last times I physically saw you, and 13 years ago —

 

(Crosstalk)

 

JOEY:

Well, and you knew my wife better, too.

 

DUSTI:

Yeah.  I’ve loved watching your business and your career just blossom, and so you’ve always been somebody who’s been very inspirational to me as I watch from the sidelines and cheer you on.

 

JOEY:

Aw.  Well, thank you, Dusti.  Same goes to you.  This is why I wanted you on this podcast, because from our last conversation, you have definitely an interesting perspective and background working with a few different folks.  I think we got the same degree, right, marketing and business, or communications?

 

DUSTI:

I actually went more the communications and advertising side.

 

JOEY:

Got it.

 

DUSTI:

But I think, kind of like everybody nowadays, it’s kind of really mixed together, so even though I focused more on that part of it, I really had to take a sidestep and learn a lot more on the marketing side of things, and I’ve actually found that I like data.  I just really avoided it — this is me being lazy — I really avoided it because I thought I was really bad at math and I didn’t want to take the math classes which were required to get the marketing degree, so that’s full disclosure.  I really was afraid of it in college, for some reason.  I just didn’t think I had it in me, but now I realize that I actually do.  So, I’m still learning.

 

JOEY:

No.  Well, we all are.  If I don’t learn every day, I feel like it’s not a good day.  I think that’s the fun part of this industry.  But why don’t you tell me about your background and some of the things that you’ve been doing in Grand Junction?

 

DUSTI:

Yeah.  So, obviously after graduation, I think everybody just went off on their own paths, and I had always had this real strong love for non-profits.  I never imagined working in a private or a public sector.  And so, I worked for the American Cancer Society, I ended up working for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, I had volunteered with March of Dimes — like I said, I just felt like I had loved community engagement.  I loved giving back.  I just really never thought of anything else.

 

And so, my husband is a power lineman, and we agreed that wherever he would get his job, we would go, because I could help any community with whatever they had a need of, and so we ended up in Winter Park for a little bit, and then we went to the Vail Valley.  We lived there for about eight years total before we migrated back to Grand Junction for quality of life and the ability to be able to purchase a house and raise kids, which is great.  We’re not originally from Grand Junction.  We’re actually from Iowa, in a very small town in the Midwest.  So, we moved around the state a lot.  We did some time in Steamboat, and so we’re very familiar with the resort communities and skiing, and we love that.  We’re a very outdoor, active family.

 

And I took a break from working after we had our first child, and then our second came rather quickly, so they’re about 18 months apart, and so I really wanted to focus on that.  That and daycare is really — they said it’s about a college tuition right now for daycare, so there’s money-saving costs that go into that.

 

But I ended up getting back into the workforce out of frustration.  So, I was looking at putting our oldest in ski lessons, and I got on a website for a ski resort locally here and was unbelievably frustrated with their websites.  It was awful.  And out of that frustration and the confusion, I thought, “I can do this better,” and out of just sheer thinking, “Maybe there’s a position that I can volunteer with, or maybe I can do something,” I got on their website to see if they were hiring, and they were actually hiring a marketing manager.  And kind of out of spite and out of anger of seeing what they had going on there, I applied for it and went through the interview process.  And I didn’t get the marketing manager position, but I actually was given another position to help with their group sales and advertising and events, and to help be a marketing manager’s assistant.

 

So, it was kind of an interesting transition for somebody who went from swearing they’d never work in a for-profit business to jumping in to saying, “I can help this.  I can make this better.”  And so, I had a couple of really good years of traveling on the ski circuit and doing media, and I ended up actually kind of stepping into that position for a little bit during a huge launch of construction for the resort and learned a lot.  But during the process of getting back into it, especially in a regional sense, I learned that there was a lot of old mindsets and a lot of old traditions of things that people just don’t want to let go of.  And so, it’s really interesting, I’m learning how to kind of bridge the gap between rack cards and social media.

 

JOEY:

It’s amazing that people even think about those.  I look at them, and I’ll look and browse for three seconds — no, I’ll just walk by it, because it’s too much.

 

DUSTI:

Yeah.  And I don’t want to put that down, because I’m sure there’s still somebody there, but I remember in one of our marketing conversations as we were talking about spending a large sum of our marketing dollars on it, I said, “When was the last time that you woke up at 3:00 in the morning, got in your car, drove down to your local visitors’ center or the hotel, and picked up all your rack cards to do research for your vacation?”  I’m like, “You don’t do that anymore.”  So, we had to work through what has worked in the past isn’t really going to help us move into the future.  It really wasn’t an easy transition, but eventually we finally walked through the processes of why maybe that isn’t working.  And a lot of people like to see that return of income, the ROI.  They like to see the data numbers, and that wasn’t really providing a good, substantial backup for it, too.  So, we ended up moving away from it and investing that money in better avenues of reaching our preferred clientele, which had a great return.  So, it was really fun, and you gotta stand up for something, so I was really maintaining firm on, “Let’s not spend $40,000 in rack cards, and maybe use that for something beneficial.”  So, yeah.

 

JOEY:

So, you worked at Powderhorn for a couple of years, moved around, the whole thing there.  Now you have your own firm working with some clients as well up there?

 

DUSTI:

I do.  So, the surprise birth of our third child — I shouldn’t say surprise.  I mean, obviously I knew I was pregnant for nine months — we had him and decided that probably driving 45 minutes each way in the snow for a 60-hour work week probably wasn’t going to be the best decision for our family, and so I left Powderhorn and created my own PR and marketing company.  And so, we’ve got three clients that take up a lot of my time right now, and it’s perfect for our family and where we’re growing and what we’re doing, and we’re really well connected, and there’s a lot of other really good companies here, startups that if I don’t feel that I’m going to be the best fit for them that I can refer them off to other people.

 

So, the idea is really to keep the business in the best interests of the business owners and their markets in mind.  I don’t really look to take on people with things that they’re looking for that I don’t believe I can be of beneficial help to them.  I always looked at the job of being a marketing manager as one where we get to have a lot of fun with what we get to do.  We get to create, and we get to see all this visual stuff, but at the same time, if we don’t take our job seriously that we can help these people grow, and that if we do our jobs well that they get to have a livelihood, then you really shouldn’t be in it, because I’ve seen time and time again great people step into a position maybe they’re not really ready for, and it’s like watching the Titanic sink over a year.  You just slowly watch it going down, because they’re not really sure what they’re doing, and these businesses are just suffering for it.  So, I really want to make sure that when I step in there that I’m really going to be able to perform to help them out.

 

JOEY:

Yeah.  So, what caught my eye when we talked last time was, I guess, just learning how to market and then how to just get out there, and I guess just staying up with technology.  I know that you are part of a couple groups that are interested in learning more on how to market yourself, how to use other ways — instead of a rack card — to promote a business.  I guess, what do you tell these business owners that you’re working with that an ad in the paper might not get the most ROI?  Sometimes it’s the works, and you’re going to still probably get some hits, but you can easily just go into Google ads or do a Facebook post.  I mean, just a Facebook post would probably get more views than sometimes a newspaper would.  But, yeah, I’d like to learn how you approach these clients.  How do you get them to step out of the box and take a chance on the future?

 

AD:

If you are an agency or brand that has human engagement at your live events, please check out Air Fresh Marketing’s certified vendor partnership program’s new platform that is helping clients win more business, helping them put on higher-quality events and spend a lot less time training and interacting with staff.  Please go to www.airfreshmarketing.com/partnerships.

 

DUSTI:

You know, we’re getting constantly bombarded, whether it’s on social media or e-mail, or we still TV, pop-up ads, retargeted marketing, it’s just left and right, and same thing with apps.  You just watch things grow and fade out.  I remember when blogs were coming up and people were just — I think that was back in the MySpace time, where everybody had a blog and that it was the cool thing, and then everybody started to become influencers.

 

And then there was this shift to the apps, and then Facebook, and you had to have a Facebook page, and then it just morphed after that into Instagram and Twitter and Snapchat, and every other app that showed up there, and so most people are just constantly trying to be relevant with new technology, even if it’s not to the benefit of the organization.

 

We talked about how people are just always trying to get on the new technology, and they’re not sure how to utilize it well.  But the other thing is, they don’t even know if it’s going to benefit their target market, and we have to go back to the basics with your organization or whatever product it is.  It’s like, “Who are you trying to reach?  When you created this product, or when you created your organization, what was your goal?  Who were you trying to reach, and is that still what you’re trying to do?”  Because maybe being on Snapchat and trying to recruit a veteran isn’t going to link up.  You’ve got to realize, “Why are you doing this?  Are you doing this just to say that you have the technology, or are you doing it to spend relevant time recruiting new people?”

 

And I think asking the “why,” we lost that, there.  We’re so into getting the new technology, like, “Oh, did you see the new thing out there?”  “No, I didn’t.  I have to have that.”  And we somewhere along the way got so swept up in the new stuff that we forgot to say, “Well, is it really relevant to what we’re doing?”, and I think that’s okay.  Not everybody needs to have everything.  I think you just need to realize what is going to help your target market and grow your business, and when people remember that they’re specifically targeting or creating something for this group of people, you don’t need to try and cast that wide net.  Just be specific.

 

And it’s okay to be specific, and it’s okay, as you watch other people walk by you, that you’re not grabbing them right away, because you want to hook, and you want to make sure that your group is being taken care of by you.  It’s not just about, “Can they see us, and can we hook them, and can we get that one-night stand business?”  We want meaningful relationship.  We want this to go somewhere.  We’re thinking long-term dating.  We want to meet your parents.  We want to have a family.  We want to be in it to win it with you forever.  We’re not just looking for a hook, and so that’s the thing that we’re trying to really establish with our clients that we have is that we’re in it for the long term.  We’re in it for the three to five-year, really make a difference.  People are finally hearing about us.  We have been steady.  We have been their rock, and we know beyond a shadow of a doubt what our products are and what we’re doing with them.

 

JOEY:

No, absolutely.  Well, and that’s how you have to run an agency, I think, is just being very transparent.  I think, too, as a business owner — I mean, I’m a business owner with a couple other companies as well, and luckily, I’ve gotten a lot of experience with marketing, but I remember back in the day.  It’s like, “How the hell do you market my product?”  And when I work with clients, I really try to put myself in their shoes, because at the end of the day, we’re here to help solve a problem for them.

 

And I think as startups, just businesses, I think the scary thing is marketing.  Marketing can be overwhelming, because you see these commercials on TV, you’re like, “Oh, I want one of those.  Oh, that’s 50 grand and I don’t have that budget,” and them not understanding, like, “Well, is that really going to hit your target market?”

 

Say you have a product that’s — we’re starting to work with this Japanese company; it’s a cold brew called Boss Coffee, and I’m literally just saying that because I have one, and I’m drinking it, and it’s awesome.  It’s not a plug.

 

DUSTI:

I love coffee.  We are aficionados, here, so I really love it (ph).

 

JOEY:

Great, I’ll send you some.  But, anyway, we work with products.  For a product like this, TV’s not going to do crap for them.  This needs to get into people’s hands.  People need to try it for themselves.  It needs to be authentic and transparent.  If they like it, they’re going to probably buy it.  And if they like it, let’s build a platform for them to get a coupon, or receive some type of e-mail to actually remember that, “Okay, hey, I need to buy this, because I really liked this.”  And the way we work is, we like to touch that emotion.  “Man, I like that coffee, and it just triggered something in my head to really like this brand.”  That’s a better way than just doing a commercial or an ad.

 

But, yeah, I think it’s, one, really trying to figure out what your product is and really understanding your consumers, your target market.  Like you mentioned earlier, you can’t just put — working with veterans and Snapchat, like, “Oh, we’ll just do all platforms.”  No, you find one that your demographic’s going to be on and stick to it.

 

I think also, marketing, it can be a lot of market research and learning.  You’re not going to just land the perfect campaign the first time.  And you mentioned earlier, too, and I’d like to quickly talk about that, regarding metrics, because data and metrics, I think that’s one of the biggest things, because first, you’ve got to be able to measure what you’re doing in some way, but also you’ve got to be able to adapt to what the market’s saying.

 

I almost like to do — if we’re going to do anything on the digital side, I like to do A/B testing.  Let’s do two different ads and two different angles and see, what do people like, because literally, people’s minds change on a daily basis just with the outside world coming in, and, “Oh, the President did this,” or “Someone did this,” and “Me Movement.”  There’s a lot of things that come at you.  So, it’s interesting to be able to create some type of research and adapt to the next thing, but I’d like to learn how you use data to help your clients grow.

 

DUSTI:

Yes.  So, it started with Powderhorn and looking into their data and their reach, and where people were coming from, and again, just getting really specific.  These are people we were treating as family and friends.  We really never looked at them so much as clients as they were really — it’s that small-town resort, where these people are coming, and they’re coming often, and we’re seeing them and we’re building these relationships.  Where are they from?  In talking to them, why are they coming?  They’d always tell us why they loved it, because it’s a gem.  It’s the family resort.  If you want to get back to the pureness of it, of skiing and the simplicity of it, it’s such a beautiful place to do that with your family.  You really aren’t going to find a more affordable place to just enjoy the mountains.  And so, digging into our demographics and finding where people were coming from, and talking with them, I really found that I enjoyed it and that we had a valuable treasure trove of information that we’d never used before.

 

And so, in taking on Jet Boat Colorado, they’re a new jet boat thrill ride here in Colorado right off of De Beque, and they’re one of only four boats in the United States that are operating jet boat tours, and it’s the only one on the Colorado River.  And the thing that’s really cool about this is we get to start from scratch, and like you said, you just start out and you just do what you feel like your intuition is telling you to do.  Do you think you’re going to be able to reach people on TV?  Are you going to do e-mail blasts?  Are you going to just drive your boat up and down the river as many times as you can, holding signs, waving?  You’re just doing whatever you can to see whatever’s going to stick and hit the wall just to begin with.

 

And then, after its first year, we got to dig into some of the data, and he ended up having people from all across the country and in four different countries of the world take rides on his jet boat tour, because there’s nothing else like it.  And so, being able to utilize that information and then move on into the next year, his goal was to double the rides that he had done previously, and we were able to do that because we had found a pretty solid demographic that were utilizing his services.

 

It’s not like a raft trip where you kind of have to be physically in shape, or you have to commit to either half a day or a full day.  I mean, this is the benefit.  Kids that weigh at least 40 pounds all the way up to people that are 100 years old can experience the river and thrills, and you can just fly down that river going 40 miles an hour.  And then in the middle of it, he’ll spin.  He’s able to spin this boat, and they do whips and spins and high-speed jet boat turns all in this shallow water, water you’re like, “No way is this boat going anywhere.  I can see rocks.  I can touch rocks with my feet, almost.  I can hear it touching on the bottom.”  But, I mean, he can maneuver this boat because it’s a specifically special type of boat, and that actually appeals to a really wide demographic of people.

 

But again, that’s great that we cast that net.  We can get from here to here, but when you start targeting in on your specific markets, you’re able to build that love, and when people spread that word of mouth for you, that’s golden marketing.  That’s the idea.  When they have that experience, they have that emotion, you just have this gem.  You have something that you can’t fake that they have as true and genuine, and when they light up telling other people about it, that’s a buzz you can’t recreate.  That’s what you want.  That’s the golden ticket right there.

 

JOEY:

Exactly.  Well, you nailed it right there.  We hire brand ambassadors to represent brands, but having your own brand ambassadors that literally just really love your product and they’ll do anything to share it, like, “Oh, crap, guys.  You guys have to try it, because I had this wonderful experience.  I think you should do it, and it’ll go viral, almost,” viral or just people enjoying it, and I think that’s obviously where you want to get to in this very crowded world and trying to figure out where that is.

 

I think also just the interesting part of managing a ski resort, one, Powderhorn’s awesome, and it’s such a neat little place.  It’s almost like a dream of mine, like, “I want to work for a ski resort.”  I’m sure it’s obviously interesting, working with different consumers and how do you get people to come up the hill, because it’s close, but I’m sure people are like, “Oh, that’s too far,” even though 30 minutes is nothing.

 

DUSTI:

Right.  Or the challenge of the nice day versus, “Oh, it looks cloudy up there.”  It’s really funny.  We live in our valley.  If people aren’t familiar with the Grand Valley, the demographics of the whole area and the landscape of the area is so unique and so diverse that really, from one end of the Grand Valley to the other, you can snowmobile and ski in the morning, and then drive down and mountain bike and raft in the afternoon.  I mean, that’s literally where you can come and do everything that you want to do outdoors and in one day, and it’s really amazing.

 

So, sometimes the challenge is really like getting your locals to come up and say, “I’m going to not mountain bike today.  I’m going to go ski,” and it’s always fun.  It’s just a different mindset, and I think maybe just because we’re so spoiled, we get that choice.

 

JOEY:

Yeah, exactly.

 

DUSTI:

So, where other people are like, “I bought that season pass.  I am driving up.  I am going.  Gotta get seven days in.”

 

JOEY:

Oh, I know.  We’re about to run out of time here, but I wanted to also just quickly plug, I know that you are still planning on doing this event next year in Junction.  Is that still happening?

 

DUSTI:

Yes, yes.  So, we created the Experience Education Foundation this last month.  It’s what I’ve been working on.  So, the Western Slope is this really rich, dynamic region filled with all kinds of businesses that touch every place in the world.  If you look at the ski resort industry, to agriculture, to even the wine areas, there’s a lot of diversity that happens on the Western Slope of Colorado, and we’re very fortunate.

 

At the same time, though, we’ve learned through our different groups and talking and communicating with people that we really feel that we’re lagging behind in some of the educational techniques, leadership with communications and marketing, so we’ve come together.  A group of us are organizing a marketing and communications and leadership conference in the spring of 2019.  A lot of organizations have typically the ability to send maybe one person every year off to a conference, and what we’d like to do is bring the conference here to Grand Junction where it’s a centrally located area so that everybody can come and be raised to the same level.

 

I’m a big believer that your weakest link is how strong you can be, and I feel that a lot of us keep chasing after the same things that have already been done, but we have this strong desire to create new, but we’re not entirely sure how that happens.  And so, I’d love to be able to create this opportunity for everybody to come together and be inspired to create the new so that we can all experience it and learn from it.  I love being able to set the bar higher for everybody, and that just challenges us all to be better, and it creates a better working environment, better living environment, more creativity for all of us.

 

JOEY:

Well, I’m excited.  I think that’s a great idea too.  I’m just excited that you’re taking the lead on this to be able to educate people and be able to bring a learning experience, and just open people’s minds.  I appreciate meeting people and knowing you, that you’re always curious.  “So, why are you doing this,” or how to make something happen.  So, I think that’s great, and I’m excited to see how I can help in any way with it as well.

 

DUSTI:

Oh, yeah, I’m so excited for you to come over and help me.

 

JOEY:

Yeah, I know.  I need to get down there.

 

DUSTI:

I know.  You do.  You really took off on the experiential marketing before it really became experiential marketing.  The last few years, really, you were on the cutting edge of it, when everything has shifted now to really be about the experience, and you were like this trendsetter.  You were ahead of it before anybody else was, and so, like I said, I’m just always in awe of you and what you’re doing, and so I’m just always cheering you on.

 

And I know there’s so many people that would love to hear from you.  I know I would.  I’m always looking for people I can learn from, because I know I am not the smartest out there.  I’ll be the first person to tell you that I’m very humble about that.  But I love learning from other people, and I love bringing people together, because it’s just such a beautiful thing when everybody comes together and learns, and listens, and talks it through, and so it’s great.  It may not be pretty, but you know what they say, sexy sells, ugly goes viral.

 

JOEY:

Well, thanks so much for the kind words.  I say the same thing, too.  I don’t feel like I’m smart.  I’m curious, and I think it’s just like I’m not satisfied with just the norm.  I think that’s just how I grew up, too.  It’s like, “Well, I don’t believe you,” and then you run a staffing company, and then you don’t believe anybody.  You’re like, “Yeah, I don’t believe you.  So, how do you actually really believe you and get you to believe in something?”

 

DUSTI:

Yeah, it’s lessons learned.  It really is.

 

JOEY:

Exactly.  Well, awesome.  Well, I’d love to have you on again, and I say that to a lot of guests, but I know that you have a lot of knowledge and are excited to stay in touch.  And good luck with everything up in Grand Junction.

 

DUSTI:

Thanks, and same with you.  And, yeah, I’d love to come back, and I will definitely be touching base with you on dates that we should hopefully have finalized here.  By the next three weeks, we’ll have it hopefully ready to launch.

 

JOEY:

Perfect.  It sounds good.  We’ll share it on our podcast.  Once it’s launched, it’ll probably be on our notes page.  Well, thanks again, Dusti.

 

DUSTI:

Thanks, Joey.

 

JOEY:

Have a great rest of your day.

 

DUSTI:

You, too.

 

JOEY:

Okay.  Bye.

 

DUSTI:

Mm-hm.  Bye.

 

SIGN-OFF:

If you like what we’re doing with Talk Experiential Podcasts, please make sure you five star it and review it.  Also, please share it on Facebook and Twitter or any other social media outlets.  Please tell your friends who you think that will get value out of our podcasts.  Your support will help continue the success of Talk Experiential.

 

Find the list of full Talk Experiential episodes here.

 

 

Presented By:

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Once weekly podcast updates & the latest experiential marketing industry news, curated specifically for our listeners.

You have Successfully Subscribed!