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Take a look outside your industry for marketing inspiration

Posted on Categories BrandonomicsTags

Think that other industries don't have brand and marketing lessons for you? Think again! Robin Tooms interviews Mark Rudkin, executive director of marketing for Rice University’s Jones School of Business on how he looked at his diverse industry background to pull in new ideas and best practices.

Robin: Hello, and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I’m Robin Tooms, Vice President of Strategy at Savage, and visiting with us again today is Mark Rudkin from Rice University. Mark is the Executive Director of Marketing at the Jones School. So Mark, welcome back.

Mark: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Robin: Well, wonderful. Well, we heard last time about some of the great marketing that you’re doing at the Jones School, but now I want to talk a little bit more about you and your background. Before you took the job at Rice, you were a private marketer at both B2B and B2C, but I want to hear about what you brought to the table from that past experience.

Mark: So my background is private equity. I did private equity for about ten years, and the exciting and interesting thing about private equity is that you get to jump around in many different sectors, many different industries. So what I found when I came to Rice was I wanted to first kind of identify those things that were similar to other industries that I’d worked in – like telecommunications, media, retail, confectionery, a number of different industries there – and then from there build a foundation, identify the market, get an idea of how my audience thinks, and then use best practice and strategic thinking toward furthering the reputation of the school.

Robin: Well, wonderful. What other advice would you have for other marketers in trying to look outside their own industry for some of those great marketing strategies?

Mark: It is kind of a neat idea to look at what other industries are doing because a lot of times you find consistencies and best practice for marketing, but other times you may find that what in one industry is common knowledge and regular practice ends up being innovative for your industry because your peers and those around you have not yet explored it. So it’s always fun just to learn.

Robin: Okay, well wonderful advice. Thank you, Mark.

Mark: Thank you.

Robin: Okay, well join us again next week for another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.


Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business is committed to developing principled innovative thought leaders in global communities. It offers the Full Time MBA, MBA for Executives and MBA for Professionals degrees, as well as a full schedule of non-degree, open enrollment executive education and business courses.

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Robin Tooms is a consultant for brand, marketing and communications strategies for B2B and service companies. Expertise includes corporate branding, investor communications, employee communications, social media, and marketing with emphasis on effective online marketing and use of technology.

Contact her at or reach her by phone at 713-522-1555.

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