ADMATIC managing partner Sarah Melrose on expanded role with her team and their clients

ADMATIC - Sarah Melrose

• Plus how the agency weathered through the pandemic and the exciting year ahead

Sarah Melrose joined ADMATIC in 2019 as head of programmatic, data and technology before being promoted as managing partner of Australia last year.

Melrose spoke to Mediaweek about her newly expanded role with clients and their team, how the IMAA-member agency weathered through the pandemic and the exciting year ahead.

The Sydney-based agency was established in 2009 by CEO and founder Michael Ungerboeck. It is a full-service media agency that provides services from digital to press, out-of-home, SEO and CRO to clients – which is all run in-house.

ADMATIC has grown to include offices in Melbourne, Canberra and Auckland, New Zealand, and a strong client network across the APAC region, including Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and India.

She moved to Australia in 2015 after starting in the UK working for GroupM across a big telecommunications company and before that in B2B advertising.

Before joining ADMATIC, Melrose worked at Ikon Communications (now Essence), first as programmatic manager, then programmatic director.

Melrose was appointed to her new role as managing partner in October. She handles many aspects of the agency in the role, including client services – ensuring the best outcome and solutions are delivered, new business, digital and ad tech.

Her role also encompasses the ADMATIC team’s training and development with new technology and ensuring they are mentally healthy.

“It’s a big focus for us to make sure everyone is taking care of themselves and each other. We’re doing quite a few different initiatives to ensure that we have that kind of mental health-first approach,” Melrose added.

The agency’s specialisation in the digital and programmatic space is data and ad tech, which she said is: “something we excel in.”

Melrose said that the agency uses the best data available “to ensure that clients are getting the most return on ad spend”.

“We make sure we are target from a data and targeting point of view,” she added.

Like other agencies, the impact of the pandemic was tough on ADMATIC and their clients as the world came to a standstill.

While it was a concerning moment for the company, business has ramped up for the agency in the past year.

She noted that clients with a domestic focus stuck with them through the pandemic.

Among them was the University of Wollongong, which focused on reaching domestic students, and the Canberra-based utility service ActewAGL.

“We tried to help our clients, as much as we can, navigate through producing open information and strategies for what to do and how to pivot during that time,” she said.

Melrose said the agency worked hard to help the University of Wollongong host virtual recruitments instead of in-person open days and drive Virgin Active’s online access.

There is also plenty of growth in the year ahead for ADMATIC, both locally and internationally.

She said: “We have quite a few clients based in Singapore now, and we’re competent across the APAC region. That’s been a significant development area for us.”

Melrose noted that ADMATIC also recently launched its Canberra office, led by the newly appointed business and media director Danni Sparkes.

She also shared that the agency has also achieved a 50:50 gender-balanced in both staff and management.


Danni Sparkes with Sarah Melrose

On the IMAA

Melrose also spoke highly about ADMATIC’s experience being part of the IMAA, praising the training and development provided, the presentations from media partners, and group deals on ad tech and data providers secured.

As a small and independent agency, she said they don’t always have the resources like more prominent companies. She added: “it’s nice to have a vast network that we can tap into from any level of service.

“It’s great to have the network there knowing that we can reach out to the IMAA and be paired up and matched up with someone who may have the skills we don’t have.”

Read more: ADMATIC celebrates 50:50 leadership balance as Danni Sparkes joins agency

Top image: Sarah Melrose

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