Tradigital Talent Is Still Rare In These Parts

Owen Hannay, chairman and CEO of Dallas agency Slingshot, suggests in Adweek that clients ought to ask five tough questions of agencies proposing to handle both traditional ad duties and digital marketing.

1. Is the agency team that leads brand strategy as adept and knowledgeable about the digital space as it is the traditional space? (And vice versa.)
2. Where will the work be done?
3. What percentage of the agency’s business is online versus offline?
4. What is the agency’s process?
5. How highly respected is technology within the agency organization?
If the answers to these questions are satisfactory, then you should be congratulated: You’ve found an agency uniquely prepared to help you develop sound, 21st-century strategies for your business and execute against them flawlessly in the digital and traditional realm. You’ve found the agency of the future.

I can’t say for sure, but it sounds like Hannay doesn’t believe that too many of these “uniquely prepared” “agencies of the future” presently exist.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Those are great questions to ask. But wouldn’t you say the tougher part of the task is deciding if the answers the agency gives you are really honest? (Never mind that you should probably know the probable answers before any agency even makes your shortlist, but given the current state of things (short CMO tenure, reviews run by third parties), I doubt that happens much.

  2. One thing that bothers me in business is the unwillingness to say, “I don’t know.” I recently told a very important room full of clients that I didn’t know and my boss wasn’t impressed. But I’m not impressed with fudge. It’s too sweet. I prefer bitter.