Get Savage news, trends and information.

Sign Up Now



Why your website is a critical brand tool

Posted on Categories BrandonomicsTags

Mark Rudkin, Executive Director of Marketing for Rice University’s Jones School of Business discusses the importance of the website as a marketing tool, and why it’s one channel to focus on first.

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

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

Robin: Well, I know that you’ve been Executive Director at the Jones School’s marketing group for a little over a year, and one of the first things you did was relaunch the website.

Mark: Yes.

Robin: So tell me, why was it important that that was one of the very first marketing channels that you addressed?

Mark: Well, when you consider the number of students that are in the building, which is between 600 and 700, the fact that we get 40,000 to 60,000 hits per month on the website means that there’s a lot of people looking for information. So we wanted to make it much easier for them to do so. We did so by changing the navigation; getting rid of Flash; implementing jQuery; also adding a social media bar at the bottom of the page. As you go through the site, you get to see some of the Tweets that are going through the posts; people checking into Foursquare; I think, in fact, one of our people is currently the mayor, so that it’s wide open if someone wants to take it. Another thing that we did was we changed the way the pages are linked through the words that we use, in order to increase relevancy for SEO.

Robin: Anything else, any other features and tools that you implemented on the site?

Mark: We also added a number of things, including online forms for events. We wanted to make it a lot easier for those who were interested in the school to get to where they’re going quickly. So we have, called the Action buttons, on every page. We also have the ability to interact with the school directly.

Robin: Very important. Thanks for sharing with us about how you made the website a better marketing tool for you, so I hope you will come back and join us again.

Mark: I’d love to.

Robin: Wonderful. Well, this has been another edition of Brandonomics. Join us next week as we take another look at top brands and their marketing strategy.


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.

Learn more about building your brand

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.

Icon Purpose Red

If you’re interested in knowing more about how purposeful companies attract the best employees, build loyal relationships with customers, and differentiate themselves from the competition, then let’s start a conversation.