Foundation Marketing: Member of the Month

“We’re from the internet. We think in digits and dream in pixels.”

Foundation Marketing is a content marketing agency that works with B2B brands to create and distribute content that inspires action. Founded in 2014 by Nova Scotian entrepreneur, Ross Simmonds, Foundation thrives in the content marketing space by acting on the belief that content has the ability to shape culture inside and outside of an organization. They provide content marketing services to organizations all over the world ranging from some of the fastest growing start-ups and consumer products to global Fortune 500 brands. Ross and the team at Foundation have launched marketing initiatives that reach millions of people with a focus on content strategy, planning, creation, and distribution for software companies, manufacturing companies, and B2B brands. They also provide web design and development services, SEO audits and content marketing intelligence.

Content That Gives Value Gets Results

Foundation models the advice they give their clients through their own digital presence: content that gives value gets results. “We develop a ton of free material online,” Ross explains. “Whether it’s a newsletter breaking down trends shaping marketing and content, or a glossary filled with marketing lingo and acronyms, we want to help the industry improve.”

If you’ve ever heard marketing jargon like “verticals”, “remarketing”, or “earned media” and needed clarification on exactly what they mean, Foundation has you covered. They host a free B2B Learning Centre on their website that provides a detailed glossary of the most commonly used terms in the industry. Each phrase includes definitions, examples, and best practices for use.

The Foundation team also pumps out regular blog posts through The Lab that include everything from free tools for digital marketing to data-based discussions on how the industry has been affected by the COVID-19 global health pandemic. Creating content that provides genuine value, allows the team to build trust and credibility with their audience, including existing and prospective clients. “You have to educate people, you have to engage them, or you have to entertain them,” Ross explains. “We believe that content shapes culture, so we create content that we believe can have a positive impact on our industry and on the way business is done.”

Ross Simmonds Foundation Marketing

Content Marketing During COVID-19

The current global health pandemic has created unprecedented disruption, which means that marketers are currently struggling to have their content seen and heard during one of the noisiest times in human history. While some brands and agencies are adjusting their strategies to remain quiet, Ross and the team at Foundation believe that creating valuable content that serves your customers in new ways will help build stronger relationships once the dust settles.

“The best marketers recognize that during a crisis you need to lead with empathy while still adding value to your audience,” says Ross. “At Foundation, our content creation process has stayed relatively the same over the last few months, but we’ve adjusted the tone to be cognizant of the realities facing millions of people while still staying true to our first principles around content marketing and distribution.”

Content marketing is one of the most powerful ways for a SaaS company to scale and grow. It’s an investment that lasts as long as the content is online and can pay dividends for years to come. Foundation helps software companies develop content marketing plans and execute on both the creation and distribution of quality content. Foundation Marketing works with well-known SaaS companies and up-and-coming start-ups looking to disrupt entire industries.

“As a marketer, arming brands with the ability to drive measurable and meaningful growth is a dream. There’s no room for subjectivity or politics,” Ross says. “The work either drives results or it doesn’t. In SaaS, as soon as a brand has a product market fit it’s all about identifying and developing growth channels that can be used to win.”

Ross says that organic growth is still the best opportunity in SaaS marketing, and that while the fundamentals of content marketing and SEO have long been documented to help SaaS companies grow, the rising costs of customer acquisition associated with paid campaigns and hiring are making organic growth channels more attractive.

“SaaS organization around the world continue to struggle with developing talent and creating a culture where they can thrive,” Ross explains. “It’s why we don’t just create strategies. We train teams and writers who work in-house to be able to execute on our plans as well.”

Recent Blogs from Foundation Covering Marketing During COVID-19

In his recent blog post The Case For Continuing to Create Content During a Crisis Like COVID-19, Ross analyses search term trends from the 2008 global recession that showed how brands that continued to create content during a period of international disruption were able to gain competitive advantages as recovery began. Investing in content during these times can help brands capture brand authority, trust and awareness while their competitors are holding back from fear of the unknown.

“Time is the friend of wonderful content, the enemy of the mediocre.” – Ross Simmonds, Foundation Marketing

Ross says that marketers who take the time to put people first and prioritize offering selfless service and support are the ones seeing the most success from their content during the pandemic. “It’s important to understand the use-cases for your product. Once you understand those use-cases, it’s time to think about how they can have a positive impact on those on the front lines during a crisis,” Ross explains. “Can you make their lives easier? Can your product improve their day-to-day operations?” He says content that highlights the helpful use-cases of a brand’s product, and focuses on the positive impacts the product is having on those affected by the crisis is what’s performing best right now. “If that’s not feasible,” he adds, “make a donation.”

The Foundation team has always been 100% remote, Ross says therefore working from home hasn’t impacted their day-to-day operations very much. “We’ve been able to help partners and friends make the transition to remote and offer insight into how to run a company without an office,” he says. “We do believe that remote is the future.”

Ross Simmonds Speaking

About Ross Simmonds

Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in marketing, Ross is an entrepreneur strives to give back. He sits on the Board of Directors at Volta Labs, on the Board of Directors at the Black Business Initiative, on the Board of Directors at the Boys & Girls Club of Preston, and on the Board of Trustees of Phoenix Youth Programs. In addition to running Foundation Marketing, Ross is the founder of a wide range of different businesses including Hustle & Grind, an ecommerce store for entrepreneurs, and he’s written two books about content marketing: Stand Out and The Hustle Manifesto.

Ross has worked closely with a wide range of brands across the globe ranging from Fortune 500 companies to up-and-coming start-ups. He’s been published in Forbes, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Venture Beat, BET, CBC, and Social Media Examiner. Ross is known for his work in growth marketing, Slideshare, Instagram, and digital marketing. He was named one of the top Snapchat marketers in the world by Mashable and he has shared his thoughts on marketing and tech around the globe at conferences and events including SearchLove, CTAConf, and MozCon.

With a list of accomplishments like that, you might be surprised to learn that Ross was terrified by the idea of public speaking in his late teens. “My nickname was “Shy Ross” and it stemmed from the fact that I was a pure introvert. But after seeing the power of public speaking for business & entrepreneurship – I knew I had to shake it. So I signed up to speak at a local event even though I was nervous and never did it before,” Ross explains. “I spoke and while the audience said it was great — I was a sweaty mess and didn’t do too well. I could have quit right then and there but instead I started to sign up for more events and throw my hat in the ring everywhere I could. Fast forward a few years and I’ve been paid to speak in front of thousands and have graced the stage in Sweden, Romania, Ireland, throughout North America and more. “

Foundation Marketing started as the evolution of RossSimmonds.com. The website was originally a fantasy football blog that Ross started as a university student, but his content changed over time to digital and content marketing, as his passion for all things tech grew. “It was a one person show for quite some time but eventually I realized that I could only do so much without a great team,” says Ross. “The team changed everything.”

Ross gives his team credit for creating content, unlocking ideas, developing research, and most of all, for building amazing relationships with their clients. He says that having a team that’s committed to developing themselves through continuous learning and curiosity means they’re always developing great work for their clients. “If it wasn’t for having an amazing team, Foundation wouldn’t exist,” Ross says.