TEXAS McCOMBS MARKETING CONFERENCE 2023
This is where we all come together. Explore paths forward in an ever-changing marketing landscape. Meet the biggest names in the marketing world and the most energized students about to graduate from a university of the first class.
Oct 26 & 27, 2023 Rowling HallThe rapidly evolving field of Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing the world of marketing. From chatbots to personalized content, predictive analytics to marketing automation, AI is transforming the way marketers reach and engage customers. Join us to explore practical strategies for harnessing the power of AI in professional marketing and beyond.
Bob Pearson, Founder/Chair, Next Practices Group and Lecturer, Texas McCombs
The Evolution of AI in Marketing
In the opening keynote, Bob Pearson, Founder and Chair at The Next Practices Group, will explore the rapid evolution of AI in marketing and how breakthrough technologies become practical tools that deliver business value. He will discuss how early AI marketing focused on basic automation and personalization. As the technology advanced, AI delivered deeper insights through predictive analytics and enabled marketers to generate customized content at scale. Today, AI powers next-level applications like hyper-personalized ads, conversational chatbots, and intelligent creative optimization. Pearson will cut through the hype and identify limitations and barriers to adoption still ahead. Attendees will gain perspectives on leveraging AI to drive innovation, meet changing customer expectations, and achieve measurable impact.
David Falk, Sports Agent, Pangea
AIR to AI: Sports Marketing Leveraging AI
Panel moderated by Bob Pearson with:
- Derrick Johnson, Former Texas Longhorns & NFL Linebacker
- Rhasidat Adeleke, 2023 NCAA Track Record Holder
- Brock Cunningham, Men’s Longhorns Basketball Team
This session will explore how sports marketing is being transformed by artificial intelligence. Legendary sports agent David Falk, American sports agent best known for representing sports icon Michael Jordan, will share his perspective on the evolution from traditional sports marketing to leveraging AI. He will be joined by UT athletes to discuss firsthand how technology is changing player engagement and brand experiences. Attendees will hear Falk's vision for the future of AI in areas like athlete analytics, fan interaction, and digital content creation. They will gain insights into the opportunities and challenges of implementing emerging AI applications in sports marketing and sponsorship. The session will deliver a unique blend of insights from a marketing trailblazer along with next generation athlete brand ambassadors.
Jeremiah Owyang, Founder & Ceo, The AI Business Council
A Race to Innovate: The AI-Powered Revolution of Business Models and Innovation
As AI technology continues to advance, businesses of all sizes are facing increasing pressure to innovate to stay competitive. This talk will explore the ways in which AI is revolutionizing traditional business models, giving rise to new startups, and redefining what it means to be a marketer. Hear from an industry leader who is leveraging AI to create new opportunities, streamline workflows, and improve customer experiences. Attendees will be provided with valuable insights into the rapidly evolving landscape of AI-powered business innovation.
This talk will be forward-looking and talk about new businesses, features, and solutions that have been developed thanks to AI. How can we reimagine our today to build a better tomorrow?
Josh Feldmeth, Senior Partner, Prophet and Peter Dixon, Chief Creative Officer, Prophet
AI + you: Leveraging generative AI as a marketer. An agency perspective.
Generative AI has the power to transform the marketing industry by helping marketers create unique and personalized content that resonates with their audience. This session will explore how generative AI can augment human creativity and enhance the marketing process.
Carl Loredo, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Wendy's
Making Sense of the Data: AI in Action
In the era of big data, marketers are often inundated with vast amounts of information about consumer behavior, making it difficult to effectively identify patterns and insights that can drive meaningful actions. This talk will explore how AI can help marketers make sense of all the data and use it to develop more personalized, targeted, and effective marketing campaigns. Hear from Carl Loredo, CMO of Wendy’s, as he talks through real business use cases of AI in action.
Tim Love, Executive Consultant, Tim Love Ideas, LLC
Discovering Truth: How to Navigate Fact and Fiction in the World of AI
This session will focus on the challenges and opportunities of working with AI in a world where misinformation and disinformation are becoming increasingly prevalent. We will explore topics such as the role of AI in detecting and combating fake news and the ethical considerations of using AI to influence public opinion.
Cherri Prince, President, Media Horizons
Does Gen AI Kill Creativity? - Resuscitate YOUR Creative Thinking
Mark Twain was once quoted as saying, “the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” The same can be said about YOUR creativity in the world of chatGPT.
You have something it does not---deep curiosity. And after this session, three proven principles of creative thinking and a time-tested creative problem-solving framework. Experience a co-created simulation of combining natural and artificial intelligence and see what innovations emerge.
Mike Betzer, CEO, Hypergiant
How to Use AI Optimally to Increase Your Brand's Humanization
There is an increasing emphasis on humanization among marketers, as customers want to feel valued and connect on their terms. What is the key to giving that human touch? Mike Betzer, details how CXOs and their teams can use AI to serve customers better and dramatically boost their support operations efficiency and what to avoid, so they do not frustrate users.
Rachel Woods, Founder, The AI Exchange
The Future of AI Powered Work
Rachel will give a version of her talk on "The Future of AI-Powered Work," specifically tailored for students graduating into this new post-ChatGPT era. She’ll talk about the emerging field of AI Operations and provide you with a deeper understanding of how Generative AI is having a profound impact on the future of work.
Topics will include:
- What is AI Operations? And why is it newly emerging thanks to generative AI
- What an AI-Powered Business will look like
- Personal productivity and delegating your work to AI
- How to gain the skills and shine by combining Marketing and AI Operations
2023 NCAA Record Holder
Rhasidat Adeleke is a 21 year old professional track and field athlete from Ireland. Adeleke is currently a senior at the University of Texas and represented the longhorns from 2021-2023, winning multiple national titles, individually and with the team. A Corporate Communications major in the Moody School, Rhasidat is a multi-year All American and All Big 12 star. She holds multiple Irish national and NCAA records across 60-400 meters and multiple sprint relays. Adeleke signed a professional contract with Nike in July 2023.
Mike runs the Hypergiant business as CEO, drawing on his 30-year history of building, scaling, and selling software companies. He brings vast experience in leading digital transformation, and is a servant leader who believes that companies live or die by their culture.
Men's Longhorns Basketball Team
Brock Cunningham graduated with a BS in Advertising and will complete his Masters in Advertising this spring. During his time at The University of Texas he has been a 4x 1st team All-academic Big12 member while participating on the men's Basketball team and Silver Spurs. Brock currently has two Big12 championships and played in the Elite Eight this past season with one year of eligibility remaining. Preparing for a life after basketball Brock completed an internship with C3 Presents and is interested in commercial real estate.
Chief Creative Officer, Prophet
As a senior partner at Prophet and the firms Chief Creative Officer, Peter brings our clients a unique blend of perspectives as designer and brand specialist. It translates into an imaginative take on brand strategy, design systems, digital and customer experience design, expressed in both high-level thinking and in-market activation.
Peter’s award-winning programs have spanned all areas of the brand experience, ranging from brand identity systems and websites to new store formats and CX design. He has worked for such notable clients as BMW, Chevron, Citibank, Stellantis, ConocoPhillips, Delta Airlines, Emart, IBM, Microsoft, McDonalds, Nissan, Sprint, Samsung, United Airlines, United Health Group, and Walmart.
Previously Peter helped lead the design teams that developed new restaurant prototypes for McDonald’s, as well as Walmart’s brand strategy, new visual identity and store experience concepts. He also was instrumental in helping lead the development of a new brand and experience strategy for Delta Airlines. Most recently, he helped lead the development and expression of a new corporate purpose for Anheuser Busch and parent, AB InBev, as well as a new brand strategy and visual system for the Mayo Clinic.
Peter is a popular public speaker and often is tapped as a source by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Brandweek, Newsweek, Visual Merchandising & Store Design, Convenience Store News, and Advertising Age.
He serves on the editorial board of VM+SD magazine and is a past national president of the Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD). He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana State University and a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Sports Agent, Pangea
David Falk has long been recognized as one of the sports industry’s leading figures and most talented innovators. He began his career representing professional athletes with ProServ in 1974, rising to Vice Chairman of the company. In 1992, he formed Falk Associates Management Enterprises (FAME) to provide specialized and personal representation service to the company’s elite clientele of NBA superstars.
During his career, Falk has represented more NBA first-round draft selections, lottery picks, Rookies-of-the-Year, and All-Stars than anyone else in the athlete management business. In 1985, he negotiated Michael Jordan’s ground-breaking deal with Nike--the most successful endorsement relationship in history--and in the process coined the nickname “Air Jordan.” Falk negotiated the highest contracts in NBA league history for Patrick Ewing in 1985 and Danny Ferry in 1990. He also negotiated professional sports’ first $100 million contract in 1996 for Alonzo Mourning as part of an unprecedented free agency period in which FAME changed the entire salary structure of the NBA, negotiating over $400 million in contracts for its free agent clients in a six-day period.
In 1998, Falk sold FAME to SFX Entertainment, serving on SFX’s Board of Directors and in the Office of the Chairman. As Chairman of SFX Sports Group, Falk oversaw the acquisition of a dozen sports agencies that enabled SFX to represent approximately 20 percent of MLB and NBA players. Falk stepped down as Chairman in 2001 to pursue other interests. In January 2007, Falk re-launched FAME and currently serves as its Founder and CEO.
He and his wife, the former Rhonda Frank, live in Rockville, Maryland, and have two daughters, Daina, and Jocelyn.
Senior Partner, Prophet
Josh is a Senior Partner with over 20 years of helping companies maximize the economics of their businesses. Combining a diverse skill set (corporate strategy, analytics, CX optimization, process improvement, design integration) with a CEO-perspective, his work focuses on revenue growth/margin expansion by linking clients’ strategic assets to in-market opportunities. He has lived and worked around the world and with industry leaders (e.g. AT&T, GE, Credit Suisse, BMW, Target, Roche, Emerson, Apollo, UPS) to sharpen corporate purpose, re-shape operating portfolios, shape internal cultures and build compelling, cohesive and technology-supported brand ecosystems.
After 3 years with an automotive start up and an MBA, Josh worked in the strategy practice at PwC, serving retail and CPG clients. He deepened his discipline and leadership tool kit over 14 years and in 4 offices at Interbrand where he was VP Strategy at DesignForum, built a regional analytics practice (Europe), turned around a struggling office (Amsterdam), drove double digit Rev/EBIT growth in the HQ office (New York), sold a software business and ran a regional portfolio of businesses that accounted for >90% of the firm’s profits (North America). During his Interbrand tenure, Josh’s client work increasingly focused on partnering with CEO’s, CMO’s and their teams to drive business transformation and create incremental value through corporate assets (M&A, brand repositioning, CX creation, GTM acceleration, digital platforms).
A regular contributor to business media (CNBC, Bloomberg, Wharton Radio) and a frequent business school lecturer (Stanford, Yale, Wharton, Texas), he has written extensively on how companies create value by shortening the distance between business strategy and positive customer outcomes across categories.
He has a BA from Wheaton College (IL), and MBA from the University of Texas, Austin, and lives in Connecticut with three daughters and his wife, Margaret.
Former Texas Longhorn & NFL Linebacker
I’m a former Texas Longhorn linebacker that was drafted 15th in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. In 13 seasons with the Chiefs, I earned four Pro Bowls, two All-Pro selections, and retired as the Kansas City Chiefs' all-time leading tackler in franchise history.
A native of Waco, Texas, I was privileged to play for Mack Brown at The University of Texas at Austin where I won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (nation's top defensive player), the Butkus Award (nation's top linebacker), Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, and was inducted into UT Hall of Fame in 2019. Currently I have been selected in 5 Hall of Fames - Texas high school football HOF, state of Texas Sports HOF, state of Missouri HOF, University of Texas HOF and National College Football HOF.
More importantly, my career on the field gave me a platform to impact young lives off the field. I founded a non-profit called Defend the Dream Foundation since 2013 where our mission is to provide low-income and inner-city youth reading resources to reach their full potential. In partnership with Scholastic, we’ve transformed unused areas in 19 schools into a reading oasis called “DJ’s Discovery Den”. These are mini capital projects that cost 30 to 50k each build out.
Now that I’m retired from football, I spend my time volunteering as a coach analysis, and mentoring young athletes. Also giving back to underprivileged kids has always been a passion of mine, and it continues to a higher level as well.
Global Chief Marketing Officer, The Wendy's Company
Carl Loredo has served as Wendy’s Global Chief Marketing Officer since February 2023. He previously served as Chief Marketing Officer – U.S. from June 2019 to February 2023. He joined the Wendy’s organization in 2016 and served as Vice President – Brand Marketing with oversight across brand strategy, product and creative development, advertising, media buying and social media programming.
Carl combines his passion for marketing with a love of storytelling to fearlessly ensure the Wendy’s brand stays a step above - and a step ahead - of its competitors. Every day, Carl channels his love of a good story to help make Wendy’s the most talked about brand in the world. Together with his talented team, Carl defines success as delivering fans unique, differentiated and special experiences - in ways only Wendy’s can.
This mindset fueled the success of Wendy’s new Hot & Crispy Fries, the launch of a new daypart nationally for the first time in Wendy’s 50-year history with breakfast and a renewed focus on staying at the forefront of culture – earning Wendy’s the number two spot in the Branding category for Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies 2022 and propelling the QSR Queen to the number two hamburger chain in the country.
Prior to Wendy’s, Carl was Vice President of Account Service and ran the multicultural practice for The Marketing Arm with a focus on digital and shopper marketing strategy. He also served as Chief Marketing Officer of Craftmade International Inc. and held many leadership roles at PepsiCo.
In 2020, he was named to “Adweek 50,” an annual list honoring fifty leaders in marketing, tech and media who are doing standout work for their brands, and PRovoke’s “Innovator 25 in the Americas,” a yearly recognition celebrating remarkable innovators who are addressing the industry’s challenges with ingenuity and insight to make meaningful change.
Carl holds an M.B.A. in Marketing and a B.A. in Fine Arts from The University of Texas at Austin, where he also serves as a member of McCombs M.B.A. Advisory Board. Born and raised in Texas, Carl and his wife Kelley currently reside in Dublin, Ohio with their two children. On family outings to Wendy’s, you can catch Carl placing his go-to Wendy’s order: the Big Bacon Classic and medium Hot & Crispy Fries
Executive Consultant, Tim Love Ideas, LLC
Tim Love is former Vice-Chairman of Omnicom Group, a leading global advertising and marketing services company. He retired in 2013 as CEO of the Asia Pacific, India, Middle East and Africa regions.
During his 42-year career in the advertising industry Tim achieved a reputation for helping clients and the industry be more globally insightful, collaborative and effective.
His exceptional brand-building credentials came via some of the world’s largest and most successful brands: like P&G, Nissan and Infiniti Motors, PepsiCo, Gillette, Mars. An industry forerunner in international branding, he lived in Tokyo, Singapore, Brussels and New York obtaining first-hand experience with consumers in over 150 countries.
Following his retirement, Tim taught an MBA class on “Global Branding and Communication” at Oxford’s Said School of Business. He also served on the faculty of the US Marketing Communications College, at the Foreign Service Institute of the US State Department. He has lectured at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, at Harvard, Yale School of Management, Columbia University, UCLA, University of Illinois, Miami University in Ohio, the Mudra Institute of Communications in India, Ave Maria University. He has been a TEDx speaker and had numerous articles published with insights on branding, globalization and cultural understanding.
Tim is a James Webb Young Fellow with a Masters in Communication from the University of Illinois where he was named “Most Outstanding Graduate” in 1972. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in Fine Arts from Miami University in Ohio.
Founder/CEO, The AI Business Council
Jeremiah Owyang is a keynote speaker who brings industry insights, easy to
understand visual frameworks, relevant examples and pragmatic
recommendations to audiences around the world.
His insightful analysis, pragmatic recommendations, and dynamic
presentations have made him a sought-after speaker at conferences and
corporate events worldwide. Known for his ability to distill complex concepts
into clear, actionable insights, Jeremiah ensures that audiences leave with a
deeper understanding of the digital landscape than when they arrived.
Jeremiah’s speaking engagements have spanned prestigious events and
organizations, including SXSW, Dreamforce, Oracle Open World, Swiss
Economic Forum, and at corporate HQs including Nestle, BMW, Coke,
Walmart, Visa, Wells Fargo, Airbnb, Pfizer, J&J, Whole Foods, and more. He
operates from a backyard Airstream in Silicon Valley, a unique workspace that
has been featured in USA Today.
With over 250k followers on Twitter and 20k total followers + connections on
LinkedIn. Jeremiah’s extensive reach and influence make him a draw for
events. Jeremiah was recently covered by Reuters: AI startups bringing dollars
but lean workforces to ailing San Francisco. Represented by APB Bureau, Big
Founder/Chair, Next Practices Group & Lecturer, Texas McCombs
Bob is Chair of The Next Practices Group, a network of founder-driven consulting firms that work together to advance innovation and develop the “next practice” in their respective fields to create an advantage for their clients. The firms are centered in communications, marketing, public affairs and security. All firms benefit from expertise in data science/analytics, PESO media, social purpose, intelligence and software solutions.
Bob also serves as CEO of The Bliss Group, a leading communications firm and Chair of Next Solutions Group, a firm focused on public affairs and crisis/issues management.
He has played a key role in building two media firms that are ranked in the top 50 worldwide (GCI Health and Real Chemistry), he led the creation of the Fortune 500’s first global social media function at Dell and he has served as a global leader in communications at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (now Sanofi) and Novartis, as well as Dell.
He has written four books based on his experience in the public and private sectors. Two relate to digital media innovation (PreCommerce and Storytizing), one focuses on how to build powerful narratives (Crafting Persuasion) and the fourth reflects on how to combat bad actors (Countering Hate). Bob is currently writing a new book centered on the world of consulting (Firm Beliefs) that will be available by the end of 2023.
Since teaching is often the best way to learn what’s next and reinforce what works today, Bob designs and teaches new classes as an adjunct professor at The University of Texas McCombs School (new digital media models, persuasive selling) and as a lecturer for the U.S. Government with a focus on combating disinformation and extremism. Bob has served on the Defense Science Board (U.S. Department of Defense) and is a member of a working team that studied the global semiconductor industry in support of the recent CHIPS Act.
He is an investor and advisor for both technology and purpose-led companies that, ironically, all start with an A or an I. The “AI” organizations are A (Aimcast, Airtory, Autonomize.ai and Association for the Multiple Impaired Blind) and I (Iternal Technologies and Ideas Beyond Borders). Bob also serves as a member of the Ukraine Communications Support Network.
Bob resides in Austin, Texas with his wife, Donna.
President, Media Horizons
As the President of Media Horizons, Cherri brings over 25 years of agency and brand-building experience to the direct response agency known for deep expertise and innovation in direct mail that is scaled with digital media.
Breaking into the industry in the ‘90s at Leo Burnett USA, Cherri quickly began building a track record of turning around iconic brands from lackluster appeal to solid growth. She has been awarded five Effie Awards (the ONLY award in the ad industry based on marketing effectiveness), including two Golds.
For the past 20 years, Cherri has been a frequent keynote speaker and Distinguished Colleague for the non-profit group, The Creative Education Foundation—the original inventors of brainstorming and the decoders of creative problem-solving principles and processes.
CEO, The AI Exchange
Rachel Woods is a visionary in the world of artificial intelligence. She is a distinguished former Facebook research data scientist and has an impressive track record of founding AI-enabled software companies.
In 2022, Rachel Woods transitioned her career towards consultancy and content creation, sharing her wealth of knowledge about AI adoption in business. Her insights resonated deeply with professionals and companies eager to harness the potential of AI. Today, she has a dedicated following of over 200,000 individuals across various social media platforms.
Driven by a mission to democratize AI knowledge, Rachel founded "The AI Exchange." This innovative platform serves as a hub for individuals and businesses seeking to integrate AI into their workflows. Through The AI Exchange, Rachel offers cutting edge training and creates opportunities for meaningful collaboration through her online community.
Rachel Woods graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018, where she honed her marketing, analytical skills and laid the groundwork for her career. During her time, she was the President of the American Marketing Association and Curriculum Chair in the Undergraduate Business Council.
The McCombs Marketing Challenge allows teams of four MBA and MS Marketing students to prepare presentations based on their analysis of a business case distributed the week prior to the challenge. The case will be released at a Zoom event at 12pm on Wednesday, October 18. Case presentations are due at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, October 25.
The first round of presentations takes place Thursday afternoon, October 26, followed by a final round Friday morning, October 27, in which four teams participate. Corporate representatives will judge presentations detailing case analysis and recommendations. The winning team will be announced Friday during the conference. Challenge participants are expected to attend the full conference.
- Students assemble teams of four prior to registering
- Space is limited and spots are first come, first served. All members of a team must be registered individually to be guaranteed a spot.
- Over $7,000 in cash and prizes
- Judges represent a wide range of companies
This event is for McCombs students, Marketing faculty, corporate sponsors and invited guests.
A block of hotel rooms has been reserved for October 25, 26 & 27, 2023 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.
Click here to make your reservation online. Reservations can also be made using the contact information listed below. Please request the "McCombs Marketing Conference" group rate.
AT&T Hotel & Conference Center
1900 University Avenue, Austin, TX 78705
Explore Paths ForwardWith new AI opportunities come important questions. "Am I equipped with the necessary talent and skills to keep up with the pace of change? Am I using AI-driven applications to their fullest potential? Am I using data in an unbiased and ethical way?" Hear from a diverse lineup of marketing experts who will dive into these questions and more.