Jackie Camacho: A “Pilotina” Cancer-Survivor Now Living the Amazing Life Aligned with Her Passion in Marketing

Jackie was born in Mexico City and moved to the USA at age 14 where she learned English in just one year. We chat with Jackie about her journey to entrepreneurship and she also shares the 5 Types of Marketing she developed where every marketer would find very valuable and informative.

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz, CEO of JJR Marketing

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is an award-winning entrepreneur, international speaker, philanthropist, and author of ten books. She is the founder of The Fig Factor Foundation focused on unleashing the amazing in young Latinas and the creator of the Today’s Inspired Latina book series and international movement. Jacqueline is a regular guest on TV, radio and print publications. As a two-time cancer survivor, Jacqueline possesses wisdom about a life well beyond her years. She is one of the few Latina small airplane pilots in the US.

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Show Transcript:

Jesse Stoddard:         00:00            Okay, I have Jackie Camacho. Thank you so much for being on the line with me today. I appreciate you being on the show.

Jackie Camacho:        00:06            I’m excited. Thank you for the invite.

Jesse Stoddard:         00:09            Excellent. So, if you don’t mind, I would love it if you could give us a little background on yourself, kind of fill in the gaps of the introduction and share your journey with us. I’d love to hear more about it.

Jackie Camacho:        00:21            Wonderful. Came to the States when I was – I said came to the States because that was a new beginning for me, at the age of 14 and I learned English and German within a couple of years. I was really devoted to education in school and at the age of 23, I had a kind of ventured off and done some sales jobs. I just realized that I was very passionate about inspiring people. So I took the plunge and I decided to start a marketing agency at the age of just 23 when a lot of people would say to me, “how can you do that if you were 23, you’re super young, you just came to the States like eight years ago, and then on top of that or – nine years ago, and then on top of that, you are creating a communications agency in a language that you didn’t?” And I said, well, those are all valid points, but what I realized is that I had a fire in my belly that was bigger, that I wanted to make an impact in this small businesses. And now, I am celebrating 12 years as the CEO of a marketing – full service marketing public relations agency here in Chicago. That’s a little bit about my journey from coming here to the marketing world.

Jesse Stoddard:         01:49            That’s awesome. I’m sure it wasn’t always easy. Did you go through some struggles there in those 12 years?

Jackie Camacho:        01:55            Yes. Actually at the age of 21. I was diagnosed with cancer, which was a couple of years before I started the agency, and then at the age of 23, as I was embarking on my first ever client experience, I was leaving that meeting, they had decided that they were going to hire me to do their marketing and I ate an Indian spice that caused my basically my system, my body to react in such a way that I ended up being hospitalized for two weeks, 40 doctors to eventually realized that I had a condition that I was born with that happens in one out of 150,000 people in this part of the world. It happened to be a precancer, and it was behind my liver. In other words, I was a time bomb because I was born with this condition. I was a time bomb, had I not eaten that spice at that Indian restaurant for my first marketing client, I wouldn’t be here today. I mean, the prognosis was no more than three years. It’s like winning the lottery twice backward. And then realizing that that whole thing actually saved your life and that’s the reason why you’re here.

Jesse Stoddard:         03:16            So because you ate that, that was alerted them to what you had, you wouldn’t have known otherwise.

Jackie Camacho:        03:22            Yeah. It was something in my digestive system that I was born with and the spice and the intensity of the spice caused all kinds of weird, unusual symptoms that lit 40 doctors in two different hospitals scratching their head like “what’s going on?” to finally realized that I was apparently, I was one of the lucky people that had been born with this congenital condition that apparently happened – it’s is very common in Japan. Believe it or not, a lot of young Japanese girls. I’m pretty sure a lot of listeners here have heard the 23andme, the DNA testing and it tells you about your background. I was curious because I’m like, I have, I am a hundred percent Mexican. I have no Japanese-Well, I found out that I was 18 percent Asia.

Jackie Camacho:        04:14            What are the odds to that, I don’t know if it’s related or I’m just like the serendipity of life, sometimes it takes you in all kinds of twists and turns and magical things. But those are a couple of the struggles. I also one of my most recent one and it was self-induced was deciding to become a pilot. So it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, just how intense studying both practically and knowledge wise, in the ground that as well as the or the air and I’ve learned so much about myself through the process of becoming as I call myself a “Pilotina”, pilot plus Latina.

Jackie Camacho:        05:02            One word, I’m a marketer, what can I do?

Jesse Stoddard:         05:07            That’s great. And so you are a pilot now? A small planes, small aircraft Excellent. Well congratulations. That’s very cool. That ups your coolness factor quite a bit. That’s fantastic.

Jackie Camacho:        05:23            My teddy bear thinks that too, I fly with a teddy bear.

Jesse Stoddard:         05:25            Yeah. And also I’m curious, since you were learning English and German, why the German? By the way?

Jackie Camacho:        05:34            I used to work with a German teacher that had a private Japanese private reading and math center, tutoring center and I used to basically grade all the papers and every time I went, she would, speak German to her children and a little bit of Japanese and like, I just got mesmerized by German because it was so, it sounded harsh. Words were really long and I love difficult things. I love to challenge myself. I started learning more about the culture and was mesmerized by this history of the culture. I actually eventually in high school became a German tutor.

Jackie Camacho:        06:15            I was the weird Mexican that spoke German. I’ll still get a kick out of that every time.

Jesse Stoddard:         06:25            I would love to hear just a little more about this. When you started your agency and you went out on a limb and it was as a second language for you, were there some challenges in that during that time too? And developing the agency and building it up? Sounds like it was, it wasn’t, it sounds like it was easy, but it couldn’t have been struggling with.

Jackie Camacho:      06:46 a lot of limiting beliefs, as a young Latina, I was trying to find my identity. I was trying to find what was my place in the world, I was trying to find if I was Mexican or American or maybe a hybrid or who I really was? Then I started doing a lot of networking events and getting more involved with the community and I used to, like, I remember how frightened I was even though I love speaking with people just to show up with a suit. And I had one suit that I use probably 50,000 times before it was officially expired and it was like all these things I was battling with. And then I started finding out that the people that needed my services looked completely different than I did. They were not Latinos or Latinas or females or short like me.

Jackie Camacho:        07:41            They were typically Caucasian CEOs’ that needed guidance in their company. So even though there was this juxtaposition of me being a young Latina and who I am, I also inside of me, I had this relentless confidence that I was so passionate about helping people and I think passion drives us to do unbelievable feats and I literally would like stop before a meeting. I would close my eyes and just think of abundance, think of how I become a strategic trusted partner for this business that I can guide them even if it means not to get the business that day, even if it means – even if I need that business right now, even if it means to walk away from that opportunity because I feel in my heart they’re not ready for the services I provide or that I might not be the right fit.

Jackie Camacho:        08:34            So I started building one relationship at a time. Oftentimes they find my own limiting beliefs and really going deeper and finding that confidence and thinking “I got something to offer. I think I have a lot of value. I think that I could do that.” I started seeing results, so that gave me more confidence to the point where one day I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “Jackie, you are Latina and I love you exactly the way you are, bring on that fire, bring out the passion, bring your positivity and learn from the Caucasian CEOs that you’re working with. Learn their pragmatism and their results driven mentality. Learn about the pragmatic timelines, in fuse that together to create magic and that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 12 years.

Jesse Stoddard:         09:28            Fantastic. Who are your marketing mentors? People that you learned from?

Jackie Camacho:        09:32            I don’t necessarily say that I have a list of mentors, specifically in the marketing world. My mentors have been more on the general business capacity. People that have built businesses to exponential growth, people that have bought, and sold companies. I got Michael Gerber. I had an opportunity to share the stage with him at a conference where we had an opportunity to hire him. His philosophies are phenomenal, work on your business instead of inside your business. Great way to create exit strategies for companies. I also had a chance to work with Tom Ziglar, again, working with him, he’s endorsed two of my books and really what I learned from that is I learned about the power of getting things done through people and understanding that everything you’ll achieve in life is through other people.

Jackie Camacho:        10:33            The marketing knowledge is the easy part for me. I mean, I understand how to engage people, how to activate an audience, I’ve done it for many companies, making them vibrant entities. But the biggest part that sometimes people miss is the trusted partner part. The trustworthiness, the human relations part of the equation. That is really the foundation of any good marketing program. So that’s where my mentorship has come from and I have hundreds of mentors and people that said, Jackie, I believe in you. I believed, and I believe and I will always believe in you. And to me, that is the biggest advice or the biggest gift somebody can give you.

Jesse Stoddard:         11:18            What is marketing to you? What would be a good working definition?

Jackie Camacho:        11:24            Marketing is the process of activating and engaging an audience through key messages that resonate with them in the right vehicles.

Jesse Stoddard:         11:36            I love it. In your view, what’s the difference between marketing and sales?

Jackie Camacho:        11:44            Big difference. In fact, I started my career in sales and what constitutes a sale is you literally having a contract signed by the buyer. What is the beauty about marketing is that I noted to do effective marketing, your responsibility is to create the context of inspiration, innovation, connection and engagement so that the buyer can be compelled to sign that paper. So I think that, marketing is more of a science fused with art. Sales is more of a numbers game, a pragmatic, fusion and relationship with trust and integrity and value and commitment and all that. But typically the process of sales begins way before with the marketing and with all the messages that lead to someone saying, you know what? I trust you and I’ve seen and you’ve proven to me that you’re the right fit for me, for what I need. Here’s the sale.

Jesse Stoddard:         12:54            That’s a great perspective. In brief, how would you put together a great marketing strategy?

Jackie Camacho:        13:03            Three simple, simple steps. I think I alluded to it earlier. One is define your audience or audiences. Typically you have three sets of audiences. You have your existing clients. If you have an existing business, you have your prospects that don’t know that they need you, and you have your strategic alliances that will never buy from you, but will be great referral resources and witnesses to people that need your services. The second step is creating and crafting messages that truly resonate with them and activate an emotional connection with those audiences and third, selecting the right vehicles to reach out to them on a regular interval frequency to ensure that you’re staying on top of mind, so when they’re ready to buy, they raise their hands and they can buy from you.

Jesse Stoddard:         13:53            That’s great. So we talked about strategy and some higher level concepts and maybe we can get a little bit more specific and this question basically is about planning rather than just the strategy in general. And in a nutshell, how would you put together the ultimate marketing plan?

Jackie Camacho:        14:13            Well, a lot of research I think is very important. I think also being able to go back to the source, if it’s an existing client and really gained some insights. A lot of times when we were crafting this timelines and this marketing strategies, we find that what the clients does for their clients is actually bigger than what they think. So what I gain on that insight, being able to analyze the competitive landscape, is it a blue ocean or red ocean strategy, how are we going to create those differentiators? And really going back, taking all that and redefining the essence, the why, the positioning statement of the company in basically correlation to the future where the way that you’re defining it now might not be the way that you want to be defined because you have a grander vision of where you want to be.

Jackie Camacho:        15:11            So matching up the new positioning statement, that “Why?” statement to the future and then lining up all the resources to be able to get there. I believe that there are five types of marketing and maybe for those marketers that are listening to this podcast, would probably go to like, who came up with that? Well, I did. So you can give me credit for that. But there are five types of marketing that every business should deploy, incorporate at certain times within the calendar year. One is foundational marketing and he’s basically what it is for an existing company is revamping the content and the creative to basically match up to the vision of where they want to be. Assessing that, almost auditing the brands to get it ready for the future. The second part of it is executional marketing is the contract that you create with your audience or your soon to be audience to say, you know what?

Jackie Camacho:        16:10            I am a legitimate business and I want to make sure that I add value to you in an ongoing basis. So that could be your social media, that could be your email blast, your blogs, ebooks, whatever the case might be with regular intervals to create a sense of expectation, to create a sense of loyalty and allow people to raise their hand when they are ready to buy. The third one is time bound marketing and it’s something that you lay on top of the executional marketing that allows you to create a pre, during and post campaign around events, whether it be live or virtual, to basically create a clear call to action with your audience. The fourth one is innovative marketing typically against something that sits on top of the executional marketing over a period of 90 days where pre, during and after or post promotion.

Jackie Camacho:        16:59            And it’s typically that type of marketing that requires the most amount of time for planning and the most amount of innovation ideas. It’s a collaborative effort and also it takes probably be the most amount of budget, but it’s disruptive in nature, right? It’s typically something that people don’t expect and like, “Wow, I can’t believe you’re doing that, and it activates people like anything else that you’ll do in marketing. And then the fifth one is cause marketing our USF for profit organization, creating strategic alliances with nonprofit entities. In order to elevate your brand, people love to see those third party endorsements, testimonials, reviews, media placements that enhance the credibility of your brands. I mean that is very, very important. Then on top of that, you’re getting the benefit of making an impact in the community. So if you can look at your calendar and say, over the first couple of months, I’m going to create a foundation marketing little period where I review and audit all the things that we have, all the touch points and see how that matches up to where I want to be. Then the subsequent months, remaining 10 months, you say, every month we’re going to do a blog, we’re going to do an employment of information over social media in this intervals, and then on top of that you can just lay the blocks and say timebound, innovative marketing or cause marketing or you can do maybe two timebound marketing initiatives on top of that for that calendar year and they could change the next year. So that’s usually how I think and create and deploy a marketing strategy because every one of those vehicles give you a completely different result and we need that combination.

Jesse Stoddard:         18:46            That was fantastic. What great content that you just delivered, that’s probably worth a few million dollars to somebody out there right there.

Jackie Camacho:        18:54            Well bring them over. I will continue to create content till the day I die in the marketing field. This is my passion and I’m not shy about it. One day, here’s my dream. Maybe you can help me make it a reality, Jesse. I want to create a museum. Maybe an exhibit with all the cool marketing calendars that I’ve created over the years. They’re each unique and different, they’re visually appealing, most of them, and I want to create an exhibit of the magic that went behind every one of those marketing calendars.

Jesse Stoddard:         19:33            I would go see that exhibit. That would be great. That’d be better than a typical art gallery for sure.

Jackie Camacho:        19:39            I agree with you, I’m convinced of that.

Jesse Stoddard:         19:42            That’s awesome. Well, thank you. So what are, what are your best, or maybe just your favorite marketing strategies that you’ve used? Maybe some specific things or ideas or examples from clients. Anything that you could give would be great.

Jackie Camacho:        19:56            Yeah, I mean I’ve had quite a few, but I’ll keep it short. If want to have a further conversation at the many, many marketing companies over the years – but one of my favorites was a campaign that we did, a Kickstarter campaign that we did for one of the chief racers or leads of a National Hot Rod Association team. His dream was to write a book, but before we get to the book, we needed to create an engaging activating campaign to basically get people to fundraise or to crowdfund $47,000 in 30 days. So now we’re talking about something very challenging, something that, as you know, with crowdfunding platforms and most of them especially like Kickstarter, you have a goal and if you don’t raise that goal, you’re basically the campaign goes down the drain, like it doesn’t go through.

Jackie Camacho:        20:52            So we had this major goal. We started working on this three months before, put together an amazing video. We put together all the marketing materials, social media, editorial calendar, put together a list of media to activate those contacts. And it was probably one of the most challenging campaigns that we’ve done, but also one of the most rewarding. One thing that we offered on the campaign was basically -my client’s boss has an airline, a small airline, and i’m afraid, I don’t know how many 747’s he’s got. He’s got a private jet and all that. So we said, what if we have him basically pickup up the winner of this package anywhere in the US and take you to any of the NHRA races that you decide and you obviously get to go on the pit area, you get to meet the drivers.

Jackie Camacho:        21:47            And we sold three of those packages like pancakes. It helped us get over the top. We ended up raising $56,773 in 30 days. And then we went on to create an amazing life changing book that was 72,000 words and launched it with all the crew chiefs in one of the races in Texas. And that to me was the most amazing highlight for a couple of reasons. This campaign shows that when you are vested in your client’s best interest, magic happens. I mean I went in as a CEO, leading a team of nine people from my agency, working their butts off for two months, two, three months before the campaign, not knowing if this company was going to go through. If the campaign didn’t go through, I literally invested two months worth of my team without any results, so it was something kind of different and unique.

Jackie Camacho:        22:48            I don’t do this everyday, but I really saw the vision to make this happen and I think marketers need to have a relentless commitment, but they also need to have a clear definition of what risk means and then trust your gut and say, “You know what? I don’t know how in the world we’re going to make this happen, but I see it. I visually can conceive that I can see this result.” And that’s what it took. It took vision, it took trust, credibility, hard work, innovation, thinking outside the box to make this company. And that book has touched thousands and millions of lives already in just the last three years. So that’s one of my favorite campaigns of all times, it’s amazing. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

Jesse Stoddard:         23:34            That’s a great example. What about technology? Let’s talk about technology for a minute. That’s all the rage in marketing now. Are there certain tools that you recommend or things that you like and that could be anything from software to apps on a phone to tech stuff. In your marketing world, what do you like? What do you recommend?

Jackie Camacho:                 24:02            I recommend a few things, one of them is Trello, which is a free app that we use for -I run my two businesses out of that, my marketing agency and my publishing company. This is what keeps the team organized, you can log on it from your phone and it allows you to have a snapshot of what’s going on today with each project. And of course, it takes the rest of your team to be up to speed to make sure they’re doing the updates. So that’s one that I recommend. The other one that I recommend is using the technology of WordPress and all the different applications and plugins. You will be blown away by the magic of ready made, ready to plug in solutions that you can add to your website and have the experience be more enjoyable for the user.

Jackie Camacho:                 24:52            And also use it to add value. Like right now we on our website, we added a five types of marketing assessment so that you can literally, rate yourself on a scale from zero to 100 by answering some simple questions. And we use technology a ready made plugin application that we put on our website and now, a lot of our clients are loving that. The other thing that I recommend is that, I actually use this a lot to debrief my clients, my team primarily. I use my recording app on my phone and what I do is I record this JJR Marketing audio debriefs. What I do is instead creating a debrief document, I create a brief for, before we get to the creative brief, this is more like, what did I experience in that kickoff meeting? What did I experience in that initial meeting with that client where we were talking about their pain and what they needed and all that. When I do it via audio, I’m able to infuse passion. I’m able to fluctuate my voice to be able to accentuate things that are important for the team. My team loves that. They feel like they were in the meeting with me. So those are three of the many that I use that to make my life easier.

Jesse Stoddard:         26:16            Do you just text message those or send them via email. How do you deliver those to people?

Jackie Camacho:        26:20            Both, if they’re big. I emailed them most of the time I text message them, but I also many times, I have a reference section that we create on Trello and I tagged the team and say, here are, here’s the JJR audio debrief from the client, for the clients. I log it in there and I just tell them, say “Yes i did” to make sure that, I knew that they listened to the audio. It kind of like, yes I did it.

Jesse Stoddard:         26:50            Great. And is this is for your client or your team or, and your team, do you have some for your team and some for your clients?

Jackie Camacho:        26:57            Most of the time it’s for my team. On some occasions, I use audio files for my clients as well too. Maybe they’re super busy, I can’t get hold of them and I just like literally capsulate this divine downloads as I call them ideas that all marketers get. If you love marketing, you get them all the time.

Jesse Stoddard:         27:19            At random times while you’re driving or maybe when you’re sleeping or something.

Jackie Camacho:        27:23            The idea that I can change the world. Just to give an example, an idea that I had last week and a connection that I made just got 200 kids, new beds. They will have 200 kids get new beds before the end of April. Like it was a divine download of some idea, it was alignment with the frequency of a marketer and seeing the dots sometimes with the dots are not visible. Like what do you see the dots? And they’re everywhere, don’t just see them? So I think that’s the effects of a marketer. The symptoms of a marketer,

Jesse Stoddard:         28:01            I know you’re an author and you’re probably a reader too what marketing or maybe general business books do you recommend?

Jackie Camacho:        28:08            E-Myth, for sure. How To Influence Friends and Win People by Dale Carnegie, I also read many times Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I’m reading a book right now that is pretty interesting and that is Hygge this new phenomenon that we’ve been hearing about from the Danish about how they create and encapsulate happiness. They are the happiest people in the planet and they have some of the most horrendous weather in the planet as well. So I think as marketers and as leaders, this energy that we exude inspires people. The more that we work on ourselves to find that happiness, the more ideas that we come up with, the more possibilities that show up and I have proven that a thousand times. It’s contagious, I have so many referrals that “knock on wood” if everything fails or something up here too -but part of that passion, they said, “Jackie, I don’t even remember anything like that. I don’t remember what you said, but I just remember how you made me feel this passionate and you still have that after 15 years. I do, I’m working on it everyday.

Jesse Stoddard:         29:25            That is wonderful. It is contagious. You mentioned referrals. What is your unique selling proposition and what’s a good referral for you?

Jesse Stoddard:         29:36            Well, my ideal market is B2B companies between $5-$50 to a $75 million in revenue. They’re IT, professional services and manufacturing. That would be my sweet spot. However, I do work with some, bigger fortune 500 companies and bigger companies. I want to reach out to the consumer segments, consumer markets. But for me, people that are ready to make a change in their marketing, ready to explore uncharted territory, people that are really open and that are willing to invest some money too because obviously, that makes a big difference. Now I’m at a point in my life Jesse, where I get to choose who I work with. I’m in the point in my business where I literally have walked away from six figure opportunities because it wasn’t a right fit. And I’m not afraid of that, I’m not afraid of saying, our core values do not align and I’m okay with that. I come from that place of abundance and I think that has been the reason why we get so many referrals from all over the world. People that want to experience something different. My unique selling preposition is my passion. I mean, this combination of passion and really make it happen attitude and results.

Jesse Stoddard:         31:12            So how can people find out more about you? If you have any special offers or anything going on right now or maybe a new book? How do people get a hold of you or what website should they go to?

Jackie Camacho:        31:23            Well, if they want to find out a little bit about my crazy adventures and my books and business and marketing things that I do, they can go to my website, www.jackiecamacho.com and they can also go to my agency website, www.jjrmarketing.com where you’ll see a free downloadable assessment. I actually even have an app to educate business people about the 14 main marketing deliverables, what they do and the correlation of effectiveness to their cost. So that’s another thing that I’ve done to help our industry, our amazing, ever-growing, fascinating industry of marketing.

Jesse Stoddard:         32:10            Can you think of anybody else that I should interview for this Marketing Strategy Show?

Jackie Camacho:        32:16            I have actually a couple of my clients that they are not necessarily marketers by title, but they’re phenomenal. They’ve done some unbelievable things. So I’ll definitely send some people. Tommy O’ Donnell is one of them. And John K Coyle he is a Silver Olympic medalist, I think he’s done pretty amazing things himself.

Jesse Stoddard:         32:44            That is great. Well, thank you so much for your time today. This has been fantastic. Really great content that you delivered and love your energy and, love to do a part two potentially down the road. See how things are going for you as you continue to progress. And do you have any last words?

Jackie Camacho:        33:03            Live the amazing, the more that you aligned with your passion, whether it be marketing or any other industry, do it, do it with your heart because everything will come to you from that place of abundance. And the last thing is from that place of passion, create intellectual property. Create as much intellectual property as you can to continue to build your brand and take it wherever you go.

Jackie Camacho:        33:32            Thank you, Jackie. That’s excellent.

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