Funded FACTOM-GRANT-[Go_Immutable]-001 - Marketing – Comprehensive Strategy & Execution

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#1
As required by document 107 that governs the Factom grant process, this is the thread for grant proposal FACTOM-GRANT-[Go_Immutable]-001.

The review process starts on 2019-05-03, so please refrain from starting public review or submitting questions before that time. If you notice clear errors in the proposal you can contact the author of the grant proposal directly.
 

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#2
Thank you for your grant submission. I'm asking everyone these initial questions:

1. What specific date will you begin work on your grant?
2. What specific date will you be done with work on your grant?
3. Do you commit to providing regular updates on your grant in the grant tracking forum?
4. Please link to past grants your group has taken part in, if any.
 
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#3
This grant is seeking 20,000 FCT which will be liquidated to pay for the following:
  • 8 Entities Management Fees for 3 Months
  • Expenses related to involvement in 2-3 events (sponsorship, travel, lodging etc...)
  • Media Spend for 2 Months
  • Project Management and Operational Management for 3 months
o Brand Messaging Entity
o Social Media / Community Management Entity
o Content Creation Entity(s)
o Public Relations (PR) Entity
o Event & Guerilla Marketing Entity(s)
o Paid Campaign Management Entity
o Traditional Campaign Management Entity
o Graphic Design Entity
Greg, could you explain:
1. Do you want to hire 8 different entities for consultations & management?
2. 20,000 FCT is ~$180,000 at current price, so I guess, that you have calculated this budget. Could you elaborate, how this funds will be used (approximately)? What are "8 entities management fees", how much will be spend on media, on involvement in 2-3 events and what are "Project Management and Operational Management" costs for 3 months?
 
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#4
I fully support this grant. A big push in marketing for the Factom Protocol is long overdue and the lack of it has been hampering us in gaining traction and win business. We can have and continue to build one of the best technologies, but how does that help us if nobody knows about it?

The grant is a result of hard work by some of the key people in the Marketing Committee and was discussed by the whole committee. It is comprehensive and professional. Now we need execution by professionals.

As to the amount for a professional execution, yes, it is a sizeable grant, but nowhere near the grants we have seen for technical developments. As I have publicly stated before, it is common for technology companies today to spend between 2 and 4 times more on marketing than on R&D.

I also strongly believe that a successful marketing campaign will raise the interest for the Factom Protocol. Both from investors as well as developers, which will result in more liquidity on the exchanges, which will result in FCT moving higher, which will lead to bigger budgets, etc, etc.
 
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#5
So I deleted my initial answer as I want to actually ask a few questions first before going on my usual philosophical ramblings lol

1. Who will decide on which entity to hire for execution? What kind of voting mechanism (if any) will there be?
2. What projects do you see your marketing agency take on?
3. Outside of the marketing costs that will be payed directly as Media or to the entities for execution, what will your management fee be for taking on this grant?
4. Considering this grant is for 3 months which is a very short period of time when it comes to marketing, it makes sense to me to reduce the scope of work of this grant and not go for RFPs for each part of the proposal, rather prioritize and start with a few main activities. This would help us more effectively spend and more effectively understand what works and what doesn't. We don't want to spread ourselves too thin and get to a point where we don't even know what is working and what is not. What do you consider to be the top 3 tactics to start with?
5. Again, this is a 3 months period grant. We'll have hired the entities 6 weeks into this grant (according to timeline) so where is the 20k FCT actually going? Shouldn't it be going towards paying those entities to execute for months and months? So this would make this grant be a 6 months or even 12 months grant? Or rather strongly depend on the proposal submitted by the entities.
 
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#6
Thank you for this grant submission. It is clearly a comprehensive approach which you have spent signifiant energy putting togeter.

Can you explain why this grant is proposed by Go Imutable an not directly from marketing committee? Earlier committee grants has to our knowledge come directly from committee and not one part of it (it is not criticism of any kind we are just wondering).

Thank you.
 
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#7
This proposal fails to identify any specifics, especially who the team will be and what their expertise and experience is. The 20000 FCT should be annexed and the marketing contract put out to tender - itself an incredible opportunity to gain publicity. This may then be split between several teams/proposals or, if a strong enough team and proposal comes forwards they could be assigned all of it. This would give Greg and the marketing committee time to reveal their proposed team whilst opening them up to serious competition - something that is desperately needed.
 
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#8
There are many great questions in this thread already, but something I will always ask a marketing plan: What's the goal?
Activity Five describes reporting for all projects. I know the kind of reporting to expect out of things like social media metrics, PR views, and ad clicks. But I don't see anything about the clear deliverable.

Marketing, typically, is meant to generate sales. Whether it's money for services or hiring staff, it's usually a verifiable and measurable goal. Are we trying to find more core developers? Are we supporting an ANO's product or service solution? Are we trying to find more buyers and traders of FCT? Are we trying to recruit more ANOs? Are we just trying to fluff visibility numbers?

What is the protocol trying to sell here?
 
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#9
Thank you for your grant submission. I'm asking everyone these initial questions:

1. What specific date will you begin work on your grant?
2. What specific date will you be done with work on your grant?
3. Do you commit to providing regular updates on your grant in the grant tracking forum?
4. Please link to past grants your group has taken part in, if any.
1. What specific date will you begin work on your grant?


Technically, we have already started. Assuming the feedback is positive during the grant review process, we will begin putting together the RFPs next week. Writing RFPs is a big undertaking. We’re chomping at the bit to get a comprehensive strategy in place so we can start growing Factom.


2. What specific date will you be done with work on your grant?


Never! Ha. In all seriousness though, it’s hard to give a specific date as we will be signing entities on a rolling basis, which gives them all different start dates.


However, if the grant is not extended during Grant Round 4, then I would estimate this grant would end sometime in late September. That estimate is based-off the last contract with an entity being signed/started in mid-July.


With that said though, if we can get the RFPs out faster, meaning we start work prior to the grant approval vote, we can have all the contracts signed by July 1 (or sooner), which would move the timeline up.


3. Do you commit to providing regular updates on your grant in the grant tracking forum?

Yes, we plan on building “updates” into our project management tool (Basecamp). This is further outlined in the “milestones” section of our grant. One-off updates will also come naturally in other channels as well.


4. Please link to past grants your group has taken part in, if any.


NA
 
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#10
Greg, could you explain:
1. Do you want to hire 8 different entities for consultations & management?
2. 20,000 FCT is ~$180,000 at current price, so I guess, that you have calculated this budget. Could you elaborate, how this funds will be used (approximately)? What are "8 entities management fees", how much will be spend on media, on involvement in 2-3 events and what are "Project Management and Operational Management" costs for 3 months?
1. Do you want to hire 8 different entities for consultations & management?


Yes. Ideally though, it will be more like 6 as some of the work can be rolled together, but I don’t want to limit the applications in case a rock star is very good at one specific area. We want experts to be involved in every step of the process. We are not interested in “adequate.”


2. 20,000 FCT is ~$180,000 at current price, so I guess, that you have calculated this budget. Could you elaborate, how this funds will be used (approximately)? What are "8 entities management fees", how much will be spend on media, on involvement in 2-3 events and what are "Project Management and Operational Management" costs for 3 months?


Good question. We have done some work around budget estimates. Note: Go Immutable will be signing the contracts with each entity, which will legally bind us to pay their fees. The fluctuation in FCT price creates big risk for us as a business. In an ideal world, the price of FCT would only move up from here. But, we all know that’s not how things work. More on if the price goes up below.


We understand that this grant’s asking amount relative to other grants is large. However, keep in mind that 20,000 FCT is 15% of the grant pool. Traditional businesses, especially ones in Growth Stage, spend way more than 15% of their budgets on growth. So, one could argue that marketing is actually underfunded for the Factom Protocol project


We budgeted off a FCT price of $7.50 (90-day avg FCT price when the grant was created)


Note:

The marketing committee will see all RFPs and media spends. As such, this is easily one of the most transparent grants to date. The below are estimates.


  • 8 Entities - 48% of budget ($73K USD)
  • Event Management and Expenses - 20% of budget ($30K USD)
This includes potential sponsorships, travel expenses, and lodging costs if we send people. Also could include print materials and maybe even swag

  • Media Spend - 15% of budget ($22,500 USD)
This is purchased media (not PR placements) this covers months 2-3 as we expect month one to be setup and media planning

  • Project Management - 15% ($22.5K USD)
  • Operational Management - 2% ($3K USD)


To better illustrate the project management and operational costs associated with this grant, we estimated the amount of time needed for proper execution. Please see the chart below.







Go Immutable Fees: $25.5K

Total Project Management and Operational hours: 350

Average Hourly Rate: ($25.5K / 350h) = $73/hour


The $73 average hour rate is 50% below Greg’s current rate. Go Immutable is willing to subsidize this cost because of the absolute imperativeness of getting a proper comprehensive marketing plan in place for the protocol. Note: The 50% subsidization will only be applied for this grant round.



Lastly, to address FCT Price fluctuations.


The ideal situation is that the price of FCT is higher when we liquidate. We outlined this scenario in our grant:


“If the price of FCT increases dramatically and we are able to capitalize from a selling standpoint, the unexpected revenue will be used to drive additional value, which could include but is not limited to additional content creation, increased media spend, and additional events. Unexpected revenue may also be applied towards a future marketing grant proposal, thus reducing the overall FCT requested in future grant rounds.’


However, if the price drops below our estimates, Go Immutable is still responsible for paying the 8 entities as well as the media spend fees. Per our grant



“If the price of FCT drops significantly and we have to sell at less than ideal prices, Go Immutable will adjust our efficiency to ensure we meet our grant and contractual obligations.”
 
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#11
So I deleted my initial answer as I want to actually ask a few questions first before going on my usual philosophical ramblings lol

1. Who will decide on which entity to hire for execution? What kind of voting mechanism (if any) will there be?
2. What projects do you see your marketing agency take on?
3. Outside of the marketing costs that will be payed directly as Media or to the entities for execution, what will your management fee be for taking on this grant?
4. Considering this grant is for 3 months which is a very short period of time when it comes to marketing, it makes sense to me to reduce the scope of work of this grant and not go for RFPs for each part of the proposal, rather prioritize and start with a few main activities. This would help us more effectively spend and more effectively understand what works and what doesn't. We don't want to spread ourselves too thin and get to a point where we don't even know what is working and what is not. What do you consider to be the top 3 tactics to start with?
5. Again, this is a 3 months period grant. We'll have hired the entities 6 weeks into this grant (according to timeline) so where is the 20k FCT actually going? Shouldn't it be going towards paying those entities to execute for months and months? So this would make this grant be a 6 months or even 12 months grant? Or rather strongly depend on the proposal submitted by the entities.
1. Who will decide on which entity to hire for execution? What kind of voting mechanism (if any) will there be?


The marketing committee will vote on all RFPs via discord or verbally during recorded meetings. We do not foresee this issue arising, but as the grant owner and person whose *** is on the line, Go Immutable reserves the right to override the vote. We are being upfront about this and it is needed for legal reasons as we will be signing the contracts. We take pride in our work and need final say as our reputation will be on the line.


2. What projects do you see your marketing agency take on?


I assume this is referencing my other company Digital Baltoro. They will not be engaged in any of the RFPs. Ethically, that is an absolute non-starter.


3. Outside of the marketing costs that will be payed directly as Media or to the entities for execution, what will your management fee be for taking on this grant?


Please see previous answers


4. Considering this grant is for 3 months which is a very short period of time when it comes to marketing, it makes sense to me to reduce the scope of work of this grant and not go for RFPs for each part of the proposal, rather prioritize and start with a few main activities. This would help us more effectively spend and more effectively understand what works and what doesn't. We don't want to spread ourselves too thin and get to a point where we don't even know what is working and what is not. What do you consider to be the top 3 tactics to start with?


Strategically speaking, we first need our brand and messaging to be 100% on point. Additionally, optimizing our analytics tracking is absolutely crucial in regards to measuring marketing results. We need clean, good data that can drive future marketing decisions. You would be shocked to find out how often companies screw up their data tracking/implementation. After that, PR needs to start as it takes them time to ramp up. Media placements, podcast, interviews etc… From their content creation and social media management.


To address your statement, we need to think big. We also need to be agile. Meaning, as we see things that didn’t play out as we had hoped, we adjust. To your comment on spreading ourselves thin, this is why we have a project management/leadership component of the grant. This removes the “spread thin” issue and puts an owner to the whole thing.


5. Again, this is a 3 months period grant. We'll have hired the entities 6 weeks into this grant (according to timeline) so where is the 20k FCT actually going? Shouldn't it be going towards paying those entities to execute for months and months? So this would make this grant be a 6 months or even 12 months grant? Or rather strongly depend on the proposal submitted by the entities.


Due to the grant pool’s structure, submitting a grant for over 3 months is disallowed. Under a normal structure, you would engage for 6+ months. Our project is different though, with different rules. We have to play by them.


Assuming all goes well with this grant, in 3 months time we will put in for another marketing grant and continue these efforts. Under the proper circumstances, Go Immutable is open to providing bridge funding to pay these entities (at our discretion).
 
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#12
Thank you for this grant submission. It is clearly a comprehensive approach which you have spent signifiant energy putting togeter.

Can you explain why this grant is proposed by Go Imutable an not directly from marketing committee? Earlier committee grants has to our knowledge come directly from committee and not one part of it (it is not criticism of any kind we are just wondering).

Thank you.
Fair question. There are 2 main reasons


1 - Contracts have to be signed with the 8 entities as well as contracts signed for events, media spend, etc. Currently, the marketing committee is not a legal entity. Additionally, if the marketing committee signed the contract, they would all be personally liable. Finally, there is insurance to consider. Go Immutable can provide that coverage. The marketing committee cannot.


2 - As the leader of this grant, Go Immutable is responsible to the community for its execution. It’s our name on the line if we don’t. As such, we need to have full control of the outcome. If you wanted a fair comparison, imagine if Sphereon received a development grant but then the core code committee managed Sphereon’s hired developers. That’s not exactly a good idea (and a complete non-starter to Sphereon).


With the above said though, the marketing committee will be engaged fully. We have a very smart group with diverse experience
 
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#13
This proposal fails to identify any specifics, especially who the team will be and what their expertise and experience is. The 20000 FCT should be annexed and the marketing contract put out to tender - itself an incredible opportunity to gain publicity. This may then be split between several teams/proposals or, if a strong enough team and proposal comes forwards they could be assigned all of it. This would give Greg and the marketing committee time to reveal their proposed team whilst opening them up to serious competition - something that is desperately needed.
The RFP process will be open to everyone. This will be a public process. As such, we will gain publicity from the 8 RFPs we are requesting. The marketing committee will review all submitted proposals, the teams will be known before we contract with them. If we don’t have a good proposal, we will keep searching.


The marketing committee does not have the hours necessary to successfully drive the full RFP process. As stated in our grant, to date the marketing committee has had a piece-meal approach due to restrictions on the amount of time that people are able to commit. Our grant removes that issue by dedicating a leader/project manager to drive the RFP process and results. This leader (me) will be fully held accountable by the community.


We need to move like a funded startup. That means leaders and processes. Being agile is also necessary. By their very nature, committee’s are not agile. No one has ever said, “We need to move quicker, so let’s create bureaucracy!”
 
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#14
There are many great questions in this thread already, but something I will always ask a marketing plan: What's the goal?
Activity Five describes reporting for all projects. I know the kind of reporting to expect out of things like social media metrics, PR views, and ad clicks. But I don't see anything about the clear deliverable.

Marketing, typically, is meant to generate sales. Whether it's money for services or hiring staff, it's usually a verifiable and measurable goal. Are we trying to find more core developers? Are we supporting an ANO's product or service solution? Are we trying to find more buyers and traders of FCT? Are we trying to recruit more ANOs? Are we just trying to fluff visibility numbers?

What is the protocol trying to sell here?
There are many great questions in this thread already, but something I will always ask a marketing plan: What's the goal?


The marketing committee’s mission is to increase community membership and drive awareness across multiple verticals (new community members, developers, enterprises). Each vertical has a sub-goal:

Potential Community Member → Join our community

Developers → Consider building on the Factom Blockchain

Enterprises → Explore how the Factom Protocol can help your business


Activity Five describes reporting for all projects. I know the kind of reporting to expect out of things like social media metrics, PR views, and ad clicks. But I don't see anything about the clear deliverable.


Each RFP will have KPIs and metrics. Here are some examples (not exhaustive as the RFPs will be)


Digital Marketing

  • X amount of email/Discord/Factomize Forum signups at X cost per signup
  • X amount of engagement from our target audiences. This includes engaged visitors on the website, which will be defined in detail. Potential examples include: visitors that spend X amount of time on the website, watched a video, downloaded an ebook, submitted a request for more info, etc.… Additionally, social engagement would encapsulate comments, likes, shares etc on any paid social campaigns we run.

Public Relations

  • X amount of media placements per month
  • X amount of placements with Y amount of impressions (basically we need to aim for a mix of big and medium size placements) (size refers to impressions)


Marketing, typically, is meant to generate sales. Whether it's money for services or hiring staff, it's usually a verifiable and measurable goal. Are we trying to find more core developers? Are we supporting an ANO's product or service solution? Are we trying to find more buyers and traders of FCT? Are we trying to recruit more ANOs? Are we just trying to fluff visibility numbers?


What is the protocol trying to sell here?


Fair question that we can be clearer on. The marketing committee’s mission is to drive awareness to our target audiences while also growing the size of the community.



Awareness

  • This will be soft metrics (impressions, website visits, engagement…). We all know the broader world is not aware of Factom and that this must change. We need to have a leading presence. ”Impact” is challenging to measure. We want Factom to be top-of-mind when people talk about enterprise blockchain tech.
  • As an awareness issue example: One of the findings from the Odyssey Hackathon was that developers had no idea that Factom existed. Considering Factom has been around since March, 2015, this is a huge issue. It needs to change.

Increase Community Membership

  • Much more straightforward. We increase email signups, social followers, Discord members, Factomize Forum members. As a result, the number of developers will increase, the number of enterprises building on Factom will increase and the number of ANO applications will increase. Basically, we need to create a flywheel effect.

A shared mission with the community is to get new members engaged. (credit Black&White) This is very crucial.
 
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#15
Thank you for the detailed breakdown of costs. I appreciate the transparency.

I think we can all agree a coordinated push in marketing is well overdue at this junction. I won’t comment much on the actual plan as I don’t feel I am qualified to do so.

My question is related to this statement:

Note: The 50% subsidization will only be applied for this grant round.
Can we reasonably assume that any future work will be charged at $146/hr to the protocol and that will be applied to any and all work related to management of project and operations?

Communicate progress to marketing committee
Communicate progress to grant sponsors
Communicate grant updates to the community

^^These are separate line items in the budget. Can you comment whether there is any overlap here? Should the grant sponsors not be communicating updates to the community?

Thanks!
 
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#18
Hi Greg,

I'll start off by saying that I am excited by your appointment as you strike me as a hands-on kinda guy. We need that here. I do have a couple of points.

The $73 average hour rate is 50% below Greg’s current rate. Go Immutable is willing to subsidize this cost because of the absolute imperativeness of getting a proper comprehensive marketing plan in place for the protocol. Note: The 50% subsidization will only be applied for this grant round.
I'm not a big fan of hourly billing because the number is arbitrary, it says nothing of the actual outcome, and it encourages distrust. I also don't like how you're presenting the current grant as a one-time opportunity because you've arbitrarily decided that your regular rate is 200%. I can tell you now that the narrative of a second grant at much higher $ cost will be that failing to award it would undo all the hard work of the 'discounted' first grant.

Anyway. Everyone bills hourly. I get it. I once worked with a colleague who helped me fix my printer. A couple of hours later I return from lunch and he left an invoice on my desk billing me for that hour. Needless to say I didn't think very highly of him after.

I don't want that culture here. We're all in this together. Sometimes I wonder if these opportunistic FTE pricings (this grant round has a lot of them) even consider that there's reward in the actual outcome of these grants because they can bolster the position of your respective ANO and its services. A costs vs investments kind of thing. I would argue this is especially true for 'Go Immutable' as you have your name spearheading this major, public grant (and likely why you're doing it).

Here is something else to consider:

1. Will you be benchmarking high-profile blockchain/crypto projects? What are they doing, how are they doing it, what's the budget, what are their metrics and can we set them as benchmarks for Factom to reach.
2. Answering question 1 is important because I feel that having this kind of overview will better define if this marketing grant is successful. The current marketing plan feels very traditional and I will need you to remove some of my worry that it's going to centre too much on statistics that may sound impressive relatively, but ultimately will have had near-zero impact.

For example. Let's say you end up claiming social media engagement has gone up by 300%. But in absolute numbers, the increase was from 3 to 9 'likes' per post. That's still not very impactful, and when benchmarking this to top crypto projects, it would mean the marketing impact has been negligible.
 
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#19
I don't want that culture here. We're all in this together. Sometimes I wonder if these opportunistic FTE pricings (this grant round has a lot of them) even consider that there's reward in the actual outcome of these grants because they can bolster the position of your respective ANO and its services. A costs vs investments kind of thing. I would argue this is especially true for 'Go Immutable' as you have your name spearheading this major, public grant (and likely why you're doing it).
While in principle I agree with you completely, that's not reality in this ecosystem. The precedence has been set where it is not always merit and past accomplishments (or lack thereof) that determine outcomes. Factomize used to do a heck of a lot of work for what it thought was standing in the ecosystem. Not anymore.

Until I see a system devised where our standing starts to tick up when we provide for the ecosystem which directly correlates in a reduced chance of our being voted out of the Authority Set, we're going to require appropriate compensation for our services.
 
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#20
Yes, it is hard to come up with an alternative system of compensation that is workable and fair.

We use a rate of $85 for calculating our grants and list the calculation in the grant. The $85 includes all overhead such as office space, systems, infra, travel, holidays, social fees and taxes (a lot of taxes).
FYI our external rate is €150 ($168).

Our rate for the Core Development is $65 btw.
 
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#21
The RFP process will be open to everyone. This will be a public process. As such, we will gain publicity from the 8 RFPs we are requesting. The marketing committee will review all submitted proposals, the teams will be known before we contract with them. If we don’t have a good proposal, we will keep searching. ”
Is it necessary to have sponsors for this grant if this info is available to the marketing committee and posted to the public?
 
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#22
Thank you for the detailed breakdown of costs. I appreciate the transparency.

I think we can all agree a coordinated push in marketing is well overdue at this junction. I won’t comment much on the actual plan as I don’t feel I am qualified to do so.

My question is related to this statement:



Can we reasonably assume that any future work will be charged at $146/hr to the protocol and that will be applied to any and all work related to management of project and operations?

Communicate progress to marketing committee
Communicate progress to grant sponsors
Communicate grant updates to the community

^^These are separate line items in the budget. Can you comment whether there is any overlap here? Should the grant sponsors not be communicating updates to the community?

Thanks!
Thanks for the ?s.

Maarten covered your main questions with communicating updates.


As far as hours, we were preemptively answering the “hourly” question. We knew we would get asked how much Go Immutable is charging in fees. We knew we would get asked how many hours of work this is. We knew people would then do the hourly-rate math. So, we just went ahead and included it before people even asked the “hourly rate” question.


Additionally, with the hourly rates, we felt it important to inform the community that we are executing at a discount to our normal rates. We are foregoing revenue that could be obtained through non-Factom endeavors. But, we believe not only in this protocol, but also that a large marketing effort is needed if the protocol is to reach its full potential.


The statement you quoted should have been worded better on our end. Apologies. We just wanted to be forthright in that we will not always be operating at the current hourly rate of this grant. In case you are wondering, in theory, if we hit a crypto winter again, we might also even operate under it for a brief period of time. Everything is on the table.
 
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#23
Hi Greg,

I'll start off by saying that I am excited by your appointment as you strike me as a hands-on kinda guy. We need that here. I do have a couple of points.



I'm not a big fan of hourly billing because the number is arbitrary, it says nothing of the actual outcome, and it encourages distrust. I also don't like how you're presenting the current grant as a one-time opportunity because you've arbitrarily decided that your regular rate is 200%. I can tell you now that the narrative of a second grant at much higher $ cost will be that failing to award it would undo all the hard work of the 'discounted' first grant.

Anyway. Everyone bills hourly. I get it. I once worked with a colleague who helped me fix my printer. A couple of hours later I return from lunch and he left an invoice on my desk billing me for that hour. Needless to say I didn't think very highly of him after.

I don't want that culture here. We're all in this together. Sometimes I wonder if these opportunistic FTE pricings (this grant round has a lot of them) even consider that there's reward in the actual outcome of these grants because they can bolster the position of your respective ANO and its services. A costs vs investments kind of thing. I would argue this is especially true for 'Go Immutable' as you have your name spearheading this major, public grant (and likely why you're doing it).

Here is something else to consider:

1. Will you be benchmarking high-profile blockchain/crypto projects? What are they doing, how are they doing it, what's the budget, what are their metrics and can we set them as benchmarks for Factom to reach.
2. Answering question 1 is important because I feel that having this kind of overview will better define if this marketing grant is successful. The current marketing plan feels very traditional and I will need you to remove some of my worry that it's going to centre too much on statistics that may sound impressive relatively, but ultimately will have had near-zero impact.

For example. Let's say you end up claiming social media engagement has gone up by 300%. But in absolute numbers, the increase was from 3 to 9 'likes' per post. That's still not very impactful, and when benchmarking this to top crypto projects, it would mean the marketing impact has been negligible.
WB,

Thanks for the questions. There are several models to look at in regards to executing work: “hourly” and “performance-based” are two examples.

We started by estimating the time needed to properly execute this work, like any good project manager does. We saw no other way to present the mountain of work this grant encompasses other than by presenting the hours. This of course leads to the question, “what is your time worth?” As stated in a previous answer, by being transparent, the community can see the time and costs. They can then make a judgement. For transparency purposes, these numbers needed to be stated.


Benchmarking
  • Benchmarking is very challenging due to, well, the lack of public data available in order to benchmark properly due to our nascent industry. As a result, we may look to benchmark against analogs in different industries. Our project is breaking new ground. As a result, there is no exact roadmap to follow. Each partner will have targets to hit and these targets need to be impactful.

Impact
  • We have helped businesses across many industries grow and to accomplish this our actions must have impact. I understand your concerns and we will not have vanity metrics. To be clear though, some metrics will be soft. PR placements are tough to directly measure “impact.” However, something like paid search campaigns makes connecting the dots much easier.
  • Our current levels are low and we will not fluff metrics with high %s on low absolute #s. You will see both. This again is part of our transparency. We are aiming for step increases. Steady growth is good but we need bumps of impact
 
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#24
Is it necessary to have sponsors for this grant if this info is available to the marketing committee and posted to the public?
You could argue it is not, but we felt the community would request a sponsor for this grant simply due to its size. So, we worked preemptively. Please also keep in mind we will not be paying sponsors. If sponsors want to be compensated, they can submit sponsor backpay grants next round and the community can then decide to compensate the sponsors or not.


Additionally, the marketing committee will be helping with the management of our partners and as such may not have the most objective viewpoint. We also think it is important to avoid accusations of marketing committee biasness; hence, Nolan as a sponsor. He provides the needed objectivity as he will not be in the weeds watching the day-to-day happenings. Maarten, our second sponsor, is on the marketing committee and will be privy to the day-to-day happenings. So, we feel we have covered our bases pretty well and ensured the community gets the full landscape.
 
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#25
Thank you for this application, @Go Immutable!

I think we all agree that marketing for the protocol is much needed and as such I admire the initiative and Go Immutable willing to step up into that role. I am generally in support of this effort, but I have some points that I would like to bring up and clarify if possible.

From a first reading, this appears to be an effort that requires very significant long-term buy-in from the community, especially considering that the proposal talks about a 50% discounted rate on management fees, which is only applicable to the current round. Could you please outline how much FCT (or dollar equivalent) you will be looking for in subsequent rounds to continue with this effort and for how long? Should we expect that the same amount of hours (circa 350) will be dedicated to management in future grant rounds? If this is the case, we would be looking at over $50K in management fees per 3 months for future rounds, which IMHO is a rather hefty management fee for a recurring engagement ($17K/month) (I think it would be perfectly fine as a one-off, but the recurrence is what is bothering me). On top of this, we would of course have all the money that are necessary for the actual marketing activities, so we might be looking at an overall amount per three months, which is comparable to some of the Core Development grants from Factom Inc (I'm just using this as a reference, not doing a comparison between the efforts).

Please don't take the above personally, I am just trying to gauge the level of commitment that we are looking for here and its duration, as I think this is very important for the evaluation of such proposals.

Based on the estimates in the proposal and in this thread, it seems like well over 50% of your full-time engagements will be committed to marketing efforts for the protocol. That is great to see, as my impression is that you are an experienced and energetic person that wants to get things done! A lot of people in the community have other responsibilities and the same holds for you. There is nothing wrong with this IMO, but I still need to ask if as the Director of Digital Marketing at Baltoro you foresee any issues with spending 60-70% of your time on the Factom protocol, while cutting your commitments to 30-40% for your company (1.5 - 2 day/week)? If I may ask, what triggered you to do this significant re-distribution of your resources?

What will be the expected involvement from members of the marketing committee throughout the duration of this grant and will they receive any remuneration for the time they spend on this work? If not, why not? If yes, how would this be handled?

And one last point: for efforts of such magnitude, I think it makes a lot of sense to have more than one entity spearheading them. It provides a buffer in case of unforeseen circumstances, spreads the risk and also allows for easier continuity should one of the entities not be able to extend their engagement for whatever reasons. What are your thoughts on that and is there any particular reason why you chose to apply for this grant on your own?

Thank you!
 
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#26
Thank you for this application, @Go Immutable!

I think we all agree that marketing for the protocol is much needed and as such I admire the initiative and Go Immutable willing to step up into that role. I am generally in support of this effort, but I have some points that I would like to bring up and clarify if possible.

From a first reading, this appears to be an effort that requires very significant long-term buy-in from the community, especially considering that the proposal talks about a 50% discounted rate on management fees, which is only applicable to the current round. Could you please outline how much FCT (or dollar equivalent) you will be looking for in subsequent rounds to continue with this effort and for how long? Should we expect that the same amount of hours (circa 350) will be dedicated to management in future grant rounds? If this is the case, we would be looking at over $50K in management fees per 3 months for future rounds, which IMHO is a rather hefty management fee for a recurring engagement ($17K/month) (I think it would be perfectly fine as a one-off, but the recurrence is what is bothering me). On top of this, we would of course have all the money that are necessary for the actual marketing activities, so we might be looking at an overall amount per three months, which is comparable to some of the Core Development grants from Factom Inc (I'm just using this as a reference, not doing a comparison between the efforts).

Please don't take the above personally, I am just trying to gauge the level of commitment that we are looking for here and its duration, as I think this is very important for the evaluation of such proposals.

Based on the estimates in the proposal and in this thread, it seems like well over 50% of your full-time engagements will be committed to marketing efforts for the protocol. That is great to see, as my impression is that you are an experienced and energetic person that wants to get things done! A lot of people in the community have other responsibilities and the same holds for you. There is nothing wrong with this IMO, but I still need to ask if as the Director of Digital Marketing at Baltoro you foresee any issues with spending 60-70% of your time on the Factom protocol, while cutting your commitments to 30-40% for your company (1.5 - 2 day/week)? If I may ask, what triggered you to do this significant re-distribution of your resources?

What will be the expected involvement from members of the marketing committee throughout the duration of this grant and will they receive any remuneration for the time they spend on this work? If not, why not? If yes, how would this be handled?

And one last point: for efforts of such magnitude, I think it makes a lot of sense to have more than one entity spearheading them. It provides a buffer in case of unforeseen circumstances, spreads the risk and also allows for easier continuity should one of the entities not be able to extend their engagement for whatever reasons. What are your thoughts on that and is there any particular reason why you chose to apply for this grant on your own?

Thank you!
I think we all agree that marketing for the protocol is much needed and as such I admire the initiative and Go Immutable willing to step up into that role. I am generally in support of this effort, but I have some points that I would like to bring up and clarify if possible.


From a first reading, this appears to be an effort that requires very significant long-term buy-in from the community, especially considering that the proposal talks about a 50% discounted rate on management fees, which is only applicable to the current round. Could you please outline how much FCT (or dollar equivalent) you will be looking for in subsequent rounds to continue with this effort and for how long? Should we expect that the same amount of hours (circa 350) will be dedicated to management in future grant rounds? If this is the case, we would be looking at over $50K in management fees per 3 months for future rounds, which IMHO is a rather hefty management fee for a recurring engagement ($17K/month) (I think it would be perfectly fine as a one-off, but the recurrence is what is bothering me). On top of this, we would of course have all the money that are necessary for the actual marketing activities, so we might be looking at an overall amount per three months, which is comparable to some of the Core Development grants from Factom Inc (I'm just using this as a reference, not doing a comparison between the efforts).



In hindsight, being transparent is causing some confusion in regards to the management fees. As stated in previous answers, we reserve the right to increase our fees in future grants, but it is not set in stone that this will happen. We mentioned this for 2 reasons

1- To be transparent. As we reviewed what we had in the grant, we knew as a community member you would want to see this detail

2 - To show we are making concessions to get this executed by taking a lesser rate. To restate, my digital marketing firm -- Digital Baltoro -- will not be submitting proposals to execute any work. Additionally, no other ANO has a financial interest in Go Immutable or Digital Baltoro.


As our chart shows below (previously posted above), the first month requires the most work and the subsequent months’ load is reduced by ~49%. Ideally, months 4 and beyond require less time. This is under the presumption that another marketing grant is submitted and approved in order for marketing to continue.


To give you an estimate, I would estimate 40-80 hours a month to continue managing this grant, as stated. We will know more before the next grant round and can base the estimates on actual data. I don’t want to box ourselves in either bc in a perfect world we start gaining traction and want to expand (more media spend, more PR outreach, more events….)









Please don't take the above personally, I am just trying to gauge the level of commitment that we are looking for here and its duration, as I think this is very important for the evaluation of such proposals.


Based on the estimates in the proposal and in this thread, it seems like well over 50% of your full-time engagements will be committed to marketing efforts for the protocol. That is great to see, as my impression is that you are an experienced and energetic person that wants to get things done! A lot of people in the community have other responsibilities and the same holds for you. There is nothing wrong with this IMO, but I still need to ask if as the Director of Digital Marketing at Baltoro you foresee any issues with spending 60-70% of your time on the Factom protocol, while cutting your commitments to 30-40% for your company (1.5 - 2 day/week)? If I may ask, what triggered you to do this significant re-distribution of your resources?


My time as owner of Baltoro is spent mainly on consulting engagements while other people actively manage the campaign management teams, operations, etc.... In Baltoro’s view, Factom is a consulting project. As to how I can make this happen with the number of hours in a day, I recently rolled off a large consulting contract in March, which has freed up my time considerably.

Note: I have not worked less than 50 hours a week in over a decade. I mention this to be transparent as I know the community can calculate average working hours etc…




What will be the expected involvement from members of the marketing committee throughout the duration of this grant and will they receive any remuneration for the time they spend on this work? If not, why not? If yes, how would this be handled?


Much of the expectations for the marketing committee members will be similar to what it is today, but with outside partners involved. We need committee members to provide strategic guidance to our partners and also keep our partners pushing towards our goals. The hours a committee member has available to contribute, which has been minimal due to other obligations to date, will be used in either a project management-type role or objective-based role going forward.


As far as payment to committee members, this has not been discussed. I am open to discussing payment for committee members who can provide impactful hours that help drive the grant. I am guessing some members want their marketing committee contributions to count towards their efficiencies while others might be exceeding their efficiency and request pay. This is just a guess though. Either way, we will be transparent with this as we have been with everything. At the end of the day, it is about delivering results.



And one last point: for efforts of such magnitude, I think it makes a lot of sense to have more than one entity spearheading them. It provides a buffer in case of unforeseen circumstances, spreads the risk and also allows for easier continuity should one of the entities not be able to extend their engagement for whatever reasons. What are your thoughts on that and is there any particular reason why you chose to apply for this grant on your own?


Successful marketing campaigns, no matter the size of the company, ultimately have one person with whom the buck stops. One person that is accountable. One person that is the leader.


We feel having the marketing committee members highly engaged spreads the risk out.
 
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#28
- What happens if there's a fallout with the community? Does this whole grant and the work that has been done stop if you are not part of this anymore? How can we make sure that this is not the case? Do you see committee members taking over in worst case scenario or having to start everything back from 0? I can't see how it's any good for the Protocol to have everything stop with you. Specifically when we are hiring outside agencies so we have the benefit of making this whole work not have a central point of failure.

- Do you think bringing in the non-profit to play a role here makes sense? In the signing of legal documents and contracts so that they are owned by the Protocol?

- I have a hard time agreeing with a few things in this strategy like the timeline and the amount of agencies needed to take on this work. A LOT of it overlaps and it would not make much sense to hire so many agencies to step on each others toes. Albeit hire them all in this short 3 months period when a lot of the work can't properly start before another. If anything, we want 1-2 growth hacking agency mindsets that understand that "Brand messaging" and the rest is an ever ending testing process. I'm strongly against going for those corporate marketing agencies that charge a lot of money for shitty work. Rather prefer to go with small marketing agencies that are results oriented and know what they are talking about (Social media, content creation, paid media, etc...) can all be done at reasonable prices by very good agencies.

- We have an 180k budget for this grant and I don't see how it will all be used in 3 months time, specifically when it's at week 6 that we hire those agencies. How much are you expecting to pay them per month? Basically I'm finding those estimates a bit too high and the approach maybe needing a bit refinement. Is it set in stone or are you going to adapt as you go?


Looking forward to your answers. Thank you Greg.
 
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#29
- What happens if there's a fallout with the community? Does this whole grant and the work that has been done stop if you are not part of this anymore? How can we make sure that this is not the case? Do you see committee members taking over in worst case scenario or having to start everything back from 0? I can't see how it's any good for the Protocol to have everything stop with you. Specifically when we are hiring outside agencies so we have the benefit of making this whole work not have a central point of failure.

- Do you think bringing in the non-profit to play a role here makes sense? In the signing of legal documents and contracts so that they are owned by the Protocol?

- I have a hard time agreeing with a few things in this strategy like the timeline and the amount of agencies needed to take on this work. A LOT of it overlaps and it would not make much sense to hire so many agencies to step on each others toes. Albeit hire them all in this short 3 months period when a lot of the work can't properly start before another. If anything, we want 1-2 growth hacking agency mindsets that understand that "Brand messaging" and the rest is an ever ending testing process. I'm strongly against going for those corporate marketing agencies that charge a lot of money for shitty work. Rather prefer to go with small marketing agencies that are results oriented and know what they are talking about (Social media, content creation, paid media, etc...) can all be done at reasonable prices by very good agencies.

- We have an 180k budget for this grant and I don't see how it will all be used in 3 months time, specifically when it's at week 6 that we hire those agencies. How much are you expecting to pay them per month? Basically I'm finding those estimates a bit too high and the approach maybe needing a bit refinement. Is it set in stone or are you going to adapt as you go?


Looking forward to your answers. Thank you Greg.

Good questions.

- What happens if there's a fallout with the community? Does this whole grant and the work that has been done stop if you are not part of this anymore?

I am committing to 3 months on this grant and beyond if all goes well. But how do we reduce this risk for the “Greg wins $200 million via the lottery” situation? The marketing committee will know everything that I know and be able to take control in short order. I will also commit that if I depart, for whatever reason, I will assist in the transition of current work to the marketing committee.


How can we make sure that this is not the case? Do you see committee members taking over in worst case scenario or having to start everything back from 0? I can't see how it's any good for the Protocol to have everything stop with you. Specifically when we are hiring outside agencies so we have the benefit of making this whole work not have a central point of failure.


The wording can be confusing. I want the marketing committee engaged as much as they can be in order to reduce this risk. In a “worst case scenario” (which I have no expectation of this happening), the marketing endeavors would not reset to square 1, as all of the work to that point will be picked up by the marketing committee. There would be a transition period which will cause drag, but it will not be a restart. For example, Vince’s work on the previous grant is not lost. The new marketing leader(s) can leverage the data and learnings from my tenure as marketing chair and grant owner.



- Do you think bringing in the non-profit to play a role here makes sense? In the signing of legal documents and contracts so that they are owned by the Protocol?

I like the creative thinking. However, the non-profit is not yet created, so that would be the first hurdle, lol. Also, the purpose of the non-profit is to hold certain IP, not to hold or manage funds for something like a marketing grant.


- I have a hard time agreeing with a few things in this strategy like the timeline and the amount of agencies needed to take on this work. A LOT of it overlaps and it would not make much sense to hire so many agencies to step on each others toes. Albeit hire them all in this short 3 months period when a lot of the work can't properly start before another. If anything, we want 1-2 growth hacking agency mindsets that understand that "Brand messaging" and the rest is an ever ending testing process. I'm strongly against going for those corporate marketing agencies that charge a lot of money for shitty work. Rather prefer to go with small marketing agencies that are results oriented and know what they are talking about (Social media, content creation, paid media, etc...) can all be done at reasonable prices by very good agencies.


We stated this in the grant and somewhere else in this thread, but I know it is hard to digest everything in the ecosystem right now. But we do see the potential for less than 8 entities, as there is overlap between the RFPs. But we also don’t want to exclude a kick-ass speciality group, which could happen if we roll some of these together.


I agree on your view of agencies. We need a “big-fish-in-a-small-pond” scenario. Meaning, a small-to-medium sized agency is ideal. One that is motivated to execute, hungry, experienced and wants to create results to bolster their portfolio.



- We have an 180k budget for this grant and I don't see how it will all be used in 3 months time, specifically when it's at week 6 that we hire those agencies. How much are you expecting to pay them per month? Basically I'm finding those estimates a bit too high and the approach maybe needing a bit refinement. Is it set in stone or are you going to adapt as you go?


(note: This was previously posted but happy to answer again to do nature of our process)

We budgeted off an FCT price of $7.50 (90-day avg FCT price when the grant was created). Which is $150K USD for ~3 months of work. ($30K less than your stated $180K)

  • 8 Entities - 48% of budget ($73K USD)
On average that is $3K per entity per month for 3 months. As we know, the grant payout process takes a month to complete (to get to funded) so we can see our budgets bleeding into month 4 (the month of the next grant process). We estimate some entity’s fees will be higher and some will be lower. If we find a really good group at a cheaper fee we have extra money to use elsewhere or extend the engagements, which would be communicated. Additionally we are asking these entities to take some risk, as we can only guarantee funding for ~3 months of work, which they may calculate into their fees. Like most models, if we commit for longer time frames they can reduce fees. Unfortunately, this is not an option for us at this time due to the grant round structure.

I have already started creating RFPs, so ideally my timeline moves up. This is a risk bc if the grant is not approved, I have burned hours.

In our grant, we layout how we will address an increase in FCT price as well as a decrease. We will clearly communicate this in the event of an increase or decrease.


Other costs that are not management related. For easy reference

  • Event Management and Expenses - 20% of budget ($30K USD)
2 events budget of $15K

3 events budget of $10K

From the initial data we are gathering, these numbers get us in at the lower levels at events. Which is fine.
 
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#30
Hey Greg, thank you for your answers. I would personally vote for this grant but would rather see us focus in and put in more USD on specific tasks rather than preemptively say we're going to go for so many agencies. It should be the other way around, looking at what companies we talk with during RFP and what they have to offer and their past performance. I get that you're communicating what you think is going to happen but it just can't be concrete.

3 months is a very short period of time so why not go deep with each project or tactic rather than go wide with little penetration? There's another grant round just around the corner so that's a benefit as well.

I'm not sure if I'm communicating my point well here, that's why I repeated my question. But I know you are skilled enough to do what you think is best at any moment in time and as the proposals come in.

Final question, what's the difference between the events here and the events that have been submitted previously in different grants? What would you do differently?

Thank you Greg!!
 
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