LONDON — Marketing agencies, like other industries, are getting excited about “Big Data” – but what does that really mean for their clients, who can often be confused about what the jargon boils down to?

“‘Big data’ sounds scary … things are very complex at the moment,” says Starcom MediaVest Group London’s co-CEO Steve Parker. “(It’s) really insight … if you keep it really simple, you will move forward quicker and more intelligently.”

For SMG, using Big Data principles has allowed it to move cider brand Bulmers to number one in the category, by deeply understanding consumers’ Friday-night behaviors, Parker says.

He says clients “want to be braver” but “they’re under more pressure, not less”: “We have to get better and more collaborative around how we tell a single story for our clients.”

We spoke with Parker as part of our series titled “The Road to Cannes,” a preview of the Festival and an overview on the state and future of digital media by a range of thought leaders. The series will be published over four weeks.  The series is sponsored by Videology.