PulsePoint’s Trader Hall of Fame: Sally Mikhlin (Havas Media)

November 14, 2023
Mya Joseph

We are proud to partner with 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 are proud to welcome Sally Mikhlin, programmatic manager at Havas, to the Trader Hall of Fame.

Sally’s journey to programmatic

Sally Mikhlin was born, raised, and educated in Massachusetts, where she studied economics, international relations, and politics at UMass Amherst. After graduation, she traveled through Europe for several years teaching English, but, eventually, she decided to put down roots at a larger organization. She didn’t know anything about marketing, but she knew that she wanted to find a place where she could grow.

Sally had a strong first impression of Havas during her interview, and things moved quickly from there. She accepted a role on the programmatic team, and in no time, she went “from zero marketing or advertising or programmatic or media buying experience to slow growth.”

Sally’s favorite parts of the job

Sally said she loves the people she works with at Havas. “Everyone has a similar mentality and everyone really has each other’s back,” she said. Whether they are talking about serious things or sending each other funny gifs throughout the day, it’s a community.

When it comes to programmatic, she said she loves the problem-solving involved. “Sometimes you’re thrown a problem and you’re like, ‘I don’t know how A got to Z, but we have to figure out the alphabet in between,’” she said, comparing it to a puzzle that keeps her brain sharp.

And the more she solves these puzzles, the more she’s able to build her foundation of knowledge and sense of intuition. But she acknowledged that she still has a lot to learn. “I’m comfortable with knowing I don’t know a lot. That means there’s more to know,” she said.

Advice for newcomers to programmatic

According to Sally, being willing to learn is a big part of succeeding in programmatic and the healthcare marketing industry. It’s more about your attitude than what you know, and being proactive is very important. “If something has your name on it, really put effort in it, and it doesn’t have to be perfect,” she said,”But it has to be known that you cared enough to try.”

“Try to be as independent as you can,” she added. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions, but you should try to build up your own knowledge base over time and slowly do more on your own. She also recommended saying yes to tasks (within reason; boundaries are important), as well as trying new things and then coming back with questions so you can be more successful next time. 

Her last piece of advice was to test the limits of your knowledge—because you can always pivot and change things up. She said she often thinks about advice her father gave her: try to find inspiration in opportunity. “Finding inspiration in opportunity is also how you pivot toward things you like. I always liked that advice.”

Sally and PulsePoint

When asked what she enjoys about working with PulsePoint, Sally gave a shout-out to the reps she partners with and said they’re helpful and responsive. She also said she likes the look and feel of the platform. “The DSP itself is pretty simple, but in a way that works well. It’s aesthetically pleasing,” she said. “And I’ve noticed, some DSPs, while they work well, they’re hard to navigate.”

She also praised the targeting options and said she likes to use the target NPI lists. Another one of the reasons she likes working with PulsePoint is that it has proprietary data that is helpful and performs well.

Sally outside of work

When she’s away from her computer, Sally said she has taken up yoga to prioritize mind, body, and spiritual well-being. She has a deep interest in emotional intelligence, psychology, and meditation, and Buddhism is an important aspect of her day-to-day life.

Her other hobbies include reading, traveling (she spent time in Italy, Spain, Argentina, and France this year), playing video games with friends, and hiking, all things she considers self-care. “Personally, it helps me to think that if I don’t fill my own cup, I don’t have much to fill other people’s cups, whether that’s work or personal,” she said. “Self-care is not selfish; it is self-care.”

Sally’s view on life

Sally ended the interview with some final thoughts about how she sees the world. She said she keeps quotes and affirmations on her desk as daily reminders, including one that says, “Ego sees problems, but consciousness sees solutions.” To her, this is a reminder to be mindful; because “if you’re mindful, nothing is necessarily a problem. It can be part of your life, something to learn from.”

Life is joyous, she said, and you have to try to observe it and do your best and be kind.

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