CASA GRANDE — Before she was a guest judge on “Celebrity Apprentice,” Cami Baker was a 10-year-old who would sell gum to kids at school for a profit.
Baker, author of “Mingle to Millions,” was the guest speaker at the Eloy Chamber of Commerce business luncheon at the Central Arizona College Corporate Center on Nov. 14.
Baker spoke about cause marketing, which is where a company’s promotional campaign has a dual purpose in hopes of increasing profits while working to better society.
“My topic is cause marketing and the spin on it is how business people can use a cause to market themselves and their business,” Baker said.
A good example of cause marketing is Dawn dish soap. Many have seen the commercial of the duckling and the otter being washed with Dawn after an oil spill.
Baker became involved with cause marketing when she bought a Mustang convertible and started traveling through New England trying to promote her real estate business in car shows and parades.
She came upon one event that did not have a car and was asked if she would like to sponsor one.
“Tip No. 1: Look for ways to say yes and get involved,” Baker said at the business luncheon. “I said yes and the first year I did the car show I got 50 cars there and I had no idea what I was doing. I was totally ignorant.”
Baker said that when people came and tried to hand her $20 to register their cars, she had no idea she was suppose to take the money.
“We talk all the time about knowledge on ice versus ignorance on fire,” she said. “Can’t do a whole lot about knowledge on ice when we’re so busy analyzing and trying to figure things out, when we can’t get out of our own way. I’ve always been ignorance on fire, just a fire in my belly to do something. I didn’t know how to do it, but I was going to figure it out.”
Baker admitted that she didn’t need the money that was raised at the car show, but she knew that there were many organizations that could use that money.
“I found a group in my area called the Live and Let Live Farm, and they rescue horses in the Tri-state area,” she said. “So as the car show progressed, every year I was donating the money to the Live and Let Live Farm. What I found out was that people didn’t care so much about Cami Baker and Re-max, but they got really excited when I talked about the proceeds going to a nonprofit, especially one that they knew and they had supported.”
Baker eventually got involved with network marketing after she met people on both sides of the spectrum who knew how to balance.
“I was meeting people who were really passionate about a cause that they wanted to support, but they were waiting until they had money,” Baker said. “They were waiting until they had time, waiting until they had the resources, relationships and revenue so that they could support their organization. Then there were all these other people who were giving so much of their resources, relationships and revenue to a cause. I knew people who would do so much for an organization when their own children were hungry and their own cars were breaking down.”
She also noted that 85 percent of consumers will switch from a competition to a business when someone is on a cause.
“If you’re a real estate agent and there are three or four real estate agents up for a listing, all things being equal and you’re giving back to the vets, or animals or the elderly, people are going to choose you because they want to know that their money matters,” Baker said.
Cause marketing is something that big companies have been doing for a long time, as Dawn has. With smaller companies it’s a good way to reach out to clients.
“When we are using a cause as a way to market ourselves and our business it is a win-win-win for everyone — people, planet and profit,” Baker said.