Grant Update Marketing Committee Grant 001 - Grant Update Thread

Secured
#1
Sponsor
As a sponsor my role is to Audit this grant as an independent third party. I will be comparing the grant application with the results of the grant, and in the end assess whether the grant has delivered as outlined to the community. December 4th I attended a pre-grant-payout committee meeting as a «fly on the wall» to make observations and assessments.

Scope
This is a 3 month grant. The grant is divided into four activities, each with clear objectives and measurable success criteria. The activities include:
  • Monitoring social media
  • Monitoring social media and the FactomProtocol website
  • Paid traffic for the FactomProtocol website
  • Curation of a contact list within media
Economy
The initial grant application was for 10.000 Factoids. Due to the highly competitive grant application round, the grant application was halved to 5.000 Factoids. This was achieved by cutting the duration of the main expense, paid traffic to the website, to one month. In addition, the Factoid-price was adjusted from $3,50 to $3,75 for budgeting purposes.
In todays market, the price is roughly 4 times higher than budget. The grant was awarded for 5.000 Factoids regardless, but when operating with agencies in Fiat-space, I would expect either a high(er) quality or longer duration delivery from this grant.
The committee discussed how to responsibly liquidate the grant in order to get the most out of it.

Milestones
December 5th is milestone 1: «Before payout of grant». Following is a list of tasks to be completed by this milestone:

  1. Engage digital marketing company and agree on terms + set up social media accounts for FactomProtocol.
  2. Engage with Factom developers to find out what info they would look for on the website.
  3. Engage with Factom developers to find out where the best advertising targets are online (frequented websites, hangouts, etc).
  4. Engage with enterprise ANOs to ascertain what information they would look for on the website.
Points 2 and 4 were indeed discussed within the mentioned meeting, and recently the committee has invited more entities to engage with the Enterprise Information section. I tried to get a statement from the committee regarding progress of the remaining points, but have had no feedback so far.

First impressions
Strengths
  • The Marketing committee seems very well structured and governed, under the leadership of Ben J.
  • The market situation should allow a lot of flexibility moving foward
  • Goals are realistic and objectively measurable
Challenges
  • A topic during the meeting was committee members' activity level, indicating that it has been an issue. The topic was addressed.
  • There is a lingering «rebranding ghost» that has a potential to complicate matters for this grant.

Next update
Milestone 2 is in a month from now, the beginning of 2019. A new post in this thread will be made at that time.
 
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#4
Things I forgot to put in the update:
  1. The marketing committee chose to liquidate 170 FCT at 0.0037 BTC to pay for a year of Hootsuite and Mailchimp rather than 3 months (as per the original grant). This means there will be no requirement to pay for these tools in the next grant rounds.
  2. The FCT tokens paid out in the grant are still held at the same address as the Bittrex wallet as grant payout specified (FA3KhPnfjM8M8cXNvHZGpLMweEzq9irUzVjhRzyXeKayg1Yc1Yzr) but are slowly being sold to BTC, and then to GBP.
  3. As of today, there are 4023.79117769 FCT of the original 5000 FCT remaining in the wallet
  4. The difference between the liquidated token qty in 1. and the quantity remaining in 3. is the current amount liquidated to BTC in preparation for the paid campaign in February (~1.7 BTC currently)
  5. Ben Jeater (marketing chair) created the wallet and is the only one with access to it. There was a concern raised during the grant process about a single entity in a committee being the only one with access to the funds. Until there are multi-sig wallets, this will, unfortunately, be the case.
  6. All liquidation is happening through BuildingIM at a Capital Gains Tax rate of 20%.
  7. At the current price of liquidation, there will be a remainder of FCT after the grant activities have been completed. The committee are discussing how to use this funding to get the most use out of it.
  8. The largest chunk of spending will be $16,500 for marketing ($15,000 for adverts + 10% for agency fees). This is why the liquidation continues slowly to not affect the price with large dumps of FCT from the committee.
 
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#5
Thanks for this, @Ben Jeater. A couple questions:

1) Where do you anticipate the paid ads running, and what will be the general content? Basically: What is being advertised, and where?

2) Has the Marketing Committee discussed establishing relationships with crypto news outlets (CoinTelegraph, CoinDesk, Bitcoin Magazine, etc)?

Thanks!
 
Secured
#6
1) That is a decision that will be part of the strategy, which is currently being worked on. The current idea is that we use many display networks (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc) to see which has the highest return-on-investment for our protocol. With more data, we can better target our campaign and increase the overall effectiveness of the current grant and future grants.

2) This is outside the scope of the grant so I would prefer to discuss this separately. If you wish to ask questions about our wider marketing activities you can join the marketing committee discord at https://discord.gg/Y7rgTm6
 
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#7
Great work, Ben. Thanks for setting up a clear framework and strategy for the community to track, and for sharing it so concisely.

I’d like to get a little closer to the marketing process since I have some relevant experience. Is the marketing committee discord open to all?
 
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#10
Hi All,

The marketing committee has temporarily paused the paid marketing campaign after a week of adverts. After the first week review, we noticed some issues. We will have the campaign back up in a couple of days once some additions have been made to the website and we have refined the advert set to perform better.

We have so far only spent 6% of the budget and have already delivered 3,000 visitors to the FactomProtocol.org website. Once the improvements are in place we will be able to better track how these visitors are continuing their journey in the FactomProtocol ecosystem. This will allow for further performance improvements in this and subsequent campaigns.

Any money not spent during this downtime will be spread over the remainder of the month (i.e. higher daily spend) once the campaign is turned back on.
 
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#14
@Alex @Nic R

There are a number of tracking systems installed on the website but the end-to-end tracking is not possible at the moment due to the way the tools have been implemented. Essentially, we're finding that the technology stack of a decentralised organisation is something we should have defined with A LOT of detail up front (we didn't and it bit us). Right now we have:

GrowthFixer - Ad account for Google
BuildingIM - Ad account for Facebook + Twitter
GoImmutable - Google Analytics for FactomProtocol.org
DBGrow - Amplitude analytics for FactomProtocol.org
DBGrow - Mailing list holder
TFA - Discord member numbers

There was also an interesting statistic that one of our advertising routes was getting a 60% bounce rate while another was getting a 90%; we need to review why this is (what is the difference between the two) and rectify it if possible (better targetting, move the spend to the higher performing channel, etc).

Will the results be impacted? Yes and no. Yes, we haven't got the ideal tracking set up so our optimisation hasn't been the best, but the actual output (people on Discord + mailing list) is still trackable (just not all the way through the funnel).

We're currently sharing access between all the parties in our technology stack and we're doing a deep-dive on the performance of the campaign so far so we can optimise our advert set and targetting.
 
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#19
We need to have a rethink of the website front page because I also bounced to be honest.

It’s one giant wall of text. No one wants to be thrust into that.

Let’s lead with videos, infographics and key benefits that draw people in, and motivates them to look further.

You don’t need google analytics to tell you this, just put yourselves in the shoes of newcomers. They want to be captivated, not lectured.

The landing page is a central part of marketing and needs to be more engaging.
 
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#21
I was going to look at the campaigns this weekend but unfortunately I didn't have much time to do so.

I would not dismiss the landing pages based on what was said. We need to build a Sales Funnel and understand the goal of that funnel as well as what type of content we need to hit the user with at any point.

A blog post which is what we have as landing pages right now isn't bad and doesn't need videos nor infographics necessarily. So many people catch interest with a blog post. The bounce rate is not an indicator of anything here. We need an Analytics tool to tell us how much are they scrolling from the page and where they are leaving, etc...

So to have a proper discussion here we need to take a step back. Understand the users we're targeting with our keywords campaigns (what stage of the funnel, how much do they know about crypto, etc..), understand where in the funnel they are, and what type of content would best attract them.

Blog posts, ebooks, infographics, videos, etc... are all content types and they are valid and will be used throughout the funnel. They are great for awareness and initial interest, we don't necessarily want to sell them on anything at the start. So let's start thinking about it that way. Will share more next week.
 
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#24
@Nic R We're aiming to restart the paid campaign today. The targetting of the adverts has been improved and there is extra tagging on the website. :)

@Vince, @Greg Forst and I are working with @Spencer Butterfield from DBGrow to get A/B testing tools installed on the site. This will allow more of us to edit the content of pages and perform tests to increase conversion.

There are no new figures to present because the campaign is stopped.
 
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#25
There has been a lot of concern about the marketing paid campaign so I thought it was best to give a fact-based account of how the grant has been delivered so far and the learnings that we can all take from it.

There is no malice intended in this post because this is a learning experience for the community rather than a chance to point fingers. I will be naming individuals but not to spread the blame around, but to allow the story to be told in the most accurate way. To keep this post consistent, I will refer to myself in the first-person (I did..., I said..., etc).

There will be suggested improvements given in a generalised way in this post so we can improve similar future situations and avoid a repeat of these issues.

I want to stress that I don't want anyone to walk away from this post feeling like I am apportioning any measure of blame to them. I am writing this post because to get from where we are to a global technology is going to require collaboration and support between all parties to get us there.

Point 1: Original Strategy Creation
The paid campaign design was reliant on the strategy being completed. An offer was made by @Xavier Chen to produce a strategy document. At the end of November, Xavier informed me he would be leaving the committee as soon as the strategy was completed due to his limited bandwidth.

At the beginning of January, I asked Xavier if he was still doing the strategy report because it was urgently required; I did not receive a response to my two messages and concluded that there was nothing to base the paid campaign strategy on. The date is now the 7th of January and the campaign is due to launch on the 1st of February.

Learnings:
Here is a list of activities I should have undertaken as grant owner to avoid reaching the 7th of January without a strategy document for the campaign:
  • If there are warning signs that someone may not be able to deliver a critical part of your grant, have a conversation about it. Back-up or replace the time-limited individual/team.
  • Have more regular check-ins with those performing critical-path activities.
  • Announce key members of the grant delivery team as they enter their key role.

Point 2: Utilised Strategy Creation
Entering January I had no strategy for the paid campaign that was scheduled to begin on the 1st of February. In hindsight, this would have been the time to announce to the community that there was a problem with the campaign and that I needed more time to complete the work. However, I believed it was possible to deliver the targets of the paid campaign as they were stated in the grant application.

It was around this time that @Vince from Growth Fixer had started chatting with me about his brand of marketing. I decided that I needed support to deliver the strategy and the content for the campaign and drafted in Vince to help.

Over the third and fourth week of January, I must have worked 4-6 hours a day on top of my other activities to get the strategy and content created. Vince put in even more time (8-10 hours a day) to get the work done and for that, I am truly appreciative.

Learnings:
  • Be open and honest with the community about the status of your grant; setbacks are going to happen occasionally.
  • Avoid situations where the time available is too short to deliver the work required (see Task 1 learnings)

Point 3: Website Grant and Paid Campaign
The stated objective of the campaign was to deliver traffic to the protocol website. This goal was chosen because it meant that the protocol website was outside the scope of the paid campaign. @DBGrow had put in their own grant to build the protocol website and this is why the measurable criteria of the paid campaign grant were the volume of traffic and the CPC as they were controllable within the scope of the grant (i.e. no involvement with the website).

This division between the paid campaign and the website delivery were arbitrary and unnecessary. Both activities should have been within the same grant to avoid confusion within the community and within the delivery team.

Learnings:
  • Create a RACI for the project to ensure everyone is clear on their activities
  • Combine grants that are reliant on each other into a single grant (where possible) rather than separating them. This ensures that critical components are within the same grant.
  • Be very clear in the grant application and thread about what you are delivering. Avoid confusion by pointing out where questions are asking about things outside of the scope of the grant.

Task 4: Campaign Delivery
On the 31st of January, the adverts were loaded into the ad delivery platforms and the landing pages were present on the website. The adverts went live the traffic started to flow to the website. At this point, I will admit, I have taken a step back and let DBGrow run the website and Growth Fixer run their part of the funnel.

On the 7th of February, @Greg Forst produced a report on the current status of the paid campaign; it did not make for good reading. The website was lacking the tracking required to optimise the traffic and the targeting appeared to be poor.

It was at this point I realised that the expectation of the grant and the stated goals of the grant were different; I had not been managing the expectations of the community, or even the marketing committee. I had obviously not made it clear who was responsible for which task.

I had two options:
  1. Say “we’ll fix some of this, but the rest is out of scope”
  2. Get to work fixing the whole funnel.
I chose the latter because it was the right thing to do for the community. I informed the community that we had put the campaign on hold while we fixed the issues.

Vince worked with Greg and @blackandwhite (marketing committee adviser) to update the targeting and placement of the adverts based on their combined experience in digital marketing. DBGrow and the team worked on updating the layout of the landing pages, implemented Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Google Optimize, and added tracking pixels onto the protocol website. We are now ready to relaunch with this improved funnel monitoring system and improved landing pages.

Learnings
  • Ensure that everyone is aware of the scope of the whole project
  • Ensure that everyone is aware of their part in the project (create a RACI)
  • Ask community members what they are expecting from the grant. This would have allowed me better manage expectations as I would have known what people thought we were delivering, rather than what we pledged to deliver.

Paid Campaign Deliverables
Before I summarise this post, I would like to communicate the paid campaign measurable targets from the grant, and the current performance against those targets.

Pledged:
  • 2,000 visits
  • Cost-Per-Click below $7.05
  • 3 monthly reports
  • Produce a list of 100 media contacts
  • Produce media pack
  • Produce branding pack
Delivered:
  • 4,230 visits (212% of target)
  • Cost-Per-Click = $0.21 (only 6% of budget spent so far) (only 3% of max price)
  • Monthly reports (1) (2) (3) (4)
  • Media contacts list creation ongoing
  • Media pack produced
  • Branding pack produced (within media pack)

Summary
The expectation from the community is now clear, and I take responsibility for not being clearer on the ownership and responsibility of task deliverables between the paid campaign and the website grants.

Recently, there has been a lot of negativity around the performance of the grant, despite it overachieving it’s stated measurable goals. It has made it hard for the committee to focus on improvements while we field negativity from the community who voted for the pledged goals which have already been over-delivered.

We need to be more focused as a community in understanding what we voted for and then accepting that, in hindsight, the stated goals are not aligned with our expectations when we review. The previous sentence is not designed to take away any of the blame from me caused by poor communication; that is something I obviously need to work on.

I am happy to answer any questions based on the above post as fully as I can.
 
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#28
This week, the campaign has spent €634 ($721.33). This brings the total campaign spending to 11.6% of the budget ($1,739.62 of $15,000).

This week we have spent and achieved the following:

Acquisition - $721.33 for 5,280 clicks, and 123 conversions ($0.14 Cost-Per-Click, $5.86 Cost-Per-Acquisition)
Click-Through-Rate (CTR) - 0.48%
Conversion Rate on the website - 2.33%

To date, the campaign has brought in 8,772 clicks (visitors), which is 439% of target for the whole grant. We estimate that the whole campaign will bring in around 90k - 100k visitors to the Factom Protocol website against a target of 2,000 visitors.

The committee is currently discussing optimisation steps to increase the CTR and conversion rate.

Let me know if you have any questions :)