[S17 Proposal - INTEGRATED] MMM Budget Request

Original draft posted: Jan 31
Revised draft posted: Feb 9
Integrated: Feb 14 (no changes from revised)
Please see this post for a list of what has changed from Draft to Integrated

TL;DR

In Season 17, MMM will continue its focus on a successful protocol launch at ETHDenver, supporting the relaunch of Gitcoin Grants Program, perpetuating the strength and relevance of our brand, and building awareness and educating potential users of Passport. To do so, we are requesting a budget of $414,041 (down from $471,949 in the initial draft budget).

Our top priorities for this season include:

  • A successful marketing push at ETHDenver, including:
    • Development of a microsite that will live at evolution.gitcoin.co featuring launch of Grants Stack, our new visual identity and Quadratic Funding Record release with Metalabel
    • Running the Schelling Point conference (with the support of Supermodular as a contractor)
    • A PR/media relations push (with the support of YAP Global)
    • Coordinated efforts around consistent messaging for anyone speaking on stage at ETHDenver & bolstering these talks with related online content to capture audiences not present at ETH Denver
  • Launching a new gitcoin.co website
  • Finalize the Gitcoin Grants Stack, Allo Protocol, and Passport branding strategies and visual identities
  • Launch the first version of a living Impact Report that highlights the success of the Gitcoin Grants Program
  • Relaunch Passport and double down on marketing/education efforts from a content and creative perspective
  • Provide marketing support for the Grants Program in April

Amount

MMM’s S17 budget is $414,041 (-12.27% change vs S16 budget). After accounting for remaining budget & reserves, MMM is requesting $122,069 for Season 17 from the treasury.

Milestone Report

All in all, MMM performed well in terms of tracking to S16 OKRs. There were many changing priorities over the course of the season which resulted in a lot of :black_circle:. There were also several :red_circle: that mostly had to do with metrics that were mostly out of MMM’s control. This is a great learning for the team to set OKRs directly related to outputs within our control. The goal isn’t to get all :green_circle: but rather aim for 70% completion to ensure we continue to set a high bar for ourselves.

:green_circle:Success
:yellow_circle:Incomplete but will hit goal
:red_circle: Incomplete, will not hit goal
:black_circle: Canceled

Initiative/Dept Objectives Past Season Key Result
Protocols Refine product-market fit for Gitcoin’s protocols.

Iterate on product branding to support a clear protocol narrative and to create compelling visual identity.

Create marketing collateral, market education, and coordinated & effective product launches.

:green_circle: Continue protocol audience/persona research

:green_circle: Continue competitor analysis for Grants, Project and Passport


:green_circle: Lead and create Passport Product Marketing Fit Pyramid definition for both Developers and Passport Holders


:yellow_circle:Launch Protocols website(s)

* These pages will not be fully complete until S17. MMM has just finalized a full marketing brief for Allo Protocol, Grants Stack and Passport, and are in the process of creating one for the Program. Information from these briefs will live, for now, in a microsite being launched in time for ETHDenver.


:red_circle:Develop influencer relations strategy (PR focused, not paid growth)

* We did some preliminary work on this and, after consulting with others in the DAO, we decided to postpone this activity. Alternatively, we will engage with YAP Global to bolster PR efforts for the Denver launch and explore incorporating more media relations for select, high-priority marketing comms campaigns.


:yellow_circle:Create robust product marketing plan for Passport

* Instead of a full plan, we created a launch plan based on the value proposition work we did alongside GPC. A more robust product marketing plan will be developed in S17/S18 once we validate our hypotheses around audiences, key messages and value propositions. We also experienced turnover on the Passport team which contributed to a slow down and pivot around timing.


:yellow_circle:Start a creative refresh for Passport and other Protocols

* Due to capacity issues and longer-than-expected feedback and review periods, we were only able to fully complete an overall Gitcoin brand visual refresh without diving into our products. Creative refreshes for our Protocols have been mapped out. These will be fully complete by our Denver launch in early S17.


:yellow_circle:Initiate at least 3 co-marketing initiatives with Passport integration partners

* We only managed to initiate and execute on 2 co-marketing initiatives (Orbis.club and Snapshot).


:yellow_circle:Publish at least 2 Passport case studies

* Case studies are currently in development and will be complete and published in S17.


:green_circle:Develop customer journey map and proposed funnel metrics for round operators and project owners (protocol)

Programs Grow awareness and comprehension of the transition of Gitcoin Grants to the protocol.

Create awareness & drive participation for a successful Alpha round (“GR16”).

:green_circle:Develop a communications plan to socialize our transition and mitigate risk

:green_circle:Provide minimal promotional support for the alpha round in January


:green_circle:Provide promotional support for the UNICEF round in December


:yellow_circle:Release 1st version of a “Grants Program Impact Report”

* We underestimated the scope of this project and lift required to execute on it. We are set to deliver this in S17 instead.


:black_circle:Begin development of a Grantee and Partner testimonial repository

* Since creating this outcome, the project was more fully scoped and it was determined that this repository would exist within the Impact Report.


:green_circle:Continue program audience/persona research


:red_circle:Support the development of an overall program & partnerships strategy

* After speaking to the PGF team on both fronts (program & partnership), we determined that it would be best to pursue this once there was more clarity on future plans for the program.


:black_circle:Create a program brand strategy & aligned visual identity

* Similar to the previous point, the changing nature of the program inhibited our ability to move forward on this outcome and it was decided that we would postpone this for the time being until a more complete vision for the program is crystalized.


:yellow_circle:Develop customer journey map and proposed funnel metrics for grantees and donors

* We completed the customer journey and funnel mapping for donors, but not grantees. We decided internally that doing this work for grantees is out of scope and should live within the domain of PGF.

Community engagement Grow the Gitcoin community, deepen engagement, & improve brand affinity. :green_circle:Detailed report on the outcomes of the execution of our Season 16 community engagement strategy, which will include a recounting of all the activities + links to recordings, of sessions held, surveys of community members and 1:1 interviews, and other findings.

:red_circle:Revised Season 17 community engagement strategy informed by the report’s findings

* See an explanation outlined in this post on the gov forum. We intend to recommit to this outcome in S17.


:yellow_circle:Create and begin to execute content roadmap leading up to Protocols Launch

* On track to begin publishing in S17.


:green_circle:Finalize overall Gitcoin branding strategy, and begin implementing the relevant changes


:green_circle:Brand & creative designs for Schelling Point main event


:green_circle:Maintain an average engagement rate of 2.5% per post on Twitter


:green_circle:A series of content experiments to determine our most impactful content leading up to S17

MMM OS Refine our OS for a thriving MMM Workstream & DAO.

We will have a world-class marketing team who is working in thriving partnerships across the DAO and in the broader web3 community.

:black_circle:Run an S16 peer performance review

* Holding off since almost the entire team will be meeting IRL in Denver and a similar type of review will be conducted there


:green_circle:Collect monthly OS feedback


:green_circle:Streamline “project management” process

Our S16 Wins! (index of key outputs created)

S17 Goals

To start to sensemake how we are performing as a brand, this season we are going to be setting and tracking high-level metrics to measure how we are performing overall as a company. Content metrics are based on the reporting done by our content team about email, Twitter and blog content. Please follow the link for a more detailed explanation on how these metrics came about and what they mean.

Channel Measurement S15 S16 S17 Goal
Gitcoin Twitter Impressions 5.3MM 4.3MM 5.6MM
Engagement rate 2.5% 4% 4%
Gitcoin Passport Impressions - 261,000 500,000
Engagement rate - 4% 4%
Follower count - 3,700 10,000
Email Open rate - 16.43% 16%
Click-thru rate - 0.52% 1%
Unsubscribe rate - 0.29% 0.3%
Blog Total blog post views 64,014 76,326 85,000
Avg time spent on page 39 seconds 50 seconds 60 seconds

A few notes for the outcomes above:

  • We are not overly concerned with tracking followers on our main Gitcoin account - this is a vanity metric that is not indicative of our performance
  • We are, however, tracking followers on our Passport account since it is a nascent account
  • A 4% engagement rate is incredibly high, and maintenance for next season on our main Gitcoin account is an ambitious goal
  • Our email open rates are well above industry average and we plan to maintain that rhythm
  • Unsubscribe rates will likely go up as we continue to clean and segment our list more carefully to ensure its quality

A note for the outcomes with respect to the product initiatives below:

  • We will be announcing Allo Protocol at ETHDenver but we will not be prepared to heavily market Allo Protocol in S17. Rather, we will be working with the Allo team clarify a GTM strategy (including determining product positioning, messaging, clarifying early success metrics) to help us determine and preemptively test and grow the appropriate marketing channels.
Initiative/Project Metrics Key Results / Likely Deliverables / Projects
Launch Gitcoin Grants Stack public beta at ETH Denver

EI1

Gitcoin microsite launch generating by March 6th:

* 500 unique site visits by ETHDenver attendees (±10% of attendees) and 1% of site visitors sign up to receive updates (20 sign ups)

* 5000 unique site visits by those not attending ETHDenver and 1% of site visitors sign up to receive updates (50 sign ups)

* Target Cost per signup: $100 (based on $10k build budget)


* Reach of “Launch” Twitter post receiving 2000 likes and 1000 RTs

* YAP Global engagement metrics ($5k spend) including vanity metrics of 1 brand feature and (vanity metrics) 10 media mentions and 5 interviews secured

* Announce and launch Gitcoin Grants Stack at ETHDenver via talks, in-person sales enablement materials and online content

* Create visual identities and guardrails for product UIs in collaboration with the GPC designers

* Finalize logos and visual identities for Allo Protocol and Gitcoin Grants Stack

* Work with YAP Global to secure media mentions and interviews for key contributors to talk about Gitcoin Grants Stack, Allo Protocol and Gitcoin’s transition to a protocol DAO

Amplify and educate about Passport, establishing it as a leading Web3 identity verification tool

EI1

* 15 new projects have integrated Passport to gate their communities (a shared responsibility with GPC Passport team)

* 3 new Snapshot-level integrations

* 30 community leaders signed up to explore gating their community with Gitcoin Passport at Schelling Point Denver 2023

* Publicized marketing plan for Passport (currently only a GTM plan exists)

* Implement refresh of Passport visuals with new assets from Design Team

* 3 new case studies of projects successfully using Passport to protect their communities

* Run a Passport booth activation at Schelling Point in Denver

Promote the launch of the first full Gitcoin Grants Program run on Gitcoin Grants Stack

EI1

Note: Due to the timing of the round ending May 6th, metrics will only be verified a couple of weeks into S18

* 3 million total impressions on Twitter for our main account during the festival of rounds

* Drive 50,000 unique visitors to the festival of rounds landing page

* Execute a Gitcoin Grants Festival marketing campaign

* Create Grantee Marketing Runbook

* Set up the Grantee Portal in the Community Hub

* Light naming exercise to establish key brand elements for the festival

* Explore and test at least 1 new channel (media relations) to increase website traffic during a round

* Build out a “festival of rounds” landing page featuring all accessible rounds

Launch a new Gitcoin.co website

EI1 + 2 + 4

Launch all 17 pages of website before end of season * Redirect gitcoin.co website to point to microsite while full site is being built and prepped for launch

* Ensure that Hackathons and Bounties is still easily accessible for Supermodular

* V1 will be ready to support the relaunch of Gitcoin Grants. We will share a phased website rollout plan before the end of Feb.

Bolster Gitcoin as a relevant, beloved, and recognized Web3 brand

EI1 + 2

Note: we’ll use S17 to establish benchmarks for our “welcome series” email pipeline

* 500 purchases of our Metalabel record debuting at ETHDenver

Engagement on Schelling Point Twitter account during the event:

* 150K impressions

* 120 link clicks

* 1200 likes

* 250 RTs

* Publish Gitcoin’s marketing design & content guide to enable community creators (including grantees and partners)

* Provide creative, social media and project management support and successfully run Schelling Point conference on Mar 2

* Add Protocol and updated Program info to “welcome series” email pipeline for new email subscribers

* Release our Quadratic Funding Record in collaboration with Metalabel

Deliver Gitcoin’s first ever Impact Report

EI1 + 2

* 4000 page views

* 1000 unique visitors

* Minimum avg time spent on page: 120 seconds

* Release the 1st version of the “Grants Program Impact Report”

* Launch Impact Report campaign

Budget Breakdown

View: USD per Initiative/Project

Initiative/Project Amount USD %
Gitcoin Grants Stack + Allo Protocol $60,900 15%
Gitcoin Passport & Passport Protocol $30,000 7%
GiTcoin Grants Program $57,300 14%
Social media and content support $58,425 14%
Brand & creative (includes website) $109,950 27%
Impact Report $35,750 9%
MMM OS $42,000 10%
Contingency $19,716 5%
MMM S17 Budget $$414,041
60 day reserves $313,040
S16 reserves+budget remaining (est) $568,000
Request from Treasury (est) $122,069

View: USD per Category

Budget Category Description Amount USD
Full-time contributors WS Ops & Cat Herder, Program Marketing Ops - CoachJ (WS Lead)

Marketing Strategist - Allo Protocol, Steward Council Rep - Laura (WS Lead)

Content & Campaign Manager, Editor, Writer - Mathilda

Analytics & Email Marketing Lead - Jonas

Marketing Strategist - Passport & Content Strategist - Gary

Creative Director - Laura Helen

$195,750
Part-time contributors Marketing Strategist (brand & Grants Stack) - Alexa Lombardo

Design Ops & General Project Management - June

Designer - Harry

Designer - Biux

Art Director - Cici

Design Support - Lani

Impact report co-lead & video production/animation - Armando

Impact report co-lead & data analyst - Umar

Social media lead - Vermeer

UX/UI designer - IO

Technical lead - Gerrit

Content Creators - Quinn, Rohit & McKennedy

$ 198,575
Contingency budget Ramping up hours of part-time contributors for last-minute requests $19,716
TOTAL $471,949

A look at MMM Structure today and into S18

As the conversation continues around the refactoring of certain teams, MMM is acutely aware of the requests from other Workstreams to have a marketing function be more deeply embedded within their teams.

In S17, we are taking on a structure that we think will ease this tension.

The graphic below highlights our current WS structure. In it you’ll see key points of contact for external Workstreams. You’ll also see a “Marketing guild” (has not yet started) and a “Design guild” (already underway) - a new kind of structure that we’ll experiment with as we head into a business-unit-structure future.

What’s new:

  • Each product (including our program) will have a designated point of contact:
  • Guilds will encourage these individuals will also meet as a community of practice to support each other in accomplishing DAO-wide marketing goals. In the future, the guild may also have its own KPIs to work toward
  • The brand & creative teams continue operating as an internal agency at the DAO

The primary purpose of this new structure is an attempt to better serve business units around the DAO. Whether these individuals live within the MMM or product team budget is up for discussion.

6 Likes

Great news @CoachJonathan and thanks for posting!
Stewards who are signed up to review: @dianarichter @ebransom @llllvvuu @azeem @epowell101

1 Like

Thank you @CoachJonathan and the whole MMM team for their work here. I want to recognize and commend what you have done with MMM over the past two seasons. You’ve really grown the team and brought rigorous practices to everything you deliver. Thank you.

That said, I look at this budget and it’s not something I feel comfortable endorsing. Not because I don’t think this team delivers work but because I think the priorities of the team are misaligned with where we are as a DAO from a maturity standpoint and where we should be focusing. In addition, the size of MMM means there is a lot more management and organization needed across the team vs a leaner team where more of the team is focused on execution.

This whole plan is very strategy focused vs action focused. I’m not sure we’re there yet as a DAO, we’re JUST starting to share our protocols with the world, get real-time feedback and make sure they are ready for launch. What we’re marketing as a Program or a Protocol and who we are marketing it to in the next 6 months could look very different. This is where sections like the below, make me question if we’re prioritizing the right things:

  • “Finalize a complete marketing strategy for Gitcoin Grants Stack over the next 6 months.” Feels like it’ll be a detailed strategy for a product that is still being tested and changing shape / format / finding product market fit.

  • “Create Grantee Enablement plan and begin implementation” feels like again more planning than execution. But should be something that doesn’t take a huge amount of time to create and deliver.

  • Marketing for the program is 50% of the budget PGF has to do everything else from defining the strategy, engaging the community in determining the rounds, fundraising for the core rounds, establishing the featured rounds, grantee engagement and running the rounds. I’d be comfortable if marketing was 25% of that.

  • MMM OS being more of your spend than Community engagement also feels way off based. What would it take to get MMM OS down to 5-8%?

I go back to the post Kyle shared 7 months ago about our budget split. How might things look if Product had more budget vs MMM?

If we were further down the road with our protocols and revenue work, this would make sense as a budget but a pre-revenue alpha phase protocol and a close to $2M annual marketing budget feels off. How can we get faster iterations going with all the work MMM is doing? Even if it means potentially being a bit more scrappy? With this level of spend, I think more needs to be delivered or more of the marketing team should be supporting Product with their work.

Appreciate this teams willingness to have these hard conversations and the consistent effort to deliver for the DAO.

2 Likes

I expected to see more (humble) bragging about the experimentation MMM did in S16.

I’ll do a little bit of that here - very useful insights here:

A related point - how did these results impact our MMM planning for s17?

As I was alluding to in today’s Steward’s call - it would be amazing to have the help perhaps of DAO Ops folks and others to begin to build towards greater predictability across the DAO.

In other words, if we do X in marketing, will we (or our partners) see behavior Y such as greater contributions. Basically can we bottle whatever worked with Unicef and open it for future partners?

A unified view would then look at ok - X hit our website, and Y actually converted. That would be metrics from each of the product teams afaik. And then Z actually opened an issue / ticket / question - which could come from DAO Ops I think.

1 Like

Looks like there were some great wins in S16 - awesome work!

I’ll say at the top that this is hard to review without a consolidated understanding of what Gitcoin DAO as a whole is trying to achieve this season, and therefore how MMM’s goals would level into that.

High level thoughts on this budget:

15% seems like a slightly high percentage of a total budget spent on marketing when we are pre-product.

One thing I’m confused about is that this budget is entirely headcount. I would usually not expect a marketing budget to be 100% headcount versus marketing costs (events, PR, advertising, community incentives, etc). Where does the cost of YAP global come out of? Or the cost of running Schelling Point? Are we sponsoring ETHDenver?

I also don’t really understand the budget breakdown per initiative and how it’s determined given that the budget is all headcount. Also two simple questions - what does “Program” mean and what does “MMM OS” mean?

Thoughts on goals:

This feels like a lot of OKRs for a small team. Could this be consolidated at all / more results oriented?

I appreciate that these goals are more tangible than last season’s, with more hard metrics. I think this could go further. I’d like to see specific success metrics for:

  • Announce & launch Gitcoin Grants Stack at ETHDenver (see these are in the linked plan - great)
  • Explore and test at least 1 new channel (media relations) to increase either the number or amount of donations in a round (what would we expect a successful increase to look like?)
  • Create & execute a full Gitcoin Grants Festival marketing campaign
  • Provide creative, social media and project management support and successfully run Schelling Point conference on Mar 2

I agree with some of @j9leger 's comments about the strategy focus as well. Finalizing a marketing strategy over 6 months doesn’t feel like the phase we’re in. This early in a product launch, I think it would be more useful to have a lightweight living document for strategy that could be created very quickly, and test and iterate, and focus on metrics as objectives versus creation of a strategy.

I would suggest having high level KPIs that are tracked and reported on for MMM on a regular basis. It would be useful to see social media followers, engagement, email engagement, and how these grow over time as a part of these season budget requests / reports.

This budget doesn’t seem unreasonable but I feel I’m missing some context / information.


Edit / update as I just spoke with @CoachJonathan

Understood that we don’t plan to have marketing spend this season because the team wants to understand product goals, audience personas etc. and how to target those before spending. This makes sense to me.

I appreciate the part time focus of the headcount which allows for a lot of flexibility as well.

Ultimately, my pov is that Gitcoin’s brand is strong and it makes sense to maintain that and grow an engaged audience that current & future products can plug into for eventual monetization vs let that brand slip. That requires a content-focused team which is what @CoachJonathan has built. Looking forward to seeing integrated budget.

5 Likes

Goal: Launch Gitcoin Grants Stack public beta at ETH Denver.
Generate wide-spread awareness of the product and attract first adopters.

The likely projects and work stated here seems misaligned with the goal. If the sole focus on wide-spread awareness is dependent on the guest features on podcasts and publications, then why are the resources being utilized on marketing strategy development?

Specific comments:

From an execution perspective, the way this budget is prioritized concerns me. Way too much of the timeline and budget are using resources for strategy, and not nearly enough on execution.

Based on metrics reported, there seems to have been minimal growth in audience traction and community traction. And there doesn’t seem to be a prioritization on growth either. Approving a budget asking to spend 60% of monthly burn with no direct impact on growth, traction, or execution makes me uncomfortable.

From where I’m sitting the budget needs to be heavily revised. I’m going to spend share what the goals are here versus what I’d recommend for actual impact on traction and execution.

  • What it is: Finalize a complete marketing strategy for Gitcoin Grants Stack over the next 6 months.
  • What it should be: Finalizing the marketing strategy in a week, and testing and experimentation of the marketing strategy with 6 months of execution and data for later revision.

Why is the strategy taking 6 months? What needs to be done specifically for the strategy to be done in 1 week and implementation for 6 months? What are the results of previous strategy showing? Do we have any past data or stats to indicate 6 months of strategy development is the way to go or that it will lead to results? In a space that’s this fast-paced, anything done in 6 months will likely be outdated in by the end of those months. This timeline is moving as slow if not slower than massive “old” ineffective corporates.

  • What it is: Start the development of a marketing strategy for Allo Protocol in support of DevRel efforts
  • What it should be: Implementation of a marketing strategy for Allo Protocol with X experiments for results or Y tangibles.

The marketing strategy should be a working document that can be iterated as needed, and with a lot more focus on executing on the experiments. What exactly does the development entail, and if the current process utilizes multiple contributors and capacity, then does the team need to be downsized or cut back OR placed in other areas of execution so it’s easier?

  • Have Gitcoin contributors appear on at least 3 podcasts to speak about Gitcoin Grants Stack and/or the Allo Protocol
  • Have Gitcoin contributors appear in at least 5 publications to speak about Gitcoin Grants Stack and/or the Allo Protocol.

Questions: Is YAP global responsible for placements for these or will they be coming from contributors? How does the budget split work here?

Goal: Drive awareness and # of integrations of Passport Protocol.
As a secondary objective, promote awareness of Passport Protocol to drive the number of individuals creating Gitcoin Passports and overall brand affinity.

  • Develop product marketing plan to drive:
  • 25 total communities have integrated Passport
  • 3 new Snapshot-level integrations
  • 5000 followers on the @GitcoinPassport Twitter (currently at 3,000)

Questions: How many communities currently have Passport integrated and how many have Snapshot-level integration? Will PGF be supporting on this front in any way or will MMM be taking full responsibility for adoption for these metrics?

Is the project the development of the marketing plan only or will it focus on implementation?

——

Goal: Promote the launch of the first full Gitcoin Grants Rounds & Festival run on Gitcoin Grants Stack

  • Engage in a light naming exercise to establish key brand elements for the festival
  • Explore and test at least 1 new channel (media relations) to increase either the number or amount of donations in a round
  • Create and execute a full Gitcoin Grants Festival marketing campaign
  • Build out a “festival of rounds” landing page featuring all accessible rounds

Questions: Why was the media relations not prioritized earlier and why isn’t it a given as a standard
Is the light naming exercise important?

Overall, this is missing any mentions of tangibles on growth in audience or community for emails, socials, and engagement. There’s only gitcoin passport with metrics, but what about the gitcoin account with the biggest audience?What are the tangibles to grow follower account, engagement, and overall activity on emails, content, and Twitter?

Also to be noted: there was no support from MMM for the UNICEF round on PR, as they internally decided there wasn’t capacity. What is the cost of loss of impact and ROI on a critical time-intensive period that could’ve helped drive momentum had the round received more press? Is there an assessment of impact of decisions on other work streams and the later goals?

Overall notes - why isn’t there a focus on agility and growth? None of the goals and examples here besides the festival plan seem to be focused on delivery and this is very concerning.

$471,949 FOR
14 part time contributors and 5 full-time folks for pushing out the website, promoting the festival, development of strategies, and community engagement seems unreasonable. This could be done way cheaper.

While an additional
$207,538 is being requested FOR PROJECTS => I’m still not understanding for what?

In good conscience, I can’t see what justifies $686,239 for no actual impact on growth and traction over the next season.

2 Likes

Really appreciate the robust discussion here.

First, on strategy - I certainly think questioning the duration of time spent developing a strategy is valid. Note that I believe this point: Finalize a complete marketing strategy for Gitcoin Grants Stack over the next 6 months is more about defining a 6 month strategy, not taking 6 months to define a strategy - in the past season we’ve been testing new frameworks for strategic thinking and planning, all of which are nimble and adaptable, ideal for quickly prototyping, testing & learning. This has helped us better align and engage both the internal DAO and our audiences more effectively.

On the point of our work supporting product, a lot of the work we did this past season was supporting the product team in developing clearer product briefs that could then help inform our marketing materials.

Next, on actions/tactics - there are some places where I agree we could be more explicit, and think we really need to look at tactics by channel and how spend breaks down by channel (even if it is just spend on headcount - how much of that headcount spend is being used on blog posts vs. twitter vs. visual assets).

I also know where we are still requiring inputs from key partners (e.g., DevRel for the buildout of the Allo tactics); I think we’re getting hung up on the use of the word strategy here when it fact I think ware just saying we’re going to put a plan together with tactics then begin to execute that plan in collaboration with DevRel. So, noting we need to lead with more action oriented language in the future, but that actions/tactics are intended even if not fully finalized yet.

But how are we measuring the success of our strategies? As a marketer used to metrics like recruitment/acquisition, conversion and retention, I’ve been surprised that we arent regularly tracking those things here, nor are we using tactics that would allow us to track those with regularity or by channel (so how can we even validate that the headcount spend is better going towards blog posts vs. twitter posts if we don’t have clear KPIs related to conversion funnel). I’ve seen metrics on twitter engagement, I’ve seen metrics on # of donors giving season over season, but overall the data is super fragmented and doesnt tell a clear story when it comes to the path to conversion.

Additionally, we aren’t a traditional web2 company - so what are the other metrics we care about? Community vitality? Referrals? Something about ecosystem growth? If our goal is to shift traditional economic models, why are only talking about the same KPIs?

Moreover, our audiences are very segmented. I can be challenging to define metrics against all of them. But even if we take one audience - program managers as our primary target next season - what metrics define success? How many are we trying to onboard? Is it through the program and if so, is that an MMM metric or a PGF metric? The marketing assets we create for the program contribute to the ability to secure matching partners, to inspire donors, to prepare grantees/applicants - but there are teams that also touch this work too, so those metrics arent wholly ours.

Additionally, we’re looking at a website for next season - are we driving traffic to it organically? Are we expected to invest in paid? What is the call to action when people arrive on the website, if there isnt a program running and the stack isnt usable autonomously yet? But even if it was, would the metric be getting users to sign up for more info? Would that count as conversion? Or would conversion be the moment their program is actually running?

Defining these metrics - these goals - seems to me like more the job of the wider DAO than the job of MMM, especially since these goals tie to not just the MMM workstream, but all of the other workstreams.

We can’t adequately launch a campaign if we don’t know the primary audiences we’re targeting and what the CTA is - MMM has actually been pivotal in working with teams to hone in on those this past season, from what I’ve seen. Furthermore, without clear KPIs, it’s hard to define the minimum acceptable ROI on true marketing initiatives. So to expect specific ROI against tactics without these things feels impossible to me.

All of this said, I do think this budget is high - but I am not in opposition to it given other budgets and our overall budgeting process. I think the burn rate of the entire DAO feels high given we are pre-revenue - but I don’t think the solution is to go after each workstream, but instead to look at them all collectively against a set of goals (including revenue ones) the DAO has aligned on. It would make it easier to spot ways to cut costs, and could help prevent us from spinning our wheels unnecessarily (whilst getting paid to do so.) I’d love to see us all be more action-results oriented moving forward, all in the same direction with a shared sense of common goals that are tied to metrics (vs. conceptual Essential intents - bc if the expectation is to define metrics/KPIs/ROI at the workstream level, then why would they not ladder up to ones at the DAO level)

Last point - what’s our frame of reference for this budget vs. other product/protocol DAOs? Seeing a lot of comparisons to lean startups but no references to how some of our decentralized peers have handled these things. Would love some examples (In my sleuthing I could only find this from Sushiswap which has 82% of total budget going to salaries SushiSwap DAO Budgets $5.2M, With 82% Going to Salaries - Blockworks - and am by no means comparing Gitcoin to Sushiswap, just calling out some additional market landscape context would be useful!)

2 Likes

Thank you for recognizing the market conditions and the fact that we are pre-product, so marketing doesn’t need to grow.

I’m however undecided about this proposal, and might vote no… I am asking every work stream this… but what would happen if this proposal didn’t pass?

Not fear mongering, just a practical reality. What would “No” look like?

1 Like

Hey guys. For this gitcoin budget season I will be following a different approach. I am not happy with how many things have been going in gitcoin and the way budget reviews work so I will either be abstaining or voting No in most budget reviews.

For MMM, I really don’t think any funds need to be spent on this at this time.

Hey everyone, I wanted to let you all know that I’m reading the feedback and am making note of all of it! Expect an integrated proposal in the coming days that (I think) will capture everyone’s feedback well and sense-make way more about what MMM is up to in the coming months.

5 Likes

just to be clear - when i say I think this budget is high, it’s because i think any spend at a pre-revenue state (or pre-whatever success metric/barometer we define - does not need to be tied to pure revenue/financial milestones - but it seems like that keeps coming up here) should align with agreed upon goals, and tied to measurable metrics (e.g., investing in a new brand visual identity helps us increase donor/applicant recruitment by x or contributes to overall awareness by x), and therefore i would say the same about other workstream budgets, past, present and future.

those metrics don’t need to be traditional ones defined by traditional organizations - but i do think we need something measurable to defend all of our spend (not just marketing) against, agreed upon by the wider DAO

in light of not having those goals clearly defined i am in full support of this budget so that we can continue to drive forward the work we’ve been doing in support of the DAO and its workstreams

3 Likes

Hey @griff

Totally understand your concerns wrt to how the DAO is progressing and I really appreciate your partnership on helping us be the best org we can be.

@CoachJonathan has reformatted our proposal to make it more clear on where spend is going as it relates to projects. We’ve also broken down our initiatives in a bit more detail so that’s made more clear.

Speaking as a fellow steward here, I think the biggest risk of saying no to this proposal is that MMM is shipping quite a few pieces this season including:

  • Branding for our products/product launch

  • A much-needed website rehaul (it’s seriously bad and we’re working hard to ship something mid season)

  • No Grants Program marketing–this round is a big deal as we’re running our first full round on the protocol + with featured partners

  • We will lose momentum wrt the strides @garysheng has taken with Gitcoin Passport marketing in his short time being more embedded on that team

  • We will not finish the impact report that will act as both a case study and sales enablement tool in support of the partnerships team

We feel pieces are pretty integral to our success as a DAO next season.

As an MMM lead, I think the biggest risk of not funding this proposal is loss of momentum. Not only for this particular team but also for our org. MMM has made immense strides in being able to serve the product (including program) teams needs. We are not only a hub for ground-breaking creativity (@birdsoar’s recent posts illuminate this), we marketed 3(!!!) rounds last season to serve PGF’s needs while driving market research, value proposition design work, product positioning, customer journey mapping, etc on the product side. I understand these efforts were made all last season, but I hope folks reading this can see the strategic value and execution support MMM provides to both product and program teams (teams who we feel are currently NOT aligned on a shared vision…which is an environment that, as you can imagine, makes it difficult for marketing to “get it right”).

Our team has foundational insights on our gaps and needs. We’ll be meaningfully and mindfully working this season to maintain brand love, launch products and reinvent ourselves on the outside as we support the wider organisation to reflect and address strategic gaps on the inside.

2 Likes

Hey Azeem,

@jpepper has been experimenting with media outreach this season with a bit of traction but we felt it was necessary to further experiment with a more experienced and well-connected team to test this channel as per internal requests.

This season we are paying $5000 for each campaign we run with YAP. (I should mention to anyone reading this looking to work with YAP that this is not their standard rate :slight_smile: )
We will engage in 2 campaigns to start: the first for the launch of Grants Stack and the second for the re-launch of the grants program (potentially highlighting the impact report if possible). We will measure success by attempting to track clickthrough rates from articles, organic traffic upticks, # of features and some other vanity metrics they track.

Questions: Why was the media relations not prioritized earlier and why isn’t it a given as a standard

We’ve had failed experiments with media relations in prior seasons.
Media relations is both incredibly expensive (whether we hire someone internally or hire an external agency) and difficult to measure. This is a top of funnel activity that requires clear goals and long-term KPIs to be able to measure success against.

That said, I’m not against PR. I would love to work with the partnerships team to identify when media relations campaigns are appropriate and what we hope to achieve as it relates to your goals and our larger organizational goals.

Candidly, I was disappointed to learn about the expectations wrt media relations for the UNICEF round so last-minute. A marketing plan was shared that was signed off by both you and the UNICEF team a month before the round started with no mention of PR. When this expectation was communicated, we were simply not resourced well enough to support a meaningful media relations push so last-minute.

@azeem I’m trying not to take this particular comment personally but I feel really hurt by this statement. I wrote a press release, put together a media list and spent my weekend cold emailing writers (even when I knew this approach would not work). I also asked our team do a last-minute grassroots media push as we prepared to launch the round.

In hindsight, I regret not sitting down with you to properly assess needs and co-create a campaign plan together–our marketing strategy team will be more present at product and program level this coming season so I hope that will solve these types of communication breakdowns.

3 Likes

Love the new budget breakdown and especially the graphic you shared of how our team operates @Viriya. If I were on the outside looking in, I might imagine MMM as a traditional consulting firm or office cubicle. Not so!

Speaking as a contributor, I’m familiar with the experience of adding value to the DAO through MMM, while wondering how our collective value is perceived or understood by neighboring workstreams. This revised budget proposal really speaks to the clarity of our goals this season.

As for the DAO-wide proposal discussions…
I’ve been reading all of the workstream budget proposals, and reviewing feedback across the topic posts. What I’m sharing isn’t directed at any particular person(s) and is less about the conversation above, so I apologize if this pulls focus from the mmm budget.

Drawing on my background in design research, I’ve noticed a pattern and theme through the comments on the DAO-wide proposals. I’m reflecting on my observations below.

There’s a strong and commonly expressed opinion that the workstreams are being more or less unreasonable with their budget requests: asking for too much, asking for more than they need on purpose, etc. Truthfully, I find it concerning for dao health when opinions are stated as fact, with no evidence to support the claim.

The assumption I’m reading is that workstreams are purposely asking for more than they need, almost maliciously so. That would seem true to me in a corporate environment. However, in a DAO, and from what I’ve seen particularly of Gitcoin over the last two seasons, I haven’t found this to be true. Nothing in the budgets has seemed exorbitant. Adjustments? Yes. Purposeful inflation or wildly irresponsible requests? No.

The opinion seems to stem from fear, a scarcity mindset, a growing sense of unease about the unknown future, or maybe even a strong desire for prudence, which is understandable in a bear market.

What I’m observing about the budget process
I would offer that workstreams are disincentivized to ask for excess money, given the considerable time and effort required to go through the budget process and the likelihood they’ll need to revise it at least once or twice before the proposal is up for vote.

Putting myself in the shoes of a workstream lead, the goal I would assume is to prepare a proposal for a functional budget that allows some room for inevitable change throughout a season.

If you’re someone who shares the excess budget request theory I outlined above: My offering here is to consider where your thinking originates.

Accountability in the dao is awesome, and keeps us honest with ourselves, too.

Kudos to everyone sharing their passion for our DAO’s success in the forum and aligning with compassion through tough budget conversations. I see you! :pray:

5 Likes

Now that a revised draft has been posted, I wanted to take a moment to:

  1. List all the changes that have been made to our original post
  2. Address some of the comments made to our original draft

I’m confident that many of the comments (2) will be addressed through the changes made (1).

Changes to the initial draft budget

  • Budget decrease - we have revised our budget down from a 0% change SoS to a -12% change.
  • Format of our goals for S17 - this is the most significant change and will, I think, address most of the concerns highlighted in the comments thus far. The format has been aligned to how other Workstreams have been posting. Apologies for the confusion our original structure may have caused (@azeem I think a lot of your concerns will be addressed by this, please comment if otherwise).
  • Community engagement has been removed - we are not resourced to meaningfully take this on, and will more specifically focus of grantee enablement for S17 (efforts are already underway).
  • S17 Structure and outlook - hopefully this gives everyone an opportunity to see where MMM’s head is at in terms of moving with the DAO in future seasons. I think a lot of great conversations around this will be had at ETHDenver and I’m looking forward to hearing everyone’s perspectives and workshopping an ideal solution for the DAO.

Addressing comments

6 months to develop a strategy? No way!

Well, this is embarrassing. As @J9leger @azeem and @ebransom have pointed out, 6 months to develop a strategy is way too long. I couldn’t agree more! This was a big ol’ typo. I’m hoping the new format creates some clarity around what we are committed to.

Misaligned priorities

I wanted to address this point in particular. In the last 24 hours, I have had the opportunity to speak to multiple stewards on their perspectives wrt this topic. I’ve boiled this down to two general schools of thought:

  1. We are pre-product org and our marketing spend is too big
  2. We are a growing org and our marketing spend is on point with that

I fully appreciate perspective 1) which is what @J9leger is advocating.

I, on the other hand (as well as others who I hope will comment on their approval of this budget) have a strong conviction around 2) for a few different reasons:

  • Big marketing lifts: Though we are pre-product on Passport and Grants Stack/Allo, we have a very mature product which is our Grants Program. I write this without intending to sound cocky: Although the MMM team makes it look easy, each season this endeavour requires huge marketing lifts from a design, content, and coordination perspective.
  • Our brand: I believe that our brand is one of (if not THE) most important asset we have atm and I think diminishing our investment in it would result in an existential risk to the long-term success of our organization (especially in our pre-product/mature program stage).
  • Short-term gains, long-term pains: Looking at the new budget breakdown, you’ll see that MMM is spending less than 25% of our budget on product - much of which was spent assembling product briefs over the last 2 seasons. The rest of the budget is set to help marketing our Grants Program, build our new website, further develop our brand, and launch an impact report. A cut to the marketing budget on a product basis will have a marginal effect on our budget in the short term, but will force us to let go of several high-performing, high context contributors that have helped get us to where we are and (still) have lots of work to do on driving awareness (and eventual adoption) of our products.

As an aside, I’m getting very mixed messaging from across the DAO about where we are with product development. On one hand (from the product team) I’ve been hearing that we are on track and ready for explosive growth. On the other hand I’m hearing we are way behind and need to pull back big time on marketing.

My suggestion would be for Stewards in their respective schools of thought to get aligned once and for all to create a clear picture of where we are now, where we are going and how soon we want to/plan to get there. This will help tremendously with planning our marketing spend and goal setting.

WRT Lean Teams

1) Skillset Diversity

This is a common comment that I find myself fielding each season, and is also a common issue in the marketing industry as a whole.

Marketing is a dynamic field that requires a wide-array of skillsets that are highly specialized and non-transferrable. We want our illustrators and designers doing illustrations and design, not coordinating or writing. Same goes for writers and coordinators - each person should be in the seat where they perform best.

For example, having our animator Armando figuring out how to do front-end development in Webflow is going to go way slower than having a UX/UI person familiar with Webflow go in there and work their magic. Same goes for coordination work - though our designers can probably handle some basic project management, it is a way better use of their time (aka the DAO’s money) to have them fully focused on doing what they do best.

That’s why MMM’s flexible pay structure has worked so well - PT contributors are paid on an hourly basis. Instead of having them work a set number of hours/week, they work as needed on a project basis, saving the DAO tens of thousands of dollars per season. In exchange, we pay above-market rates and contributors get to be part of a dynamic, vibrant community of freelancers working toward a shared goal.

2) Operations management

As an added benefit to our structure, I spend minimal time syncing and working 1-1 with a large chunk of the team. @birdsoar leads the design team (a team of 5 part-timers), acting autonomously to serve the DAO, with a 1x every 2 week check-in between myself and LH.

The same goes with @MathildaDV and the content team - as a WS lead, I don’t interface with the our writers/content producers unless it is a major project with major deliverables (and even then, I deeply trust these people to manage our projects well).

All in all, I spend maybe a few hours a week syncing with individuals on their work. Any other time spent managing is done in ClickUp where we all stay organized and I can track projects as they go, with quick DMs to get updates when needed. Most of my time can be spent on high-value projects.


I have little left to say - @alexalombardo has very aptly pointed out the flaws in trying to pinch pennies on a marketing budget vs. looking at the wider DAO and our lack of clear objectives. @Viriya has eloquently outlined the key role MMM has been playing (and will continue to play) in delivering key outputs and as a strategic hub at the DAO (which CSDO last season had acknowledged is the weakest point of our DAO-OS).

I think that going down the path of saying no to this budget is a terrible idea and will have major consequences for our organization. Instead, I propose we pass this budget and focus on really nailing down organizational goals, north star metrics and a cohesive DAO roadmap.

4 Likes

Stewards and GTC holders -
This proposal is now posted on Snapshot for vote. The vote closes on Monday Feb 21.

https://snapshot.org/#/gitcoindao.eth/proposal/0xb39cf2f698f8756eafe9378479b69dc28f563d64fc1c64afddbc5374a206d2fa

if you have any issues voting, please ping shawn16400#5507 in discord for assistance.

I may be a bit late to respond to this, but I wanted to chime in now. I appreciate the new budget outline and structure. Highlighting the key priorities for the season is enormously helpful and I agree with many above that I’d like to see that continued season over season WRT overall MMM goals that support a longer term vision of the brand and product. I think those benchmarks will be important to communicate to the wider community the long term impact investment in brand can have.

Some thoughts on past success that I’d like to comment on that @coachjonathan you call out as well:

  • Twitter engagement rate growth from 2.5% to 4% is huge and should be celebrated as one of the best indicators of successful brand development and engagement.
  • Email open rate of 16% is also relatively unheard of for most brands, with this kind of engagement it’s a channel that could be leaned into even more. In future seasons segmentation can play a huge role in that strategy to ensure an even more successful open rate and then subsequent click through rate.

I’m excited to follow the pilot with YAP global. I think results in the form of brand feature pieces can have enormous long term value and for $5k a campaign, that is a reasonable cost.

In future budgets I hope to see a breakdown of category i.e. spend on PR, spend on events, spend on freelances, spend on swag, etc vs. just headcount. But I do appreciate the breakdown by campaign and think that is a helpful start.

The visual is also a good start, but I think could be made clearer in future iterations and visuals applied to future budget reviews and discussions. I would love to see visuals applied to calendars that outline campaigns over the course of S17 so that the community can understand all of the overlapping and interconnected initiatives occurring at any given time.

Looking forward to being more involved with this work stream go forward and thanks for the enormous effort with this.

8 Likes

I abstained from this proposal vote.

I really appreciate that steward feedback was incorporated and the requested budget was decreased. I also understand the importance of the marketing work that this workstream has achieved - at the end of the day making sure Gitcoin maintains its strong brand is critical. However, given the market uncertainty, pre-revenue state of the DAO with still early-stage products and high spending, the marketing budget request of over $400k for a season still seems very high to me. I also acknowledge that I am not part of the day-to-day workings of the DAO so feel the best position for me is to abstain from the vote.

2 Likes

I am happy to see some feedback incorporated.

But as per my previous post, I don’t think the funding for this workstream of $414k , in these market conditions is justified.

I will be voting no.

1 Like

This snapshot vote has passed with ~78% approval rate.
Metrics:
1150 unique votes
~12.1M GTC tokens cast.

Thank you to the Gitcoin Stewards who volunteered to do a deep dive review of this budget: @dianarichter @ebransom @llllvvuu @azeem @epowell101

https://snapshot.org/#/gitcoindao.eth/proposal/0xb39cf2f698f8756eafe9378479b69dc28f563d64fc1c64afddbc5374a206d2fa