Joel Rubinson

President, Rubinson Partners, Inc.

Joel is President of Rubinson Partners, Inc. marketing and research consulting for a brave new world. Prior to that, as Chief Research Officer at The ARF, Joel interacted directly with hundreds of research leaders and drove the organization’s initiatives regarding notably:

  • Research transformation (designing the future of the profession)
  • 360 media and marketing
  • Social media and listening
  • Online research data quality
  • Shopper insights

Joel helped build awareness of the ARF and its priorities by building a sizable social media presence via a blog that achieved thousands of page views each month and with a twitter profile of nearly 3,000 followers.

Prior to joining the ARF, Joel was Senior Vice-President, Head of Advanced Solutions for Synovate North America where he was their leading branding resource and was also the global thought leader for shopper research. Before joining Synovate, Joel was at the NPD Group for many years, leading the creation of tools for brand equity management (BrandBuilder), new product forecasting (ESP), category management and designed many of their data collection and sampling methodologies as NPD changed from paper diaries to online research. Joel started his research career at Unilever.

Joel is also a published author of numerous papers in professional journals and frequent speaker at industry conferences. He has taught the official American Marketing Association advanced tutorial on brand loyalty and lectured at Columbia, NYU, Wharton, Amos Tuck School, and University of Rochester, among others. Joel holds an MBA in statistics and economics from the University of Chicago and a BS from NYU.

  • Posted on: 04/18/2019

    Will America’s love for paper coupons ever die?

    I wonder if it has something to do with a preference for physical things in a physical world. The ergonomics are actually sometimes better with paper. A related example ... if I need to speak with an agent at the airport I prefer a physical boarding pass. No waking the phone up, unlock codes, battery levels. On the other hand, I really doubt there is a preference for physical coupons vs. discount codes in e-commerce. Simplicity is important.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2019

    Hubert Joly: New Best Buy CEO has the right stuff to lead chain to new heights

    My advice to Best Buy is to master digital from a commitment and technology POV but MOST IMPORTANTLY, as a brand-led play. Every possible way that they can make it wrong for a consumer to go to Amazon or Walmart for home electronics, technology, appliances, they have to go for that. why does Amazon have 10 times the share of Walmart online? Pricing? Breadth of offers? I doubt it ... it's brand and the search pattern habits that consumers adopt. So Best Buy -- brand, brand, BRAND!
  • Posted on: 04/15/2019

    Can Walmart beat Amazon, Facebook and Google at the online ad game?

    I predicted three years ago that retailers moving into adtech would be the next big thing. I predicted Amazon would become #3 in ad revenues only exceeded by Google and Facebook. I also said at the time that Amazon was like the combination of Google and Walmart and, in fact, they have since announced a deal. Here is the thing -- the predictions were based on a firm belief in the power of precision targeting based on behavioral signals. Walmart can easily compete on that basis for ad dollars but they have to get their act together in the digital space. They don't think about digital as much and for that reason have one-tenth the business of Amazon online while being bigger overall. Ultimately, the margins in the ad business are huge and Walmart will have to move into that space in a big way and will be very successful -- potentially forming a top five that will include Netflix (but that's a prediction for another day and topic!)
  • Posted on: 02/20/2019

    Is Walmart just starting to hit its stride?

    Let's be clear -- a 43 percent increase in e-commerce sales can be looked at two ways; they are still only one-tenth of Amazon online, or they have lots of room for growth. Also, they are way behind Amazon for ad sales (will be $10 billion this year at 50 percent margins) when Walmart should be ahead. Glass half full or half empty?
  • Posted on: 02/19/2019

    Influencer marketing produces a fuzzy ROI

    Influencer marketing is different than word of mouth. The latter is free and the former costs A LOT! I hear celebrities can get up to $1 million for promoting something to their followers. Even more affordable influencers charge at least five figures. In some industries it is thought to be critical so must be done but how to measure -- surveys? Matching lists? There's really no great roadmap yet.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2019

    Did Gillette’s rant against toxic masculinity go too far?

    Do you really think that using a spokesperson who kneels for the National Anthem is not taking a political stand? Do you think Vets see it that way?
  • Posted on: 01/21/2019

    Did Gillette’s rant against toxic masculinity go too far?

    There are three prominent brands who have made political statements and personally, I agree with Steve ... stay away from polarizing statements.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2019

    Did Gillette’s rant against toxic masculinity go too far?

    Did Gillette go too far? Absolutely! Let's jump on the male bashing bandwagon and throw our core consumer under the bus. Will it affect sales? Who knows ... social media is very negative to this, but so was Kaepernick and Nike, yet it didn't seem to hurt them. The biggest victim might be the idea that social media monitoring of sentiment matters!
  • Posted on: 01/03/2019

    Will smart shelves work for Hannaford and its customers?

    OK, I don't get it. The number one problem is finding the product you are looking for and I don't see how this helps that problem (although technology could be designed to address THAT purpose). Another screen for information is not needed -- did they ever hear of smart phones?
  • Posted on: 12/14/2018

    Does Starbucks have a big delivery opportunity?

    Starbucks must do this to stay relevant to the way that shopping is going. More online buying, more virtual working, less foot traffic to come in off the street. I'm sure this will be more than just delivering coffee and will include food. Morning meetings, Friday morning treats for the office, friends coming over for brunch -- I think this is a nice extension of Starbucks "life."
  • Posted on: 11/28/2018

    Can customer lifetime value scores work against retailers?

    CLV scores, if calculated to include longevity (which they should actuarily) are inherently discriminatory. Because they are also arbitrary (who really can estimate the probability that someone will be a customer seven years from now?) I say be very careful about using them.
  • Posted on: 11/27/2018

    Does Amazon’s record performance point to the growing importance of Cyber Monday?

    It's not about Cyber Monday. It's about the growth of, buying...advertising. And Amazon is 10X bigger than anyone else online but others are making good strides. Basically, it's as simple as this -- to win the future, you must win in digital.
  • Posted on: 11/26/2018

    Millennial brand loyalty comes into question

    I see these articles from time to time ... new consumers have no brand loyalty ... blah, blah. Such articles usually signal a lack of understanding about the marketing advantages that brand preference creates. Brand loyalty does not mean exclusive loyalty ... that would be a red herring definition. Popai and other shopper studies have documented that half or more of shoppers are actively considering multiple brands at the point of purchase. Brand knowledge gives us the simplifying heuristics we need to navigate a world of otherwise overwhelming choices. Without brand knowledge, our ears would bleed! Young consumers are just as brand focused as anyone else. Look in the right places. Look at beauty, apparel, social media, and sports fandom. I see no evidence that young Red Sox fans are more tolerant of the Yankees and vice-versa.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2018

    Where are market research and analytics falling short?

    digital behavior is not folly. it is the basis of what has become over half of ad spend. TV is much smaller now. How will you understand the media channel with over 50% of media spend unless you study it? And BTW, I was not only talking about digital data. I also mentioned disruptive cost models for surveys. They are not dead, but brand tracking is bloated and segmentation research is hopelessly unactionable the way most do it.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2018

    Where are market research and analytics falling short?

    Wow, Steve, no! Did you actually read the discussion starter or just the mistaken interpretations of some of the comments?

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