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: 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?
  • Posted on: 10/18/2018

    Where are market research and analytics falling short?

    No thumbs down from me. Your last sentence is researchers ...try to freeze a moving target and project the image forward in time. Excellent!
  • Posted on: 10/02/2018

    Why do retailers practically ignore existing customers to go after new ones?

    First, I'm not sure the premise is true. As a shopper, I am in a number of loyalty programs and I get e-mails every week from probably 10 retailers. Beyond that, I cannot comment on the metrics. It is a retailer by retailer question. Now, one other element here...The Ehrenberg Bass Institute which has a number of followers in the marketing world, actually preaches that customer loyalty management is a bad idea and that building penetration is all that matters. This would legitimize NOT managing customer relationships. I have blogged many times and presented evidence as to what a dangerous idea this is but still, many, especially media companies who like to tell advertisers about their reach, find it appealing.
  • Posted on: 09/14/2018

    Is mobile the most disruptive force in retail since online selling began?

    Mobile is integral to the always-on lifestyle we live that has changed shopping in fundamental ways. The change is bigger than mobile however. Case in point -- I bought a house in Florida in early January and had nothing for it. I think every major purchase I made included mobile, desktop and in-store visits! Then targeted ads helped to influence some of these purchases where the data comes from my behaviors across devices. So mobile might be the nucleus but a nucleus alone does not an atom make!
  • Posted on: 09/04/2018

    Coca-Cola to take a run at Starbucks

    I'm sure Coca-Cola is considering that awareness and familiarity is not ubiquitous for Costa so they think there is low hanging fruit. Also, Coke can get retail distribution following the Starbucks formula. I also think they realize that they need to go beyond cold beverages and penetrate the morning daypart. The thing I DON'T like so much is that this is a knock-off brand (Starbucks got there first) so it will be a challenge for them to achieve the category dominance they are used to.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2018

    Is Amazon a major threat to Trader Joe’s?

    Finally another voice of reason!
  • Posted on: 08/30/2018

    Is Amazon a major threat to Trader Joe’s?

    Amazon is a threat to everybody because they have cracked the code on simplicity in a complex world and then how to leverage to data exhaust. They have behavioral data for targeting that has now made them #3 in ad revenues. They have this amazing cloud business. Amazon is probably the biggest threat to Netflix. They are most likely to transform a large portion of CPG to IoT ordering. The same people who shop Trader Joe's are Amazon Prime customers too. Skate to where the puck is going to be.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2018

    What questions should guide a digital transformation?

    Digital is much more than a tool. Digital advertising has passed TV. Programmatic is transformational and has even transformed TV buying. I have proven that an intelligent targeting strategy can double marketing ROI and that should be a goal for embracing digital. Yes, there are shiny objects (like gamification, IMHO). But digital is like oxygen to a forward looking organization.
  • Posted on: 08/29/2018

    What questions should guide a digital transformation?

    I live in this space. The key determinants of digital excellence are: having a data strategy that is based on unified persistent IDs, having first-party data, using multi-touch attribution as well as MMM to guide media decision-making and, last but not least, having a fully articulated targetable segmentation strategy. On the last point, 80 percent of digital is now addressable programmatically so we have moved beyond a mass media, reach-based world. I have created segments from frequent shopper data that produce 16 TIMES the return of ad spend of the campaign average. Is a marketer equipping for THAT? Of course, senior management has to get it and send a message, but really, these questions are generic and banal.
  • Posted on: 08/07/2018

    Starbucks prepares for a Bitcoin future

    I'm usually pretty progressive but I feel like there is a black swan in here, though. I'm not sure where -- but unregulated currency scares me.

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