Ready, Set, Clubhouse (Launch)!
Noodle.ai celebrated its 5th anniversary on Pi Day 2021. We chose this occasion to introduce a new category of AI software for manufacturers called Flow Operations, or FlowOps. We’re the leading provider of software in this category.
Big news calls for a big stage.
Creating a lightning strike for a category launch meant thinking out of the box:
“A great lightning strike is a category-defining event. It evangelizes a new problem or an old problem that can be solved in a new way. It tells the world that this company knows how to define the problem and knows how to solve it.” 1
- A new category of media: social audio
- A platform growing exponentially and surrounded by buzz
- A platform that would enable us to “easily” have a great conversation with a diverse set of relevant audiences.
Let me skip to the punchline: We successfully launched FlowOps on Clubhouse and attracted over 18,000 asynchronous listeners during our 94 minute Room, Noodling Around: Pi w/ Garry Kasparov & Noodle.ai. We exceeded expectations and had a great time doing it. The event consisted of a conversation between Garry Kasparov, chess grandmaster, our CEO, Steve Pratt, and speakers from the Noodle team, orchestrated and enhanced by experienced Clubhouse moderators.
How to navigate a launch on Clubhouse?
Three quick bits of advice for Marketers who are considering using Clubhouse for your brand:
- It takes a village and a network
- Release the need to control it
- Intersectionality – bring together many interests and Clubs – and your team.
It takes a village and a network
When my CEO said, “Let’s launch on Clubhouse!” first, I freaked out, then leaned on my network. I found an angel in Rob Gordon IV, who took my “exploratory” call on a Saturday morning and guided us through the process. Hint #1: you need a Rob who can help you navigate. As a “Creator” connected to Clubhouse, he helped us navigate the platform’s growing embrace of brands. To execute this, we assembled a dream team of:
- Club – Tech Talks – Chris Cheng
- Moderator – Run-of-show driver – Jeremiah Owyang, Kaleido Insights
- Moderator – Culture – James Andrews, Founder, Authenticated
- Associated Club – Chess Club, Sydney Liu, Founder (hosted pre-event)
It wasn’t always clear who had which role; we had to come together to create a detailed run-of-show script, host a green room, plan the on-stage/off-stage movement and manage it in a real-time backchannel. There was no playbook for this. It took myself and my co-pilot, Jamelia Turner, Content Marketing Manager, to speak with everyone above and forge a path. It took many, many hours to navigate, and we did it!
Release the need to control it
It’s very early days for brands on Clubhouse. The acceptance of brand profiles and clubs was evolving daily as we were planning. Product releases of Clubhouse were made available daily, and our insiders let us know.
Now, I’ve been an early adopter of social platforms for brands since 2009, going back to SAP Community (2.8M members) and SAP’s very first branded LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts. But this, a 1-year-old startup (as of 3/17/21) with few employees, is very bleeding edge.
Questions such as:
- “how do we invite employees to the platform at scale?”
- “should we host a room?”
- “should we affiliate with a Club to host our room?”
- “how do we best attract listeners?”
- “when to move influencers and speakers on on-off stage?”
- “how to hold a ‘green room’?”
- “how do we record?”
- “how do we allow Android users to listen?”
… arose as we were navigating this new space – we had many time-consuming discussions on all of these critical topics. Again, there was no formal playbook for this. In the end, I had to release the need to operate in the highly organized way that mature marketing programs are run and it worked, fabulously well, due to our “village.”
Noodle.ai’s Pi Day announcement was big: we introduced a new category of AI software for manufacturers called Flow Operations, or FlowOps, which enables a company to, for the first time, drive toward perfect operations flow and become a no-waste enterprise.
This was very exciting for the team working on our “Clubhouse Lightning Strike” because there were many relevant audiences on Clubhouse, already in Clubs:
- Tech Talks
- Chess Club
- AI Club
- Sustainability Club
- Digital Transformation Club
- Circular Economy
- Supply Chain Collective
We also wanted to provide a fun, immersive experience for our fellow Noodlers, so we hustled to get them on the platform, educated, and able to contribute to the conversation. We tried doing this formally with all the clubs listed above. We developed a particularly gratifying relationship with the Chess Club, who held a pre-event room JUST to talk about their admiration for Garry. We loved seeing this:
What’s great: The people. The conversations. The moments of serendipity.
There’s a great sense of community on Clubhouse in the right pockets (yes, some of it is a dumpster fire, but so is Twitter). Genuine relationships are being made. The forging of technology and culture sometimes happens in magical ways.
I’ll end with my favorite exchange from our Pi Day room. In response to a question from James about the moral responsibility of AI, Garry answered (paraphrased): “AI is just a mirror. It reflects society. If AI is producing biased results, it is a product of the data it ingests. Technology can’t change the world. Let’s improve the data (e.g., reduce the amount of bias in the world).”
1. Marketing Lightning Strikes, Christopher Lochhead, Lochhead on Marketing Podcast, 10 Mar 2021