[Informal Poll] Marketing Maker

Over the last couple of weeks, there have been some discussions in the community around the topic of the marketing of Maker. Marcomms had their initial proposal rejected and is currently revising. The community has also received a Marketing CU proposal from Amazix.

Instead of looking at the proposals in detail, let us map out what marketing of Maker means.


Due to the multifaceted nature of Maker there is more than one single thing or product to market.
There are:
DAI - the stablecoin. Possibly expanded to multiple currency variants.
Vaults - without risk takers willing to open Vaults there can be no DAI.
MKR - the governance token.
Oracles - a critical component and possible secondary source of income for Maker.
The Maker Community - the pool of all human elements in the ecosystem.

All of the above components must function and succeed for further growth. If you doubt this try the mental exercise of taking one of the above components and letting it fade to zero while you are trying to picture Maker as a success. You quickly find that this is impossible - all must flourish for Maker to succeed.

This multifaceted nature of Maker does however mean that marketing all of Maker means taking on multiple big jobs at once - the task of marketing Maker Vaults to risk-seeking high net worth individuals is very different from marketing Oracles to real-world-asset originators or MKR to VC firms. Or Dai to small fish DeFi degens. All of the above can have different value propositions, different target groups, different methods of reaching these groups, and different ways in which success is measured. The Oracles CU has already taken this into account by including the marketing of Oracles in their Core Unit proposal. Splitting up the task of marketing could additionally allow for more specialization and higher productivity as well as lower risk for Maker with regards to Core Unit onboarding. The proposed Data Insight CU could be a valuable tool for providing clues about where the most gains could be made.

Instead of textwalling, let us see if we can signal our way forward.

Do you roughly agree with the above analysis of Maker’s marketing situation?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Abstain

0 voters

Should Maker’s marketing change from being Dai-centric (or whatever it was during the Foundation Age) to being multi-faceted?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Abstain

0 voters

Should CUs involved in marketing be encouraged to specialize their efforts?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Abstain

0 voters

Do you agree that for marketing purposes onboarding smaller, specialized CU’s is easier compared to larger, more generalized CU’s?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Abstain

0 voters

Should the idea of a generalized Marketing CU be abandoned in favor of smaller, more focussed efforts?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Abstain

0 voters

Polls will run for a week. Please comment below. Shoutout to @marianoDP for inspiration.

8 Likes

I will briefly state why I voted the way I did.

I agree with the main argument that Maker is more than DAI and that our marketing effort should acknowledge that. What is particularly frustrating about both Amazix and the Marcomms proposals is that they both fail to see that the immediate problem that Maker is facing is NOT a problem of DAI adoption. We have way too much demand and not enough supply so any effort right now should be targeted towards vault owners and getting them to mint more DAI. Instead, the proposals so far have all been about DAI advertising, branding etc. which is actually gonna exacerbate our current peg problems.

I am not sure what the right marketing framework should be e.g. specialized efforts by CUs or a more general Marketing CU. I can see arguments for both. There is also the “are we onboarding too many CUs?” question which I think is legitimate.

8 Likes

Agree, and that not only involves marketing, but also competing in more attractive ways to open vaults and how the protocol works vs competitors, and positioning in L2s, etc.
So marketing + innovation

Is quite interesting the topic.

Hey @Planet_X thanks for bringing this discussion forward on the complex nature of marketing for the protocol. Was wondering if you saw any on-chain changes coming from this poll, or were planning to need an on-chain vote to clarify the results here.

If not, I think it would make sense to change this to an “informal poll” as it would not be moving on chain afterwards.

2 Likes

You are of course correct - title corrected.

1 Like

Sushi has an ad on Brave so I would like to see Maker at least on the Brave browser regardless of who ends up being the marketing CU.

4 Likes

Thanks @Planet_X for this much-needed discussion.

After reading a lot in the forum and having talks with community participants, I am going to put here some of the thoughts that I have gathered over the years working for the Maker Foundation and now for the Growth Core Unit.

The idea is to know if the community thinks the same and to see how we can jointly propose certain directions to take, and the good thing about this post is that it helps us to define the product subdivisions because to have a strategy, you have to have well defined the limits and scope of that / those products.

In addition to what has been said, The difficulty of “marketing Dai” consists in pushing a “yet to be defined” product that does not have a clear “job to be done”, for example…

What is the main MakerDAO product for you?

  • Credits / vaults?
  • Stablecoin for Payments?
  • Stablecoin for Investments/farming?
  • Stablecoin for RWA?
  • Transparency and Decentralization?
  • Other…

As @planet_x said in this post, this is a key question because depending on the answer, we will have a long set of tasks/issues to solve before going out and compete in the world.

These issues range from regulatory, technology, organizational development, budget, and most important, management of our expectations.

Then we have to see what interactions we can have from the definition of the product, why?

Because by not having a user identity system, it is practically impossible to precisely target them.

I will put some examples here of these interactions according to the previous questions.

Example Credits / Vaults.
If we said that Vaults and Credits is our product, what targeted and specific marketing effort can we make to users? Practically none, they would be broad efforts, aimed at the general public and difficult to target, being very expensive and feeling like “generic”, then the interactions that we can create by the target audience and maker are also generic which do not add value or Long-term relationships and the user can easily substitute them for another product, however, the picture is different if these vaults are used for something specific which we can help develop, example Institutional Vaults.

Stablecoin Example for Payments / Investments.
If we choose this option, then our product resides one step after the Credit / Vault stage, and we have to take for granted that this particular “payment thing” is so massively successful that it will bring a lot of vaults in the system. (Example, Videogame titles sell consoles not the other way around).
For this option, we have to see what are all the rails that make it scalable and lucrative, something similar to what we talked about USDC several times before.

Example for RWA.
What is the internal dynamic that exists in the community to choose one RWA over another? Today, DAI has a limited “bandwidth” over the amount of DAI to emit without affecting the peg. The credit market is unimaginably insatiable and I am sure there would be many interested parties to get leverage with RWA and Dai. Luckily we have many players that could bring new collaterals like Centrifuge, RWA co., 6s, Growth Core Unit, or even companies posting on the collateral onboarding forum by themselves. I can see all these actors looking for limited “Dai bandwidth”, why do I say this? Again, Interactions is the key, I am sure that none of the named actors would want to contact possible new collateral to do the entire onboarding process and then tell them that it is not possible because there is no clear queue process to onboard them or some other undefined aspect. That is also marketing.

In short, we can continue to analyze different interactions, purposes, and strategies, but there are things to solve to build the indicated processes that define the product for which to develop a strategy.

Reason for my votes

I doubt very much that a single Marketing Core Unit is the best for this, having more than 10 years of experience in this area, it does not hurt to say that I think that “Marketing” does not make much sense other than “branding and Advertising” (which is needed) and that the real advantage exists in “Product Marketing Development” which is 100% focused on attracting clients who make use of the “job to be done” of the product, hence my voting that each line of business needs to have their marketing strategy/department.

7 Likes

Not sure if I understood your questions correctly, but had to Vote “No” with the idea of marketing Maker Vaults, Oracles, and the community. Its all about DAI.

“Dai, Dai, Dai,
Wild, wild, wild thoughts
DAI, DAI, DAI
When I’m with DAI, all I get is wild thoughts” --Rihanna

5 Likes

You want Oracles to hire a marketing team as well? Interesting–if I understood you correctly. IMO the Oracles team should hire like some sales people (or an Oracles BD team) that can close deals. And for marketing purposes, lean on a Marcom CU. But yea that’s interesting… never thought about that. This will incur a lot of finance management by the DAO–imagine 10 Marcom CU. Feels like the Burn Rate just keeps growing and growing, eh?

I could be mistaken, but I think Oracles has explicitly asked to control their own brand and marketing for OaaS

4 Likes

They have their own marketing, and I think this is the right way because the “Product Marketing” approach can have Marketing and Biz Dev activities inside of it, making every Dai spent way more efficient since they know the product better than anyone.

1 Like

This is a really helpful way to organize our thinking around the goals and impacts of “Marketing”. I’d also add that what you outline is clearly more B2B than B2C marketing. I think it’s easy for people to get excited about the big splashy things FTX is doing with their branding on major consumer venues and want to emulate that here, but their product is suited for B2C activities where on-boarding consumers from the street to Maker is not easy and we rely on other services and businesses to do so.

5 Likes

Right. Personally, as a sports fan I truly appreciate seeing the FTX marketing plan firing on all cylinders. It helps the entire crypto ecosystem, and it generates some neat media headlines. I guess all publicity is good publicity. Will be nice if the next Miami Heat game I attend allows me to buy a drink with DAI. That would be monumental.

Yes, that would be monumental to buy a drink with Dai at a game! FTX can invest the large sums of money to do that because they have a higher chance to convert a new (non-crypto user) who see’s their branding, goes to their website and can begin to onboard from fiat with an app experience that is familiar. For us, we need more steps and maturation to get to that non-crypto conversion and it costs a ton to do this type of marketing without having any results beyond media headlines. I think Mariano is making a great point to focus our attention on how to engage with the various end users of our ecosystem in the most relevant way.

6 Likes

I agree that marketing efforts should be multi-faceted but would make a few adjustments to the framework. I’d describe our products services as including:

  • Dai
  • Maker Vaults (Crypto)
  • Maker Vaults (Real-World Assets)
  • Maker Vaults (Institutional)
  • Maker Protocol
    • MKR - Some educational content explaining its role in governance would be appropriate but if it’s going to be the focus of promotional activities, I recommend it be done with legal oversight.
  • Oracles

In addition to product-focused marketing efforts, it’s also worth keeping an eye on MakerDAO as a brand and community and I agree with @MarianoDP’s line of thinking in terms of focusing on MakerDAO’s brand for now but making efforts toward product-specific efforts:

As far as how CUs involved with marketing should be encouraged to specialize in their efforts, It’s worth being intentional in deciding what types of marketing activities it makes sense for the DAO to engage in but I think it would be more efficient for us to encourage cooperation where it makes sense than to have different marketing teams for each use case.

Different strategies, for sure, but one team that’s done a good job with email marketing, for example, might be better suited to develop a new email marketing program for an up-and-coming use case than a new team we would bring on to handle that vertical.

In-house teams will be more proactive and have a greater interest in advising on strategy and are generally more capable of organizing ongoing marketing activities, whereas agencies tend to specialize in specific forms of marketing and can be leveraged to take advantage of opportunities that they’re strategically positioned to provide.

4 Likes

Got it. And just to make sure I understand this correctly—the possibility that I’ll ride the L train in the next 2 to 4 years and see a DAI advertisement on the NYC subway lines are pretty slim? But I’ll attend a crypto conference in Budapest and I’ll see DAI plaster all over the venue—correct? And— Do you have any examples of successful startups that have implemented this approach and succeed? Trying to think of one — but maybe there’s a few of them that were bought-out and they’re not household names.

BTW I just saw the Vero ( I believe it’s a digital bank) TV commercial with NBA superstar Russell Westbrook (investor in Vero) with a bunch cool kids who care about how their money works for them — and it’s :fire: :fire: unique TBH

2 Likes

To be more specific, no I don’t think spending marketing dollars in crypto only venues is effective as we want to expand the universe of users we have. If money was unlimited and it seemed interesting to spend many millions of dollars branding on sports stadiums, subway stations, airports, disney land. sure knock yourself out. However, given we do have a responsibility to manage the DAO’s limited treasury, in a manner that provides the best return for the community, and scales the protocol, I personally don’t think broad based expensive branding campaigns for the sake of branding is the right strategy, at least right now. The cost per user acquisition would be absurdly expensive and not worth the spend IMO. For those types of branding initiatives it’s not a one and done campaign, it’s a long term commitment, often an “always on” effort which is very expensive. And again, even if the money is available, what are we branding? If an average user sees an add saying Dai is the world’s unbiased currency and they want to find out more, they would need to go to an exchange to buy it, not just sign up for an account on our website which is a normal conversion path. Look at USDC, they haven’t done much branding (to my knowledge) but their name is now widely known because of their Visa integration. Going back to Marianos point, we need to identify where our users are and what “job they need to do” and that’s how we target them. That could include more more mainstream venues like CNBC, fintech podcasts and working with our distribution partners to co-market.
I don’t claim to have the answers on where and what specifically to target but I think identifying the target users within our different product sets is the way to start to have the best impact and return. We don’t have the luxury of a Varo bank as you mentioned, whose product is straightforward and the conversion is signing up for an account directly on their website.

9 Likes

If anyone’s interested, I think it would be helpful to have a call where we draw this up in Figma and try to see how far we can get mapping it out.

Perhaps later this week or sometime next? How about 16:00 UTC on Friday (6/18) or Monday (6/21)?

4 Likes

quickly googling “Figma.” Sure whenever you feel like it - never tried that before.

Not sure I agree. I mean we could just go to the specific forum and discord channel and just inform users that token XYZ can now be used as Vault collateral. I bet many don’t even know what Maker is.

1 Like

As a non-economist, I need some help with this concept.
There is a cost to generating Dai. Thus Vault owners won’t do it out of altruism and will therefore always need a way of earning revenues in excess of the SF.
If such a way of generating revenues exists, then there is incentive for other users to buy Dai on the open market to gain the same returns (ignoring the gas fees, tech overhead, etc entailed in opening a Vault).
TL;DR I don’t see how it’s possible to incentivise the generation of additional Dai to lower the peg without incentives also existing for that Dai to be bought, pushing up the price. I don’t think the fix for that is marketing.

I may have missed something very fundamental here, in which case, apologies and I get to look stupid.

1 Like