To the Chief Digital Officer of global media agency MEC, the pendulum of big data use in marketing has swung too far in one direction: pinpoint targeting via programmatic channels. “We’re at an incredible inflection point right now,” says Carl Fremont.

“I think there needs to be a balance from the marketing side between the hyper targeting that we do and the consumer experiences that we build for brands,” Fremont says in an interview with Beet.TV.

Therein lies the excitement for Fremont, whose industry experience dates to the post-Mad Men era with the legendary Ted Bates agency in the early 1980’s.

“Where for years we’ve been talking about data and hyper targeting, certainly things like programmatic have been occupying I think too much of the stage,” says Fremont. “What’s exciting is the next stage of data isn’t only using it for the hyper targeting in programmatic but using the data, for example from AI, to get better insights about a consumer and build experiences around them.”

He cites his agency’s work with Campbell Soup Co. and IBM’s Chef Watson (think “cognitive cooking”) wherein instead of searching recipes, consumers can interact with an ad or application about the best use of food they have on hand. The next phase for brand marketers is harnessing this power.

“We haven’t yet cracked the code on how to build those consumer experiences that are based on this kind of machine learning and insights,” Fremont says. “It’s very, very exciting.”

Asked about trendy but nascent technology like artificial and augmented reality, Fremont doesn’t see widespread marketing applications just yet. MEC’s work with Marriott—enabling consumers to experience a resort using virtual reality—might be a cool experience but it’s just the start.

“When they take off the glasses you really want to get them to book,” says Fremont. “I think it’s a great first step in building the excitement and experiences. Now what we have to do is connect it to a business outcome, a marketing application, and not just have it as something that is cool and the thing to do de jure.”

This video is part of “The Road to DMEXCO ’16,” a lead-up series with key influencers on the topics and trends to be addressed at DMEXCO. This series is presented by YuMe. Please visit this page for additional segments.

The Road to DMEXCO '16 presented by YuMe