Danny Mager


How I started in this business:

I came to the University of Wisconsin Madison from New Jersey in 1983 and was always very interested in being in advertising. I was a writer, so I originally wanted to be a copywriter. When I graduated from UW, I got a job writing and producing a physician recruitment video for the Department of Health, which kept me in Madison. I was still looking for jobs in advertising as a writer, but found out there were a lot of opportunities in advertising sales, so I pursued that. I worked for a couple different advertising companies, both on the sales and agency side of the business, which ultimately led me to Affirm.

What I like most about my job:

I like collaborating with clients to help them achieve their goals and overcome challenges they might face. For example, I was really surprised when we first started working with the Wisconsin DOT on the ZERO IN WISCONSIN campaign that seatbelt usage in the state was only at 75%. The fact that the most recent numbers show it’s gone up to 85% proves that we’re certainly on the right path. We still have a ways to go, but I ultimately love working with clients to overcome issues over the long term.

When I’m not at work:

I have a wife and three daughters, so I love doing stuff with my family. I still play ultimate Frisbee and love going to see live music. Madison is such a great city for biking and going down to the Union Terrace and getting out and about, so I love living there.

Best advice I ever received:

“Use budgets.” This advice came from my first boss on my first day on the first job I had after graduating from UW Madison and it’s stuck with me ever since! It’s important to always use budgets to manage projects and campaigns so that you can clearly measure and track revenue and expenses, and be fully accountable on everything to your clients and yourselves.

If I weren’t doing this:

I was originally thinking about going to law school to become a lawyer but my adviser never told me about something called the “LSAT’s” that I’d have to take to get in!

To me, Positively Engaging Marketing means:

Working closely with clients to come up with solutions that will benefit them, their customers or whoever is going to be using their product or service. Everybody wins; the customer and the client. It also needs to be a positive experience. People need to partner with companies they feel comfortable working alongside so that there can be success from a business standpoint but also long-term relationships that benefit everybody.

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