PulsePoint’s Programmatic Trader Hall of Fame: Sydney Ellis

June 26, 2024
Mya Joseph

PulsePoint’s Trader Hall of Fame: Sydney Ellis

We are proud to partner with hardworking clients who are pushing the boundaries of programmatic and putting the right medications in front of HCPs and patients at the right time. PulsePoint established the Trader Hall of Fame to highlight their efforts and give others a closer look at the individuals shaping this quickly evolving industry. This month, we welcome Sydney Ellis, Senior Director of Media Activation, Platforms & Partnerships at Real Chemistry, to the Trader Hall of Fame.

Sydney’s journey to programmatic healthcare

After majoring in Strategic Communications and Journalism at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Sydney thought she’d end up in Washington, D.C., doing political campaign strategy. But the job market instead took her to New York City, where she got a position at a media agency. “I honestly say that is the best thing that ever happened to me,” she said. “I think that New York is such a special and beautiful place where everybody can kind of grow into themselves and there's always enough space for everybody.”

Sydney found her way to programmatic by following the advice of her mentor. She started out doing direct buys but quickly realized she wanted to be more in control. Why can’t I see what levers we’re pulling? she wondered. 

“I really wanted to get deeper into the why of everything. I wanted to understand what was going on and be able answer those questions for the clients and really impact what campaign outcomes were.”

Eventually, Sydney came to Real Chemistry to help start their self-service programmatic trading desk, and that’s when she said she fell in love with PulsePoint.

Sydney’s favorite parts of the job

When asked what she likes most about her role, Sydney said, without hesitating, that she loves getting to manage her team. “They are so incredible. They are all absolute badasses,” she said. “I learn from them; they learn from me. It is truly a pleasure to watch them grow their skills, to help manage and mentor them while they're up and coming.” 

“I think that it's really beautiful to get to see so much potential in people and remind them that they should have more confidence in themselves,” she added, emphasizing how important it is that her team knows she always has their backs.

Sydney credits much of her management style to an influential mentor. “I was extremely lucky to have a really incredible female mentor who would walk into the room and absolutely command it, and she would always have my back and it’s something I’ve always taken with me throughout my career growth and management strategy.”

Sydney’s advice for newcomers to programmatic health marketing

Sydney’s first piece of advice is to “write everything down and be extremely detail-oriented.” But it’s equally important to give yourself a little grace and “be kind to yourself.” She admitted that she still has a hard time taking this advice. “I really want to understand and execute everything perfectly the first time. Obviously, that isn’t an option most times.”

“A lot of times people look at mistakes as detriments, but they’re always a learning opportunity,” she said. “As long as you're not going to be overspending money, every mistake is definitely an opportunity to learn and grow.”

Because programmatic and media, in general, are such quickly changing fields, she recommended tapping into the knowledge and experience of the people a year or two above you. And if you’re the curious type then programmatic might be perfect for you. “If you really like to understand how things work and want to be on the forefront of what's coming next and you like to solve problems, that's definitely the spot for you.”

When it comes to learning new things, she said, “Don’t be afraid to experiment and figure out what works.” Make changes in the platform, and if it doesn’t work, “you can go back and change something else. That’s the beauty of programmatic.”

The best advice she’s ever received is to be confident in herself. “You shouldn’t have your worth be based on external forces; have your worth be based on who you are—and you know who you are and what you bring to the table.” Her mentor told her to be more confident in what she can do and what value she brings because “ultimately, that’s what they’re going to remember.” 

“If you don't have your own back, why should anybody else have yours?”

Sydney and PulsePoint

When asked about her experience working with PulsePoint, Sydney was quick to give a shoutout to her team: Malcolm Halle, Nick Lucero, and Matt Salzano. “They are incredible. They are my boys,” she said.

“Starting my work with PulsePoint, they were always there for us no matter what I needed. It didn’t matter what spend threshold I had. They were always there to answer a question or QA a campaign.”

She also appreciates how open the team is to feedback. “I was on a call with some of your software engineers being like, ‘This would be really, really great to see in the platform,’ and they were able to actually turn that around within a couple of months.”

“My job is to be platform agnostic, but there's a reason I keep coming back to PulsePoint time and time again, and that's definitely because everything works the way it's meant to. You guys are continuously challenging yourselves and putting out new solutions that really can move the needle on a lot of campaigns.”

When it comes to specific features, she said PulsePoint’s NPI match tools in the platform and the ability to build out custom NPI Smart Lists are “huge.” She also appreciates the ability to get an immediate match and then forecast out on it. “It’s something that PulsePoint has invested a lot into and it really sets them apart from others in the marketplace.”

Sydney outside of work

Sydney is a Leo, a plant mom, and a painter. She loves plants, and her apartment “looks like a jungle.”

“My mom has a green thumb. I never thought I did and then over COVID it really exploded and I absolutely love having them around.” She also enjoys combining her hobbies by painting flower pots and giving the plants to her friends.

When she’s not painting or taking care of her plants, she can be found walking around New York City with her 100-pound Bernese Mountain Dog named Daisy. “She’s just my favorite thing, period.” 

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