Jarmila is the Founder, Consulting Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director of YUnique Marketing. Here she tells us of her journey...
Like many, I left university with a degree, but no idea about which career I wanted to pursue. I started work as the sole sales and marketing employee of a small software start-up company, and was responsible for rapid growth in both sales and team size. I then moved on through progressively larger companies – predominantly in the tech sector – until I ended up in senior marketing leadership roles in large multi-nationals like IBM.
However, I never felt completely fulfilled working for a massive enterprise, no matter how senior the role. So, with some trepidation and minimal funding, I founded YUnique Marketing Ltd in March 2016. I wanted to make the knowledge, experience and mentorship of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) accessible to smaller businesses and make a real impact to the SMEs that form the backbone of UK PLC.
I realised that what they needed was a flexible, on-demand consulting CMO service and that’s the niche I aimed to fill. As the business grew, I offered a potentially challenging proposal to my husband. I asked David to join me as a partner when the marketing franchise he was contracted to came up for renewal. I can’t guarantee that working with your life partner is the right choice for every couple, but for us it has worked out well – thankfully!
2019 was a tough year business-wise as many companies held off on investing in marketing due to uncertainty over Brexit. Then we both got COVID pretty badly in March 2020 and were bed-ridden with very high fevers for two solid weeks, followed by a further couple of months of recuperation. It was a very worrying time for both of us and our two teenage daughters who had to look after themselves.
When we recovered, I took time to strengthen my pro-bono engagement with the various education and business institutions I was involved with, and volunteered for more mentoring and coaching.
As businesses re-emerged from lockdown, my raised profile (Chair of Institute of Directors Surrey; Chair of the Business Women in Surrey group etc.) and our flexible, accessible and cost-effective offering have thankfully led to a significant upturn for our company. The past 12 months have been our most successful so far.
I am a passionate believer in the power of good businesses to make the world a better place and I am dedicated to empowering those who embrace profit and purpose through marketing excellence.