‘With uncertainty comes opportunity’ - Unruly’s Sarah Wood

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 25 October 2016
Sarah Wood

Want to survive the next wave of disruption heading straight towards us? Working with startups and embracing change is key, reckons Unruly cofounder and CEO Sarah Wood.

Speaking at today’s AANA Reset conference, Wood explained that from the downturn in mining, to Brexit, to the rise of adblocking, uncertainly and disruption is everywhere, however startups and entrepreneurs thrive in such environments. So for big corporates to do the same, they not only need to think like the up and comers in business, they also need to work with them.

“In a climate of uncertainty, who are you going to turn to?,” Wood asked. “You have got to turn to entrepreneurs, because that is our natural habitat. We thrive on uncertainty and it doesn’t feel paralysing, it doesn’t feel terrifying or scary, because with that uncertainty comes opportunity.”

Wood also went on to explain how themes that Unruly tries to permeate throughout its business such as authenticity, agility and passion are key for marketers today because as the next generation begins to interact with brands, these are all qualities that they are going to be looking for.

These values aren’t just fluffy concepts, with Wood sharing that companies with purpose are 400% more profitable than standard companies and that nearly 70% of CMOs that utilise agile working methodologies increase profits and revenues.

Unruly is a video ad tech company and it was acquired by News Corp a little over a year ago. The deal was worth $125 million, and when asked why Wood and he fellow founders went with the publishing giant as its final buyer, she said it came down to cultural fit and also the global scale the business could bring.

“We liked their passion and the purpose,” she says. “[News] was very passionate about video and digital transformation,” she added.

Woods also lamented that another reason the company decided to go with News Corp came down to how all of its founders were treated. With Wood telling Reset that the business had previously turned down investors due to the fact that would only talk to her male cofounders and not her.

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