[Secondary Proposal 1] API3 DAO Team Proposal: Marketing Cycle 4

Team: Marketing and Communications
Operations Cycle: #4
Period: August 1, 2021 - October 31, 2021
Amount: 406,038.05 USDC
Destination: api3m.eth

Scope

This is the cycle where API3 really comes out of the gate and makes a splash. We intend to hone our strategy and narrative, ramp up community engagement, and actively promote both the project and partners.

The core marketing team has the following priorities.

  • Elevate the API3 brand quality and awareness
  • Guide the API3 vision, mission, and market strategy
  • Articulate and communicate the API3 narrative and messaging
  • Engage, support, and grow the API3 community
  • Enable and facilitate scalable, sustainable project contribution
  • Drive adoption of API3, helping establish the marketplace
  • Support business development efforts and deliver inbound leads
  • Ensure a positive customer experience that fuels a virtuous cycle

Budget

Amount (USDC)
Team Grants & Expenses 223,050.00
Estimated Additional Expenses 183,861.48
Previous Cycle -873.43
Total 406,038.05

Team Grants & Expenses

Cycle 4 represents a dramatic increase in marketing effort and resources compared to previous cycles. The authoritative DAO went live in cycle 3 which sets the stage for API3 to officially go to market and make a big impact. It’s the launch we’ve all been waiting for.

Team Roles

The marketing team is organized in 6 areas of focus/roles.

  • Management & Advisory: Set high level goals, guide & support, coordinate planning, track and report progress, serve as arbiter
  • Growth & Business Development: Generate leads, coordinate with biz dev, customer experience
  • Community & Social: Engage, support, and grow the API3 community and social media following
  • Geography & Language: Adapt marketing efforts to non-English languages and geographical regions
  • Content & Design: Design and create content to support API3 goals
  • University: Engage and facilitate API3 awareness and use in academic research

Team Budget

Great success comes with a great effort from a high-performing team. In order to ensure the success of our aggressive goals we propose increasing the API3 marketing team to the following:

Member Roles FT/PT/TM Monthly (USDC)
Ryan Marketing Manager FT 8,750
Manu Community / Communications PT 4,000
Ben Growth / BD Support FT 5,000
Ugur Community / Social / Conferences FT 7,500
Marcus Community / Germany FT 5,000
Midhav Community FT 3,200
Auvi Community FT 3,200
Kiyo Community FT 3,200
Michael Content / Social PT 2,500
Typto+ China TM 10,000
Ellipti Korea TM 6,000
Kyros Vietnam TM 4,000
Entrecasa Design / Web Dev TM 4,500
LR Social TM 5,000
BlockVenture University TM 2,500
Total 74,350

Team Activities

  • We will actively engage and reach out to grow the API3 community, including developers and API providers as well as DAO participants.
  • We will actively pursue earned media and publicity from large publications.
  • We will actively pursue strategic partners with innovative use cases that showcase API3’s unique strengths.

Estimated Additional Expenses

In addition bolstering the marketing team, we also propose budgeting for the following expenses in Cycle 4.

  • Advertising & Promotion: We will run advertising and promotional campaigns to support API3 and partners. For example:
    • Ad platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Reddit, Brave, Search Engine, etc…
    • Community contests such as content creation and hackathons
    • Press, publications, traditional media, and industry-focused media
  • Public Relations: We will actively engage publications to amplify the API3 narrative and news.
  • Conferences: We will attend conferences with a greater presence such as:
    • Messari Mainnet
  • SWAG: Physical promotional items such as shirts, masks, stickers, etc…
  • Content: We will create high quality, professional content including video, web, and social media.
  • Administrative: We will invest in tools and infrastructure to enhance marketing team efforts.
  • Bonus Pool: Performance-based bonuses to incentivize growth activities.
  • Cycle 3 Backpay: We sent a larger than planned team to EthCC and we did not anticipate ramping up community and PR efforts in cycle 3. This covers the budget overrun.
Purpose Amount (USDC)
Advertising & Promotion 45,000.00
Public Relations 45,000.00
Conferences 25,000.00
SWAG 12,000.00
Content 30,000.00
Administrative 8,000.00
Bonus Pool 5,500.00
Cycle 3 Backpay 11,361.48
Gas Fees 2,000.00
Total 183,861.48

Cycle 4 Deliverables

  • Publish updated vision and mission. Overhaul website to reflect updated vision and mission.
  • Extensive community engagement and outreach activities with a goal of minimum 300% increase in community activity.
  • Expand community from being Telegram-centric to being distributed across the API3 Forum, Discord, Reddit, and Github.
  • Add German/Germany as a language/geography target audience.
  • Dramatically increase publicity and earned media on major news publications.
  • Deliver regular industry and case study promotions that showcase API3 and Airnode.
  • Create high quality multimedia content including video and animation.
  • Consistent narrative that clearly articulates the benefits and differentiators of API3.
  • Go live with API Provider partner marketing
  • Co-marketing program that leverages the power of our partner network to raise the API3 tide.

Cycle 3 Report

Planned Deliverables Achieved

  • Continued increasing blockchain industry recognition and awareness for API3’s solutions, leading to more adoption by smart contract platforms and decentralized applications.
  • Increased API industry recognition and awareness of API3’s solutions, leading to more adoption of the Airnode solution by API providers.
  • Pushed content out as part of our presence on various social media platforms - Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, Telegram, and Discord. This will include business development updates, technological updates and content about the broader goals of the project.
  • Created AMAs together with our different communities (Vietnam, Korea, China) and sustain the level of periodic engagement that has occurred so far with the help of our community calls.
  • Increased the engagement by bringing more partners and/or influencers to our calls.
  • Ensured that our content is translated into articles for our different regional communities on a regular basis, following which they are disseminated via news outlets.
  • Executed EEA marketing push for events in May and June, and going forward from there during this quarter and expand profile and presence there.
  • Produced landing page for Airnode.
  • Maintained an active community for API3, and facilitating the involvement of our community contributors in the API3 project.
  • Continued our educational series on the impact of data source-driven smart contracts on different industries, so as to serve as an informative source for the various participants of those industries, as they discover the broad use cases and benefits to be gained from synergizing with the blockchain space.
  • Maintained the decorum that has been instilled in our public social channels with the help of our Community Stewards.

Additional Achievements

  • Launched API3 Forum
  • Presence at BTC Miami, APIdays Interface, EthCC Paris
  • Sponsored Sovrython Hackathon
  • Promoted Authoritative DAO launch
  • Kicked off University outreach program
  • Ramped up community and PR efforts
  • Launched API3 newsletters
  • Updated project vision, mission & market strategy

Additional Items

The Destination will be a 2/3 multisig wallet managed by Ryan Boder, Manuel Alzuru, and Erich Dylus.

Ryan Boder is designated as an authorized signatory on behalf of the API3 Foundation for such agreements reasonably related to accomplishing the objectives and deliverables set forth in this proposal, until revoked by subsequent DAO Resolution.

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@ManuAlzuru @Erich You’ve been listed as wallet managers.

Added expense for gas fees.

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Congrats to the Marketing and Communications team for the achievements thus far! The Authoritative DAO launch provides exciting tailwinds for this Marketing Cycle to further lift the API3 brand and image. A few questions and comments:

Cycle 3 Report

Can examples be provided for bullets one “…leading to more adoption by smart contract platforms and decentralized applications” and two “…leading to more adoption of the Airnode solution by API providers”?

“Partnered with PR firm” in the first post version was edited to “Ramped up community and PR efforts”. Was a PR firm partnership reconsidered?

Cycle 4 Deliverables

Many of the Cycle 4 Deliverables don’t currently qualify as “SMART” - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example:

  • How will “minimum 300% increase in community activity” be measured?
  • What constitutes success for shifting away from Telegram?
  • What is “regular” in “Deliver regular industry and case study promotions that showcase API3 and Airnode”?
  • What qualifies as “dramatic” in “Dramatically increase publicity and earned media on major news publications.”?
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Hello dcroote. I would like to address some of your questions:

How will “minimum 300% increase in community activity” be measured?

There are monitoring tools that allow a precise assessment of community activities across different social channels, including statistics about messages, membership growth etc.

What constitutes success for shifting away from Telegram?

In both crypto and software development, Telegram is not a favored platform for in-depth discussions. It’s mainly used to stay in the loop (announcement channels), to speculate about the market and for general small talk.

Furthermore, Telegram does not provide a safe environment for communities due to a lack of in-built security features. We are witnessing a strong activity by organized scammers that try to exploit our community via private messaging on daily basis. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do about it apart from educating our community about these dangers regularly.

Ultimately, Telegram does not offer a clear structure because there is only one channel. This is not ideal for a large and active community due to the increased influx of messages that will lead to confusion, cross-talking and the burial of potential questions. Both Discord and Discourse allow for a great overview due to the setup of different channel/topic categories.

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leading to more adoption by smart contract platforms and decentralized applications

The partnership announcements on Medium are a good source for this.

leading to more adoption of the Airnode solution by API providers

API Providers are integrating Airnode now. Not all have been announced.

“Partnered with PR firm” in the first post version was edited to “Ramped up community and PR efforts”. Was a PR firm partnership reconsidered?

Not reconsidered. We felt the edit was a better way to say it.

Many of the Cycle 4 Deliverables don’t currently qualify as “SMART” - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

True. They weren’t intended to be. Although there is an implied 3 month time box.

What constitutes success for shifting away from Telegram?

By “Expand community from being Telegram-centric” we mean increasing engagement on other platforms. Not necessarily decreasing engagement on Telegram. Currently most of the activity is on Telegram. Although, as @Marcus wrote, Telegram does present some challenges as a community platform.

What is “regular” in “Deliver regular industry and case study promotions that showcase API3 and Airnode”?

To be determined. There will be some variance, but something on the order of monthly. Probably not weekly and definitely not annually.

What qualifies as “dramatic” in “Dramatically increase publicity and earned media on major news publications.”?

Maybe a better word would be noticeably. As in we hope you notice the increase.

Thanks for the questions! If you have any others I’m happy to answer.

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I agree that the forum, discord and other tools will contribute to a more structured dialogue and sustainable in-depth exchange when it comes to critical dialogue around the health and development of API3. But I would not dismiss telegram or twitter. The overwhelming majority of people that invest and participate in crypto use telegram and twitter as their primary sources to learn about and engage with projects. These are also the most effective platforms when in terms of organic marketing and project evangelism. To disregard telegram would be an extremely foolish move and would contradict any goals that have been mentioned in the proposal.

Instead I would take a more constructive approach and strategize how these platforms can be used as a gateway to bring people into the other platforms.

For many people crypto is not just an intellectual exercise, but it is also something that is fun and entertaining. I know that this may disgust many that are mainly ‘in it for the tech’. But if you want to broaden your supporter base, you should make your content ‘both educational and accessible or you will be alienating a lot of people that are new and just getting to grips with the space in general.

The team is already doing great work on all platforms, so I don’t think we should be closing out options but broadening our palette and thinking about how to use the right tool for right goal.

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Sorry Ryan, just saw that you replied on the TG issue. Agree that it has challenges. In my opinion every interaction on TG or any other platform should be seen as an ‘opportunity’ to educate people and evangelize (horrible term, I know) the project. The admins do a great job keeping the TG clean and professional. But a bit more passion and spirited engagement would go a long way to building a strong group a ‘familiar faces’ that will support and educate others on API3. It is these ‘core’ community members that will go on to possibly build out initiatives and businesses around the API3 tech in the long term.

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I agree. There are some conversations that work better on platforms with more structure. We also need to be inclusive of potential community members who are more comfortable on other platforms. But we should continue to support and engage Telegram.

Also agree. Well said!

Great to see this. All the best to the team. Onwards and Upwards !!!

Cycle 3 kept the community well engaged. I especially like the activity with EEA.

Could i share some thoughts, i am sure some must already be a part of the plan

  • A multi pronged approach for a multi sided platform: There are two distinct target sets- API providers & data consumers. They have different characteristics, requirements, preferred media, etc. There is also a third community - token holders. As API3 gets into a growth mode, each segment will need dedicated plans and workstreams, across the entire funnel (awareness, engagement, etc)

  • Competitive positioning: Oracles is becoming a competitive space. The plan does have thoughts on increasing awareness. We could look at formally measuring our awareness, recall, etc vs. competitors. This usually highlights clear actionable items

  • Measuring impact / output: To do for as many activities as possible (i.e. Business development, PR, participation in events, case study,etc.). I have found this helps when planning next wave. Perhaps these may be getting tracked internally already and I do understand they may be confidential so can not be shared in an open forum

  • Positioning: Other players also appear to be making a move towards 1st party oracles. We should own it in the mindspace of the entire digital community. The way Google owns search, ‘1st party oracles = API3’ . The team has worked a lot on establishing the API3 differentiator, suggesting an escalation in the positioning we take

Thank you for your patience with all the suggestions pouring in. The community loves the work being done and is excited about the future.

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No patience needed. This is a community project. We want suggestions and appreciate the effort!

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Ash raises very valid points. Though its hard to measure the output, this is very much needed. Not to show case for others but for internal use and monitoring.

Absolutely. That data can be used against API3 by competitors though. We’re trying to figure out how to balance what to publish and what to not.

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yeah don’t think you need an external one for sensitivity reasons. Internally for accountability and monitoring purposes as the org scales.

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I agree. Use Discord for builders / TG for community management / Forum to discuss extended ideas. We could do more with encouraging more healthier conversations in the forum. Only limited individuals are posting. @ryan can we get an alert in the TG chat through “Rose” when new topic gets added here? similar to API3 discord channel getting auto updates.

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Agree, except we don’t want to limit Discord to builders or the forum to extended ideas. We would like to have a thriving community in Discord and on the forum as well.

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Yes I agree, all platforms should cross-pollinate, but strategically each should have their own focus / function.

This proposal is live: https://api3.eth.link/#/governance/secondary-1

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Proposal passed: https://api3.eth.link/#/history/secondary-1