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Getting to Know Kathy Doyle - Part 2

Written by: Stacey Schulman | July 17, 2019

Kathy Doyle

Kathy Doyle, EVP Local Investment at IPG / Magna

A 20+ year veteran of IPG/MAGNA, Kathy oversees all local activity for clients such as Amazon, BMW, Coca-Cola, Arby’s, Hershey and Sony, among many others. Kathy believes that client success in the local market is achieved through leverage, knowledge & relationships that drive effective strategic execution. She manages a team that executes hundreds of local retail events for a multitude of clients on an annual basis. Kathy represents the agency with involvement in several industry associations, such as the 4As, Nielsen and the TVB.

Katz CMO, Stacey Schulman, caught up with Kathy earlier this month to talk about the immense changes happening in the media and marketing worlds - and what it all means for local media.  This is the second in a 2-part series covering that interview.  In Part 1, Kathy discussed her role as a change agent at Magna Global and her perspectives on the future, big data, automation, localism and comparisons between national and local media tools.  Read on for more insights from Kathy about metrics, local creative and some tips for sellers in how to best work with Magna Global and the IPG local buying units.

Stacey Schulman:    Let’s talk about metrics.  You and MAGNA have been Pioneers on the impressions front. What do you want to tell other agencies and stations about trading on impressions versus ratings?  Some of the industry is still treating it with trepidation and don’t really want to put their toe in the water.  How's it working for you?

Kathy Doyle:  It's been awesome. We've been doing it since 2015. We started testing it for one client, activated it for that client that year and then moved all clients to impressions or basically all clients to impressions in 2016. So we've been doing it for a while, and I’ve said this on many industry panels - it's way easier than you think it’s going to be to do this. I think people make it more complicated than it needs to be or just think it's more complicated than it actually is. It's not a very difficult thing to do, and it helps us as ratings are eroding to be able to work with bigger numbers. Once the industry moves to impressions there are some things we can do together that will help everybody and help the industry, like layering more data into the measurement.  So, we’re looking forward to it and I've offered many times to all my compatriots in the industry on the agency side if there's anything I can do to help you make that transition then I'm more than happy to do it.

Stacey Schulman:    I think the sooner the whole industry moves in that direction it will be easier for all of us to do business, like you said, you can only go so far with a 0.1 and a 0.2 - especially if the data is unstable.  When you have impressions there's a lot more wiggle room. What about the Nielsen vs. Comscore debate?

Kathy Doyle:  So I'm definitely in the Nielsen camp, I'm not saying either one is perfect, trust me, I don't have blinders on about that. But the work I've seen Nielsen doing to try to improve their measurement is, I feel it’s moving in a direction I feel I would want it to move in. I think measuring actual viewing as opposed to “opportunity to view” is a big differentiator for us. There seems to be a pattern developing in the business where agencies are using both, and I know I'm old school but that just gives me the “heebie jeebies”. Mixing methodologies is not how I was brought up from a measurement standpoint, but to each his own and everybody is doing what they think is the right thing I'm sure. So yeah, I'm pretty firmly embedded in the Nelson camp for now. But we continue conversations and we're always open as things change.

Stacey Schulman:    In some respect, I think that Nielsen is always a better company when there is competitor afoot.

Kathy Doyle:   That’s true for all of us and every business. Competition makes you better, it never makes you worse. That is a very truthful observation.

Stacey Schulman:    Okay the next thing -- reach and attribution. I don't know that they're opposed, but sort of curious as to your thoughts here.  We’ve heard a lot about the digital world in the last 15 to 20 years and how it's attributable and it's accountable and all those wonderful things. Yet in recent years we’ve begun to hear more about issues with privacy and whether or not the data is even real. And I think with a lot of fragmentation that's going on, we are also seeing a lot of advertisers moving back into big reach media. So how is this all playing out in your world? 

Kathy Doyle:  I think you're right, it comes back to center, the pendulum swings eventually because there is a role for both of them. It depends on what the client’s objectives are and who their targets are and if it really makes sense to narrowly define their targets. 

Stacey Schulman:   Ok - onto some easier ground.  Tell us a little about how you are organized to do business in the marketplace.

Kathy Doyle:  So we are set up regionally - offices and buyers across the country.  I've always felt there's a value to relationships in this business and being set up where there are local market specialists is very beneficial to our clients. That's been the way we approach things, As we move forward in the automation space there might be some things that change. We’ll have to look again at everything as a whole and reevaluate what makes sense, and what works best and what maybe doesn’t work as well in a new world order. But again, I think having somebody that really intimately knows the market is a big benefit to our clients. I’m a pretty big proponent of that.

Stacey Schulman:   Do your buyers buy all media? Or do you have specialists within different types of media?

Kathy Doyle:  Yes, they buy all media. Cable, broadcast TV, and audio for sure and then as we're getting more and more in the digital space sometimes, because of learning curves and things like that maybe some of that is done from the center and then the buyers layer in the linear on top of that. Not to say it will be that way forever but at least for now that seems to be the way it's working best. 

Stacey Schulman:   Okay, so we’ve already talked a little about creativity.  In my own career, I've seen a lot of creative testing that's been done in the TV space, but not so much in the audio space or on the radio side.  Do any of your clients do creative testing?

Kathy Doyle:  I'm sure we have clients what have tested radio. Radio I think is more challenged in a couple different ways. First off, from a creative standpoint I think agencies that manage creative don’t perceive radio to be as sexy to work on.  I don't know how you get that to change except through great examples.  For instance, we have clients like our Pure Michigan client, it’s a great example and I’ve said this since 2006 honestly when we came up with the Pure Michigan campaign... that is some of the best radio creative you will ever hear. We used to get people emailing us that they pulled over on the side of the road listening to the spot. 

Stacey Schulman:   Wow

Pure Michigan - Radio Campaign Spots

Kathy Doyle:  It can be so powerful and so amazing. I just don’t know how that doesn’t get out there. I mean, you have 60 seconds to tell your story and shame on people that aren’t taking advantage of it. The other thing that is challenging are the disclaimers.  In the automotive world, there are so many disclaimers, it’s almost borderline silly sometimes because at least 30 seconds of the spot has to be the disclaimer...and I’ve had a lot of conversations with partners on the radio sell side that something’s got to change with the regulation on that...Why can’t it be “go to this website to hear the disclaimer?”  That’s kind of a big detractor for pharmaceuticals or automotive, or clients that are required to have a lot of legal discourse within the spot…and for the listener, it’s not a good experience.

Stacey Schulman:   It is a problem, but I also know that as an industry we’ve tested it and it's not as bad perceptually as we think.  It’s one thing to look at what the data tells us and it’s another thing to figure out how to creatively overcome it.  I’ve got to believe there is a way to overcome that issue.

Kathy Doyle:  Right, well, it’s regulation. It’s Washington.

Stacey Schulman:   Okay - biggest pet peeve about sales pitches? We can all do better at how we communicate with our agencies.  What do you want to tell the sales organizations of the world about how to more effectively deal with Magna and IPG agencies?

Kathy Doyle:  I would say, my biggest pet peeve is people that request a meeting, set up a meeting, but don’t do any digging or leg work to figure out what we need before the meeting. Or - I shouldn’t say that because you could come in and do a meeting to figure out what we need, I get that. But bringing solutions without doing the legwork to understand the needs of the client and/or the agency. Doyle Quote 2I would say that’s my biggest pet peeve. And it doesn’t happen a lot truthfully, but it happens, and it feels like such a waste of time.  Time is just so precious these days.  Sellers should have a clear purpose. That clear purpose can be fact finding to adequately prepare for the next meeting, but nobody has time to waste. 

Stacey Schulman:   I’m sure there are many organizations out there that want a piece of your time and if you had to do an informational set up meeting for all of those entities, you’d be repeating yourself a few times.

Kathy Doyle:  I don’t mind meeting with people and again I’m happy to explore and talk with people.  That’s how we all learn and grow and figure things out, but it is - as you said it - having a defined purpose for the meeting that is appreciated.

Stacey Schulman:   Allright, one last question - how have station groups been a hero for you and/or the brands you represent?

Kathy Doyle:  I can think of two things off the top of my head and they’re critical. Number one: put the client first. It can’t be “my” needs as an agency, it can’t be “your” needs as a seller. If the client succeeds, guess what, we all succeed, so don’t put your needs ahead of the client needs. Period. That is a very short term solution and it’s not a good strategy for success moving forward. That to me is the number one, biggest thing. 

The second thing I would say to everybody is, uncross your arms and open your minds and get ready for change. It’s coming. We need the sell side to be on board with it, we [agencies] can’t do it alone, I can’t do it alone as an agency, none of my compatriots can do it alone as an agency.  We have to do it as an industry. We’re not doing it to undermine or undersell or undervalue local. Everything we’re doing to change this business is to keep it relevant, to keep it efficient, and to keep it viable as an option for our clients. So, please get on board the bus, I’d rather not leave any part of this business behind. But, we can’t stay mired in the traditional way we’ve done this business for so long because we’ll all be goners.

Stacey Schulman:   That is probably the best encapsulation of the state of our industry. And you’ve clearly been well-schooled in sound bites. Thank you for spending the time with Katz for the very first edition of “In Tune”!