As he walks the halls of the Palais des Festivals convention center at Cannes, Kris Magel hopes “to be inspired” by examples of how data are informing the best advertising work in the world.

As opposed to simply meeting with other executives who also have traveled to France for the annual creative pilgrimage, “I’m going to be taking time to see what’s being judged, to see what’s been entered into the awards and to understand how marketers are becoming more informed by the data that’s available to them,” Magel, who is president of U.S. operations for Initiative, the media strategy and investment unit of Interpublic Group, says in an interview with Beet.TV.

He wants to see how data has helped to inform strategies and creative approaches, along with real-time learning during campaigns about how audiences are responding. To Magel, “there’s no doubt that it has to be a marriage of art and science.”

Unlike being in the “box of media planning and buying” that began with traditional media, today’s agencies can be the primary marriage counselors at the table.

“Today I think the most valuable asset that we bring to the table is to unlock the power of a client’s data and to apply really sophisticated analytics to be able to inform a client’s communications strategy,” Magel says.

Agencies should be and can be a marketer’s most valuable analytics and consultative partner “with the ability to actually go into market and deliver on the recommendations that we make as opposed to just handing them off to be executed by someone else,” says Magel.

We interviewed him as part of our preview series “The Road to Cannes” presented by FreeWheel.   Please visit this page for additional segments. 

"The Road to Cannes," presented by FreeWheel