[Temperature Check] Grant SFI to Expand Marketing Strategy

Previous thread.

PROPOSAL

Saffron Finance - Expanded Marketing Strategy

210 SFI per quarter from the Treasury…

  • for additional personnel,
  • for international marketing, and
  • for domestic marketing.

INTRODUCTION

A strong marketing budget encouraging more broad acceptance of Saffron is critical to the success and long term health of the protocol. Long term investors, institutions, and power users of DeFi typically recognize the benefits of Saffron but don’t necessarily know about it or how it works. Similarly, the complicated nature of this specific protocol can make average retail investors skittish. We have begun to employ our 2021 rollout strategy through creating the Academy - an accessible repository of educational information about Saffron and DeFi that is being built out to feature a wide range of multimedia content - and last month have started the process of expanding into international markets and territories - as recently seen at our event in Hangzhou.

Saffron’s marketing direction and scope are rapidly expanding (with the inclusion of the new Saffron Academy website, Saffron Academy Podcast, additional content for our international markets) and it necessitates onboarding additional marketing personnel - both domestic and international. These additional personnel will help take some of the workload off the original team and helps keep us at a healthy expansion rate. The core team has devoted a lot of time and effort into Saffron Academy and will continue to in the coming months, but again, this is only one facet of our marketing strategy and focus.

The items listed below are a combination of current responsibilities and Q2 goals for the marketing team. Meeting these deliverables will help give the community the ability to track the marketing team’s progress and effectiveness should this proposal be accepted.

TASKS AND GOALS

  • Saffron Academy (2 videos per week minimum)
  • Saffron Podcast (1 episode per week)
  • Creating/Managing Saffron Academy website
  • Coordinating with International marketing and bizdev teams (Working with our partners overseas)
  • Managing Saffron main homepage and educational materials
  • Communicating Saffron statistics via saffron.vision (info site similar to uniswap.info)
  • Managing in-person office
  • Managing governance: Discourse forum and Snapshot page
  • Managing Discord, Telegram, YouTube, and Twitter
  • Writing Saffron Academy and Saffron Medium articles
  • Collaborating with protocol partners for announcements and updates on new features and tech (Chainlink)
  • Collaborating with strategic partners on marketing materials and co-marketing events (APWine)
  • Collecting feedback and organizing user responses and critiques into effective decision-making facts for dev team to act on
  • Managing active relationships with investors, partners, guests, and academic research targets
  • Conducting market research and producing reports on focused topics relevant to the protocol’s success
  • Transcribing all relevant material for distribution to regional partners
  • Working with media outlets on public relations and press releases
  • Other marketing duties as assigned

STIPULATIONS

  • All Saffron project relevant data stored in a cloud location with redundant access in case of emergency or unforeseen circumstance.
  • All Academy content, deliverables, and anything else made by the marketing team for the expressed purpose of Saffron is considered open source and free to use and redistribute.
  • All marketing employees report directly to psykeeper every week with a log of their hours and duties performed.

WIP



Psykeeper’s Additions:

8_2

  1. A description of how the 210 SFI would be divided among the tasks and milestones described in Tasks and Goals

If I were to break it down then it would look something like this:

  • 50 SFI per quarter for personnel (existing and new hires)
  • 100 SFI per quarter for external marketing (exchanges, writers, and community builders)
  • 60 SFI per quarter for ongoing costs (everything outlined in “Tasks and Goals” and more)

One example of a cost which we forgot to mention is that Dingo is managing a physical office which serves as a headquarters for Saffron as well as a location for filming Saffron Academy videos and Saffron Podcast episodes. The office is a great value, for $600 a month we get:

  • Filming on-location in professional setting
  • 24/7 access to office facilities
  • Incredibly fast and stable business wi-fi for uploading content
  • Convenient location nearby local production companies
  • Meeting areas for potential clients
  • Business address for mailing (required for many of our partners)

I think the only SFI that would be immediately sent away would be the 100 SFI per quarter for external marketing and some small part of the 60 SFI per quarter for costs. External marketing firms and partners generally need some skin in the game to make their contributions meaningful. The majority of these 210 SFI would be held by personnel and liquid in the treasury for spending when needed.

I also propose that a significant % of these minted funds are added to the 1-year HODL contract. This goes for other minted funds as well and I’ll add this comment there too. This is something that Dingo will write into the final proposal if this passes Stage 1. It would be helpful for the community to establish that % in this thread as well - 50% lock-up? 60%?

Closing Thoughts

This is a continuation of the discussion started in Proposals as it seems the majority are in favor of implementing this in some form. However, this does not mean that this proposal is set in stone (that only happens during the vote on Consensus Check) and users are encouraged to continue to provide feedback/suggestions during the next 48 hours. I am in favor of a lock-up period as well, as I think it will be mutually beneficial for the team and community in the long run.

Grant 210 SFI per quarter to Expand Marketing Strategy

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Responses below:

  • Saffron Academy (2 videos per week minimum)

How are you measuring success of Saffron Academy? Do people watch this at all? Do you have stats on how many people are watching? There’s no point in producing videos that nobody watches so unless you have metrics on why this is important and how this is helping with adoption of Saffron, I don’t see what the value would be. Need metrics to gauge success and ROI.

  • Saffron Podcast (1 episode per week)

Same comment as above. Who watches these Podcasts? Is there even any demand for this content? If not, how are you going to create demand? If 5 people watch this video per week, how useful is that?

  • Creating/Managing Saffron Academy website

Again, same comment as above. Why even have a website if nobody cares for this content. Creating content and marketing it are not the same thing. I can create a bunch of commercials but if nobody airs it or airs it in places nobody cares about those commercials, then it’s a waste of money.

  • Coordinating with International marketing and bizdev teams (Working with our partners overseas)

Again, this is so vague. What international partners? How many SFI are we going to spend to work with them and what is the ROI?

  • Managing Saffron main homepage and educational materials

Same as above. Where are the metrics? What is the ROI? Where is the demand and how are you going to market it? How do you gauge success/failure? What are the costs of producing it?

  • Communicating Saffron statistics via saffron.vision (info site similar to uniswap.info)

Again, same as above. Why do we need this? What exactly is it? Why should anyone care for saffron statistics? Will this help with adoption of the Saffron product? If so, how do we quantify the success? What metrics do you use?

  • Managing in-person office

Why do we need to fund an in person office? The trend has been to move away from in-person offices. Why do you need the added cost of an office to do what you’re doing? How big is the office you’re considering and how many people are you planning to have in there? What is the monthly rent?
What is the justification for needing an office – (i.e. do you need a physical office because customers will come into it?)?

  • Managing governance: Discourse forum and Snapshot page

Quantify this task. Most other governance platforms govern themselves with community support. Are we planning on dedicating full time people to this? If so, how many?

  • Managing Discord, Telegram, YouTube, and Twitter

Is there nobody doing this today?

  • Writing Saffron Academy and Saffron Medium articles

Same as above. Where is the demand for this content? How do you quantify success? What metrics do you use for success/failure? How many people do you plan to hire to do this? What is the ROI?

  • Collaborating with protocol partners for announcements and updates on new features and tech (Chainlink)

Can you provide more details about future partnerships you’re considering? Are we hiring people to do this? What is the cost?

  • Collaborating with strategic partners on marketing materials and co-marketing events (APWine)

Same as above. Need specifics.

  • Collecting feedback and organizing user responses and critiques into effective decision-making facts for dev team to act on

Same as above. Need specifics? how many people? Can this task be outsourced instead of hiring people to do it in house?

  • Managing active relationships with investors, partners, guests, and academic research targets

Same as above. Need specifics? how many people? Who are the partners? Why is this necessary now when the product isn’t even complete? Shouldn’t you look for new partners/investors after V2? Esp since you just raised a round from Dragonfly a couple months ago?

  • Conducting market research and producing reports on focused topics relevant to the protocol’s success

Why is market research necessary when the V2 is being worked on? Are you talking about market research for a V3 product? Or is V2 so far away that you’re still in the R&D phase and need to hire people to complete the V2 product research? Is that a priority right now?

  • Transcribing all relevant material for distribution to regional partners

Again, is there demand for this right now? If so, how are you determining this? What metrics are you using to evaluate and what is the ROI?

  • Working with media outlets on public relations and press releases

Same as above. Are we really at a stage when we need to worry about press releases? V2 isn’t even close and we need to plan for press releases?

  • Other marketing duties as assigned

What marketing is needed right now when V2 is not even complete? Shouldn’t the focus right now be on completing the V2 product? Marketing should come when you actually have or are close to a completed product. IT doesn’t seem like this is where Saffron is at right now. IMO, the focus needs to be on product refinement and development, not marketing. Otherwise, you’re just wasting money because if the product changes, all of your marketing material need to change too and you’re just doing double the marketing work.

[/quote]

1 Like

Damn. Spitting straight facts. I would very much rather hire more devs than focus on marketing. Alt season is here. We need to strike while the iron is hot. Rari just got hacked again and SFI is more importnat than ever. But no one si gonna deposit by paying 100s in gas fees. Happy to expand the marketing but development and app comes first. Build it and they will come.

1 Like

My thoughts exactly Majed!

Shouldn’t the scare resources of a micro-cap project like Saffron be focused on hiring developers and building out V2 and other important product features? What’s the point of marketing when your product is still in flux and many important features like continuous staking, cross-chain initiatives, and new pools are still in the works?

Marketing seems like a supplemental task. If you spend 210 SFI every quarter on marketing, how many people do you plan to reach with all that investment? Wouldn’t you rather spend that money on getting the gas fees down on the transactions on the Saffron app? I think that has a much more direct benefit for users than just experimental marketing on an unfinished product. Moreover, you’re not even doing real marketing. You’re just talking about creating content for marketing. You’re not doing any ad buys here. You’re talking about creating marketing “CONTENT”, not actual marketing buys. Such a waste of valuable resources…

If I was running Saffron like a small tech company, I would be investing 99% of my resources on engineering/dev resources and maybe 1% on buying ramen and food for the employees who work in my living room at my house (corp offices) who work around the clock and sleep on my couch/floors.

But if y’all wanna run SFI like a huge, generous, rich Corporation, then by all means, hire all these marketing people and get a huge 10,000 sq feet office while you’re at it. Maybe pay Logan Paul to do some shilling with those 210 SFI marketing dollars too.

At this stage of the product, Yearn, Compound and AAVE did almost NO MARKETING.

People started using them because they had a great product. Great products don’t need much marketing or even marketing content. They spread organically (word of mouth).

There seems to be some misconception that there is a focus on marketing instead of development efforts. I would like to point out that both can be done in parallel without sacrificing any efficiency from either. Perhaps there are some other mistaken assumptions being made here. Let me explain the facts:

  • Work on the protocol smart contracts and web3 front-end are the highest priority now and have been historically.
  • We have 7 full time developers working on code right now, we are still expanding this team.
  • We have had 1 full time marketing staff member until recently.
  • At the beginning of May we hired 2 additional marketing staff to assist and a marketing firm to help us expand the community in China.
  • We should hire and expand the marketing and business development team more to encourage the growth of the community and bring new users to Saffron.

There are plenty of resources at our disposal to hire more developers. The bottleneck there is finding devs who are available for full time work, have an affinity for finance, as well as the technical skill set required to design and deploy smart contracts with confidence and without error.

As long as the community continues to vote appropriately on treasury spending the above resource allocation and focus will remain the same. I feel strongly that this proposal is in-line with that focus.

All of the above can be described as a meta-discussion on how to evaluate spending cross-category. Let’s focus on the matter at hand: we need to expand the community and grow Saffron.

The reason we have a significant request for marketing budget is due to liquidity requirements on exchanges (this is considered marketing), the need for marketing professionals to have “skin in the game”, and the attractiveness of having SFI rewards for new users (rather than just offering cash).

Regarding content creation, I’ve sent the “how to stake SFI” and “how to join a liquidity pool” videos to countless users who are learning how to use the web3 app and don’t fully understand the mechanics of metamask and how to interact with the blockchain. Dingo’s videos are critical for explaining the technical details in an easy to understand manner. They help with customer support and make the protocol look more complete and professional. The quality is also extremely high.

It’s also free publicity for when we begin to expand our content offering into more topics which will lead users to learning about Saffron.

While I appreciate the response and the reasoning behind it, I fail to understand how anyone would approve a $250,000 marketing budget without understanding in some detail how that money will be spent. It’s so vague and while conceptually, I understand it, but execution wise, I do not.

$250,000 per quarter on marketing is not an insignificant amount of money. Are you absolutely certain that you couldn’t use that towards hiring or even outsourcing parts of Saffron App like the user interface design or using smart contract outsourcing companies to build new strategies for Saffron? Perhaps, invest some of this money into quality assurance or testing? I can certainly refer some great people to you that might be willing to do some solidity or front-end dev contract work if you’re willing to make it worth their while. Simply saying that you can’t hire anyone makes me believe that you guys aren’t looking hard enough for good help.

There is already a really rich group of YT videos that explain how to stake liquidity and how to interact with defi apps. You don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel here. Also, if your goal is to attract new defi noobs to Saffron, then I suppose creating these howto Saffron videos will help. But your goal shouldn’t be focused on bringing in just newbies. You should be focused on bringing in sophisticated defi users that want to leverage risk tranching. Those people don’t need howto videos. Those people need a good product.

I understand your desire to grow your community and user base. I disagree that a $250,000 quarterly marketing spend to hire a bunch of people, open up a physical office and creating educational content for a beta product is the way to go. You want to grow your community? Go build a great product first. Save that $250,000 quarterly spend for when your product is ready for marketing. Don’t blow all your marketing dollars now when your product is still in Beta testing.

We are not Apple, trying to create content to educate people on how to use an iPhone. We are a niche, defi product with a very narrow user base. We do not need $250,000 in quarterly marketing for this. Especially not at this stage of the product.

Ironically, content like Saffron Academy has real value once you have adoption. But you can’t use this content in order to create adoption. It doesn’t work that way. A great product creates interest. Then you create educational content once interest exists. Educational content offers no value until there is significant interest in the product. With V2 not yet released and many critical features still in development, what real value is there in educating a user about features that are still being iterated upon and a product that is incomplete?

Saffron Academy (included in Dingo’s long list of responsibilities already) and the office ($1,800 per quarter) are less than 2% of the entire proposed budget. Most of the costs are related to bizdev and marketing efforts to expand our protocol and make Saffron known as an established DeFi bluechip.

This includes:

  • On-the-ground promotion of Saffron and education of users to expand the community.
  • Expansion to new markets (exchanges) that are mostly based in Asia.
  • Full time employees to help with business development and introductions / relationship management with other protocols and blockchain companies.
  • Fund raising and strategic partner introductions and managing ongoing support and dialogue with our partners.

I can certainly refer some great people to you that might be willing to do some solidity or front-end dev contract work if you’re willing to make it worth their while.

Yes, please make an introduction if possible, this would be extremely helpful.

Simply saying that you can’t hire anyone makes me believe that you guys aren’t looking hard enough for good help.

I hope that’s not how my last message came across. We definitely can hire, and have been hiring, but the bottleneck isn’t funds. It’s the time it takes to seek out and find the right candidates.

2 Likes

I’m happy to approve this. I think a lot of people in the community are too. We just need to make sure our app and our value addition is clear to see. LFG

Lots of great ideas and topics discussed in this thread and I’m glad that we were able to clarify a bit on our end. There are a few things brought up in this thread and the previous one that will be integrated into the final iteration of the proposal (quarterly reviews, lockup periods, etc.).

Poll closes with a 92% yes vote after 48 hours, the proposal moves on to the final stage - Consensus Check - to be voted on by SFI holders.

1 Like