Now on her third start-up, Amber Osborne is the CMO at Doghead Simulations (the company behind Rumii, a virtual reality conferencing and collaboration platform) and industry influencer. In this Tale from the Tour Bus, she reveals what it takes to launch something new and gives an insiders view of being an insider.

Amber, tell us about the Doghead Simulations tour bus and how you came to be on it.

They found me on the side of the road hitch-hiking back from Vegas. *laughs* I’ve been the CMO of Doghead Simulations for almost two and a half years now. I actually randomly met the CEO Mat Chacon at a Halloween party for our local VR group, that I wasn’t going to go to. You never know where opportunity is going to come to you. I found the product (VR meeting and education software, rumii) they were making fascinating and much needed for us remote working segment. 

Where’s this bus headed?

I believe it is all uphill from here, yes, the bus feels slow moving sometimes and marketing to a market that is emerging like virtual reality can be challenging for so many reasons. For the industry as a whole, education and getting headsets into homes and on heads and that word of mouth marketing machine started is the priority.

Just seeing where we’ve come as an industry in the last year has been invigorating with the lower priced headsets such as Oculus Go and Oculus Quest hitting the consumer market and more access to 5G. I think the VR industry personally is wonderful, working previously in music, technology, and video games. It is a very inclusive, diverse and supportive industry and I feel like we are all pioneers in this new wild, wild west of technology. 

Love that “wild, wild west”, so what’s the highlight of this tour so far?

For me, it would be making the non-believers in virtual reality say “Wow!” when they experience our product when they realize they are talking to another human in VR that might be across the planet.

Seeing the impact that our product can have to connect the world in ways that haven’t been explored yet is what fuels me. We’ve definitely all cried in our headsets at Doghead Simulations when we see rumii being used in education to connect remote parts of the world with teaching resources and technology they have never been able to experience before. 

Oh yes! We all want the non-believers to say “wow!” – has this tour gone as you expected? Any bumps in the road?

Anytime you join or start a startup, it is just like starting a band (this is my third time around, a sucker for punishment!) expect a lot of turbulence, it isn’t for the faint of heart for sure. Ramen noodle soup life is real (for me it is sardines) but you make it through when you get the small wins. You have (Underline this five times!) to make sure you have a strong, supportive team (no room for divas!) with the same passion for success and realistic expectations and goals. As Freddie Mercury sang “It’s been no bed of roses, No pleasure cruise, I consider it a challenge before the whole human race. And I ain’t gonna lose.”

Every cool kid in B2C is grooving to the influencer tune right now, you recently had a gig as an Adobe Insider – what do you think of influencers in B2B?

Sometimes when you are involved in a larger business, you tend to only start seeing your microcosm, your world, and your community. You have your brand voice, messaging and your internal champions. Sometimes it becomes challenging to create a bridge to new business opportunities and communities outside (or even sometimes inside) of your sphere. 

Influencer programs in B2B, if done right and fostered and cultivated with care (like the Adobe Insider program) can be a great way to educate and connect new audiences and bring diverse insights and audiences to fresh perspectives of your brand. You want those influencers to be more than just content creators, they are the eyes, ears and constantly typing fingers on the pulse of what is going on inside and outside of a business. 

What do you think makes an influencer a hit?

Real talk time. Please for the love of the patron saint of marketing, stop spending your whole marketing budget on the hottest new influencers that have huge followings (that are mostly bought) and constantly shill products to their audiences like that scene in Wayne’s World where Garth is covered in endorsements like a Nascar car. If #sponsoredpost is every post, you might want to look elsewhere to get more bang for your buck. 

There’s a lot of great influencer marketing magic that can happen when you look for the micro-influencers, not the wham bam thank you ma’am megaphones. Find those people and champions that are passionate about your product, industry or products like yours, their audiences are genuinely interested and you can create more lifetime customers rather than fifteen minutes of fame. 

Splendid! Not the one hit wonders. So back to Doghead Simulations what’s the next stop for rummii?  

We just in the last week released our newest version of rumii, really cool features such as live video streaming. If you are looking for an innovative way to have your next meeting, class or conference even in virtual reality, look us up! 

Where might people see you perform?

Currently, I don’t have any gigs booked for the summer but I am always open for a conversation on what my next speaking gig or event to cover might be! I might be writing a book soon, of course, I “might” have been writing a book for the last ten years. Maybe I’ll go searching for some inspiration in the meantime. 

Thanks Amber!

This was our second interview with Amber, in the first, when we went backstage with her, she suggested our favorite addition to any CMO rider; mandatory karaoke team building! Read more of that interview.

Follow @missdestructo (Amber has given us all Twitter handle envy) and check out Doghead Simulations and rumii

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