From Collingwood to China: How the Balmer Agency has doubled billings

Balmer Agency

“Despite Covid we have doubled year on year”

The IMAA, the national, not for profit industry association for independent media agencies launched last year.

Since then it has continued to grow its membership base and make a series of big announcements, including its trade credit deal and a number of new media partners.

Mediaweek has been profiling members of the IMAA – previous features can be found here. This week we spoke to the founder and CEO of the Balmer Agency, Sarah Balmer.

The Balmer Agency is a full-service agency that was founded six years ago in Collingwood and has gone on to develop both national and international footprints in the industry. Balmer describes the agency as an east meets west operation.

“We offer full service including Chinese digital or Asia digital services to help support clients with a holistic marketing strategy. This includes bringing brands from China to Australia and helping brands go from Australia to China and supporting them, helping set up their marketing, and implementing it for them,” said Balmer.



The agency has a strong B2B focus and 90% of its retainer clients have been with the company since its launch which has helped it double its billings every year.

The Balmer Agency’s roster of clients includes MSA, 4D Medical, Kitchen Collective, JOST ANZ, and Royans Transport Accident Repairs which have been joined by recent additions such as Russian Standard Vodka (in China), Guardian Vaults, SP Plus, Australian Women Lawyers and Monash Uni – Performing Arts Centres.

“The majority of our clients that we started with are still with us. We do everything from marketing consultancy all the way through to website development, social media, Chinese digital, and SEO.

“Despite Covid, we have doubled year on year, for the past six years it has been crazy growth, which is a testament to the kinds of services we offer, and our clients are sticking because we have a lot of skin in the game to help get the best results possible.”

A Family Friendly Agency 

Balmer said that the agency is 99% female staffed, with over 50% being working mums. She has tried to be flexible with working arrangements with school holiday hours, sleep-ins, and early finishes every Friday at 3pm.

“I have a family myself; I have a two-year-old and a one-year-old and it has been really interesting to see how the agency has changed over time, but we are a really family friendly agency. We have a lot of working mums and dads and we try and change the dynamic of the agency, there is no ego and yelling and giving school holiday hours and trying to provide flexibility to the staff.”


When asked what her agency’s speciality was, Balmer said that the agency isn’t in it for awards but are in it to provide smarter marketing.

“We partner with our clients and do a little or a lot and I think that is reflected in that everyone is really friendly and invested.”


Balmer said that she is loving life in the IMAA and that all the independents can come together and be a force in the industry.

“We found it really fantastic with all the tools and initiatives that they are driving forward to make life easier for the independents.”

Balmer Agency is hiring and would love to hear from you. Get in touch here.

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