[Secondary Proposal 13] API3 Marketing Cycle 5 Proposal

Team: Marketing
Operations Cycle: 5
Period: November 1, 2021 - January 31, 2021
Amount Requested: 222,563.89 USDC
Destination: api3m.eth

Scope

Cycle 5 is about driving Airnode adoption. When Cycle 4 began we hadn’t announced any API providers. Now we have more than 150 API providers committed to serving APIs with Airnode, many of which are already integrated. Now the fun can begin.

As developers are beginning to build with Airnode, we’ll have an opportunity to showcase the power of first-party oracles on a very public stage at first Bitcoin Bankathon, featuring Banco Hipotecario de El Salvador, API3, Open Bank Project, Sovryn, and Qredo. As the first big Bitcoin-focused hackathon in El Salvador since the law that went into effect on September 7th recognizing Bitcoin as legal tender, this event aims to build open banking solutions on Bitcoin and increase financial inclusion. And that’s just November.

Our marketing efforts in Cycle 5 intend to build and support the API3 developer community, increase brand awareness with our target users, and educate the public on why Airnode, the first-party oracle, is the future of Web3 connectivity.

With Cycle 5 we begin moving toward a more granular approach to marketing proposals. The API3 Marketing team will be responsible for core tasks such as marketing vision, management, leadership, alignment, and basic operations. But specific efforts will be be broken out into separate, more granular marketing project proposals. These project proposals will enable more decision making participation by the DAO and will help ensure that efforts keep focused and are accountable for specific deliverables. An example of this more granular approach is the University Group Governance proposal put forth by BlockVenture which is being managed and supported by the API3 Marketing team but is separate from this proposal.

Budget

Amount (USDC)
Grants 138,300.00
Estimated Expenses 164,000.00
Previous Cycle -79,736.11
Total 222,563.89

Grants & Expenses

Cycle 4 was more conservative that we expected. In support of API3’s commitment to build Airnode right rather than rush it out the door, we chose to hold off on anticipated expenses and instead carry a sizable budget over into Cycle 5.

Cycle 4 was a blessing as it allowed us to learn and optimize the team composition so that we can operate leaner and make room to create new roles that will help drive Airnode adoption in Cycle 5.

As a result of these factors, the marketing grant requested for Cycle 5 is reduced from Cycle 4.

Monthly Grants

Member Roles Hours/Week Monthly (USDC)
Ryan Marketing Manager 40+ 4,375
Ben Growth Lead / Partnerships 40+ 6,800
Ugur Social Lead / Events 40+ 3,750
Marcus Community Lead / Germany 40+ 5,000
Midhav Market Intelligence / Community 40+ 3,200
Auvi IT / Community 40+ 3,200
Brian Developer Relations 20+ 4,375
Manu Social / Communications 10+ 2,000
Typto+ China / Community 20+ 4,500
Andres+ LatAm & Spanish / Community 20+ 3,200
Kyros Vietnam / Community 20+ 3,200
BlockVenture University 15+ 2,500
Monthly Total 46,100
Cycle Total 138,300

Estimated Expenses

Purpose Amount (USDC)
Advertising & Promotion 20,000
Public Relations 45,000
Content 30,000
Events 45,000
SWAG 12,000
Administrative* 10,000
Transaction Fees 2,000
Total 164,000

* A portion of Administrative intended to hire an administrative assistant for the marketing team.

Roles & Responsibilities

Ryan - Marketing Manager

Deliverables

  • Accountable for overall marketing team performance
  • Develop and execute marketing strategy
  • Brand and content development and guidance
  • Identify gaps and inefficiencies in team composition and adjust as needed
  • Support all marketing team members
  • Marketing team administration and finance
  • Marketing team monthly and cycle reporting

Ben - Growth Lead / Partnerships

In order to increase utilization of the Web3 infrastructure we are building, API3 must be understood and adopted by stakeholders in the ecosystem. Ben’s focus is to engage, partner with, and leverage on & off-chain communities as a dynamic flywheel between marketing & commercial efforts.

Growth / Partnerships Deliverables

  • Facilitate the growth of the developer community
    • Develop an overarching strategy to market the API catalogue to software development communities, delivering an appropriate communications platform & creative identity attuned to the developer target audience.
    • Commence, organize & implement purposeful hackathons, where possible led by API3, working closely with the now established hackathon team, building on Cycle 4’s momentum.
    • Support the building of functional developer tooling.
  • Develop and support strategic partnerships
    • Engage organizations with audiences aligned to the software engineering community and deliver frameworks for a long term, mutually beneficial, partnerships.
    • Establish working relationships with current partners and execute on marketing activities, coordinating creative, digital & PR resources accordingly.
    • Embed the API3 catalogue into platforms where appropriate.
  • Promote API3 Alliance members to Web3
    • Develop a partner marketing program and execute by working closely with API Partners to raise their profile in conjunction with product launches.
    • Work to establish a content engine to support these activities.
    • Explore & execute on ad-hoc opportunities for API Partner engagement for example participating in hackathons or innovation workshops.
    • Manage API Partner focused updates.
  • Growth marketing
    • Optimize inbound funnels liaising with operations to store & measure appropriately.
    • Continue to develop the API3 brand presence on relevant publications.
    • Support on the execution of digital products throughout the API3 ecosystem.
    • Support the efforts of developer advocacy.
    • Coordinate suppliers to support this activity.
  • Facilitate community participation with the DAO via co-ordinating the submission of proposals to the DAO
    • Exploring & supporting opportunities for external submissions to the DAO.

Ugur - Social Lead / Events

Social Media Lead

In Cycle 4 we increased Twitter activity from Cycle 3 and achieved positive results.

API3 Twitter Cycle 4 Beginning to End Increase

In Cycle 5 we intend to further increase activity on Twitter and LinkedIn. Example activities include:

  • Create posts/threads that highlight cornerstones of API3
  • Like/share selected content from community members
  • Seek out and participate in relevant discussions such as APIs, oracles, DAOs, and open banking

We expect to a) create more content that the community can share and get circulating across multiple channels and b) create more engagement overall.

Social Media Deliverables

  • Further increase tracked metrics on Twitter and LinkedIn to the extent possible while focusing on quality over quantity by dedicating more time to social media.
  • Utilize social media to drive visitors to API3-owned platforms such as our website, discord, and forum to feed and grow the API3 community.
  • Formalize use of social media monitoring tools such as Awario, Orbit, and TweetDeck to efficiently identify opportunities.
  • Provide meaningful monthly reports on social media performance.

Event Planning

ETHDenver is one of the biggest Web3 conferences in North America and is hosting a hackathon with heavy expected participation, thus exposure to developers and projects. We intend to have a significant presence at ETHDenver. Despite the event itself being after the cycle (February 2022), preparation must be done during Cycle 5.

We’re also planning on being present at Solana Breakpoint in Lisbon, as well as participate in Virtual Events like the European Blockchain Convention and APIdays.

Events Deliverables

  • Significant presence at ETHDenver
  • Attendance at other planned conferences

Marcus - Community Lead / Germany

Community Lead

In Cycle 4 we designated the API3 Discord and Forum as the primary channels for community engagement. The Forum was new in Cycle 4 and was being bootstrapped. The Discord saw a signifiant increase in new members and message activity.

API3 Discord Joins by Month - Cycle 4

API3 Discord Messages by Month - Cycle 4

In Cycle 5 we intend to further increase activity on these platforms. As the objective of Cycle 5 is to build the API3 developer community, a priority will be given to activities that increase Web3 developer engagement.

Community Deliverables

  • Further increase membership and activity on the API3 Discord and Forum
  • Run regular community initiatives and bounties to increase community engagement
  • Build relationships with complimentary Web3 development communities
  • Plan the production and distribution of API3 merchandise
  • Organize community calls and interactive community events
  • Provide responsive, constructive moderation and support on API3 Discord, Forum, Reddit, and Telegram.
  • Contribute community content to monthly marketing reports

German Language

German Language Deliverables

  • Translate and produce API3 content to German language
  • Publish content through German media platforms

Midhav - Market Intelligence / Community Support

Market Intelligence

The Web3 oracle space is relatively new but it would be naive to assume we are without competition. Even when API3 is clearly the better technical solution it is crucial to be aware of and keep a pulse on competitors, market opportunities, and perceived value.

In Cycle 5 we will have a dedicated market intelligence role dedicated to providing Web3 oracle market intelligence and competitor research.

Market Intelligence Deliverables

  • Identify key API3 competitors. Research and monitor their market position, differentiators, technical achievements, and perceived value.
  • Identify market opportunities were API3 has an advantage and is well positioned to win.
  • Recommend strategies and actions that will put API3 in a better position to compete and take advantage of opportunities.
  • Publish bi-weekly market intelligence reports for the API3 team, DAO, and community to stay up to date on API3’s market.

Community Support

  • Provide responsive, constructive moderation and support on API3 Discord, Forum, Reddit, and Telegram.

Auvi - IT / Community Support

IT Administration

As the marketing team has advanced we have come to rely on a growing number of IT systems and services. We have a reached a point where we need to dedicate someone to administrating them.

IT Administration Deliverables

  • Marketing system administration
  • Marketing data collection and reporting
  • API3 Alliance new member announcements

Community Support

  • Provide responsive, constructive moderation and support on API3 Discord, Forum, Reddit, and Telegram.

Brian - Developer Relations / Community Support

Developer Relations

Web3 developers are a key target user profile for API3 and are the focus of this cycle. In Cycle 5 we are adding a dedicated developer relations role to manage developer engagement and support activities.

Developer Relations Deliverables

  • Lead Web3 developer relations and evangelism
  • Manage developer activities such as hackathons and developer education
  • Maintain active communication between marketing team and core technical team
  • Contribute developer content to monthly marketing reports

Community Support

  • Provide responsive, constructive moderation and support on API3 Discord, Forum, Reddit, and Telegram.

Manu - Social / Growth

Responsibilities

  • Support the social media lead in executing the social media plan
    • Evangelize and amplify API3 on social media
    • Establish and facilitate influencer relationships
  • Support and assist the growth lead via networking and outreach
    • Establish and facilitate strategic marketing partnerships
    • Advise on growth marketing efforts
  • Drive API3 adoption in the NFT space

Typto+ - China / Community

  • Chinese PR and events
  • Chinese language community and content
  • Provide responsive, constructive moderation and support on API3 Discord, Forum, Reddit, and Telegram.
  • Contribute developer content to monthly marketing reports

Andres+ - LatAm & Spanish / Community

  • LatAm & Spanish PR and events
  • LatAm & Spanish language community and content
  • Provide responsive, constructive moderation and support on API3 Discord, Forum, Reddit, and Telegram.
  • Contribute developer content to monthly marketing reports

Kyros - Vietnam / Community

  • Vietnamese PR and events
  • Vietnamese language community and content
  • Provide responsive, constructive moderation and support on API3 Discord, Forum, Reddit, and Telegram.
  • Contribute developer content to monthly marketing reports

BlockVenture - University Relations

  • Create and execute university engagement and programs
  • Handle incoming university program leads

Cycle 4 Report

See the Cycle 4 report for more detail on the previous cycle.

Administrative

Marketing Wallet

The destination for funds is api3m.eth, a 2/4 multisig wallet managed by Ryan Boder, Ugur Mersin, Manuel Alzuru, and Erich Dylus.

General Signatory

The status of Ryan Boder as an authorized signatory of the API3 Foundation is hereby revoked.

API3 Alliance Marketing Agreement Signatories

Midhav Ravindran, Ben Carvill, and Marcus Grabmuller are designated as authorized signatories on behalf of the API3 Foundation for API3 Alliance Member Marketing Agreements until revoked by subsequent DAO Resolution, if and only if the API Provider meets the following conditions:

  1. The API Provider’s web API is in production or is expected to be within 6 months.
  2. The API Provider’s web API has a reasonable Web3 use case.
  3. The API Provider has an online brand/presence of reasonable quality.
1 Like

Web merch :stuck_out_tongue:

On an individual basis, I know the guys are brilliant and the below individuals’ salaries are, by all means, not excessive per se but I’m not sure this is a good allocation of API3 DAO’s overall resources. Spending $1m+ a year on marketing while the product is not out and I do see a good degree of overlap of tasks + unneeded expenditure. Might be better to focus on dev side of things. Big apologies if i’m offending some of you but my intention is to show redundancies and open up the discussion arena for better allocations of resources.

Most of the issues i raise below is that they have done good work for the DAO but does not seem to be adequate for this operation cycle. We should either admit that the concept of “operation cycle” is flawed in reality because we can’t simply let go of FT individuals for 1-2 cycles and use them whenever needed (because they will get an employment elsewhere) or if we truly believe that this mantra works then, we should cut out unnecessary overheads and request them to come back in the future.

  1. Community Lead / Germany|FT|5,000| - Discord messages by month per se doesn’t mean much. From which channels? could easily be stuff like when listing or other miscellaneous channels like ‘gamers’/‘music’, etc. Also, Telegram activity has gone down significantly so they might just be moving wen exchange to the discord, so i’m not sure whether this is the right KPI. Overall, I haven’t seen much improvement in quality and (relevant) quantity (nor deteriorated). Lastly, would like to see some stats around German engagement. I’m guessing most Germans do not need german translations.

  2. IT / Community|FT|3,200| - Based on the tasks laid out, it is not a FT role. Generating engagement stats from and other admin for TG/Discord/Forum/Reddit/Twitter is max 1-2 weeks job. General community support seem to overlap with (many) other individuals. So not entirely sure how this could be a FT role unless 75% of the time were spent on community support. If this is the case then why is everyone just adding the same ‘general community support’ as their main tasks?

  3. Social / Communications|PT|2,000| - probably has a good connections in the space so price could be worth it but in terms of output/value, it has to be objectively quantified and measured each cycle. In crypto, this is a trivial amount but recurring payment of these sort seems bureaucratic when we could revamp the developer side of work.

  4. Social / SWAG|PT|2,500| - Either too much overlap or too vague for what the said assignee does for the allocated time.

  5. Other three languages/communities - Need to see exact engagement reports but I’m not entirely convinced there is much meaningful value and engagement coming out.

At least for the retail facing channels (TG/Discord/Twitter) - why not just have one FT non-technical individual & one developer relations/technical person, so that the accountability is clearer. Whenever appropriate, I do see non-marketing team members chip in to provide more answers in Discord like Erich et al. It appears some people have way too much task and some people are in the opposite position (mainly due to weak strategic level planning).

Hope this is a constructive feedback.

You’re not offending me at all! I’m glad to have the chance to discuss this and get feedback before it goes to vote. Last cycle I was just ramping up in the role, was a bit rushed, and didn’t get to do it like this.

There is a lot of confusion around whether “the product is out”. So much so that I’m working on an article explaining the Airnode 0.2 release from more of a business perspective. I hope to have that out shortly. The TLDR is that Airnode 0.2 is pretty much interface-stable and solid. We want developers to build dapps now with Airnode 0.2. That probably won’t happen without marketing. We want there to be dapps using Airnode when we do a bigger product launch.

It’s also worth noting that this is a budget - not to be confused with money spent. I hope we earned some trust last cycle in that we didn’t spend money just because we had it in the budget. We adjusted based on new information and saved what we could.

I’ve worked in non-DAOs for a long time and there we also did quarterly planning without laying off lots of people each quarter. I’m not sure why a DAO team is different. Periodic planning helps but there’s value in keeping both product & tribal knowledge. Carrying experienced team members forward increases efficiency and effectiveness over trying to ramp up new people all the time.

Regardless, we don’t want unjustified overhead so if there is waste it should be addressed.

I agree. But it’s also not necessarily meaningless. It probably means something. It wasn’t really a KPI but it was easily measured.

Agreed but this was intentional. It was a stated goal to elevate Discord as the main chat platform and it took work to achieve. And it’s good for the project.

We probably wouldn’t hire someone at this time to solely do German translations. But we happen to have some team members who are German, including the community lead. Being already on the team, them doing German translations makes it a very low cost effort. It’s opportunistic. It certainly provides some benefit. I’m sure @Marcus can say more about this.

Probably not. Agreed. The challenge is that the roles we need filled don’t neatly fall into independent full-time people roles. So you can think of these as their primary roles and responsibilities but not the only things each person does. If they are listed as FT then they are expected to work 40+ hours/week on API3.

It also depends on how sophisticated/advanced we are in these things. We could have a full time role, or even multiple people, working on “Marketing data collection and reporting”. I’ve had entire teams doing that before. I don’t think it’s appropriate here at this point in API3. I’m just saying that alone could be a full time job. I refer to your comments above where you seem to want more meaningful KPIs and analytics. We won’t have those if don’t put the time into it.

One of the toughest staffing issues is the community mod role. We want to have someone ready to respond most of the time - as close as we can get to around the clock. It’s not a full-time job to be a mod right now at our current level of activity. But if we reduce it down to one person then we don’t have very good coverage at all. It’s challenging to bootstrap a support team. Eventually there will be enough community activity that it will be a full time job to just be a mod but for now we have overlapping roles where they have support hours but do other work when there is no support being requested.

Because community support is a skill. It’s not easy. And it’s a huge distraction from getting other work that requires focus done. I’ve tried before and if we just make community support everyone’s second job I don’t think it will be done well by anyone. I strongly believe we need certain people prioritizing community support and coordinating support times to have good coverage and quality support.

Agreed. It should be measured/evaluated each cycle. It’s not easy to objectively quantify a supporting role like this but the lead should evaluate it each cycle.

Good point. I’ll try to improve that.

I agree. I recently asked the non-English language teams to start integrating more with the English community team and to start contributing to our monthly marketing reports. I think that’s a fair request.

We have pretty active communities in China and Vietnam. Spanish was added because of how it strategically helps us with our Bitcoin banking efforts.

Around-the-clock coverage is the main reason. We would seem unresponsive if people in certain timezones had to wait 16 hours for a reply.

Who do you think is watching and often alerts them about discussions they should comment in? Although, I do admit Erich is pretty good about watching on his own.

You’re right to some extent. But it’s less about how tasks are assigned and more about the individual’s willingness to step up and do things when they need done. Like most modern teams, we’re fairly self-organizing. I don’t micromanage top down. But some team members are more proactive than others about jumping in when a need arises. You’ll also notice that some grants have been reduced or removed from the previous cycle. And some new roles have been created to fill additional needs that have become apparent.

It is. This is a sentiment check. It’s open for discussion, suggestions, and changes. There are some updates I’ll make already based on your feedback and I’m more than open to additional suggestions. Thanks for taking the time for this!

3 Likes

I´m guessing most Germans do not need german translations.

I disagree. Approaching people in their native language is important for several reasons:

First, API3 and blockchain in general is very complex and can be quite taxing for the brain. If a lot of native English speakers already have a hard time understanding what an (first-party) oracle is, it’s just logical to assume that it becomes even harder for non-native speakers. It is not easy to understand all the technical terms, especially in the right context - considering that blockchain is a huge and fast evolving industry in which people get oversaturated with information on all ends.

Secondly, quite a large percentage of the German population does not master the English language very well. We don’t want to neglect those as we want to reach as many people as possible. Language barriers should not be a hindrance for people to learn more about API3 and become part of our community.

Last but not least, approaching people in their native language builds trust. I witness that both personally and through my work as a Community Manager. If you find an article about a project that is written in your first language, you are more likely to become familiar with it.


Lastly, would like to see some stats around German engagement.

As for the German community, efforts to increase community engagement were of secondary priority during Cycle 4 as the focus lied on setting the foundation by translating and providing basic reading material. However, a well thought out marketing plan has been prepared that will be executed over the next few months to target the German audience.

What has been established so far for the German community:

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Thanks both. Keep up the nice work

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Removed a role and updated FT/PT to specific hours/week.

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Proposal is live.

https://api3.eth.link/#/governance/secondary-13

https://ipfs.fleek.co/ipfs/bafybeialtfqwjfseo3q2mivqt4dpvz5nk2hd34vx5c55oie63sqxchcene

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Great to see market intelligence being added. I had also made a suggestion to Operations Team cycle #4 proposal. Marketing is a great place to house it. All the best to @Midhav and kudos to the API3 team for being very nimble and responsive

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As always, thank you for your feedback!

Yes, @Midhav owns market intelligence and has already started. A couple other updates…

  1. The marketing team is continuing to transition to operating more openly. We’ll do most things on Discord and on this forum. See these channels in Discord.

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 12.13.34 PM

  1. The marketing team is building stronger developer skills so that we can better understand, appeal to, and support Airnode dev users - arguably our most important customer profile.
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