Amber Osborne: A pioneer in #VirtualReality marketing

My profile of Amber Osborne, who started her career on #Twitter — #WomentoFollow thread (6th edition)

Rose Horowitz
Nov 11, 2018 · 4 min read

By @RoseHorowitz31 11 Nov 2018

“I feel like I am building something for the future,” says @MissDestructo, chief marketing officer, @dogheadsims of Seattle, which makes virtual reality meeting software.

@MissDestructo

Osborne has been named №2 on Forbes 50 Most Influential CMO’s on Social Media.

Marketing for big companies in #VR is dominated by men, @MissDestructo says. But that’s not the case for smaller start-ups, employing from five to 30 people, she says.

“I think it’s special that the VR industry is killing the perception that all developers are men…From visiting smaller start ups, a lot of developers and executives are women,” Osborne says in a phone interview.

“The next big step is to try and improve the numbers from around 20 percent female representation…” says Martina Welkhoff, founding partner of @WXRfund, a venture fund supporting women-led startups in #immersivetech.

“It’s such a new industry…For me, how do I market to audiences that have never seen VR before?,” Osborne says.

“I wear a lot of hats,” she says, noting that she handles the company’s marketing, public relations, customer support, events, and runs its three #socialmedia accounts. Doghead Simulations created software called rumii, which allows people to collaborate and communicate in a 3D virtual environment. About 60 percent of its market is made up of educators, Osborne says.

When she was in her teens, Osborne worked promoting alternative rock artists. But in the end, she chose not to pursue a career in music. “…I saw how hard it was, especially being a woman,” she says.

After majoring in communications at community college & the University of Tampa, Osborne moved to Greenville, S.C. “I had no idea what I wanted to do,” she says.

As a 6-foot-tall woman with bright blue hair, it was tough to find a job in Greenville, she says. Osborne started to build a following on Twitter. Virtually penniless, she tweeted how she was eating canned sardines and yams all the time.

Her fans started writing to @brucesyams about her. The good news? They hired her to run their Twitter account.

Osborne, who has more than 40,000 followers on Twitter, uses the platform to engage with different communities. It’s important to have hashtags such as #WomentoFollow, showing “women boosting that signal…we’re here on Twitter and talking about cool things,” she says.

Shocked to discover that 60 to 70 percent of her Twitter followers were men, Osborne spoke with other women power users who said the same thing. Once @MissDestructo started promoting women speaking at conferences & #womeninstem, she gained women followers. Now her Twitter feed is split evenly between men and women followers, she says.

Osborne praises the breadth of voices on Twitter. “I think a lot of the value of Twitter is lost when people talk about their own industry, their own bubble,” she says. “Sometimes I’ll go to conferences outside my industry to see what’s out there. Twitter is a great place to collaborate. It still has a lot of power.”

“As someone who has been on Twitter since 2007 or 2008, where it was one of those places you would go and network and meet people, being a woman and being heard sometimes is difficult because of the noise.”

In a blog, Osborne wrote she struggles w/a family history of #mentalillness and “pushing yourself with every little thing you have to accomplish for the day…Bottom line, I’m a highly organized person with a highly disorganized brain.”

Osborne’s three #WomentoFollow?

  1. Geena Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.
  2. Martina Welkhoff, co-founder of The WXR Venture Fund, which supports women-led start-ups, for being a “trailblazer in getting out the word that there are a lot of women in this industry.”
  3. CathyHackl, “one of the biggest evangelists for #VR” and a “powerhouse who reached out to me and has been a big supporter.”

I am always looking for tips & stories of smart #WomentoFollow.

Watch for #WomentoFollow profiles from @RoseHorowitz31

Click here to see the #WomentoFollow Twitter list curated by @heykiddo. Subscribe to the list, now at more than 800 strong.


Originally published at twitter.com on November 11, 2018. I added some material and additional quotes on January 28, 2019.

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Rose Horowitz

Written by

Pulitzer-nominated Journalist. Founder, #WomentoFollow https://bit.ly/2JwQWgV. Content/social media/pr for biz & nonprofit clients. Published: @nytimes @forbes

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