Trade Marketing Gets Its Upfront

Each year during upfront season, the networks roll out their new programming line-ups to great fanfare and the sort of pomp only media titans could concoct. By day, executives parade their stars across the stage and debut highlights from upcoming shows for the press; by night they wine-and-dine agencies and brands, courting them for billions in ad placements. They go to such great lengths for publicity, because inventory is limited and for sales efficiency, considering modern-day business still runs on face-to-face meetings and relationships.

On a smaller, yet equally important and growing scale, B2B marketing within the advertising and media industries operates on similar principles. There are only so many event sponsorships, newsletter avails and sponsored content impressions to go around — they really do sell out. In addition, the complexities of trade marketing itself, not to mention the myriad of marketing technologies that have become an integral part of our ecosystem, make the idea for a trade marketing upfront not only a novel idea, but a timely one that is vital to the ongoing growth of our industry.

By way of this post, I’m proud to announce the industry’s first-ever Trade Marketing Upfront will be held on February 23rd from 1:30 to 7 pm at the W Times Square — New York.

The event will bring together senior B2B marketing professionals and solution providers working at the crossroads of media, marketing and technology. Attendance is by invitation only and the event is being entirely underwritten by Marketing 2 Marketers, the new tech-enabled B2B marketing consultancy co-founded by Adam Gelles and me. There is no cost to attend.

At our Upfront, the stars of the show will be the publications, event marketing companies and technology solution providers who act as an important conduit between ad industry marketing executives (our guests) and the brands and agencies they are charged with influencing through their work.

Pulling from the expertise of these sell-side leaders, the focus will be entirely on sharing key insights, trends and best-practices for how trade marketing professionals can more effectively support revenue generation for their organizations. The agenda will include: Content Marketing; Reaching Niche Audiences at Scale; Selecting the Right Marketing Technology and Curating Leads that Drive Business.

For the heads of marketing in attendance, the 2016 Trade Marketing Upfront represents an opportunity to hear firsthand from the solution providers who know intimately the pain points they deal with because they’re already working to resolve those issues for other companies in the space. It will also be a unique forum for B2B marketers to learn from and network with their peers who face similar demands and challenges on a daily basis.

In years to come, we envision publications like MediaPost and Advertising Age, conferences like Digiday and Brand Innovators and platforms like Oracle, Salesforce, Hootsuite and Curata will use the Trade Marketing Upfront as a platform to introduce new products and their slates of events for the year. Further, we foresee a time when the industry dialogue we begin this month will become a vibrant marketplace where news is made, ideas are shared and deals get done, saving everyone countless hours of scheduling, traveling and negotiating deals ad hoc throughout the year.

For our inaugural event, however, our goal is simply to foster a thoughtful dialogue between leading solution providers and the trade marketers they serve through an afternoon of thought leadership and education. If you are a B2B marketing executive in the media and advertising industry, or a service provider who helps them reach agencies and brands, we’d love to see you there.

For information about presenting or to request an invitation to attend, please email