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Month: February 2016

Executives on Campus: Steve Springer, Regional Director for Sales and Marketing, Verizon

Executives on Campus: Steve Springer, Regional Director for Sales and Marketing, Verizon

Advertisements—we see them everywhere. Whether it’s television commercials, pop-up ads, billboards or direct mailers, we are surrounded by marketers determined to grab our attention and spur us to action in some way. And while some of these tactics may seem scattershot, much of this advertising is targeted to you specifically. Steve Springer (MBA, ’04), Regional Director for Sales and Marketing at Verizon, spoke to Dr. Laura Munoz’s class on February 23 about how the multi-billion dollar company determines exactly how and to whom their marketing messages will be delivered.

Springer began by explaining that his division is responsible for marketing Fios, Verizon’s fiber optic cable network that provides internet, television, and voice services to homes and businesses in areas of Texas. But because the service is not available to every household in the DFW area (only in those areas where the actual fiber optic cable has been installed), Springer and his team must make marketing decisions based on detailed reports in order to most efficiently target their current and potential customers.

“Television and radio ads don’t work for us,” Springer told the group. “Not only are they expensive, but they generate calls to my call center from areas where I can’t provide service. So that kind of marketing is not an efficient use of our resources.” Instead of blanketing the entire DFW metroplex with mass-marketing advertising, Springer and his team analyze various data points to determine where their greatest potential for growth lies. “We focus on three specific areas,” he said. “Acquisition, retention, and upsell.”

Because Fios enjoys a hefty market share and good customer satisfaction ratings in areas where their service is available, Springer explained that the company puts a greater emphasis on retention in communities where their market share is already high. “There will always be some customers who shop on price. And everyone below you wants a piece of your business, so we focus on retaining customers in areas where we have high market penetration,” he said. “We want to show our customers that we care about them and will not always be trying to sell them something.”

To retain customers, Springer and his marketing team craft messages specific to their target market. For instance, he spends a good portion of his marketing budget to sponsor community events. “High school football is huge in Texas,” he said. “And it’s something that communities rally around, so we want to be a part of that.” In addition, Verizon has sponsored other events such as video game tournaments and robotics competitions to reach IT-savvy customers.

Springer further discussed how Verizon’s marketing messages change depending on the demographics of a community. Denton, Texas–home to two universities–has a very large rental community in proportion to other real estate, which affects the types of products his team promotes. “Renters are usually more interested in data alone and less in cable and voice,” he said. “So we don’t usually offer higher-priced bundles to those customers.”

Springer underscored the importance of making marketing decisions based on hard data. Verizon’s data comes from a variety of sources, including in-house customer information and from 3rd party research firms that report on market share relative to competitors. “The bottom line,” Springer said, “Is that you have a limited marketing budget, so you must have the data to support any marketing decision you make.”

The University of Dallas Executives on Campus program was founded to further the University’s mission of providing practice-based education, by inviting successful business leaders to share their experience with graduate and undergraduate students in the classroom. Through this program, alumni, business leaders, and their companies are invited to partner with the University in our shared pursuit of management excellence. For more information click here.

Happy Travel Thursday!

Happy Travel Thursday!

ud rome - coffee

Happy #TravelTuesday! Art is hitting the books extra hard this week before leaving to Greece for ten days! Stay tuned for more to come from Greece!

Caption/Photo: Paulina Martin ‘17, @University of Dallas Career Development Photographer

Executives on Campus: Jennifer Proctor, American Airlines

Executives on Campus: Jennifer Proctor, American Airlines

You’ve probably been on a plane before, maybe lots of times. But what you may not realize is the amount of decision-making and strategic planning that goes into the entire experience—everything from booking your flight to landing safely at your destination. Jennifer Proctor, (BA ’87, Finance) Managing Director of Customer Experience Planning for American Airlines, spoke on February 17 to Dr. Michael Stodnick’s Senior Seminar about the challenges the airline faces in creating the best customer experience possible. “As of 2013, American Airlines is the world’s largest airline,” Proctor said, “and now we want to be the best.”

Proctor said that after emerging from bankruptcy in 2013 and beginning the merger process with US Airways, American began focusing five strategic areas—“have-to-do’s” that will help American Airlines regain its top-tier image. “We have to focus on our customer needs and wants, become an industry leader in reliability, engage our team members, create return for our investors, and look to the future,” she said.

Although several departments within American Airlines are eager to test new products and services, Proctor said company must maintain its focus. “We have to be strategic about these potential projects,” she said. “Each department within the company must answer myriad questions to determine the feasibility of any new service. What is the revenue impact? What is the cost impact? What is the project timeline? How does the project affect our competitive situation? Does this project deliver the American Airlines vision?”
2015 was the most profitable year in the history of American Airlines, but Proctor knows that the company must continue to innovate in all areas to maintain those record profits. “We know that happy employees equals happy customers, and happy customers equals happy shareholders,” she said. With that in mind, American is working on improving employee engagement and satisfaction.

So the next time you board an American Airlines flight, remember that everything from your free soda to the power outlet under your seat was considered and reconsidered in order to give you the best experience possible. And then silently thank UD alumna Jennifer Proctor that your phone won’t die mid-flight.

The University of Dallas Executives on Campus program was founded to further the University’s mission of providing practice-based education, by inviting successful business leaders to share their experience with graduate and undergraduate students in the classroom. Through this program, alumni, business leaders, and their companies are invited to partner with the University in our shared pursuit of management excellence. For more information click here.

Hire at University of Dallas!

Hire at University of Dallas!

Class of 2015 - locations

Continuing our ‪#‎hireatudallas series.‬ The Class of 2015 is employed across the United States as well as internationally! The Top 3 locations are: Texas, Washington D.C. and California. Stay Tuned for more information on the Class of 2015 from University of Dallas Office of Personal Career Development at the University of Dallas

Ciao from Sicily!

Ciao from Sicily!

art - sicily

This week Art wanted to check out life in Southern Italy and spent a day in Palermo Sicily! After buying a few cannoli at a local pasticceria, he spent the afternoon at the Villa Giulia near the beach! Art loved all of the orange trees and the Roman Structures that decorate the park.

Caption/Photo: Charlie Sigur ‘18, University of Dallas Career Development Student Assistant

Jesse Orsini: Former CEO, Carborundum

Jesse Orsini: Former CEO, Carborundum

The oil and gas business isn’t just about the stuff that runs our cars and heats our homes. There are countless processes and components involved with the extraction of the products so vital to our everyday lives. Some of the more esoteric of these components are proppants, and Jesse Orsini built a multi-million-dollar business on this highly specialized product.

Speaking to Dr. Laura Munoz’s Global Entrepreneurship class on February 10, Orsini detailed the history of his former company, Carborundum. Founded in 1890, Carborundum was originally a manufacturer of ceramics used in grinding operations. In the 1970s, the company began producing ceramic beads, called proppants, for use as an efficient substitute for the sand then used by drillers in the hydraulic fracking process.

“The product sold very well, and when the time came to expand,” Orsini said, “we knew we would need an aggressive marketing plan to really make a dent in the sand market.” With the help of a petroleum engineer named Steve Cobb, Carborundum not only developed ways to demonstrate the effectiveness of ceramic proppants using actual raw materials, but they also created software programs that could simulate the specific conditions of individual wells. “We couldn’t just sell on the science behind the product,” Orsini said. “We had to show our customers the actually monetary benefits.”

Over the years, as the market for ceramic proppants grew, Carborundum remained profitable, and was part of several buyouts. But as the 17-year patent coverage for the product and manufacturing process drew to a close, Orsini recognized that the time was right to retire from the business.

The market for ceramic proppants has since declined because of lagging oil prices and slowing demand. “I still believe that there is a long term benefit to ceramic proppants,” Orsini said. “But it’s hard to argue with a company that can barely keep its doors open. Sand is cheaper in the short run.” Orsini said the future of companies like Carborundum lies in the recovery of oil markets and in finding new industrial applications for the ceramic beads that make up proppants. And although we can’t always predict the future of markets, we can be sure that the creative engineers and savvy entrepreneurs, like those in University of Dallas classrooms right now, will continue to develop and market products that we never even knew we needed.

The University of Dallas Executives on Campus program was founded to further the University’s mission of providing practice-based education, by inviting successful business leaders to share their experience with graduate and undergraduate students in the classroom. Through this program, alumni, business leaders, and their companies are invited to partner with the University in our shared pursuit of management excellence. For more information click here.

Art in Ostia!

Art in Ostia!

Art Ostia
Art decided to explore the original streets of the Roman town Ostia. Located at the point where the Tiber flows into the Mediterranean, Ostia was Rome’s great seaport throughout antiquity. Often called Ostia Antica, this vast archaeological site contains many well-preserved private homes as well as many examples of ancient civic and religious buildings. Art decided to spend the afternoon like any good Roman… at the Amphitheater!

Caption/Photo: Charlie Sigur‘18, University of Dallas Career Development Student Assistant in Ostia Antica.

Happy Groundhog Day!

Happy Groundhog Day!

Art Rome Abbey

Happy #GroundhogDay and #TravelTuesday University of Dallas!

Art spent a calm outside of Rome at the Abbazia delle Tre Fontane (Abbey of the Three Fountains). The abbey gets its name from a legend about St. Paul’s martyrdom during Nero’s reign. According to the legend, when Paul was beheaded, His head hit the earth in three different places, causing three fountains to spring forth.

Art enjoyed seeing the mosaics inside of the chiesa di Santa Maria Scala Coeli (the outside pictured in the background).

Caption/Photo: Charlie Sigur ‘18, University of Dallas Career Development Student Assistant