#WiMMeets Ifeoma Jibunoh-Dozie - CMO of Cassava Technologies

17 July 2022

#WiMMeets Ifeoma Jibunoh-Dozie - CMO of Cassava Technologies

Welcome to #WiMMeets - a series of short interviews with marketing leaders from across Africa and around the world. The series will present a different side to senior professionals with the aim to share the things that matter to them and inspire others. 

In this interview, we sat down with Ifeoma Jibunoh-Dozie, CMO of Cassava Technologies.

Ifeoma brings a wide breadth of sector experience within the Financial, Technology and FMCG industries. She is skilled in developing and implementing brand, marketing, and corporate communication strategies delivering high quality integrated business solutions. Over the years, she has provided direction to organisations and brands in all aspects of traditional and non-traditional marketing and communications to deliver exceptional levels of ROI. She also has a strong track record in developing new business and holding significant P&L responsibilities.

As the CMO of Cassava Technologies, Ify is responsible for building the overall business marketing and communications strategies that lead to increased revenue, awareness and relevance among the businesses target audiences. Her role includes unifying the customer experience, brand purpose, innovation, creative communications and marketing technology. Before joining Cassava Technologies, Ify was the Director of Marketing and Communications for Sub Sahara Africa at Mastercard. She was responsible for developing integrated marketing and communications strategy that drove Mastercard's business performance, brand salience and reputation. And before that, she worked at Heineken for 17 years in senior marketing roles across multiple markets and regions in Europe and Africa. Over her extensive career, she has successfully built strong iconic brands that engage with consumers and customers and increased profit delivery for respective organisations.

She has won multiple Marketing awards, most notably a Cannes Award for a digital campaign she developed whilst working at Heineken. She has a law degree (LLB) from the University of Bristol and a master's degree in international business (LLM) from Kings College London. Ify enjoys sports, reading, travelling, and mentoring young girls in her spare time. In addition, she is passionate about capability development, youth empowerment and promoting African Art.


WiM Africa: What gives you energy and drives you forward when you are not feeling at the top of your game?

IJD: Work is essential, but we should not underestimate the significant role our personal lives play in ensuring a balanced and happy life.

  • My children – I've often said that the best job in this world is being a mother to my two girls.
  • Passion for results – I am a results-oriented marketer, and witnessing an effective marketing team's impact on a brand and business motivates and energises me. Watching brands grow in a sustainable way is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my job.
  • My team – Working with people, motivating and coaching teams and seeing every individual team member grow and reach their full potential gives me energy.
  •  Influencing behaviour - Marketing, at its core, is about influencing customer and consumer behaviour. But no marketing campaign will be successful if insights-based decisions do not drive them. I have always been passionate about understanding the needs and motivations of our customers - being able to delve into the shoes of a customer, and understanding their pain points and their unmet desires is something I am extremely passionate about.


WiM Africa: Which advertising campaign, from any brand, has been the most memorable for you and why?
As a marketeer, you must understand and put yourself in the shoes of the audience you are targeting. If you do that, all campaigns will be successful irrespective of the rollout scale. I have produced and been part of numerous award-winning campaigns in the last 20+ years. The one that stands out was The Le Big Swim campaign, a campaign for the Kronenbourg brand with Eric Cantona as brand ambassador. This campaign received the following commendations; a Cannes Bronze Lion (Direct), 4 Cannes Lions Shortlist, One show bronze pencil (Direct), One show Merit (Social), One Show Merit (PR), 2 CLIO Shortlists, 2 Campaign Big Awards Shortlists, Creative Circle Bronxe (Social), AdWeek Ad of the day, No 1 UK Social FMCG Campaign 2015 (The grocer Nielsen/Headstream).


WiM Africa: What three pieces of advice would you give to a woman marketer aspiring to a senior position about getting to and staying at the top of their profession?
The business landscape is changing, even before Covid-19 impacted how we work, there was a definite shift within the organisation. I've always believed that "If you want to change the world, start with women". So my top three pieces of advice to a woman marketer aspiring to work her
way up the corporate ladder are:

  1. Self-awareness – Women naturally look at their weaknesses, but instead, I want to tell my peers and even the young ladies who are entering the workspace – "Know what your unique value proposition is. You have to be able to create awareness for your brand".
  2. Identifying sponsors – Women need to find mentors/sponsors within the business. They have held up a mirror to me in terms of enabling me to evaluate my strength and acknowledging the areas for improvement. Being able to mentor and share my wins and failures has helped me in my journey, and I would like to pass the same to those who come after me.
  3. Know your worth – this goes back to the first point, if you know the value you bring to the table, you will always have the confidence in asking for what is yours rightfully – be it salary or a promotion. Please don't wait for opportunities to present themselves to make the changes you want to see, steer the course of your journey to your benefit. This requires you to raise your hand up for opportunities asking for stretch projects that will take you out of your comfort zone/ out of your area of expertise and enable you to progress in the right way.


WiM Africa: Which one person, dead or alive, would you say inspires you the most and why?
IJD: My role model has been my mother. She has been an inspiration for me my whole life. She's an entrepreneur, and to date, she has the constant desire to learn and will be the first to sign up for a new course to upskill herself in different areas of expertise. Her desire for continuous
improvement is an inspiration to me. In addition to managing a successful art gallery in Lagos, Nigeria, she is actively involved in mentoring women of all ages at every opportunity she gets. She has always managed to strike the perfect balance in pursuing her passion and professional interests.


WiM Africa: If you were stuck on a desert island what three things, excluding electronics, could you not do

  1. A fiction book – My favourite books are Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts and The Famished Road by Ben Okri
  2. A pen – Ideas come to my mind during quiet moments of reflection. I remember best when I take notes
  3. A notebook – The notebook is to make notes of these ideas. I always prefer to put pen to paper to ensure that these ideas are not lost


Discover more #WiMMeets interviews here!

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