By Joe Pulizzi published June 1, 2016

Content Marketing Institute Acquired by UBM

CMI_UBM-01I’m beyond excited to announce that Content Marketing Institute has been acquired by UBM. For those of you not familiar with UBM, they are the No. 1 B2B events organizer in the U.S. and Asia, with a large business globally in many verticals. After many discussions with the executive team at UBM, it was clear that both UBM and CMI share the same passion for the content marketing industry and its growing community.

CMI and Content Marketing World will become part of UBM’s technology events group and it is an exciting expansion for UBM into the fast-growth world of content marketing and marketing technology. This decision will help us at CMI take our vision of advancing the approach of content marketing to more marketers in the U.S. and around the world.

If you are reading this, you are probably thinking “is this a good thing?” It’s a valid question. Acquisitions are sometimes good and sometimes bad. In this case, this is a very good thing for both CMI and the industry. Long story short, we are ready to expand and grow to continue our mission of education, training, and serving the content marketing community.

Let’s be honest

As a CMI community member, you know I’ve never been one to hold back on my feelings, so I’d like to put it all out there in this post.

Even though we always imagined selling the business at some point, this was an incredibly difficult decision. We would never decide to sell the business if our vision would be compromised in any way. One of the reasons UBM decided to make this purchase is because of the passion of the CMI team and the community. Continuing that is critical to our ongoing success. Simply put, I’m more passionate than ever about what’s going on in content marketing and in people like you who are making change happen around the world.

There are literally countless people to thank who helped us get to this point. But for this moment, I’d simply like to thank the members of the CMI team. The individuals that comprise the CMI team are the most amazing people I have ever known. They not only are extremely talented, they are family. It was critical that any change in CMI had to be good for them. I’m happy to say that every single member of the CMI team is continuing in their roles at CMI.

What’s changing?

Nothing. We are continuing to execute the vision we feel so passionate about. At the same time, we believe that UBM can help us better realize that vision. So while I’m sure there will be some changes in the future, we are simply continuing our commitment to you, our community.

Content marketing works

On April 26th, 2007, I wrote my first blog post, titled Why Content Marketing? From that moment on, we began to execute a strategy employing all the basics of content marketing strategy. For the first three years, we built a loyal audience through our blog. In January of 2011, we launched Chief Content Officer magazine. In September of 2011, we produced the first Content Marketing World. That first year we had hoped to attract between 100 and 150 marketers to Cleveland. However, 660 of you showed up. In 2016, for our 6th Content Marketing World, over 4,000 will attend the September event, coming from more than 60 countries. Then came the monthly webinars (now three times per month), the ongoing master classes, Content Marketing University, the This Old Marketing podcast and a number of other initiatives.

It’s so meta, but we’ve used the tenets of content marketing to grow this business up to this point, and we will continue to do so.

This community is special

Just a few weeks ago, I was in Amsterdam having a great conversation with Doug Kessler from Velocity Partners. Doug and I were commenting on how truly amazing the content marketing community is (and it is). From the rock stars to the thought leaders to the enterprise marketers to our sponsors that support us … every person is so giving to each other. It’s been an honor to be part of it. Here and now, in what I consider to be the most innovative time in the history of marketing, what an opportunity we have to make change happen.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments below. Other than this post, you aren’t going to hear much more about this. It’s a special day, but we have plenty to do.

I’m looking forward to talking with many of you and definitely to seeing you at Content Marketing World in September.

It’s been an honor. Thank you for inspiring me to be better.

Yours in Content,

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

Other posts by Joe Pulizzi

  • NenadSenic

    I don’t get it

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Hi Nenad…I believe this can really help us expand content marketing globally (something you know we’ve struggled with in the past). I’ll buy you a drink at CMW and give you the full scoop my friend. Thanks again for all the support.

      • NenadSenic

        I know you know what you’re doing. So, I forgot to say, congrats! 🙂 I am just very protective of your sweet awesome brand and honestly very ignorant when it comes to this acquisition stuff 🙂 But I am really looking forward to that drink :)))))

        • Joe Pulizzi

          Yep…I get it. Very aware of that. So is UBM. Let’s make it two drinks.

          • NenadSenic

            Okay, you promised. It’s written. :))) 99 days left…

  • globalcopywrite

    Congratulations, Joe! I wondered when something like this would happen. Can’t wait to see the next chapter unfold.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks so much Sarah!

  • Joakim Ditlev

    Wow – big news! Huge congrats Joe and crew! You are a huge source of inspiration for my career and business.
    I’m looking forward to see what this acquisition can bring to the community and how CMI can develop even more great stuff.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      It goes both ways my friend. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

  • marktennant

    Just to be safe I checked the calendar; today is June 1, not April 1…
    Happy for you and everyone at CMI Joe. Very cool, see you soon.

    • Joe Pulizzi


  • Bert van Loon

    CMWorld and the entire CMI-experience has always been delivered with a
    more than personal involvement, unalike any marketing community or
    conference I ever experienced. It would be over the top to call it a
    family, but it definitely is a lively and dynamic community of peers.
    Exactly these elements define what CMI is, what CMI stands for and the
    value that CMI brings.

    Congratulations to you Joe, your entire
    team and their families who brought this with lots of passion and hard work to where it is now. It’s a
    logical step to take this to the next level. I can’t imagine that
    it will loose the personal involvement I mentioned, simply because I
    think that would take away the core of what CMI stands for. In that
    respect this is the first acquisition that I have seen in a long time,
    where I sincerely believe it will bring the best of both worlds:
    corporate scalability AND personal involvement of the leadership in all
    its activities.

    Stay orange! Enjoy the moment! Carry on!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks my friend. So much work left to be done. We can all get there together. Keep doing what you are doing.

  • Emily King

    This is fantastic news. Congratulations to you and the team Joe.

    I’ll admit, I’m excited to see what this will mean for CMI events on a global scale.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Me as well Emily!

  • Joseph Kalinowski

    Words cannot express how proud I am today!! #TeamOrange

    • Cathy McPhillips

      Ditto! #TeamOrange is the best!

    • Joe Pulizzi


  • Stephan Hovnanian

    Congratulations Joe and the CMI team!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Stephen!

  • HunterClary

    Nicely done! Congrats! Can’t wait to hear more on This Old Marketing.

    • Cathy McPhillips

      Yes to every single part of this! 🙂

  • BernieBorges

    Joe, I congratulate you and the entire team at CMI. As you point out, the CMI community is exemplary of a “movement” (your quote). I’m proud to be a small part of it. I’ve benefited from it and I look forward to what’s in store under the new arrangement.

    • Cathy McPhillips

      I adore our community. And you’re a critical part of it.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      You are a big part of it my friend. Thanks for all your support!

  • Mckvalerie

    I’m not going to lie, I panicked at first when I read this in my feed (with admittedly blurry morning eyes). The organization that held my hand as I was unexpectedly thrown into a new carreer field is being acquired? In my work field–working with new startups–I certainly see this frequently, and it’s not always good. Or it’s good, but the company is not the same going forward. Thank you Joe for your calming and clear assurance that my hand holder will remain. Congratulations on a great move. I look forward to seeing what’s next with your company, your team, and your story. And “see” you in September. Again.

    • Cathy McPhillips

      I love this! Thank you, Valerie! I can’t wait to see you at CMWorld!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks for this. Don’t worry…lots of work to be done. I’m more passionate than ever. Looking forward to seeing you at #CMWorld

  • Michael Höflich

    Great news! Congratulations Joe!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Michael!

  • Tom Webster


    • Cathy McPhillips

      Why aren’t there Like buttons in Disqus??

  • Suma


  • Jen McGahan

    Wonderful. Good luck with the new acquisition!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Jen!

  • Jacquie Chakirelis

    Hugs to #TeamOrange!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Jacquie…yes…secrets.

  • Doug Kessler

    Bravo! Well deserved. You and the whole CMI team have built a fantastic community and done it with heart, integrity and humor. Well done to you all!

    • Joe Pulizzi


  • Michael A. Stelzner

    Congrats on this new part of your journey Joe. Oh the places you will go!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks for all the support Mike!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      🙂 Thanks my friend!

  • Peg Sieren Miller

    Joe and Pam, so happy for you and the team! Congratulations on the amazing work you have done. Joe, I remember the day in Cleveland having a beer with you, and you said, “I’m leaving Penton to start my own business.” I’d say you did pretty well with that goal!

  • Peg Sieren Miller

    Wow, Joe and Pam, congratulations on your amazing work! I’m so happy for you. Joe, I remember that day in Cleveland about 9 yrs ago, we were sitting at a company event having a beer, and you said, “I’m leaving Penton to start my own business.” I would say you’ve achieved your goal! Nice work.

    • Joe Pulizzi


  • Rachel Nislick

    Rock on Joe. Congrats to you and the whole gang.

  • Christine Zeller Lobas

    Joe, I am so thrilled for you and your team. I can remember nearly 9 years ago when the idea was simply an egg… and you’ve hatched it and watched over it and allowed it to grow and fly in amazing ways. Another Cleveland champion to be proud of. Congratulations! Will be so happy to see things continue to flourish.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      You were there before day one!

  • Jeff Korhan

    Quite a ride Joe. Congratulations. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  • Zecheriah Stone

    Congratulations to the entire orange team! Excited about the upcoming journey to make a greater impact in content marketing. Today is another step to “Change your Stars” (spoken in my best ‘A Knight’s Tale’ voice).

  • Methodic Content

    Good stuff! Excited for what’s coming next 🙂

  • SiobhanF

    Congratulations — well done and well deserved.

  • stephanietilton

    Big congrats to you and your team, Joe! As you implied, this just might be the best content marketing success story yet!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      You’ve been so wonderfully supportive since the beginning. Cannot thank you enough.

  • Ink & Key

    Congratulations! CMI is incredibly impressive, and I’ve learned so much from you. I’ll be looking forward to what’s ahead. 🙂

  • Paul Alves

    Congrats Joe and team!
    This doesn’t come as a surprise really – because when you create, deliver and share epic content day in and day out, you can only expect this type of reward!
    I’ve been following you guys for the last 5 years and I must say when I read that CMI was acquired I smile and say well done.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Amen! Thanks Paul.

  • Afryrear

    My first reaction: What?!?!
    My second, more considered reaction: It couldn’t happen to a more deserving, more dedicated group. Best of luck in the next chapter of your epic story, #TeamOrange.

    • Lisa Dougherty

      You’re the best, Andrea! Thank you! Can’t wait to see you in September.

  • heidicohen

    Big congrats Joe to you and the rest of the amazing CMI team. I’ve had the honor of working with many of you over the years. Together you’ve powered a marketing movement. Happy (content) marketing, Heidi Cohen

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Really appreciate that Heidi!

  • tracibrowne

    Congratulations! UBM puts on some incredible shows. Looking forward to seeing where they take CMWorld. Lucky for them you created a solid foundation.

    • Cathy McPhillips

      Traci, thanks for all of the nuggets we’ve learned from you on events, sponsorships and customers. You’ve helped more than you know!

  • Joe Dahlheimer

    Good for you and the CMI team! It had to be a tough decision …you didn’t just create a company you have lead a movement. Now UBM can provide you expanded networks and resources to take the next stair step in CMI’s growth. Continue building your vision… B2B marketing needs it.

  • Noz Urbina

    Congratulations! So glad to hear the news! I hope this bodes well for CMI and ICC events here in Europe!

  • Charlotte Ziems

    Big congrats!

  • rbarnes

    Small panic when I read this. As a follower from Day 1, I thought this couldn’t be good news; UBM would swallow you up and all your followers would lose you! Worse yet, I’d never get you to San Antonio for a conference. However, I offer you and Pam BIG congrats because you’ve worked hard for this and made many sacrifices. I hope it becomes a HUGE success. I look forward to seeing you everywhere via UBM!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Robyn…we are more passionate than ever about this…and I will definitely stop in San Antonio at some point. It’s been too long. Thanks again for all your support.

  • Shelly Morningstar

    Onward and upward, and a big round of applause and continued success to the CMI team!

  • Vinish Garg

    I could not believe the email subject but I am happy when it is absorbed by now. Congrats Joe, and I see interesting times ahead.

  • Don The Idea Guy

    Joe, Congrats on your (and your whole team’s) success! Very excited about this new chapter for CMI. Best wishes!

  • Jim D’Orazio

    Joe, I made content marketing a central pillar of my Strategic Online Marketing class because I believed in what you were saying. I use your book as a text book for the class because students respond to your story. I’ve gotten to know several members of the team and I have to agree that they are all great (even the crazy uncle). So I’m happy to hear the news and even happier to hear that you and the team will all continue w/the same passion and enthusiasm in the future. Means good things are ahead for all of us.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Love it Jim. Thanks so much!

  • mattsteinmetz

    Congrats to Joe, Pam, and the entire CMI team! Your vision and leadership are a lesson to the rest of us. It’s always great to see good things happen to good people.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks for a great, continued partnership Matt!

  • Scott Abel

    Yay! Great work. Congratulations.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks my friend!

  • Ashley Jessen

    Congratulations. What an exciting time for you and the ‘baby’ you have built over all these years. Here’s to your success.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Appreciate that Ashley!

  • Judy Albers

    Congrats, everyone! I agree, it’s a really special community, and like many others, I’m deeply grateful you introduced me to it.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Hey Judy…I better see you at #CMWorld this year!

  • Hitesh Parekh

    It’s a new direction but I’m still with CMI for the long run. I love what is being written here on a daily basis.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Wonderful. Thanks!

  • Nick Robinson

    That’s awesome, congrats to the whole CMI team!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Nick!

  • David Jarcho

    OMG! Congratulations! Don’t change. OK, change – but only get better.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Yes…that’s the plan 🙂

  • Andrew Bredenkamp

    Congratulations Joe, and the whole team! I know that even though you’ve sold, you won’t sell out – keep on trail blazing.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Absolutely…thanks for all your support!

  • Edward Charles

    Would they like to acquire the domain name Content.Marketing as well? 🙂

  • Hazel Euan-Smith

    Congratulations on this exciting new chapter – and good luck! As a content marketing evangelist in the UK, I have been following CMI for the last six years and pointing all the organizations I’ve worked with in your direction. I hope this means there’ll be some events in the UK as well as US and Asia.
    Joe, I’m coming to the B2B Marketing Summit in London – I hope I can catch you to say congrats in person. CMI has helped me a lot in my career and a lot of the organizations I’ve worked with! Thanks for all your great work!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks so much Hazel! I’ll be there for a short time, so catch me before my speech if possible.

      • Hazel Euan-Smith

        I will try my best, thanks!

  • Bob Oord

    Now that’s what I call a deal resulting from a buyer journey backed with a whole lot of epic content! Congrat’s to you & the team Joe.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks my friend…for all your support throughout the years.

  • Margaret O’Leary

    Congrats! Sounds like a great move for both UBM and CMI.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Margaret!

  • Daniel Taibleson

    My expectations are now EXTREMELY high for CMW 2017 😛

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Daniel…don’t forget about 2016 in September. I now expect to see you there 😉

      • Daniel Taibleson

        Haha I just signed up for my work shops etc today! Excited for my first CMW. Doing the whole week with a coworker. I was blown away at the sheer volume of topics being covered. I’m still making my way through talks from 2015 😛

  • Dan Hutson

    Congrats, Joe. Exciting news. As always, I’m looking forward to September.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Dan…yes, see you at Content Marketing World!

  • Frank Strong

    Wow, didn’t see that coming, but in hindsight I should have. After all this could well be an example of the M&A deals you’ve been talking about, even if takes Apple a while to realize the opportunity in Disney. Congrats, Joe! PS: WalMart should grab Yahoo!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Frank…love the Walmart take.

  • Jakrapong Kongmalai

    Congrats, Joe, Robert and all CMI team members!

  • Brian Halligan

    Congratulations! As a fellow Great Laker (Rochester, NY), I’m glad CMWorld is staying put for at least the near future. I’ve enjoyed exploring Cleveland almost as much as I’ve enjoyed learning from everyone at the conferences.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks so much Brian. Appreciate the note!

  • Mark Waitz

    Gratz Joe, I discovered CMI just a few months ago and your content is amazing !
    I can see great synergy happen with UBM on Events and Marketing Services.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks much Mark…hope to see you at Content Marketing World!

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