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Integrity, Collaboration & Resilience: Q&A With Sima Cordner, Senior Director of Sales

We sat down with Sima Cordner, Senior Director of Sales at Jun Group, to explore her career in healthcare advertising, how the industry has evolved, and the values she instills in her team members.
Hey Sima, I’m excited to catch up. Most people don’t start their careers off in ad tech. To kick things off, can you tell me a bit about how you got here? 

I went to Saint Joseph’s University and graduated with a degree in Marketing in 2013. Fun fact, SJU actually offered pharmaceutical marketing as a major, but my parents convinced me that keeping my major as broad as possible would ultimately benefit me in the long run… and here I am in pharma marketing.

Sales was never on my radar, as I was completely set on landing a more traditional, creative marketing role. Once I decided to make the move from Philly to New York, I found myself in a cold-calling sales role that definitely taught me a lot about sales, but ultimately wasn’t what I envisioned for my career long-term. At the same time, one of my best friends started working for Jun Group, and once she introduced me to the company and the world of ad tech, I knew I had to make the transition.

You’re responsible for a large portion of our healthcare business. How did you get started in that vertical?

My territory consists of media agencies in Philadelphia, which is the healthcare and Rx capital of the media world. Because so many of these agencies have a specific focus on pharmaceutical brands, my first introduction to the ad tech space was completely through the pharma lens. 

Over the last 7 years, I’ve worked with various teams across direct-to-consumer and healthcare provider accounts. I love applying everything I’ve learned about the industry as a whole to every client meeting I have.

What do you think sets healthcare brands apart from other verticals? 

Unlike brands in other verticals who may be interested in mass reach and awareness among a wide set of consumers, healthcare brands are laser-focused on reaching the most qualified patient and provider audiences to ensure as little waste as possible with their ad dollars. 

This typically includes leveraging several key data points when targeting their audiences like real-world health insights, competitive data, and behavioral commonalities that fit within their patient profile. Healthcare provider campaigns operate a bit differently, as they’re mainly focused on reaching their target providers based on their NPIs, which is a unique identifier assigned to doctors of all types.

We’ve seen ad tech change rapidly in recent years. In what ways have you seen healthcare marketing evolve? 

Over the last few years, there’s been a significant interest in third-party measurement capabilities. We partner with various vendors across our pharma campaigns to measure KPIs far beyond awareness, such as audience quality and script lift. These metrics are highly important when it comes to determining the overall success of a digital campaign, and measuring our impact against qualified patient audiences. 

I’ve also seen brands become more interested in running custom executions instead of relying on standard display and video placements. We love including “big ideas” in our proposals to help engage audiences in a more interactive way, whether that’s through a custom rich media execution, such as an interactive quiz or direct response form, or even an influencer campaign.

Switching gears a bit… You also manage a sales team. What values do you instill in your team members? 

I look to instill the same core values across my team that I use myself as a seller, which are integrity, collaboration, and resilience. With integrity, it’s so important to be upfront and honest in every interaction that we have, whether it’s with our clients or fellow team members. 

Collaboration is another big one for me — I encourage open communication and teamwork to make sure we’re all on the same page. Each of my sellers is so unique and has different areas they excel in, so when we’re working together I know we can achieve so much more as a team. 

Lastly, you need to be resilient in a sales role. I’m all about talking through obstacles and challenges together so we can develop a strategic approach to overcome them. Leading by example is extremely important to me. Although I’m managing a team, I’m still an individual contributor myself, so I’m facing the same wins and challenges as my team on a daily basis.

There’s a lot of change happening in our industry today. Looking ahead, what are you most excited about?

I’m excited about Jun Group’s approach to the privacy changes happening in the industry right now. With a lot of these issues hitting pharmaceutical campaigns directly, our focus on zero-party, consent-based data is more important than ever. Jun Group has always been a leader in privacy-first advertising, so I’m looking forward to an even greater emphasis on it as we move to a post-cookie world. 

Follow Sima Cordner, Senior Director of Sales, on LinkedIn.

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