Marketing @ Pocket

Hello @Dermot , PNF team , DAO members-

The Reddit post was the tipping point for me to create this need.

This post is neither an endorsement nor disapproval of the Reddit proposal and budget.

It is related but broadly redraws attention to the dismal situation of marketing and narrative building in Pocket, and tries to suggest a path forward.

Apologies in advance for the candor below.

@b3n, your question is right but the concerns driving the question may have different explanations in marketing.

I don’t want to belabour this point and make it the centre of the conversation. But here are a few thoughts to ponder over, why I stated what I stated above-

  1. Few may find ads during Super Bowl & ads in Times Square exorbitant, get stuck in analysing the true value they bring versus their rates, and therefore not buy those ads. But that doesn’t mean those ads are not valuable, and their rates won’t keep going up because of excessive demand. In fact Super Bowl ads are still considered undervalued despite being the priciest.

  2. Marketing and Sales (such as) have distinct roles. And the way to measure success in marketing is not the same as in sales.

  3. There may not be a uniform system to measure value to the network by different kinds of contributors. It may also differ by function as #2 states.

Readers could straightaway start here because this is the core-

  1. In Pocket, marketing is either completely absent, disjointed, or mismanaged.

It has been like this since the time of PNI. I had raised concerns then and that was 3-4 quarters ago. Unfortunately nothing has changed.

This should be a grave cause for concern unless people believe that marketing is redundant.

  1. Pocket needs a marketing management team, an overarching marketing plan that is cohesive and a healthy marketing budget first. Waiting to react to bottom up dispersed contributions coming up serendipitously (however good they maybe) is not the way to prioritise and drive anything that has been widely accepted as one of the worst weaknesses since inception, if not the worst.

  2. Being a node runner, developer, data scientist, mathematician, physicist doesn’t automatically qualify anyone for making good decisions in marketing.

Entry barriers are seemingly low since everything appears “just English” and “commonsense” unlike let’s say in Computer Science.

But it’s a different craft and skill set; definitely requires a supporting mindset that might at times conflict with a pure developer mindset.

The community in Pocket needs to appreciate and respect the distinction.

This is not to censor discourse, curiosity and questions.

Plus every DAO member irrespective of their background and expertise has the right to exercise their votes on any issue.

It’s a silent and respectful way to “stay within our scope of expertise” beyond a point and let those who might be able to do a better job handle it, specially at the soutioning stage.

I feel that’s a better and more organised way to exploit the wisdom of the crowd.

Call to Action:

  1. I changed my recommendation a bit. Instead of 1 full-timer, create a marketing committee of 3-5 (not more) selected individuals. A committee should be able to garner consensus better than an individual, especially when it comes to getting DAO approvals for budgets. Also hopefully will lead to better decision-making.

At least to start with in 2023.

  1. Daniel (PNI) should ideally be one of them, for at least the 1st 3-6 months of its formation. The committee requires an outside perspective and someone who is a career-marketer.

There were announcements that Daniel will work with PNF and help out from an overall protocol perspective- #b is inline with those expectations set.

  1. Someone from PNF should ideally be one of the 3-5 members.

  2. So 3 community members + Daniel (PNI) + 1 PNF. Committee members (from the community) could be paid or volunteers, ideally paid to have accountability.

  3. The committee creates a quarterly plan and budget, and gets DAO’s approval. The DAO to empower the committee as the designated expert of this function, and goes with the committee suggestions on debatable line items in the plan.

  4. All new & existing resources, contributors, platforms, tools, agencies, budgets, partnerships to be supervised by this committee.

  5. Quarterly (not weekly or monthly) reporting back to the DAO. Marketing takes time, especially when it needs to be built from almost ground zero.

  6. Maintain this committee, quarterly cycle for planning, budgeting, execution and reporting in 2023.

  7. Decide changes about 2024 in Q4, 23- primarily team structure and budget

This is not to wait for the killer strategy but to-

  • Act immediately; demand urgency & priority to marketing
  • Make progress (do-something) in marketing over status quo, which is dismal
  • Learning by Doing- PDCA (Plan, Do, Act & Check in 2023)
  • Maybe pave the way to creating mini-PNFs within the DAO for specialised functions (starting with marketing)

PNF has to take a leadership role to set the stage. I don’t see this happening organically through ad hoc community initiatives.

Set the stage, create a structure and give a direction first before bottom up initiatives can be fostered and can flourish.

I can help out on a voluntary basis whenever possible.

Thank you.


Thanks for sharing these thoughts Caesar, PNF agrees that marketing is a very important topic (it’s going to be a priority for us in Q2 onwards). The crucial question is, once we agree that it’s important, how best to execute. I’ll share here more how we’re thinking about it now.

We’ve changed our stance slightly since I last communicated (informally) in Telegram about the strategy of aligning around Daniel’s (PNI’s HoM’s) vision for marketing. Daniel will be more focused on PNI marketing and PNF will be stepping up to help the DAO achieve more autonomy over marketing to promote the ecosystem as a whole.

We’ve already started moving in this direction

  • We’re shopping for PR firms
  • We’re transferring all relevant IP/trademarks over to PNF from PNI
  • We’re taking ownership of and the official Twitter account, which we’ll be custodying on behalf of the DAO, and empowering DAO contributors to execute on (e.g. giving the official Twitter account some of that PoktNews magic)
  • Our existing work with the community on DNA will be a key input into marketing priorities, personas, messaging, etc. Our current perspective is that gateway operators like PNI can focus on marketing to developers, while PNF/DAO will look to shine a spotlight on the ecosystem, the DAO, the builders, and protocol development - though this may evolve as DNA progresses.

Next steps

PNF is making marketing a top priority for Q2. We ultimately want to ensure that the DAO has sovereignty over its own brand and marketing activities, laying the groundwork so that the DAO is not reliant on any one entity to promote Pocket.

As we move into Q2, we’ll be taking the lead on building out DAO-powered marketing operations.

While PNF will be responsible for the ecosystem’s marketing operations, we want to empower the best capability the network has to drive specific marketing initiatives. This is an excellent opportunity for community members with more marketing expertise than us to be empowered to help ensure the DAO has the best marketing that it can. For these reasons, we’ll be publishing some POPs related to marketing, alongside other priorities that PNF has for Q2 onwards, that anyone in the community will be able to apply to.

These POPs will lay the groundwork for the more formal marketing team that you described in your post. With PNF taking responsibility for marketing as part of our duty to steward and grow the ecosystem, an additional governance layer is not needed. What is needed is the mechanisms for teams and individuals to coordinate and work together effectively. PNF will facilitate this. Note that this PNF-led operation would not be mutually exclusive with the DAO funding other independent contributors like The Doc, our operation would simply be paving the path for the DAO to align around.

Edit to add: for anyone unsure what I mean by POP, check out this post.


Thank you @Caesar for starting this thread, and @JackALaing for adding PNF go-forward plans.

I’ve given a fair amount of thought to percentage-based management of the DAO treasury. I would love to know @caesar’s and PNF’s take on a suitable percentage of the DAO treasury inflow that should be earmarked for marketing. 10%? 20%. At current emissions levels and price points, each percentage point of monthly inflow is about $1k/mo. Thus 10% of monthly “revenue” earmarked to marketing would mean ~ $10k per month.

For reference, and by comparison, the DAO recently voted to spend up to 50% of its “revenue” on sales (new client acquisition) via the referral program (PEP-46). 50% is an upper limit. Actual percentage is likely to be an order of magnitude smaller at least in first couple quarters. Since it is a commission-only program at the moment, the metrics on the referral program’s effectiveness are completely quantifiable. (In the future, I can foresee the referral program expanding to possibly include reimbursements to community-provided gateways/portal/front-ends etc in additional to customary “referrals” at which point it may need to expand beyon being a strict commissions-based compensation scheme).

Back to marketing… I agree that quantifying impact and value from marketing efforts are not as straightforward as quantifying te impact of sales efforts. That being said, it is still possible and is routinely done - I guarantee it is done for the super bowl ads you mention! Part of the expertise marketing gurus bring to the table is to know how to craft and track KPIs for the marketing campaign. Hence the need for marketing expertise that PNF can lean on, apart from Daniel, who answers first and foremost to PNI.

It would be great if Daniel could chime in also on this thread. Would love to hear his take.


I appreciate the thought that has gone into this, @Caesar , and your response @JackALaing.

I agree strongly with the need here, and the urgency outlined by Caesar. Knowing that we have the Messari reporting coming up, it’s critical for us to have a larger marketing push aligned with that effort.

I also realize that PNF is a small organization, not currently capable of hiring the caliber of HoM that would be required to manage this in-house, and that our efforts in marketing will be in vain if they are not effective.

I strongly recommend researching high performance marketing agencies in the web3 space with a full service catalog capable of shaping PNF marketing strategy over the next year, and executing on it. Agencies like SingleGrain, CoinBound, and BlockWiz who have strong client portfolios in the space come to mind. Community contributors like Caesar could (either as a socket, or perhaps something more) help monitor and shape narrative strategy as part of this effort.


This is one subject where I have volunteered a lot of my personal time in Pocket- Marketing & Narrative Building.

  • Calling out poor or no marketing since AK’s (PNI’s ex CMO) time. Got pushbacks then from PNI leadership defending status quo, rest is history.
  • Ideating and debating on TeleGram
  • Sharing thoughts, emails & material with other community leaders such as @Jinx , @Ming (then PNI)
  • Inserting pro narrative-building arguments religiously in various Forum posts while exchanging notes with community members, highlighting how Pocket lacks it and why the community should appreciate it’s importance.
  • Planting the idea for the first time publicly that Marketing should be under PNF’s purview on the PNF’s Roles & Responsibilities thread.
  • Cautioning when Daniel joined (that he is PNI & doesn’t represent all of Pocket) when people started celebrating as if the marketing hole in Pocket was about to get filled.

I hope it is clear now that it isn’t.

  • Started a blog post series on Narrative Building , mentioning Pocket & giving a baseline. There will be more, and more Pocket.
  • Recently sharing my thoughts directly with PNF on a call. This was my first slide-

  • Initiating the current thread

I hope by now it should be somewhat clear that I have passion for this subject, maybe know a thing or two about this subject, may have some background in it, and have cared for Pocket to embrace narrative building (marketing) in spirit and in action, and benefit from it.

Btw $POKT’s price action (or no action) in this market since the momentum picked up a few months ago- “a lot” has to do with the dismal conditions and attitude towards marketing (narrative building) in Pocket.

PNF’s acceptance is step one and making marketing a priority starting Q2 is step two. This is progress and kudos for the quick change of heart!

I have some more advice for PNF-

Turn this greenfield into an opportunity. Do this right from the get go. Otherwise PNF/DAO has to keep bearing “cost of poor quality” and putting bandaid solutions in the future.

What does that mean?

  • When I said PNF should take a leadership role, I meant PNF should play the role of “a sponsor and/or a board”.

  • I didn’t mean that the current PNF team should “lead marketing”

  • And that’s why I suggested a committee with members with marketing experience, including Daniel. I included him purely for the “proof of role/title” at PNI. Otherwise I have no visibility.

  • Seems like Daniel is not an option anymore

  • And you don’t want to create another governance layer; that’s fine!

  • But don’t try to start disjointed initiatives by yourself.

  • This is not a question on capabilities of the current PNF team members. I fiercely defended PNF members when it was needed. I hope that is remembered and appreciated.

  • This is about the role I believe PNF should play when it comes to managing specialised functions, and marketing is one of them.

  • Do what the boards do, or even CEOs do. They facilitate and recruit the right talent. They foster the right culture and environment.

  • Pocket FIRST needs A) “COHESIVE” marketing strategy/plan & B) A marketing budget

  • For A): recruit talent to build that strategy/plan for you. What does that mean? Could be hiring a marketing agency, could be hiring a marketing consultant, could be recruiting someone into PNF

  • Centralise it in the beginning to decentralise it eventually. Don’t try decentralising this from day 0.

  • Regarding B) Marketing Budget- This goes back to my appeal to having a DAO Budget, annual/period-bound. And marketing becomes one of the major line items on it.

DAO budgeting is a himalayan exercise in itself, may not be feasible this year.

So PNF/DAO has to pick a number for marketing in 2023. I can’t just come up with that number randomly without doing a market survey of several types of expenses. That’s a lot of work.

All I can suggest PNF/DAO is- keep it generous. Display the same passion as this community displays for Lean Pokt, Geo Mesh, PNI bonuses, etc. Pocket desperately needs high quality marketing, and we get what we pay for (generally).

FYI @msa6867

For transparency sake- this isn’t a personal pitch. I had made this clear during and after the call with PNF.

As usual, I am trying to help out as a volunteer.

Rest is upto PNF and the DAO.


I support this and have written a high level overview/actionable suggestions to help with part of this.

PNF should work in concert with PNI to deliver this, as Caeser says.

Marketing of Pocket as oppose to the DAO should be the focus. Sales & Marketing of Pocket Network needs to be a key goal and hasn’t been given enough importance as is needed.


Thanks @Caesar

Thoughtful post, as ever!

Picking up on our last conversation, I think it’s clear that we’re very aligned on 1) how poor Pocket’s marketing has been to date and 2) how urgent and important it is to improve the narratives (marketing messages, Project DNA, brand, design, PR, etc), in addition to the fundamentals (v1, protocol revenue, the economics of Pocket’s economy etc)

What comes next is a matter of sequencing.

Firstly, as per the slide below, we need to align on our foundational messages, ie what our DNA is; our purpose (our why), our mission (our what), our vision (the future we want to create), as well as our values (our how).

Doing this foundational work, which we aim to complete within the next two weeks will help us to ensure our marketing is speaking from an authentic place. so that it will resonate with the various profiles we wish to target with our relevant marketing messages. Doing this work now will save time and money in the long run.

Couldn’t agree more. This will ultimately need to become part of our culture. And is something we will be looking to nurtured and embed as part of the implementation phase of Project DNA.

This is a great point, and it is something we already plan to include in the quarterly transparency report due at the end of April, which will include an updated roadmap, along with our BHAGs for the rest of the year. Spilling some alpha here, but “Pocket having the most trusted infrastructure brand in crypto” is one of them, along with ensuring “v1 is the most successful protocol launch in crypto history”. We have three other Big Hairy Audacious Goals that I’m sure you will be pleased to see, along with the projects we are working on to unlock such.

One of our key operating principles is “partnering, not parenting”. However, we need to take full ownership of this workstream initially, as you rightly point out, before opening it up more widely. While PNF will likely remain as a key steward for ecosystem marketing in the short to medium term, we are very mindful of harnessing the talent in the community, which is why we hope people like yourself will be feeding into our work and taking on large chunks of it in due course.

Again, we are aligned :slight_smile:

We will have more to share soon, but please feel free to keep sharing ideas and thoughts! And to consider starting a Socket to focus on any particular initiative in the meantime.

I disagree on this point. You cannot outsource strategy. Strategy is at the heart of every successful organisation, as it relates to the trade-offs you must make when prioritising your limited time and capital. In leading this, we will look to facilitate as much productive input as possible from relevant members of the community and to empower community members to take this strategy forward and implement it themselves as much as possible.

As @JackALaing said:


Thanks @Dermot. Something I personally appreciate about you is your “consistency” in being responsive, detailed and engaging. Agreement/disagreement, confluence/no confluence are secondary.

Few of us are not as much invested in the Pocket ecosystem as others are (in different ways) and therefore have limited stakes. The reasons to be involved in the Pocket community could be varied, and not as obvious and common.

One of the simple ways to value such voices (if net-constructive) is to just respond and have closures in conversations, which you do very well. A quality that could be embraced by PNF in general.

We are aligned in majority of the points above, the rest could be just getting lost in translation. But we can live with the minor differences; that might even help.

I look forward to what’s coming next.



Just sharing the link to our most recent post on marketing - Building the best infrastructure brand in crypto: PNF’s marketing plan for Pocket Network

More to come, and I look forward to having you involved @Caesar as well as many other talented marketers, and people with interesting and unique perspectives in the community :slight_smile: