Digital media pros come home with passion for local market

RMB Marketing sets up shop in downtown space

RMB Marketing partners Ryan Lindsay, left, and Andrew Powell have set up shop in downtown Sarnia.

There are lots of stories about people leaving Sarnia-Lambton, often the result of heading off to a university or community college and sometimes just grabbing onto an opportunity to spend a little time away from home.

Many of those people, for whatever reason, have no intentions of returning.

And then there are Ryan Lindsay and Andrew Powell, two Sarnia “born and raised” who, after they met in the GTA, found they had some common interests and dreams of a future they could accomplish much more quickly together than separately.

Today they’re back in Sarnia, where they’ve set up shop as RMB Marketing, a venture that’s focused on helping businesses generate revenue building traffic (the RMB stands for “rank my business”)

While they’re located in the offices of TMRRW inc., a marketing company occupying space in the former Taylor’s Furniture building (at the northeast corner of Cromwell and Christina St.), RMB could be virtually anywhere.

In fact, the reasons for Powell and Lindsay having moved back to the area are largely related to the fact that their brothers are raising families and a desire to be closer geographically.

It was Powell’s passion for music (he is a bass guitar player) that drew him to Toronto, where he played in a band called Running Red Lights. In Sarnia, he was a member of Flicker, a well-known but now defunct band. Lindsay, who graduated from Northern Collegiate four years behind Powell, says it was the film industry that attracted him to Toronto.

“I was fascinated with screenwriting,” says Lindsay, “especially in seeing how, on a large scale, the money was spent. I was also interested in the advertising and marketing end of things and how advertising content connected with film.”

Powell got involved in working with the internet as a way of promoting not only his band but others with whom he would inevitably connect.

Along the way, one of those connections was Lindsay and their mutual connection to Sarnia was enough to have them bond, eventually to the point where RMB Marketing was born.

One of the firm’s first offerings was to help companies manage their search engine optimization, aka SEO.

Both Powell and Lindsay have a focused pitch when it comes to what companies should be talking to them as they continue to grow their business from their new base of operations.

“Most companies as it turns out don’t have their digital activities aligned very well,” said Lindsay. “They spend thousands of dollars and end up with what is really a glorified business card.”

So RMB is a website developer?

Not so fast. While in many cases that “glorified business card” moniker fits, it’s below the surface that the guts of a digital presence require much of the work if the objectives of the client are to be achieved.

True, RMB is positioned to do a complete digital overhaul for its clients (one reason that Powell and Lindsay have found a sense of synergy with their new friends at TMRRW inc.). But their real passion is making the underlying website technology, complete with various links and keyword efficiencies, work as well as it possibly can.

Lindsay describes the web design projects RMB typically undertakes (perhaps 10% of its overall business) as “purposeful design.”

To get started on a typical project, Powell and Lindsay will first develop a keen understanding of how a client’s existing website is being ranked, a process that can turn up some rather ugly situations. It’s more typical than one would imagine where either the owner or a firm they’ve gone to for “service” have found themselves banned from search engines due to having “shady” links, especially those that are not relevant to their site.

Just in the last year, RMB has done at least a half dozen “link detox” projects, a time-consuming process that is nonetheless necessary for a client to “reset” in order to move forward with their digital reputation.

As far as Powell and Lindsay having landed back in Sarnia, that move came after the pair began “auditioning” firms they felt would be a good fit with what they (RMB) would bring to the table.

For them, that was TMRRW inc., a relatively new presence in the market but with a technical prowess and, more to the point, as Lindsay says, “a great reputation and great work ethic.”

Building their own business, Powell and Lindsay say that now the community knows they’re back, the momentum is building.

“We’ve reached out to people we already know, offering them a first right of refusal on working together,” said Lindsay. “The fact is, because we’re operating in such a small market, we’re trying to focus on one client per category. Otherwise, we’d be competing against ourselves.”

RMB Marketing is online at and can be reached by phone at (647) 931-6496.

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