How a Star Trek convention explains the secret to selling more stuff


Star Trek conventions are diverse places. There are young children, old women, and, generally speaking, people from any number of different countries and backgrounds. At a recent convention in Chicago, there also was IBM (s ibm) Director of Business Analytics Erick Brethenoux.

Surrounded by people he didn’t know, Brethenoux says he felt closer even than he sometimes does with members of his own family. At one point, he made eye contact with a young woman and both knew exactly what the other was thinking; her boyfriend wasn’t in on the mind meld. “During those two hours,” Brethenoux told me recently, “I had that feeling of belonging that was a little disturbing.”

And, he added, replicating that feeling is exactly what good advertisers should be looking to big data to accomplish. “How can you take that concept and build trust around it?” he asked. The answer to his rhetorical question is…

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