By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

January 3, 2019 | 3 min read

In order to find the world's top marketer, The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has partnered with The Drum for the Global Marketer of the Year award 2018.

The shortlist for this year’s award features heads of marketing from Coty, Diageo, Ikea, Mastercard, Procter & Gamble and Unilever. Votes are now open to the industry and the WFA caught up with nominee Ukonwa Ojo, Coty's chief marketing officer of consumer beauty to talk about her role in transforming the Covergirl brand following its acquisition from P&G back in 2016.

Ojo not only revamped the brand's proposition in only 11 months, but she also introduced 'I Am What I Make Up', a powerful tagline which highlights her vision of a company that is strong on diversity and inclusion.

"Empathy" is the skill that Ojo thinks is the most important for any marketer. "I ask my people to listen," she said, "because I’ve found that when they do that, its a mindset shift that makes you listen more intently and it’s really interesting the level of empathy that you have once you put that mindset on."

This year, Covergirl became the biggest makeup firm to be completely certified cruelty-free; making it the largest beauty brand to earn the coveted Leaping Bunny hallmark.

Discussing the achievement, Ojo said: "Everyone thought it was impossible for a brand of that size," adding that she was proud that the company "pulled together to do something so monumental and so large that actually made a difference in the world."

Her hope for her marketing and creative teams is to "really push inclusivity forward - beyond talk," and "build teams that are as diverse behind the camera as they are in front of the camera."

Discussing how marketers can become better at their jobs, Ojo added: "I think we [need to] become more empathetic people. Become humans who listen to other humans, with an intent to make their lives better and if we do that, then I believe that we’ll win every time."

Watch the full interview with Ojo above. You can vote for her, or the other finalists for the WFA Marketer of the Year Award, here.

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