As the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Nanigans, Dan Slagen oversees all things marketing for the online advertising solutions provider. He launched the company’s Agency Partner Program and serves on the executive team.
A fervent proponent of thought leadership and education, Slagen has won features on CNBC’s Fast Money, and in many publications including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, TechCrunch, AdAge, AdWeek, and Fast Company.
Slagen is also a regular speaker at marketing conferences, presenting at industry events like Advertising Week, Fashion Week, Citi Annual Technology Conference, JPM Annual Technology Conference, VentureBeat Summits and Dublin Masterclass.
Offering the only SaaS platform that optimizes to Predictive Lifetime Value™, Nanigans’ advertising technology helps in-house marketers find, acquire and retarget profitable customers at scale across social and mobile. Nanigans is a leading spender on Facebook at over $350M per year, and its customer list includes more than 250 industry leaders such as eBay and WayFair.
Before joining Nanigans, Slagen led global marketing relations at HubSpot where he was responsible for global advertising, events, and partnerships with over 60 companies, including Google, Salesforce, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
While most recently leading agency marketing teams, Slagen has also worked on the client side as part of the product management team for WayFair.
SVP of Marketing @ Nanigans
- Age: 28
- HQ: Boston, MA
- Apple or Android? Apple
- First Job: Building sailboats
- Hobby: Guitar
- First Car: ’99 Mercury Cougar
What mobile device can you not live without?
My iPhone – I try to keep it pretty simple, mostly using text, email, Uber, iTunes, Pandora, Triple J, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
Can we take a peek at your iPhone’s home screen?
Which apps do you use most often for work?
LinkedIn – it helps me find new hires, colleagues, and information and articles from people I follow.
What social media network or website do you frequent most when you’re not working?
Facebook. I’ve always housed all my pictures there so it’s my digital album these days.
What’s the first thing you check on your phone in the morning?
Texts, work email, and then LinkedIn.
Take me through your typical workday.
When I’m at the office, I am working with the amazing marketing team on lead generation, our brand, new business, and helping our customer base succeed with their social and mobile marketing efforts.
When traveling, I am usually speaking, meeting with customers and prospects, or visiting our other offices. Nanigans’ San Francisco office has an amazing roof deck, so I like to be there as much as possible.
What has been the most exciting work development during the past year?
Hitting our 100 percent company revenue growth goal for the third year in a row. It’s a testament to our customers, employees and market strategy.
How many miles have you traveled in the last 12 months?
I’ve traveled over 200,000 miles in the last year.
A few weeks ago I was speaking at CES/Citi Tech Conference in Vegas and my flight was cancelled. I boarded a train from Boston to DC to fly out of DC, but the train broke down in Delaware. After the train broke down, I had to take a three-hour cab ride with three total strangers from Delaware to DC.
One of those strangers happened to be Cheryl Mills who was the deputy White House Counsel for President Clinton. She had some entertaining stories, and I ended up making it to my presentation with 15 minutes to spare!
What work challenge keeps you up at night?
Hiring, and making sure we’re attracting the best talent from a performance and cultural perspective.
We’ve grown from 60 people to 175 over the last 12 months with no plans of slowing down; it’s hiring that determines if a company will be successful or not.
Can you tell us about a campaign or work project you’d like to do over?
There isn’t one thing that comes to mind. The truth, though, is we make mistakes, but as long as we learn from them and apply what we learn to future initiatives, that’s the way to ensure we’re always improving as a team.
Tell me about the people who have been most influential in your career and the direction they provided.
Lauren Norton at Wayfair was my first boss out of college and she taught me to be relentless. Josh Pike (currently at Amp Agency) was my next boss at a start-up agency called Rock Coast Media, and he taught me how to look at the bigger picture. He continues to be a mentor today.
Mike Volpe was my boss at HubSpot, he taught me how to identify new growth opportunities within a company, while my current boss, Marc Grabowski, teaches me every day how to adapt constantly and stay focused in a volatile industry.
I’d be nowhere, though, without the seemingly tireless love and support of my parents, Dotty and Chuck!
What traits does a person need to succeed in your position?
They need to love and have a natural talent for marketing and people, and understand what moves needles. They must also work harder than every other person in the room.
Marketing is about listening, connecting and inspiring as much as it is about driving a profitable bottom line.
Can you tell us something about yourself that your team would be surprised to know?
I was slimed at Nickelodeon Studios as a child.
Why did you go into marketing?
My mother is a nurse and my father is a psychologist. Once you understand how the heart and brain function and work together, marketing becomes not only fun and interesting, but a lot easier too.
What other career would you like to try and why?
Guitarist in a rock band. Is there anything better than watching the Rolling Stones or Zeppelin live?
What does your desk look like?
My desk is a disaster, usually filled with presentations and random ideas. I prefer to work on one of our couches.
What is the last business book you read and what did you think of it?
I reference Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm seemingly on a monthly basis, but I like to revisit the classics a bunch so it was actually Ogilvy on Advertising. I love this book because it reminds marketers what it’s all about – connecting with people – from the man himself.
Outside of your company’s efforts, what ad campaign or video caught your eye recently?
From a branding initiative, P&G’s (done by W+K) Olympic themed Thank You Mom, “Pick Them Back Up” was well done and truly self-identifiable to its core target market.
But, as of this morning, this would be my new favorite ad: