So Media Group's acquisitive run continues with purchase of AmpersandMC

So Media Group's acquisitive run continues with purchase of AmpersandMC

SMG COO Jason Balchand, AmpersandMC founder Alison Balch and SMG co-founder Adam Barrell.

Digital media publisher and agency So Media Group (SMG) has strengthened its client services capabilities after snapping up fellow Perth-based marketing specialist AmpersandMC for an undisclosed fee.

The deal marks SMG’s third strategic acquisition in the last 12 months after it acquired Northover Media in May and Carma The Social Chameleon last September, as the business accelerates its national expansion by adding new media platforms to its portfolio.

Founded by Alison Balch in 2014, Subiaco-based AmpersandMC is a full service marketing agency with a record of delivering local and national strategic marketing campaigns, communications and events for a stable of retainer and project clients.

“A big part of our strategy is growth through acquisition, and we are looking to acquire both media companies and client services businesses that complement what we do, whether that is growing our client base or whether it's growing our people base,” SMG COO Jason Balchand told Business News Australia.

“From a publishing side, we are looking to grow our audience in verticals where we're looking to grow geographically. A large part of that this year has been the acquisition of Sydney and Melbourne teams to expand our client data network of publishers, where we highlight the best of what each city has to offer.

“It started with ‘So Perth’, where we highlight the best of tourism from a general lifestyle point of view, and in the last 12 months, it has expanded to Sydney and Melbourne.”

SMG works with local and national brands such as Kleenheat, Tourism NT, The Ritz-Carlton Perth, University of Western Australia, Crown, Hilton and Pentanet to deliver content and marketing campaigns.

AmpersandMC will operate under SMG’s ‘Maverick’ brand, with its founder Balch joining the new owner's advisory board as part of the deal and will maintain oversight of the business’ clients.

“Joining the SMG family is an exciting move for our clients at AmpersandMC, who are already seeing the benefit of access to the So Media Group national audience supported by a team of outstanding marketing talent,” she said.

“I am personally very excited to be a part of such a dynamic group making a significant impact in the Australian digital media landscape.”

Balchand believes that partnering SMG’s audience growth of more than one million users across Australia with a strengthened client services offering gives the company a unique advantage over its competitors.

“Alison is someone we've known for a while anyway, both operating in the Perth market, and we've worked alongside her both with AmpersandMC and Pentanet,” Balchand said.

“When she was looking to exit her agency, we had a conversation about what she was looking for and what the business looked like from a client's point of view. Many of the clients she had under management with AmpersandMC were a good fit for what we can offer through services, and our audiences can complement the business.

“It looks like a perfect fit from a long-term strategic perspective and will mean getting better results for clients by adding our audience to their client offering.”

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