New hires lead to major new clients as T3 continues shift to technology

Sep 16, 2014
Austin Business Journal

New hires in all three of its offices and a reorganization of the company’s business structure has helped Austin advertising agency T3 reposition itself as a technology-focused marketing firm, with more than a half dozen major new clients to show for it

Big brands such as Capital One Financial Corp., General Mills Inc., Staples Inc., Mary Kay Cosmetics, Gannet Company Inc., Ryder and Michael’s have joined long-standing clients such as UPS Inc. and 7-Eleven at T3, which is using several newly created groups and talent to better serve and reach customers

Keith Johnston, T3’s chief operation officer, joined the company in August 2013 and went to work creating special strategy and experience groups that examine how customers interact with content from brands, and how to use that information to help them appeal to the public

“With the experience group we’re figuring out how to affect the user,” he said of the department headed by new hire Oscar Llarena, T3’s experience director. “We’re going to be even more tech focused and technologists are into that. Lots of companies get caught in the marketing trap but we’re solving business problems, not just brand problems.”

While Johnston wouldn’t disclose the company’s revenue he said it is on pace to grow by 20 percent this year, with further growth in 2015 as the company continues to hire and seek new clients. T3’s total billings for 2013 were just over $200 million, with gross income of just over $30 million, placing the firm at No. 3 on the 2014 Austin Business Journal list of the area's largest advertising and marketing agencies

Other new hires include Tamara Weinman as the managing director of T3’s San Francisco office, and Hawk Thompson as the content strategy director in Austin. The moves bring the agency’s headcount to 152 people in Austin. T3 founder Gay Gaddis was selected as one of the 2014 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year winners

“Hawk has been one of the best content strategists in the city, and we’re making content – writing, video and everything else – part of our strategy as a whole,” Johnston said. “We look at content as a holistic practice so we can make sure we’re making the best use of every piece of content that’s produced.”

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