Q2 Go-To-Market Update

Hey Rally Community -

First, I wanted to mention that I am extremely appreciative of the opportunity to work with the Rally project community. It has been such a joy to help creators and their communities see the benefits of social tokens / creator coins and to drive real enduring value within their communities. It has been fantastic to meet with many of you and to also hear your feedback and advice on how to grow Rally’s awareness within the creator, fan and crypto communities.

As I mentioned when I joined the project, the time is NOW for the Rally community to invest heavily in go-to-market.

To close out the quarter, I would like to highlight all of the progress made since I joined the project in late February. As you recall, I was appointed by the community to build out Rally’s go-to-market strategies and focus on the successful execution of these strategies by managing and allocating funds from the Community Treasury pursuant to the requested budget approved through Snapshot, and also engaged to advise and work with key members of the community and the Rally development team to effectuate the strategies designed to push Rally to the next level. I will also outline the spend across the various work streams.

I will be presenting the below accomplishments and spend at the 7/23 community call.

Q2 in Review

At a high-level, this past quarter was spent building the foundation for go-to-market. I advised the Rally project to expand the core team across Creator Partnerships and Creator Success and also helped the team stand up a number of key content, community and educational work streams. I engaged a top-tier marketing agency (ACE Content / Anomaly) to work with the community on many of the foundational marketing work streams including brand foundation, re-launching the marketing site, defining the target creator profile and developing the overall comms strategy. You will have seen their work in a number of community meetings and will soon see their work on the updated website. Additionally, I engaged UTA Marketing as a strategic partner to represent Rally to the creator / talent ecosystem. More to come on this front with a public announcement in the August timeframe.

Overall, there are now 149 creators on the Rally project with recent strategic launches including gamer and streamer Mang0, TikTok superstars Michael Le, Joe Bartollozi and Isabella Avila, AEW wrestler Maxwell Jacob Friedman, and tech influencer Chris Messina, to name a few. Up from 55 creator launches in Q1.

The current statuses of the GTM workstreams are spelled out below:

  • Develop a brand message.

    • Brand foundation, narrative and updated visual identity was shared with the community in May. This serves as the foundation for all of the marketing, product and communications updates to come;
    • Initial creator guidelines for marketing and promotion to be shared shortly;
    • Website v1 was re-launched in March as a result of this brand foundation work;
    • Website full re-launch, inclusive of marketing sites and creator coin pages to be re-launched in August 2021;
  • Define the target creator profile.

    • On the creator partnerships front, various tiers of outreach have been defined, with a specific focus on established, trailblazer and icon creators:
      • Icons: Tier-one celebrities with a massive global audience. Launch on Rally would make global news. Capable of launching an economy with hundreds of thousands of supporters. Tens of millions of cross-platform followers.
      • Trailblazers: Incredibly famous and well-known within a particular niche. Launch on Rally would open the eyes of others within their niche to follow. Capable of launching an economy with tens of thousands of supporters. Single-digit millions of cross-platform followers.
      • Established: Growing digital creators with large engaged audiences across social media. Engaged fanbase would support their launch on Rally. Capable of launching an economy with thousands of supporters. 50k to 1m cross-platform followers.
      • Emerging: Lesser known creators who shepherd genre-specific fanbases. 1k to 50k cross-platform followers.
    • On the marketing front, alongside ACE / Anomaly, Rally has gone through an extensive process of identifying the psychographic and demographic characteristics for the target audiences and is currently building a communications strategy based on these target audiences. This will inform any brand marketing / advertising campaigns that are run in the coming months.
  • Build a proactive creator outreach strategy.

    • A key requirement for the success of the Rally platform is effectively attracting target creator categories. Based on this, Rally hired a VP of Creator Partnerships, Nick Millman, who now oversees a team of eight (8) industry veterans with extensive expertise and deep relationships with talent and creators within specific categories including gaming, fine art, music, and entertainment.
    • So far, the team has performed outreach to more than 500 creators ranging from emerging artists and digital talent to some of the most famous people in the world. There are currently over 120 active creator conversations that will hopefully lead to successful creator coin launches.
  • Develop an inbound funnel.

    • Overall traffic to Rally has increased 57% from May to June. The quality inbound funnel has grown from ~50 creators per month to ~150 creator applications per month (with 33% of creator applications currently qualified within the funnel compared to ~3% monthly average previously).
  • Produce content that educates and inspires core audiences.

    • Transparency with the community and creators is core to Rally’s ethos. To achieve this, the Rally Blog and Newsletter have been adapted to feature weekly project updates including new creator coin launches, creator innovation, industry news, thought leadership and more. In addition, Rally hosts a biweekly Rally Community Call and Rally Creator Call where community members and creators can interact with key project team members, as well as each other.
    • Additionally, there is a plan to develop educational content and creator case studies to drive further education of creators and fans around the benefits of creator coins and how to leverage the creator coins.
  • Build a self-service funnel. While this is a goal I identified in my original proposal as a means by which to grow Rally further, this work stream had to be put on hold given current technical constraints. That said, based on this eventual achievement of this goal, the team did implement a new CRM system, Hubspot, which is the foundation of the self-service funnel and is helping the Creator Partnerships team to process the volume of inbound leads as well as manage the outbound pipeline of opportunities.

  • Initiate product and network marketing. Based on review and recognition of the need for product and network marketing, I worked with the Rally team to launch several key initiatives outlined here:

    • The Creator Success and Community team established a new Creator-only monthly meeting to review upcoming product releases and identify new opportunities for product development.
    • Additionally, the Creator Success and Community team started sharing the recent product releases consistently via Discord.
    • Finally, the Creator Success and Community teams have been working with the developer ecosystem with the goal of highlighting new and exciting products / use-cases built by third-parties
    • The Creator Success and Community team are working with the Product team to organize a developer demo day which will take place in August.
    • The Creator Success and Community teams issued Innovative Use Rewards to Creators, and have been blogging about the recipients and their use-cases.
    • The Creator Success and Community team have been working with a small group of Creators during our NFT beta, with the goal of having strong and well-documented use cases in time for launch
  • Develop a steady stream of owned events. While this remains a goal from a strategic perspective for the Rally project, for now, it has been deprioritized for Q2 as the brand foundation continues to be built out, and a communications strategy is established for the project.

  • Participate in key industry events. Rally was represented at Consensus, a16z NFT Summit, Winter Music Conference and Battery’s FinTech: The Endgame Virtual Event, all of which are a key part of the GTM strategy in raising awareness from key industry players of the Rally project.

  • Invest in talent partnerships and ambassadorships. It’s clear that the Rally community should invest in building relationships with talent partners and ambassadors. Strategies to effectuate this have been pursued as follows:

    • In the process of announcing Rally’s initial partnership with a leading talent management agency (UTA) in the August timeframe. This relationship has already driven significant top-of-funnel opportunities with strategic talent.
    • In discussions with a number of other leading talent management agencies to sign similar partnership structures.
    • An upcoming announcement of a studio focused on launching, growing and managing creator economies is forthcoming.
    • Finally, the Rally project has engaged a number of influential individuals as ambassadors to bring creators on to the network.
  • Scale up community engagement and education. To achieve these goals, several initiatives have been launched to assist the Rally community with further growth:

    • The Creator Success and Community team have engaged a writer to produce a series of interviews with our Creator community, featuring exemplary use cases and ideas for building a thriving economy.
    • The Creator Success and Community team have rebuilt the creator onboarding education meeting that is available to all creators, with an emphasis on use cases and preparing for launch.
    • The Creator Success and Community team are engaging a contract writer to publish educational content that will be embedded within the creator onboarding and lifecycle marketing flow.
  • Invest in creator success. A key strategy I identified in my GTM strategy is the need to lean into ensuring the success of creators on Rally. To that end, a team was established to support this goal:

    • Rally hired a VP of Creator Success, Stephanie Pereira, who is coming in to empower Rally creators and the broader Rally ecosystem with insights, tools, and resources necessary to launch, sustain and grow vibrant economies.
    • The Creator Success team will work across the Rally Network to build and support a rich, intersectional community where all participants feel a sense of ownership and belonging.
    • Additionally, Stephanie and the broader Rally team have been prioritizing the developer community with opportunities for highlighting and rewarding great use-cases.
  • Expand the investment in PR & Media.

    • Rally has continued to drive a dominant leadership position in the media. In the second quarter of 2021 (April 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021), Rally.io received 664 media mentions as reported by Meltwater. This is up from the 166 unique media placements in Q1. The estimated Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) cost of the 166 media placements is approximately valued at $13M.
      • The total readership of placements across all publications combined (total potential reach) was 1.40B.
      • Key wins include multiple Forbes articles, Coindesk, The Today Show, Fast Company, AdWeek, Real Vision Podcast, The Information, Your EDM and many others.
    • On Social Media, Twitter growth continued with 3,098 new Twitter followers over Q2, representing a 224.5% increase in follower count.
  • Launch internationally. Plans in progress. More to be announced shortly.

Q2 Spend

The below outlines the various different buckets of spend, the proposed budget and the actual spends to date:

10 Likes

Thanks @BremnerMorris for the update, the level of details you provide are really helpful, and it is exciting to see the advancements you’ve made (I myself am really looking forward to the new website to re-launch).

I think the 4 tiers you mentioned are a great way to think about the go2mareket strategy (you should coin this segmentation in the creator economy imo. It’s super helpful to analyze the different creators according to these buckets).

Would be great if you can shed some light on the efforts of onboarding creators and where do you see friction. For me, it seems like Rally is currently in a sweet spot for ‘established’ creators (using your category) but still hasn’t cracked the Trailblazers and Icons. It seems like in the latter categories there is heavier competition from platforms like Bitclout or even to build it yourself if you are a big enough creator already.

What can the community do the improve the efforts of onboarding Trailblazers and Icons? Any help you can use? What do you think needs to happen for them to decide to go with Rally?

Thanks again,
Idan

@BremnerMorris Great update, fantastic job. A few questions:

  1. Brand Marketing foundation spending is behind budget. I understand as this is “slower” money to spend. Do you expect to catch up Q3/Q4? If yes, what is the main cost driver here? Or move budget to e.g. Marketing Campaings.
  2. Marketing campaigns. Here USD 1.96M out of 3.5M is spend. Is this money spend during the full Q1+Q2? Or money spend after your Marketing proposal, so just in 3/4 months? If the last one is the case then the pace of marketing campaign spend will go down significantly for the remainer of the year, correct? Spend +50% in 3-4 months. Or does this include upfront costs for example all booked in Q2.
  3. When do you approx expect the first Icon creator, and when the first 3 Icon creators to launch? As I think it is crucial for the succes of Rally and gain momentum by start launching Icons.
1 Like

Hey Idan -

Thanks for the kind note and the positive feedback! We’re just getting started but glad to see the progress so far.

Re: Friction in onboarding - main points of challenge are creators identifying scalable use-cases for their coin and also a perceived reputational risk of being the first icon or trailblazer to launch their coin. The Rally team is currently working with the dev community and within the product org to identify repeatable use-cases that resonate with the icon and trailblazer creators. On the reputational risk, we’ve been working with the team at ACE to develop co-marketing packages to help land the message of the launch of creator coins to help smooth the communications to fans. It’s also important to note that these conversations with icon and trailblazer creators are essentially “enterprise sales” which typically take at least 6 months to close so we have only been “in market” with these folks for ~3 months and we’re in the process of significant education in q2. Finally, while the NFT craze was a great eye-opener for creators on the value of crypto within the creative economy, it also distracted creators towards NFT auction opportunities;

Re: Competitive dynamics - we haven’t been seeing much friction from either bitclout or building it themselves… it seems that if a creator is going to launch a social token, they see Rally as the market leader and have significant trust in the tech and the team. It’s more a question of whether they want to launch a social token and on what timeline;

Re: Help from the community: continue pushing forward the value prop of social tokens, the more noise and positive momentum, the better. Also, continued progress within the developer community and encouraging / sponsoring scalable use-cases for the coins;

Hope this helps!

Best,

Brem

2 Likes

Hi @martinmartin -

Thanks for the encouragement!

  1. Yes - lighter than budgeted but that was anticipated as it took about a month to find a brand marketing agency to help guide this work and then it took another month to onboard the agency and get them to complete the brand foundation work. Without the brand foundation, all other activities would have been disjointed and lacking for direction so this was a critical gating factor to investments here. As an aside, ACE completed the brand foundation work in record time! We will definitely make up ground in the spend here with the website re-launch, ongoing pitch materials for creator partnerships conversations, a brand anthem film, etc. If there is left over budget, it will likely get moved over to marketing campaign spend;

  2. We had to prepay for this work since there is a lot of production cost that needs completing before launch. We have to hire in vendors to complete this work so it is prepayment ahead of time to have the resources needed to produce these campaigns;

  3. Hard to say with concrete confidence because these are such complicated relationships and negotiations but the intent is to have 1 icon launch before the end of Q3 with 3 additional icon commitments by the end of the quarter. Additionally, the creator partnerships team is working with a number of trailblazer creators to launch and had a target of 10 trailblazer launches by end of quarter. Finally, the team is also focused on established creator launches and have a goal of 30 established creator launches.

Thanks for the questions!

1 Like

First time I hear ‘enterprise sales’ in crypto :joy: nicely explained!

Thanks for the detailed answer!

@BremnerMorris, thanks for your answer!

I can understand that Icon deals are extremely complex, legal/tax/commercial etc. As they are that important for Rally I personally hoped they launched a bit faster…
To gain momentum faster, would the following be an option? Split the communication moment of onboarding an Icon in 2? So once you have commitment from the Icon, create major press event asap. After that the actual launch can be 1/2 months later.

Advantages:

  1. Gain momentum faster. I think that is important for Rally, to stay/become the absolute leader in community tokens.
  2. 2 press moments instead of 1. Initial announcement he/she will come onboard. Launch itself will also generate press. In this way you can already create buzz and hype around the upcoming launch… Media interviews and teasers between media moment 1 and 2.

Also here I can imagine an anouncement message with Icon creator can be complex as soon as possible after commitment. Can they be convinced as I think it is also in their best interest to create as much buzz/hype/stories/desire about them launching a coin as possible.

@martinmartin - definitely something to look in to when negotiating with the creators. Agreed that the momentum of these launches and even the marketing announcement are great validation markers for the project.