mDAO proposal: install a marketing and promotions budget of up to 6M MNDE for the next 12 months (July '22-June '23)

Greetings Governooors, I am btuck, the Head of Communications at Marinade and would like to propose a formal marketing and promotions budget for the next 12 months.

What do I propose

Right now, the Master Chefs are assessing promotional and marketing opportunities ad hoc and have debated over what size marketing opportunities we need to bring to the DAO. We also want the Chefs to understand how much money will be coming from the DAO treasury in order to support our efforts.

I propose a maximum 12-month budget of 6M MNDE tokens for these partnerships, marketing and promotional opportunities. This translates at June 25 prices to a total amount of $432,000. This is a MAXIMUM amount with the expectation that we fall below this number for the year. The max amount represents 0.6% of MNDE’s total token mint (1 billion MNDE). Approximately 1 million MNDE of this proposal (~15%) is currently earmarked to possibly purchase assets of bluechip projects that will go to the treasury.

The 12 months timeframe of this tokens allotment will begin from the execution of this proposal, approx. July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023.

When applicable, this budget will be paid in the form of newly minted, Marinade Chef NFTs of various levels. Unlocked MNDE or conversion to USDC or fiat will be reserved as last-case scenarios.

Rationale behind marketing budget proposal?

In order to operate quickly but be mindful of our Chef holders and retain maximum value of MNDE, rather than create proposals for all partnerships, we would instead like to be provided a budget to operate from, and the Chefs will trust the core team to act in the best interest of the DAO with these funds.

Even though Marinade is first and foremost a DeFi project, we now have an NFT story and need help spreading it to the NFT space and be visible to new users being onboarded to Solana.

We have tested this strategy and are very encouraged with the early results. We want to commit and amplify this campaign for one year and see how far it takes the DAO in terms of brand awareness.

Our community team has also grown in recent months, continues to build strong relationships with other projects and we are confident they can now help facilitate maximum value with this strategy.

What is the expected positive impact of this change?

There is still far too little knowledge and understanding about not only liquid staking but also the unique value proposition Marinade’s stake pool brings to all ecosystem players. Only about 3% of Solana stake is liquid at the moment. Marinade can help the network perform better for projects, deliver stake and yield to validators, and enable liquidity for mSOL holders and strengthen DeFi projects as a result. We need assistance spreading the message of this value proposition of mSOL well beyond our current audience to all of Solana. A marketing budget will give the core team the freedom to pursue and agree to strategic marketing and promotions partnership.

We intend to measure the impact of these relationships through a variety of metrics, most notably tracking social engagement and impressions, event and DAO voting participation, additional Chef NFTs minted, Marinade’s piece of the liquid staking pie on Solana, and the general growth and engagement of the Marinade DAO.

Given these relationships will all be public facing, the DAO will be able to see who Marinade is partnering with for marketing and be able to provide their feedback in the Chefs channel.

# Other considerations

Over time as the DAO becomes profitable, revenues can be steered into the marketing budget instead of allocating new minted MNDE Chef NFTs.

This budget includes a verbal agreement we have made with Degen Apes Academy for 1M MNDE, including a 250k purchase/NFT swap of their project, as well as two Ambassadors.

Approx. 1M+ MNDE ($86,000 or 15%) of this budget is currently earmarked for the purchasing assets from bluechip projects for the DAO treasury.

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I support this in full.

The people working with marketing need to have a sizeable budget and the freedom to apply it in the way they see fit, without going onchain voting on every single marketing idea as that would both hinder natural progress and execution power of those trusted in these positions within the mDAO!

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Agree to the proposal and what c2yptic said, you need the freedom to approach your creative ideas.
Since you mentioned the DAA deal, how much % of this budget constitute to a blue chip NFT deals? As in do you plan to hunt for more blue-chips other than the apes for the year?
I look forward to see what they will do with the 1M MNDE - Is there any clause for them to hold onto the Chef NFTs for a minimum duration before they wish to turn it to USDC? If they do it, wouldn’t the value of MNDE dilute even further?

Regarding the other partnership opportunities, what are the areas you feel will be a strategic long term importance for Marinade? And I am just curious on how do you plan on getting the user acquisition metrics to a higher level?

+1 to the proposal

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Without showing our hand too much I would say a significant chunk of this budget at this time for long-term partnership arrangements and if deals are not met the tokens won’t be released. The Degen Apes just installed a new council and we’re working with the new leadership on the game plan to get it going.

While NFTs have the 30-day lock, part of these arrangements involve DAO participation so they must hold at least some NFT at all times. But we aren’t approaching projects that don’t believe in Marinade in the first place and these project treasuries should be in a strong enough place they don’t have to dump.

It can still be a bit shocking at how little people know about liquid staking and mSOL’s value proposition, so mSOL-MNDE awareness in new audiences as they are onboarded through education and entertainment is huge.

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Thanks for the write-up, @btuck, and congratulations on your first proposal! A few questions on my end:

  1. It looks like engagement is all we are measuring on. Is that correct?
  2. If we are aiming for engagement, what sort of percentile improvement over our current metrics would we consider a success?
  3. We’d seen that we currently have a correlation between engagement with Marinade and SOL price. Do we have any targets for partnerships related to consistently breaking this correlation to our favor?
  4. Given these are long-term partnerships, I expect we’ll have several running in parallel. How will we differentiate if one is performing better than another?
  5. 250K MNDE is well above the current ~64 SOL / 28K MNDE floor price for a Degen Ape. Is 250K our max spend, and we are likely to spend less? Are we trading for some special ape? Are we getting multiple apes?

Finally, regarding the considerations… I’m trying to figure out how much of the 6M we already have earmarked.

I’m a bit confused on the phrasing. Just to be clear:

  • The total for Degen Apes is 1M, and that already includes the NFT purchase cost;
  • The two Ambassadors are separate and on top of that spend.

Is that correct?

Is that including the 250K swap for Degen Apes, or on top?

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Excellent questions from @PlayerOfBits. And just to be clear on the one million MNDE, are you suggesting that those earmarked funds are to be included in the proposed marketing & promotions budget? Or are you referencing that amount for the purposes of comparison to an already existing budget item?

I generally believe that the Master Chefs should always retain the ability to act quickly and do their jobs effectively, so I support this kind of funding. Raising awareness and penetration rates of liquid staking solutions and making Marinade a household name among degens is massively important.

As far as the exact dollar amount goes, $432k USD seems a lot more palatable over a 12 month period than something like $864k USD if the price of the MNDE token doubles, for example. Totally understand the preference to pay for partnerships in the form of NFTs/locked tokens to encourage participation, but have you considered applying a true $432k USD maximum for this budget rather than 6M MNDE tokens outright? Would doing so have a negative impact on your ability to strike deals and bring Marinade to the masses?

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The 1 million that has already been verbally committed would be included in this budget.

Good point re: USD amount vs. MNDE amount. $864k would be reckless. Let’s say six months from now MNDE has doubled, I would be inclined to adjust the level of chef based on the market. But every deal is different, and our partners are taking on risk as well. Every prospect has different audiences and channels. The guiding light here is finding value in a win-win way and protecting MNDE.

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There are conversion numbers we can track. Some partners or campaigns have a more direct link to conversions than others which are primarily awareness and sentiment.

I am excited to share with the team that June broke that correlation :wink:

Depends on the partner but we can track our overall site and social engagement during campaign peaks.

We’d get multiple apes.

Correct

Including

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I see. Given TVL is our north star, what’s our thesis here?

Have we seen a correlation between Twitter engagement and TVL before, so we believe if we get more exposure, retail SOL will flow in?

If so, is the strength of this correlation stronger than that of SOL price? (Since it would seem people stake when number is going up, and unstake to go to cash when down)

Woop! To our favor, I hope. :smiley:

One more thing… I understand not showing our hand re partnerships in advance and being scant on specifics, since it could tip off competitors.

However, given our push for transparency, I think part of the proposal should be a commitment to retrospective once we have gone through the budget, with details on how we spent them, what our expectations were, and the results we got - including how the NFTs we acquired have changed in value.

What do you think?

Yeah that makes sense but would have to come to some consensus amongst the tam on how detailed we will be with the retro to the general audience.

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It’s been a challenging market to say the least since we began tracking these metrics form the start of 2022 but there is some evidence in spurts this works. We did quite a big blitz of social and events across the ecosystem in April that helped lead to a big spike in MNDE interest and price. We also saw some more activity including chefs minted following a recent ambassador event. There is no one way to shake free the 97% of illiquid stake, it will take lots of different voices communicating to lots of different audiences.

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What’s the main focus of the marketing team? Is it partnerships or getting more people to adopt mSOL?

While purchasing blue chip assets cover the funds of the protocol and give a safety runway into the future, the main focus would be to get in many people from Solana. Is there any percentage weightage for the funds that will be used for buying assets vs spending to get more mSOL adoptions?

With north star metric being 30M in TVL, shouldn’t the blue chip purchases take a smaller pie in the overall budget? (I am not saying that majority of the funds will be used for partnerships with different DAOs).

Since the main goal of this proposal is to fix the marketing budgets, I fully support this proposal. I am just curious to understand the various points I made above.

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Bulk of this budget would be for partnerships that drive mSOL adoption and MNDE participation and awareness.

Estimate 10-20% - These are ecosystem commitments for the treasury and in a way a different kind of NFT spin on the Token Exchange program.

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Sounds good, as long as we have some guidelines in advance. End of the day, we are talking about the DAO’s funds, so I’d see it more about which elements we would withhold for strategic reasons, rather than which elements we would publish.

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Hi everyone! My name is Torab and I am Head of Partnerships and Biz Dev here at Marinade.

Brandon’s proposal is a great one and I fully support it. It’s imperative that we rely on the DAO and that we honor governance, however we also need the ability to be agile and make decisions quickly. The reason why I love this proposal is that we get the best of both worlds: transparency and agility.

I have a longer thesis but I will summarize it as such: Competing with MNDE emissions is a war of attrition. Marinade must elevate the brand to be the de facto liquid staking solution on Solana without resorting to yield farming mercenaries. Brands are established via culture and the culture of Solana is being carved in the NFT space. So it follows that Marinade should align itself with Blue-Chip NFT projects, among others. The majority of users on Solana have no idea what liquid staking is. If you are reading this, it’s probably hard to believe but because you are involved in the governance forum of a liquid staking solution…we are very early.

TVL is our Northstar…but the path there will not be linear. Success is not linear, it never is. Marinade’s success has not been linear and it never will be. We must treat this initiative like a tree. We plant it, water it, nurture it, and wait to see if it will bear fruit. We can have metrics to see how much the “tree” is growing every week, but it would be asinine to judge a seed you just planted on how much fruit it provides every week. That’s not how trees work and that’s not how brands work.

Good work Brandon!

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This is very important!

If the success of the recent Token Exchange Program is any indication of what we can expect out of this team, I think we will be just fine. In just a few weeks:

  • The amount of MNDE tokens locked in governance increased significantly to just under 73 million (that’s currently 57% of the circulating supply)

  • The number of unique wallets that have voted more than doubled from 91 to 201

  • The concentration of voting power controlled by the Top 10 wallets has decreased from ~ 80% to just over 26%

Keep it up! :clap:

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wen governance vote? :zap: :zap: :zap: :zap:

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I appreciate the enthusiasm! :smiley: We haven’t pushed this given that there were some more pressing issues and, personally, I thought we should view any outlays - whether MNDE or USDC - through the lens of the budget from DAO proposal - Delegation strategy update & fee structure changes. We were asking the DAO to allow for changes so that Marinade was sustainable, so it behooves us to assure the DAO we are good stewards for the treasury.

@btuck will be back this coming week, and we have been discussing some small proposal tweaks to pre-commit to the budget being spent in a way that remain aligned with Marinade’s goals. Let us huddle once he has had time to find his footing and we’ll post an update!

I am excited to see what types of marketing and promotion Marinade can do with a budget like this!

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