Late fall is a busy time at the Cox School of Business. Numerous well-attended events over the past few weeks indicate a desire by the campus and the broader community to move beyond the challenges of the pandemic. ​​Among the many events hosted by the Cox School recently: the fifth annual Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement Panel Discussion and the 31st annual Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship Dallas 100 Awards. Executive Education also hosted a conference titled “Mergers & Acquistions: Where Theory Meets Practice.”

Executive Education Hosts M&A Conference

On November 8-12, Executive Education’s M&A conference, aimed at a corporate audience, delivered practical intellectual stimulation to “satisfy academic curiosity and balance theory with ready-to-use insights.” Executive Education professors paired academic, interactive exercises and real-world case studies with lessons from leading industry practitioners. Associate Dean of Executive Education and Graduate Programs Shane Goodwin, a former investment banker with more than 20 years of M&A experience on Wall Street, including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, led the event. In addition to the Cox School’s own expert faculty, Goodwin tapped the unmatched SMU Cox network for M&A experts from Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Bain & Company, Evercore, AT&T, PepsiCo, McDermott Will & Emery and Kimberly-Clark, plus former strategy consultants from McKinsey. Graduate and Alternative Asset students got special access to some of the speakers.  

For information about future Executive Education programming:

Brierley Institute Analyses “Customer Engagement Post-Pandemic”

From left to right: Marci Armstrong, Hal Brierley, Thaddeus Arroyo, Geoff Cottrill and Kurt Stache.

On November 10, The Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement, the world’s only academic institute for the study of customer engagement, hosted a discussion titled “Customer Engagement Post-Pandemic,” featuring Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Consumer, Geoff Cottrill, CMO of Topgolf and Kurt Stache, American Airlines’ former SVP of Marketing, Sales and Loyalty. Moderated by Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement Director Marci Armstrong, the panelists discussed the challenges and opportunities of marketing and customer engagement during and post-pandemic.

Each of the panelists shared their wisdom with the audience, which consisted of graduate students and marketing professionals. Brierley assessed that because of loyalty programs, communication between many companies and their customers increased during the lock-down part of the pandemic and afterward. He cited research conducted by the Brierley Institute and Brierley’s company Dynata that indicated that “40% of heavy shoppers–$250 a month or more—literally were more engaged and joined more loyalty programs than they had before.”

Arroyo said, “I saw a level of innovation arise and a level of technology capabilities that we created . . . to look at how we serve you in your home.”

The COVID-19 crisis gave Cottrill an opportunity as a marketer to think more about how he delivers his marketing messages to customers, he said: “We’ve got to start thinking about the context and how we communicate with them,” he said.

The panelists agreed that despite challenges, this is an exciting time for marketers.

Dallas Celebrates Entrepreneurial Success

Top 10 winners of this year’s Dallas 100 fastest-growing start-ups.

Meanwhile, the Dallas 100 Annual Gala celebrated the spirit of entrepreneurship that thrived during the pandemic. This year’s fastest-growing start-ups, a broad range of businesses, generated over $8.5 billion in revenue over the past three years. Read more here: