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: 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.
  • Posted on: 07/16/2018

    Need a nap? Casper opened a store for that

    I hate to bring up the realities of the world we live in, but in Manhattan, safety and cleanliness are always issues. How do they manage these factors without creating unsafe conditions and big legal exposure?
  • Posted on: 07/11/2018

    Will Amazon team with third-party sellers as a Prime perk?

    My first thought was that this was really off-strategy for both Amazon and any large retailer they partner with who is in mortal combat with Amazon. But then I thought about this more -- maybe the best way to do this is as a long tail play. Smaller retailers already DO sell on Amazon. They could bring Amazon Prime into their stores and drive a lot more traffic there assuming Amazon promotes the connection in some way. This would give Amazon a physical presence throughout the country but in a transformational way. As a point of reference, going after the long tail is exactly how Google became so dominant in search.
  • Posted on: 07/10/2018

    Will lockers transform Home Depot’s BOPIS operations?

    Here is why I think the lockers for Home Depot make so much sense -- those stores are so enormous that the store layout is horrible for 95 percent of people walking into the store! I say this because you walk in on a mission and the chance that you are looking for light bulbs or something barbecue-related is small, because so much else is in the store. What the lockers do is make the store layout perfect for each individual shopper! You have ordered exactly what you want and it is right there in front of you! So don't think of this as BOPIS, think of this as customized store layout. Now along those lines, what else could be done? First, insert a flyer for the exact location in the store of that type of product so if you want to change your mind, you immediately see options. Second, have a greeter right there to make sure you are happy with your purchase.
  • Posted on: 07/09/2018

    Amazon lowballs CVS and Walgreens on OTC med prices

    I would guess there is little connection in consumers' minds between OTC and Rx so the answer to the question asked is no, this will not help Amazon establish an Rx business. Furthermore, Amazon doesn't just sell stuff, they provide disruptive models. there is nothing disruptive to the Rx space about offering less expensive Motrin. On the other hand, I WOULD expect something disruptive from them in the Rx area as a separate initiative.

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