RGP-000-003: Marketing Campaign and renDAO Marketing Group

Problem and Opportunity

The cross-chain transaction and asset bridging space is rapidly growing, and every month REN has new competitors. Staying visible as a service, fine tuning the pathways leading users to this service and educating as our services grow, is essential for the health of REN.

Solution

To address this problem we are looking to fund a marketing campaign, and to build out a marketing group. With this the goal is to increase visibility and help improve information pathways.

For detailed discussion around this proposal, and our broader vision for the marketing group please see RFC-41 here: RFC-000-041: Funding Marketing Working Group & Marketing Campaign While the essential details have been translated to this RIP, many additional questions around details could be answered in this previous post.

In this proposal are requests for funds for a Stipend and Advertising funds for boot up of renDAO marketing group and launch of marketing campaign.

Benefit

The REN network and its operators are the main target of benefit for this proposal. Increasing awareness, and multiplying pathways towards the use of the services of REN network will drive revenue, increasing TVT and fees generated. Building out tools and improving the sharing of information internally between node operators aids in the health of the network by building an informed and connected node operator base.

Through monthly reports, ad tracking, website tracking and network tracking we will have a good picture on the success of ad campaigns. While we might not be able to know directly when an ad click leads to a cross-chain transaction on REN, we will at least be able to track any increases in visibility and to some cases changes to traffic on our webpages that ads direct to (known as “conversions” in the ad world). To see a sample of some of the info that will be contained in reports see the section on the “presearch” keyword study below.

Risks

The biggest risk for this proposal are in the ad placement that we don’t find the right target users, or that the users we reach with ads don’t provide meaningful increases in revenue, or otherwise the ads fail to add value to REN. There is emphasis on ads testing here however, to eliminate as many unknowns here as possible. The use of several services as part of the marketing plan is to ensure that we have a wider range of audience reaching different pockets of users.

Ad space services also often work with accounts, there is some risk in placing funds into the custody of these services, if something were to happen and the service shuts down. Again the plan includes spreading funds over several services, and beyond this all we can do is stick to reputable ad services where this risk is very low.

Unintended Consequences

Sometimes advertising campaigns, especially when tied directly to the function of a service, can come back to bite you in the ass. An example of this is the BANCOR protocol, which for years has been advertising itself as single sided liquidity with no impermanent loss, a feature which in recent months was removed to prevent the protocol diving head first into a death spiral. Users here, now stuck with accounts deeply reduced in value by impermanent loss have cited this language as false advertising.

In community channels REN users have argued about whether our messaging should include a boast about REN security, the fact that it has been running smoothly without exploits for 2+ years. We would likely lean away from this in our campaigns copywriting to prevent any kind of promise which might be used against us in an unfortunate situation.

Timeline

The funding requested is for a 6 month period. If our efforts are proving to be adding value to REN we will apply to renew for more funds at the end of this period. While Cowboy is already working on a volunteer basis, if funded, full efforts behind this marketing campaign can begin on the 15th of October.

Evaluation plan

Monthly Reports

Reports designed to communicate to the DAO our progress in ad campaigns, current tasks being worked on and transparency around how the budget is implemented.

Included:

Ad, website and network metrics

Other tasks completed

Budget spent

Public Kanban board

Kanban boards are a team organization tool, but it also allows 3rd parties to view at a glance and in detail what tasks are being done, and the current status of completion of each task.

Budget and Approach

Request for funds to pay Cowboy a monthly stipend for a 6 month period for tasks related to marketing. Additional funds requested for “dry powder” for ads and marketing materials.

Requested funds:

Cowboy 6 month stipend

$12000

Presearch ads

$10000

Ads testing (new platforms)

$5000

Ad Deployment (multi-platform)

$10000

Podcasts/Newsletter sponsorships

$10000

renDAO branding

$4000

renDAO social-media bribing

$2000

Educational materials/dune dashboard/community initiatives

$5000

Total

$58000

Budget breakdown

6 month Stipend - $2000 a month to cowboy for:

Work to implement Ads testing/research/deployment/reporting

  • Research
    There are many platforms which accept crypto as payment and work with websites/blogs with primarily an audience of crypto/blockchain users. Research target audience and best copy-writing/campaign materials to capture attention.
  • Testing
    Implement strategies, and digest results. Find the best ad platforms, and most effective strategies for our needs.
  • Deployment
    Chose best ad platforms. Actively manage keywords for target audience, current trends. Manage broad spectrum campaigns and REN news specific campaigns.
  • Reporting
    The sharing of analytics for health of the ad campaign. (see presearch testing report). Communicating work and budget of marketing group

Running Lead on renDAO marketing group

  • Meetings
    Set agenda
    Recording and publishing of meetings
  • Digest DAO suggestions into actionable items
  • Manage tasks
    Work with marketing group to delegate work
  • Implement social media farming
    Bring in discord tip bot (or some other means)
    Set educational campaigns (reply to threads about crosschain transfers, link to REN materials.)
    Tip users who engage within parameters
  • B2B engagements
    Get REN network metrics on Data Analytics platforms
    Get REN network assets listed on Wallet/Portfolio trackers

Ads Breakdown - $35,000 total for ad placement.

Attention space is where the bulk of the cost of this proposal is placed.

$5000 for testing ad platforms.

It’s important to use several ad platforms to make sure we are reaching a range of users. Ad platforms make claims on what each dollar spent will achieve. In order to discover which ad platforms will work best for us in the real world, we must test different platforms. We can measure results based on built in metrics and compare it to our own analytics the target URL (i.e. https://renproject.io/). Platforms with the best results will go to use in our larger campaigns.

$10,000 to deploy after finding preferable platforms

Through testing and available targeting we will deploy to the best platforms for our needs.

$10,000 for Podcast/Newsletter sponsorship

Podcasts and Newsletters can have extremely targeted audiences. This can allow us to be very specific with getting our ads in front of users that for certain have a level of sophistication with using crypto, and get more specific about reaching specific net-worth individuals. From another angle, finding the right outlet could help us reach a very specific audience like DAO participants, developers, etc.

$10,000 for Presearch ads

Presearch is a platform that I have tested over the last year, and over the last 4 months specifically with REN. The results tell me it’s worth deploying capital to, and if in our ad testing we are finding better results somewhere else, we can always unstake our $pre and redeploy on a different platform.

Presearch is a search engine aggregator, and they are building out their platform as a decentralized search engine. Their audience is highly crypto-educated. Below are the results of my testing of the presearch platform over the last 4 months. The first two months I tested mostly extremely targeted keywords, while the last two months I tested many types of keywords, and started implementing trend based keywords.

The thing with presearch, and part of what makes it unique is ads are paid for by “staking” $pre, the presearch token. The advantage here is if the ad platform is not performing, or if the price goes up, we can reallocate all or partial $pre funds to another platform. If it is performing, we can keep staking even beyond this 6 month time frame to further extend the value here.

See the demographics of presearch

Learn about presearch ad staking

See a third party case study here (a bit outdated, but informative)

Presearch Testing YTD

The CPM for this target audience and a text based ad is quite competitive, much better than google, the CPC is more on the average side for “industry” clicks. Overall I think these results are great, and believe we should take testing here to the next order of magnitude to see if we can match or ideally beat these results by covering a larger range of keywords, and a larger percent of the user-base of this platform.

renDAO materials breakdown:

renDAO branding - $4000

Professional logo

Brand Guide

Video bumper/motion graphic logo

renDAO social-media farming - $2000

Build active group for social media engagements in specific campaigns.

Educational materials/dune dashboard/community initiatives - $5000

Build out a full dune dashboard to cover REN ecosystem as thoroughly as is useful.

Budget for educational graphics or videos to be used and shared by the community.

Funds to pay for efforts such as writing articles and other community initiatives

KPI for 6 months

Build implement three sub-ad campaigns

  1. Broad spectrum branding
    Strategy:
    Build up impressions for brand familiarity and product awareness,
    Use existing copy-write/branding for REN
    set click nets targeted for the moment of cross-chain transaction.
    Place one podcast/newsletter sponsorship here.
    Twitter farming to place educational materials.
  2. Singular or group asset focus (I.E Bitcoin users specifically. Or if we have liquidity pools for STABLECOINS).
    Strategy:
    Target asset community websites
    Copy-write to indicate our service for their asset
    Place one podcast/newsletter sponsorship here.
    Twitter farming to place educational materials specific to this asset.
  3. renDAO
    Purpose: To drive traffic to community outreach channels 9Community medium, ren Digest, etc)
    Strategy:
    Build out branding and communication channels
    Target existing REN users and DAO/BUIDL communities
    Ads link to renDAO points of interest (Twitter account, community medium, ren Digest, etc)
    Twitter farming to place educational materials.
    Place one podcast/newsletter sponsorship here.

Marketing funds allocation between strategies:

About Cowboy

I got my start with a creative background and work professionally in video marketing. Over the last decade I’ve created marketing content and worked on campaigns for large non-profits, educational institutions, small businesses 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 5-6 months, and looking forward to implementing this proposal should it pass.

What is needed to implement the proposal.

Payment in two rounds:

Round 1- $35k (12k stipend + 23k marketing funds)

Round 2 - $23k after 3months (marketing funds)

The two rounds are to reduce risk for the DAO, to ensure funds are being allocated towards the ends outlined in this proposed marketing campaign.

Vote (yes/no):

  1. Approve Funding
  2. Reject Proposal
2 Likes

this is exactly how i want to see the dao funds being spent

2 Likes

Thanks for the proposal, @cowboy.

I haven’t participated in any marketing initiatives but would be interested in seeing some more marketing specifics in place before broadly committing funds. For instance, is this campaign related more to RenBridge and/or Ren 2.0? Should it include Catalog? How technical in nature is the campaign? Is the target audience end users or developers? Do you have ideas or samples of content for that audience? Would it be worth consulting Labs on Ren 2.0’s tech specs or their preferred timing for such a campaign?

Can you elaborate on why you think an ad campaign for the DAO itself is needed? Do you think it would help to have members that need to be marketed to to participate?

As a formality, the DAO should be “RenDAO” instead of “renDAO”, as the DAO is of the Ren protocol whereas the lowercase “ren” convention is only used when referring to wrapped tokens.

1 Like

Hey David, The primary part of the campaign is focused on branding, so this would follow and amplify the focus of branding that is contemporary with branding/marketing materials that renlabs is producing. The target audience is end users, those that are using a REN based service. The content of the ads will mostly be focused on the REN brand and to highlight the services that are currently live on the network. There could be room for helping with a blast such as the launch of Catalog or other third party dAPPs, but the main focus in the REN brand, to make sure that it is on the tip of the tongue in considering bridging an asset . Throughout this process of building this proposal i’ve been in contact with renMAX to make sure we can be as effective as possible with this campaign, so i’m sure i’ll continue to be in touch with renlabs through out the coming months.

As far as samples of content I touched on this on comment #6 on the RFC:
RFC-000-041: Funding Marketing Working Group & Marketing Campaign - #7 by cowboy but I will repaste here

Took this tweet and turned it into the text ad below.


In my volunteer ad testing so far, these are the types of ads i’ve been running. These are the types of materials that we can get going immediately with little effort. Running banner ads can be similarly simple. Video ads, ads for newsletters or podcasts would take more effort to research design and build.

In this example i’ve linked to renbridge, but when placing ad for impressions we would more likely be focused on the main branding initiatives like REN 2.0 as it becomes a reality, and linking to renbridge in much more targeted ways when trying to catch someone as they are attempting a crosschain transaction.

This main AD campaign is not of a highly technical nature. It is a simple focus on branding to build familiarity, this is about building an emotional trust. While some of the ad pathways we setup here will lead towards gateways of technical information, like https://renproject.io/, the actual messages on the ads themselves will be simple and easy to absorb at a glance. Where we might have space for a bit more technical nuance and logical trust building in this main campaign would be in rented ad space with a larger “surface area” if you will. This would be ad placement in newsletters or in audio-form on a podcast where ads can be larger and have room for more content.

A logical trust of a more technical nature should continue to be built in parallel, but this would fall more under our RenDAO branding/campaign as well as the education materials. This sub-campaign is targeted to developers and our existing/potential DAO members. The focus of this part of the campaign is about access to information, building better pathways to/between our existing technical tools and materials. I see this part of the campaign as a kind of fertilizer, to help support and grow a strong base of developers and node operators for the REN network. Ad space rented here would be highly targeted.

Another aspect to having a focus on a RenDAO marketing is encouraging more users to get involved with outreach. For example we have https://rencommunity.medium.com/ which right now has 50 followers, we’d like to drive more traffic here so that when community contributors want to add value, they see they have an outlet to have their voice be heard. I believe there is a feedback loop here which is valuable to building a strong community.

I have to run at the moment but happy to get into more nuance a bit later.

First of all thank you again for putting this together @cowboy! Very much appreciate all the work you have put in to this, drafting the proposal, soliciting feedback, setting up calls, and doing marketing campaign research out of your own pocket! :clap:

All that being said, I do like to echo some of the concerns that others have raised (as well as maybe bring some of my own) around the timing, scope and goal of the campaign(s). Many of which you already addressed in the RFC where I think you mention its good to start early with building brand awareness, and learn through experimentation which strategies work for our demographic (paraphrasing from memory so feel free to correct and clarify!).

However, I still feel this proposal might be a bit too broad, so much so that its a bit hard for me to keep track. I think I count the following sub-goals/categories:

  • Marketing campaign; divided in three spectra:
    • traffic/brand
    • renAsset focus
    • renDAO
  • Sponsorships (newsletters/podcasts)
  • Social media farming
  • B2B engagement
  • Dune dashboards
  • RenDAO branding

The proposal is very detailed in that it covers a lot of things, but the detail in the individual components is kind of lacking in my view. For example, what is renDAO social media farming? What exactly does “Educational materials/dune dashboard/community initiatives” entail? etc.
If I’m reading the room correctly, this is also where a lot of the questions are coming from that I’ve seen pop up in different places. One could make the argument that each category should be a proposal on their own, especially at these early stages.

Another thing I’d like to point out is that we should keep our CEF income in mind, how much we have currently and what our “runway” is. After funding RenBase there is about ~$150k left. If we fund this proposal there is ~$90k left. Going by the last 4 epochs the CEF receives ~$28k per epoch, or ~$364k per annum. A marketing budget of $58k every 6 months comes down to ~1/3 of the total inflow. If we want to continue the marketing budget at a similar rate after the initial six months, or maybe even higher rate when Ren 2.0 is released, this does not leave a lot of room to fund further proposals.

How would you feel about a more targeted focus, for example, only focusing on the marketing campaign to drive brand awareness and traffic to the Ren bridge and renAssets?

In my view this would have a couple of benefits:

  • More limited scope will be easier to define, set goals and KPIs, and report on
  • More targeted proposal is easier to digest and contribute to for the community
  • Will require a smaller budget that is easier to justify and measure the benefits of
  • A leaner base is easier to build out in the right direction once we have some measure of success
  • Leaves more room to fund other grants/proposals/working groups/marketing down the line

This post is already getting quite long; last thing I’ll mention is that from what I’ve been able to observe I don’t think it has been easy for you to get feedback and setup the proposal in collaboration with the community. Apologies if I’m perpetuating that, or maybe I’m just misreading the room and there is overwhelming consensus in favor of supporting this proposal in its current form…:slight_smile: Maybe we can consider using soft signaling in the form of a forum poll to shape the direction of proposals where useful, I’ve seen other DAOs use this quite effectively.