RFC-000-041: Funding Marketing Working Group & Marketing Campaign

Name: Funding Marketing Working Group & Marketing Campaign
Authors: @cowboy , @SeekingKnowledge, @Sabobi
Status: Draft
Scope: Request for funds for 6+ month marketing campaign

This RFC is to query the DAO about funding a marketing campaign developed by myself and with lots of help from the renDAO marketing group (primarily Cowboy (lead), Seeking Knowledge (lead), Sabobi.cat, but also Arivee, Wes²♜♜♜, ShilliamShakespeare, wake_222, Woodgast - all have contributed to conversations in the development of this RFC). Marketing services cost money but it also takes a lot of effort to run and manage a marketing campaign, digest community feedback and coordinate with other renDAO members, work which should be compensated and properly incentivized.

Table of contents:

Section 1: Marketing Statement and Goals
Section 2: Strategy
Section 3: Funding
Section 4: KPI
Section 5: Personal Statement

Marketing Statement and Goals

Marketing Strategy Statement

The purpose of renDAO marketing is to support the growth of renDAO and to fill in the gaps in marketing of REN which are not covered by RenLabs. This will be accomplished by building a separate but synergistic brand for renDAO, amplifying the awareness of the existing REN brand through targeted advertising, and building the framework for potential 3rd party integrations to communicate with RenDAO about potential partnerships. Outwardly the target for marketing will be retail and institutional users looking to deploy assets cross-chain. Inwardly for within renDAO, marketing efforts will be towards Darknode operators (or otherwise voting/working members), and developers looking to build apps or integrations on top of REN. Additionally the working group is to create a marketing framework that facilitates the workers of the renDAO with the guidance, materials and support needed to achieve marketing goals and smooth DAO operations.

The marketing tools we plan to use include targeted ads (Google, Presearch, coingecko, brave, etc.); “fusion marketing” (leveraging partnerships who engage in their own advertising); general community outreach (medium, twitter, discord); active community engagements; AMAs, Article and Podcast interviews; industry research papers specific to REN and generalized to cross-chain/layer0 narrative; and renDAO websites, wikis, app lists. The niche that renDAO operates is one of support and growth of the larger REN ecosystem, its operators and users. Our identity will be one of security, ease of transacting, reliability, and quick response to customer requests.

Immediate Goals:

  1. Build infrastructure to improve DAO coordination around marketing.
  2. Produce renDAO brand materials
  3. Begin marketing campaign for brand recognition and awareness around REN services
  4. Opening/utilizing basic communication/outreach channels for renDAO

Long Vision goals:

  1. Engage in REN Darknode support/education. Energize voter/DAO participation.
  2. Engage in REN integrator support/education
  3. Position REN as leader in ease, flexibility and security in cross-chain transactions/layer0
  4. Contribute to improvements in Platform volume (TVT now) and TVL (once ren L1)

The funding being sought for the following:

  1. Marketing campaign design and execution of multi-faceted advertising campaign.
  2. Compensation for general renDAO marketing operations.
  3. Funds to spin up a sub-DAO marketing group for simpler allocation of funds towards community advertising efforts.

Strategy

Even in the bear market, the crypto/blockchain ecosystem is rapidly evolving. With new bridging solutions popping up on the regular, it is in the best interest of the REN network, as an OG bridge having a battle tested working product, to broadcast its services to make sure they are put to use. Users, builders and investors all only have so much attention and memory for projects in this space, it’s important for REN to cement itself at the top choice wherever we as a network have a solution. Marketing is most effective as a long game, best that renDAO gets moving and puts some force behind these efforts.

The REN network needs marketing to aid in growing revenue and supporting network health. This includes branding, advertising, improving ease of renDAO participation, and connecting with potential integrations/partnerships. While the larger REN network does have support for all these areas whether through RenLabs or projects like Catalog, there is much renDAO can do to bolster the network’s efforts here and make these more open processes for community participation. DAO coordination is complex, and there are many ways to go about it. This proposal is operating from the position that group work and creativity have an efficiency sweet spot, that subgroups made up of a small numbers of people working closely together is a great place to start in getting work done for the DAO. So far renDAO has the Yield Ops group (managing idle funds in the treasury, putting them to work), Comms Group (publishing the fantastic “Ren Digest”), and most recently the Marketing group was formed. While going into the theory of subgroups is outside the scope of this proposal, the continued exploration and research into these types of models would be a part of the the result to a “YES” in funding. This is also an area of research which @seekingknowledge is putting in a lot of work and will be sharing more with the DAO on coordination in the future.


First image from From the book “Power in Organizations” Second image from https://www.sociocracyforall.org/design-circle-structure/ an explanation of subgroups based in a particular theory that implements them.

Branding/Coordinating

As the REN network decentralizes, the community (specifically DN operators as the voting population of the network), have an increasing need to represent and coordinate the many voices that make up the DAO. RenDAO as a brand should be a community effort, serving and representing the population of the DAO. For example a renDAO twitter account can be set up with a discord bot, where tweets can be crafted in a community channel and then voted on for publishing (or possibly via a gated channel; proving DN ownership trustlessly is a harder problem but there are trusted solutions available immediately such as a combo of Colab.land and BrightID). Likewise the creative assets that make up a renDAO logo set should represent the population of the DAO, and can be developed with a process which simultaneously engages the community through a series of feedback rounds, while acting as a marketing/rallying event in itself. Creation of documents to get DAO workers on the same page, for example with the larger scope of a marketing plan and marketing guidelines, will go a long way in unifying our efforts. Down the line different sub groups can be spun up to focus on certain areas of marketing as more DAO participants get involved.


Pages from a draft for a Marketing Guidelines document, organizing concepts for a value based approach and connecting tools to unified goals.

Advertising

Consistency is key as marketing efforts are compounded over time. When spread out over more time, many types of marketing can be much more cost effective than the same campaign produced in a shorter time period. There are also collective psychological effects around building familiarity with a brand which can only be produced through repetition extended over time. Ads testing aids in research to understand the most valuable markets to target, what marketing services to use, while asking the question of “what are the most effective ways to reach our target audience while stretching our budget?” Testing is an essential process, heavily at the beginning but also throughout an ad campaign, it’s a conversation where the feedback guides how funds continue to be allocated.

Keyword ads, Banner ads, tweet promotion, video ads can all have a varying focus of Impression marketing or click/conversion marketing. Impression marketing is about seeding familiarity or fusing an idea/feeling with a brand. The intention here is preparing a potential user for future use of our service by reducing resistance or hesitation in product flow and by increasing trust and understanding of the product over time (in the mind of the potential user). The goal of Click/Conversion marketing is to catch potential users at the moment of this need for the product, guide them to our service and to make our product the easiest most obvious choice. Effectively impression marketing makes the bed on which clicks/conversions marketing lays… without the familiarity from impressions of the past, the likelihood to get a conversion is much lower. The costs for one type or the other can vary quite a lot, clicks and conversions being much more expensive than an impression, but these costs are reduced with impressions already made. The costs of these types of advertising are very market driven, for this reason and the general compounding effects of impression marketing, getting a campaign moving during a bear market can allow our funds to go significantly further. My recommendation is to put this as a high priority for renDAO marketing.


These example graphics for the keyword “crypto” on google ad-words (on the same graph) compare a budget of $41 per day vs $5.3k per day. Over the same time frame you can spend 130x the money and only get ~4x improvement in results.

DarkNode relations

While marketing is most often correlated with advertising, a good marketing campaign also focuses on the flow and usability across an entire product. For renDAO its DN operators and integrators are naturally incentivized to help grow the network and make sure that it is healthy. Coordination of a decentralized group spread across the world can be a difficult problem. Improving our channels of communication, improving renDAO practices that digest feedback and requests from within the community are a growing necessity as REN moves towards decentralization. Having high quality tools and information available lowers the barrier of entry for participation in the network and creates a base of informed users for the DAO. For example Ren is a network of a growing number of ins and outs, many liquidity pools spread out across many networks. Having better pool statistics all in one place (e.g. a dune dashboard) can make for easier arbitrage, creating more efficient pools and therefore improved network health. It is in the interest of RenDAO to better communicate the tools at our disposal and listen to our users/operators/integrators so we can best supply them with the tools and information they need.


This is an example dashboard for a top curve pool. With H2H ren utilizes similar pools across many networks. Having clear data for each pool all in one place can help users identify lopsided liquidity and arbitrage opportunities, helping to keep these pools in the most usable healthy state.

Integrations

With new projects rapidly popping up in the crypto app ecosystem, there are many potential partnerships and integrations with which REN can build a synergistic relationship. These should be sought out, and in some cases they present themselves to the DAO. Already every month there are several representatives from different projects that come into the discord looking for discourse. While many of these conversations may lead nowhere, with the possibility to gain any advantageous relationships it would be to our benefit to have people in a position to hear them out, and in a way that is digestible for feedback by the DAO. Sometimes Integrations can be as simple as reaching out to projects, coordinating with their developers and supplying a small amount of information. For example making sure that renASSETS are available and visible across the array of wallet/address/portfolio explorers (such as “zerion” or “apeboard” and all of the dozens of these sites popping up).


These types of sites are often hungry for integrations from high quality projects like REN, and just need a little bit of input to get listed. These can give the REN network exposure to their user base with minimal effort on our part.

—-

Funding

We need the help and feedback of the community to understand what renDAO thinks it can afford and what is appropriate for funding a marketing campaign at this time. As far as I know renDAO has not employed anyone with treasury funds so far, or even spent any funds at all, so there is little internal precedent for this. I’ve worked hard to create a proposal that is flexible, and that can scale to different budgets.

The following are suggested paths for funding:

  • $35k (USD) for a simple 6 month ad campaign with a small stipend - This would pay for ~$25k worth of ads, and $10k for managing them for this time period at around ~7-10h per week (at a modest to low hourly rate for this type of work). This would include ads testing of different services, leading to ad campaign implementation, and monthly reports.
  • $70k for 6 month ad campaign + fund marketing group (subdao) - This would make funds for renDAO branding build out, a larger pool for Marketing Group operations stipends, to build out our marketing framework, and include funds for additional assets like articles, dune dashboards, translation bounties, etc.
  • $100k+ could extend the ad campaign to longer time spans, increase stipends for more focused man hours, and build out a larger number of marketing assets.
  • $200k+ Provides funding for all of the above, funds for 1-2 full time marketing or a combination of smaller stipends for a larger group of part time workers

Priorities:

  • Maximum transparency
  • Adaptable to match a rapidly changing environment.
  • Hire aligned community members first when available.

Expectations:

  • Members are pre-incentivized as DN owners.
  • Fair stipends for time put in.

Oversight:

  • Multi-sig gnosis style DAO with reputable community members (e.g. group of 7 wallets - 1 team, 1 catalog, 1-2 subDAO leaders, 3-4 DN operators).
  • Streaming payment with group oversight.
  • Periodic renewal. (Awarded funds are kept tight)
  • KPI completion with monthly reports (reputation and results).
  • Transparent and public procedures/reporting.

KPI:

(for fully funded 6 month campaign)

Advertising

  • Begin implementation of targeted marketing campaign for branding and awareness
    • Test for cost on impressions, clicks, conversions
      • google/youtube
      • Presearch
      • Brave
      • Coingecko/coinmarketcap
      • Decentralized crypto focused alternatives (Lbry, Hive.io, Flote, etc)
    • Consistently deploy ads for measurable outcomes.
    • Produce monthly reports for renDAO

Branding and Marketing Assets:

  • Create renDAO branding guidelines to represent and with feedback from the community.
    • Logo set
    • Banner Ads
    • Video Ads
    • Guidelines for use and design of renDAO materials
    • Hosting for distribution of materials
    • Implement renDAO communication channels and guidelines for use
      • Twitter
      • Medium
      • Youtube
      • Decentralized crypto focused alternatives (Lbry, Hive.io, Flote, etc)

Community and Coordination

  • Start/contribute to DAO repository for
    • marketing guidelines, best practices
    • FAQ
    • DAO frameworking (share our workgroup research)
    • Management of renDAO social media (twitter, etc),
      • create broad access, such as publishing by vote on discord
    • Create 3rd party rallying points to drive traffic to drive fusion marketing
      • Discord votes to signal requests for network/project integrations
      • Binance style twitter poll contests, for priority asset integrations
        • Choices preselected to ensure valuable outcome
  • Setup co-working collaboration tools
    • Document sharing
    • Kanban Board

Additional responsibilities/goals and ways forward.

  • Run, record and publish marketing group meetings.

  • Discover and design healthier pathways for connecting with/digesting proposals from potential integrations and partnerships.

  • Discover and design healthier pathways for investors to contribute to the DAO

  • Spin up of temporary or specialized working groups.

  • Management of Bounties for language translations

  • Management of bounties or build out for Network Health metrics (dune analytics)

Personal Statement

I got my start with a creative background and work professionally in video marketing. Over the last decade I’ve created marketing content for large non-profits, educational institutions and international corporations. Having spent a similar amount of time in the crypto world, I began putting these skills to work in the blockchain space over this last bull run. REN is a top quality project, and I’ve been excited to work with renDAO in a volunteer capacity over the last 3-4 months. During this time I’ve begun ad testing with my own funds and have accumulated 250k impressions, and hundreds of clicks to renbridge, all while collecting valuable data on the keyword markets. With a little effort and creativity I’ve found that I can get well below the market rate for targeted advertising to existing crypto users. As a Darknode operator for 2 years now I’d like to see REN flourish, and working with renDAO to build out this marketing plan is the best way that I know to contribute. Even if we take a minimal funding route, I would put in the hours at a lower than average rate to get the ball rolling on these ads because I’m confident that it would have a positive effect on DN revenue over time. However I hope you will all see the hard work and thought that both I personally and the renDAO marketing group collectively, have put into the creation of this marketing plan and RFC and consider voting for a more fully funded campaign. I’m certain that with the care that I’ve seen from this marketing group in the last few months, that the value returned to renDAO will be multiplied compared to the cost of the funding.

I hope this is enough to get a productive conversation going,

Thanks for reading!

5 Likes

Hi Cowboy, thank you for putting together this RFC. Marketing is without doubt one key element for the success of REN. I promise I will update myself about the convos in discord and apologies if some of my questions have already been discussed there.

A couple of observations for consideration.

I am hesitant to include security as part of our identity. As we all know no one is truly immune to attacks/exploits therefore basing our identity on this uncontrollable factor may destroy all our image should the worst happen.

Regarding the ‘quick responses requests’, could you kindly clarify where these requests are made and responded by whom? And how do we guarantee this?

In the RFC, immediate and Long vision goals are mentioned, could you kindly clarify in terms of time what it is considered as immediate and what as long? Is there a timeframe? I saw in the funding section some paths mentioned, for an initial 6 months campaign, are these to fulfil the immediate or long term goals?

There is also mention of tools and the strategy to follow to drive the initiative, could you please also share (if it has been discussed) how will we track the success or not of this initiative and whether goals are met?

I will probably have to re-read the proposal again but these are my initals comments.

Thank you again to you and all that have work on this.

Cheers

1 Like

Hi Maggie, thanks for the questions and comments!

The marketing statement was designed to be a quick at a glance overview of the larger document but also the concepts, values and tools that we are using as a jumping off point.

I’d agree that embedding a concept like “security” into our marketing materials must be done carefully and that it’s important to stay humble. I’ve seen users explicitly push for this to be a part of our marketing efforts while others have pushed back, so yes it is a bit controversial for the reasons you’ve stated. However all of these identity values, in my mind, are already a part of the REN brand and at the core of how REN operates already.

A large part of this is about building out the framework for our DAO so that communication has low resistance, existing documentation is indexed for easy access and so hard work is incentived. A large part of this can be solved just by having a core informed userbase and clear paths to make contact with this userbase. The REN Discord server and telegram channel are examples of this.

A request might be made “where can I get the best APR on renBTC?” - In the past renMAX created a document listing APY/APR opertunities with renASSETS, more recently work has started to build an up to date version of this type of info. We as a marketing group can digest ideas from the community, or identify these types of solutions and do the work or incentivize work like this to be done. Further, we can organize all the different documents/web pages like this and make sure they are easy to access from all our communication channels. So between creating ease in self directed access and having a DAO made up of informed participants, we can get users with questions on the right track.

The immediate goals are covered more specifically in the KPIs(key performance indicators) and the idea would be to address these in the first funding round. Long-term goals are something to always be striving for and may extend over years and multiple funding renewals. However, again these are jumping off points and are subject to change with feedback from the DAO.

This is what both the bottom of the funding and the KPI section attempts to address. For some types of work it will always be harder to measure success, but between transparency/communication at the onset of initiatives and reporting the results of these initiatives with the clearest metrics at our disposal, we as a DAO can learn a lot about the value gained.
Taking an ad campaign for example, let’s say on Google keywords, we can track how much we’ve spent over a month over what keywords, how many users saw our ad (an impression) and how many users clicked on the ad. This could be compared across several different ads to see what copywriting ( the language of the ad) gets the most clicks. Where it gets more complicated is to know whether the click lead to a sale, and how big of a transaction was made. So maybe the report would end with the data on the accumulation of impressions and clicks, while drawing the connection to increases in volume will be harder to include in our reporting to prove our “success”.

Another example I put in the strategy section is the build out of a dune dashboard. For this one measurement of success might be simply in the developing and launching of such a tool, possibly over time some metrics from DUNE on the use/views of the board, but determining if DAO members are successfully using it for arbitrage would be a much harder thing to report on.

So in short we would do our best to share the data through regular reporting to let the DAO determine the value of the marketing services provided, for consideration of continued funding down the road.

Great RFC @cowboy, there is a lot of information to digest but I agree with the content and proposal.

I am all for a marketing campaign and I’m aligned with the approach. My main comment is around the timing of this marketing campaign. Since we are in the process of transitioning to Ren 2.0, when do you propose that the campaign starts?

If it is now / before Ren 2.0 (i.e being decentralised) what would be the main KPIs / desired outcome atm?

Or is this proposal in anticipation of the network becoming decentralised at which point we’d start the marketing campaign?

I would argue the main/only use for Ren atm is purely to bridge BTC (renBTC) to different chains to use in Liquidity pools (mainly Curve) & to swap to WBTC. I hope that with the network becoming decentralised renBTC will start becoming the defacto BTC to be used in lending/borrowing protocol (e.g. Aave) or to be used as collateral to mint stable coins (e.g. dai via MakerDAO). For me, this would be the ideal time to push the marketing campaign and promote getting renASSETS used on various platforms and targeting users to bridge these assets.

Great to hear you’ve got a creative background, I’ve not got a background in marketing (I’m a Chemical Engineer) but I’m happy to start contributing to the marketing group in any way that I can.

1 Like

While I’ve outlined a few targets of the marketing campaign as a whole, targeting the advertising two main related things makes sense to me:

Raising brand awareness, and to onboard users for our main service, cross-chain transactions.

We know the essence of these two things aren’t going to change much except only expand our renassets and slowly evolve the brand. Trying to advertise around Ren 2.0 and our new L1, is trickier and although it will make sense to boost announcements around this especially closer to launch, the main purpose of marketing the L1 at this point would be for getting projects to build on top of the Ren network. For now any marketing of this is of a highly technical nature and is best left to renLabs where direct access to REN developers is more natural. They already have a focus here as can be seen by the recent conference presentations.

It is a hard promise to make that we will raise volume through advertising, as there are so many variables which effect this, but yes we want to 1. Have REN be the first thought when any crypto user wants to move assets to another chain 2. When using catalog, varen, zerobridge, etc, and users see “Powered by REN” that this invokes a feeling of safety in completing the transaction, that somewhere in the back of their head they know that we have 2+ years of zero exploits.
3. As much as we can, when someone is searching for a solution we need to be positioned in our advertising, right there as the solution to their problem.

This is an awesome proposal, thanks for putting this together @cowboy and contributors!

I’m not an expert in this field by any stretch of the imagination, but it does sound to me like the proposed funding paths give a lot of bang for our buck, therefore I would be very happy to see a proper marketing group getting funded.

One thing that is not entirely clear to me is the timelines of any of these suggested paths. For example, the 6 month ad campaign would likely need to be prepared before it gets started properly. As you mention certain assets need to be created such as logo sets, banners, guidelines, copy texts etc. I’m assuming this, or some of it, needs to be done before the campaign can start in full.

What could be helpful is to have some timelines setup. If these are tied to milestones on which funds would be released for the next milestone upon completion this could help the community on what to expect exactly. Additionally, because of the gated release of funds the community might be more willing to allocate a larger stipend.

1 Like

Yes the KPI will need to be fine tuned, it was a difficult task to write these without knowing what the community might be willing to go for at this time. We wanted to get the proposal out there and get some comments, and from here we can get more specific for the RIP.

I will say that ads can start right away. While the first three months may be more about testing different ad platforms, we can piggyback off of the work that RenLabs is doing. For example in my personal tests so far I took a tweet on the official REN Twitter ( @renprotocol )

And I used the copywriting here to make a simple keyword search ad

Something like this allows us to amplify existing branding and not reinvent the wheel. In this particular case I would maybe not chose to continue with this particular ad, as we don’t have much h2h liquidity as of yet, but overall this ad is timeless, at a glance lets users know what we do, and links to our primary transaction portal, renbridge.

So yes spinning up the branding for renDAO (as a distinct entity) will take some time, and I agree we can get more specific with the KPI, but just to be clear we can begin the ad campaign for REN immediately upon funding.

I am not sure how effective keyword advertising will really be for crypto products, though I agree a spot on coingecko could be good for brand awareness. I am pretty sure most crypto users run strong adblockers and have a healthy skepticism towards that type of marketing. I would like to suggest that a better use of funds might be to get some trusted crypto podcasters or streamers to plug our products. Another idea is to sponser some legit newsletters such as “A week in ethereum news”.

1 Like

Hi Rab thanks for your comment. I think these are good ideas, I think it can be worth it to be an official sponsor of some different media projects.

We aren’t trying to go by gut feeling on this, this is why we test and try different platforms, different modes and measure the results. From what I’ve seen over months of testing, keyword advertising can be quite effective for our target users. Impression marketing when the copywriting/graphics are crafted with care, are effective regardless of a users level of skepticism. The goal is to enter the mind at a glance, even scrolling right past quickly it has an effect. This is well known for decades, advertisers would pay millions for placement in magazines only to have readers flip by their ad in milliseconds, on to the next page.

The way most ad blockers are designed it never loads the ad and is not counted as an impression, so when paying per impression, you aren’t paying for what isn’t there.

I’m all for exploring all sorts of methods to advertise, it works best to cast a wide net. For the most part I’m not too interested in working with influencers, projects I’ve worked with in the past, paying influencers can be quite expensive for marginal/mediocre outcomes. However if we find the right ones for the right price and for example they are showing how easy it is to bridge with REN, rather than shilling to pump the price so they can PND, then sure let’s try it out :slight_smile: but yes sponsorships come down to the same formula as any other ads: what is the targeted attention space we gain per dollar?

Very much like this proposal and think this is something the DAO should seriously consider, especially as Ren 2.0 is around the corner, with the opportunity of attracting more developers that could deploy on RenEVM!

1 Like

One thing that we should probably keep in mind is that the DAO does not yet have a legal entity. To be able to pay for ads we will need access to fiat funds and legacy bank accounts. This opens up a big can of worms on which I am by no means an expert, but we should probably start sooner rather than later to devise a strategy for this.

1 Like

Yes this is something to figure out. Luckily a lot of the most targeted ad opportunities also accept crypto to pay for ads, so I think we can still get a campaign going. Using specialized tools like twitter or google we definitely have to sort out this money flow. I imagine that a single person can act as a contractor for the DAO in this way, much more difficult for the DAO itself to directly pay for an ad campaign on google.

1 Like

Wanted to share the recording of our marketing call we had this last Thursday:

Very much in favour and can attest to the work cowboy has done for free in background in the past months. This is critical part of RenDAO that imo should get more attention and support. Looking forward to see the RIP soon :slight_smile: