Founder & CEO Jessica Miao reflects on the journey of UMS

At UMS, we are lucky to have some of the most innovative and passionate leaders in the industry. In order to share their knowledge, UMS will be interviewing these inspiring leaders and introducing them to you, on a more personal level. Keep an eye out for more UMS Q&As over the coming months!


Q:What inspired you to start UMS? 

A:My father has been one of the strongest influences in my life. As part of a group of pioneers in China who created online TV and video technologies for websites in the 1990s, his innovative spirit had a significant impact on me from an early age. His career choice meant that as a child, it was my dream to be a journalist and cover stories from around the world, to pursue a career in media and marketing was brought up with me.


After graduating, I heard many stories about successful individuals, such as Steve Jobs and Jack Ma, who started their own businesses and changed the world with their ideas. I was strongly inspired by these stories, and it further propelled my desire to start my own business.


In order to do this, I had to learn how the industry operated. I spent three years working at an overseas news corporation and local Chinese media corporation to set my foundation of knowledge. I worked very hard to absorb as much knowledge as possible and gain as many practical experiences as I could.


The real opportunity for the formation of UMS I discovered, was the culture barrier international businesses continue to face in China and the knowledge gap Chinese consumers are facing when selecting and consuming overseas products. This opportunity turned into a reality at a business event in China where I was introduced to international delegates who were interested in marketing to China. This marked the beginning of United Media Solution.


Q:How has UMS set itself apart from other marketing agencies? 

A:UMS has a unique cross-culture global mindset with the ability to understand and work with businesses internationally. All of our people at UMS have either lived or studied overseas and there are few people in China who have had this opportunity. Our people have a strong understanding of western cultures, their goals and how they should interact with Chinese businesses and consumers. After 9 years of working with international clients, our understanding and expertise has continued to grow – our people are some of the most experienced and knowledgeable experts in their field.

In addition, our people are Chinese internet natives which means that we not only understand the Chinese media landscape, but we live and breathe it. We know what works and we know what solutions are going to perform for our clients.


Q:Looking back on your past 9 years with UMS, what achievement are you most proud of? 

A:Winning our first overseas award at the 2017 New Zealand Social Media Awards for The Best International Social Media Campaign. This was a huge achievement for us because we were nominated among some of Australia and New Zealand’s biggest social media players and were the only Chinese company awarded. It was a great opportunity for our hard work to be showcased and we were truly humbled to have won the award.


Q:What do you think is UMS’ most valuable asset? 

A:The people. We have an incredibly talented cohort of staff at UMS who are very passionate about what we do here. Our global and entrepreneurial mindset continues to deliver fantastic results for our clients.


Q:Tell us a little bit about the culture at UMS?

A:Businesses that operate offices across the globe can often struggle to connect their people and keep a consistent culture. At UMS we are very lucky to have a set of people that are close knit and operate through our values: innovation, collaboration, diligence, growth and transparency. Although cliché, we really are one big family.


Q:What are your interests and how do you balance them and your work?

A:For me, I find that work life integration provides me with the greatest benefit for my personal life and career development. I love learning about new technology, the logic and science behind it and how it can enhance our lives and our future, I’m often looking for new ways UMS can adopt new technology to better service our clients. I’m really lucky that my career is also my passion, so it makes sense for me to integrate the two.


Q:As a successful business woman, what piece of advice would you give to other young women looking to start their own business?

A:1. Build a partner team. Whatever your capabilities, you’re going to need support and people with different skill sets.

2. Have a clear business goal and manage expectations. It’s important to have an exceptional plan in place and be able to adequately manage expectations. It can often be the defining factor that makes or breaks a business.

3. Build on innovation and/or customer demand. A successful business is usually built through these two models, make sure yours is too!

4. Execution is the key to success. You can spend forever creating the best strategy on paper, but it’s all for nothing if not executed correctly.

5. Take advantage of your nature strength. The combination of persistency, inclusivity, ownership, emotional intelligence and strong communication is the nature power of women in leadership.


Q:How do you see UMS developing in 2020?

A:UMS has recently undergone a re-structure to better service our clients in 2020 and beyond. Our key offerings have been split into three streams: establish, connect and engage.

1. Establish: create business proposals and strategies for setting up Chinese operation with local research and intelligence.

2. Connect: Identify audiences to be reached effectively and ROI through paid media and influencer channels.

3. Engage: Systematically engage with business stakeholders for conversion and reputation.