American Society of Magazine Editors

Associate Member Spotlight: Nielsen Catalina Solutions


Matt O'Grady
Chief Executive Officer, Nielsen Catalina Solutions

Matt O'Grady is chief executive officer of Nielsen Catalina Solutions, responsible for leading strategy and driving performance and innovation for the company and its clients. He brings over 16 years of experience with Nielsen, most recently as the executive vice president and managing director for the local media business where he led strategy, development and enhancements for all local television and audio clients. 








1) How does your company partner with member publishers to help them succeed?

NCS helps print & digital publishers answer the question, why should I advertise with you? We can determine the purchase behavior of an advertiser’s audience, enabling you to create the ideal schedule or package to ensure that your advertisers are reaching the right buyers for their product. Then we can help you measure the actual in-store sales driven by a campaign to prove that it worked and recommend how to improve the next campaign. NCS is the measurement partner for the industry’s sales guarantee, which refunds money or space if their annual schedule doesn’t drive incremental sales.

2) What “known unknowns” do you see on the horizon for the industry? 

One important "known unknown" is determining what drives a consumer's decision to pay more for content that does not include advertising vs. accepting "free" content paid for by advertising.  If the subscription-only model that delivers content continues to grow, this is a big risk to the advertising industry.

3) What had the greatest impact on your business this year?

The NCS data can now be activated on programmatic platforms, including in the eXelate platform within the Nielsen Marketing Cloud. NCS is also aligned and integrated with all big 4 agency trading desks. While programmatic has helped our business this year, we still need to sell the underlying quality of the data and methodology so that the buyer doesn't "push the button" assuming all data is equal.  In some ways, this automation has made it harder to make in-roads in the programmatic space. We think it's important to "put the people back in programmatic."

4) If you were a magazine brand, which would you be and why?

I love to bike on the open road and and compete in open water swimming so it would be a toss up between Bicycling and Swimming magazines.

5) Is there anything we haven't asked you today that you wish we had?

NCS helps advertisers and their agencies optimize their return on advertising spend (ROAS). We integrate the largest, most representative in-store purchase dataset for the CPG industry. With this single-source data, we can identify the most responsive consumers, reach them with advertising wherever they are and measure the sales impact. Our superior data, methodologies and industry expertise result in improvements that drive in-store sales.   Quality matters. With superior data and methodologies you will get better results.